Slash Stress

Simply put: Stress interferes with the performance of our adrenal glands.

The result of excess stress is fatigue, reduced ability to handle said stress well, and a decline in your hormones.  Adrenal fatigue is one of the most common and widely missed threats to our health today. Low-impact, stress-reducing exercises include tai chi, sitting mindfully in silence and stillness (some call it meditation), and breathing exercises.  Research also shows moderate exercise like walking increases testosterone production.  It’s a myth that watching TV relaxes you.  You actually have to do something in order to relax.  You need to turn on the “relaxation response.”  These exercises are ways to do that.

Here are some suggestions for turning on your relaxation response:

Do you have any stress relieving techniques that work well? I’d love to hear them in the comments below, please share!

What you need to know about adrenal fatigue

Tired? Grumpy? Depressed? Gaining weight? Stressed? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you may be battling adrenal fatigue.

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Adrenal fatigue is a non-specific collection of symptoms that affects multiple body systems and is caused by chronic stress.

Adrenal glands are two pyramidal shaped glands, about the size of a walnut, that sit on top of each kidney. They release hormones that are involved in blood pressure regulation, electrolyte balance, blood sugar usage, and the stress response. A small amount of estrogen and testosterone is also made here. Stress puts these organs into overdrive but over time their function becomes diminished causing a whole cascade of negative effects.

When it comes to adrenal fatigue, the greatest impact is on cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that is released during times of stress and increases blood sugar to be used as quick energy, which is necessary for the “fight or flight” response. Cortisol is also involved in the sleep cycle. Cortisol is typically at its highest level between 6 and 8 a.m. and at its lowest level between 10 p.m. and 12 a.m. When cortisol levels are out of balance, as seen in adrenal fatigue, sleep cycles are greatly disturbed. Waking up in the middle of night is common and further adds to fatigue.

Luckily, adrenal fatigue is easy to detect, yet many doctors do not test for it. A salivary cortisol test is the single best way to detect adrenal fatigue. It requires four samples of saliva to be collected throughout the day. The advantage of this test is that it allows for a very accurate picture of how your adrenal glands are functioning throughout the day.

Treatment for adrenal fatigue is much more complex and requires an individualized approach. Diet, exercise, sleep, and stress management are the four pillars of health, and the treatment of adrenal fatigue often requires addressing one or all of these areas. Being tested for adrenal fatigue and sitting down with your doctor to develop a program specific to you is your best weapon for battling this condition. Say goodbye to adrenal fatigue and have your adrenals tested today.


Meditation for Dealing with Stress

In order to use meditation to deal with stress, you should start with just 10 minutes and consider it “sitting mindfully in stillness.”  As you get the hang of meditating, you can gradually increase the length of time in which you do it. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Set aside time for meditation. If you don’t schedule it in and take it as seriously as your other appointments. You’ll have a difficult time creating a daily routine.
  • Simply focus on your breathing. Bringing your attention to your breath is the first step to quieting the mind. When frustration and outside thoughts creep in, bring your attention back to your breath.
  • Dedicate a meditation space. If possible, choose one location to meditate. You want to feel at ease in this space.
  • Listen to instructional audio. One of my favorites being Holosync.

People always tell me they don’t have time to meditate.   I tell them the story of my dentist.  When I was a youngster I asked him whether I had to floss all of my teeth.  “Only the ones you want to keep,” he replied.

I also say a day without meditation is like going to bed without brushing your teeth.  The damage of the day is there.  Stress is like food left between your molars.  We must brush and floss out the stress daily to prevent cell damage. If you have questions about starting a meditation practice, leave them in the comments below. If you have a meditation practice, I’d love to hear about it. Share your tips in the comments below.