What is the Natural Stress Response

Ann PeckhamIf you have been living with elements of stress and anxiety you are unintentionally de-stabilising your whole body. I’m sure that you know by now that the body is a holistic system and each part is intimately connected to the rest.

It can seem as if it is the normal way to be because the vast majority of the Western World is gripped by stress related illness.

Your body is hard-wired to react to stress in ways meant to protect you against threats from predators and other aggressors. Such threats are rare today, but that doesn’t mean that life is free of stress.

On the contrary, you undoubtedly face multiple demands each day, such as shouldering a huge workload, making ends meet and taking care of your family. Your body treats these so-called minor hassles as threats. As a result you may feel as if you’re constantly under assault. But you can fight back. You don’t have to let stress control your life.

What is the natural stress response

When you encounter a perceived threat — somebody jumps out to alarm you, for fun, for instance — your hypothalamus, a tiny region at the base of your brain, sets off an alarm system in your body. Through a combination of nerve and hormonal signals, this system prompts your adrenal glands to release a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.

  • Adrenaline increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure and boosts energy supplies.
  • Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhances your brain’s use of glucose and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues.
  • Cortisol also curbs functions that would be nonessential or detrimental in a fight-or-flight situation. It alters immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system, the reproductive system and growth processes. This complex natural alarm system also communicates with regions of your brain that control mood, motivation and fear.
  • Our adrenal glands are our first defence, our final reserve tank, and our “burst of energy” when it is needed most.

The body’s stress-response system is usually self-limiting. Once a perceived threat has passed, hormone levels return to normal. As adrenaline and cortisol levels drop, your heart rate and blood pressure return to baseline levels, and other systems resume their regular activities. But when stressors are always present and you constantly feel under attack, that fight-or-flight reaction stays turned on.

The long-term activation of the stress-response system — and the subsequent overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones — can disrupt almost all your body’s processes. This puts you at increased risk of numerous health problems, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Digestive problems
  • Heart disease
  • Sleep problems
  • Weight gain
  • Memory and concentration impairment

That’s why it’s so important to learn healthy ways to cope with the stressors in your life.

Learning to react to life stressors in a healthy way

Stressful events are a fact of life, and you may not be able to change your current situation. But you can take steps to manage the impact these events have on you. You can learn to identify what stresses you and how to take care of yourself physically and emotionally in the face of stressful situations.

Stress management strategies include:

  • Eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise and plenty of sleep
  • Practicing relaxation techniques
  • Learn to meditate
  • Fostering healthy friendships. There are some very easy to learn strategies for improving all relationships that I would love to share with you.
  • Having a sense of humour, when you take yourself too seriously all manner of issues can unfold.
  • Seeking professional counselling when needed, there is no shame in seeking help and it can make all the difference.

The payoff for learning to manage stress is peace of mind and — perhaps — a longer, healthier life.  You can find links to help with all the above on my website – www.sparklingenergy.co.uk

The symptoms to take note of and what can help:

  • Are feeling like you “need” coffee or red bull, falling asleep at work or church and not having gusto or zest for life, or a lack of desire to participate in any activity that might further drain your energy?
  • The reliance on stimulants to overcome low energy and low motivation can be reversed naturally with a Green Smoothie which can easily be made at home if you have a blender. You can download my book the Power of Greens from Amazon (http://amzn.to/1BtOPW1) which will give you a simple recipe and information about the health benefits of some familiar greens.
  • Athletes, mothers, doctors, and anyone who needs to stay alert and would like to break their addiction to energy drinks and coffee should consider this natural solution for this very common modern day problem.

I hope that you will take advantage of some of the free resources you have been gifted with by visiting my website – there is a free book and a free meditation for you. I hope that you found them.
Love and light



As a Raw Food Coach/Chef/Trainer I am experienced at enabling others to easily start the transformation to become conscious of healthier eating. People discover that adjusting their lifestyle can be both fun and easy and the outcome is often more energy and a greater capacity to self-heal. I am passionately involved with a movement to bring Non-GMO, Organic, Raw Vegan, wholefood supplements to the whole of my network and on into all of theirs too, so that others can benefit from having easy access to the healthiest foods in the easiest format.

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