Stress Adaptation and Your Adrenals
By Georgianna Donadio, MSc, DC, PhD – The ability for a human being to adapt to its environment and to deal with the many ongoing and changes it faces is the hallmark of a healthy body. That we can withstand day to day events that challenge our nervous system, and subsequently our immune system, is a reflection that our body is working very efficiently. This all comes back to your adrenal glands and their stress adaptation.
Understanding the connection between how events affect our stress adaptation system, primarily the adrenal glands, and how the adrenal’s hyper-secretions under stress can create havoc with the digestive and immune systems is important. This allows us to make informed lifestyle choices that will preserve and respect our body and our long term health.
Variations In Stress
Most of us do not know what stressors are. We tend towards the idea that emotional upset is what constitutes stress. However, there are 12 major categories of stress that can impact our body and health. Unfortunately, we are subject to these stressors on a regular basis.
A stressor is any activity or event that requires the body to change or adapt in order to maintain its homeostasis, or balance. Therefore, it becomes essential to know the factors we must be mindful of in order to keep our stress levels in check.
Below is a list of the stressors to be aware of in your day to day life:
- Weather (exposure to hot or cold)
- Sleep and Rest (specifically, not getting enough)
- Infection or Silent Inflammation
- Allergies (all types)
- Dental or Medical Procedures and Surgeries
- Reproduction (for women: menstrual cycle, pregnancy, breast feeding, menopause)
- Sexual Activity
- Nutrition (too many calories or non-nutritious food)
- Exertion and Exercise (too much or not enough)
- Trauma (any form)
- Fear, Anxiety, Worry (ongoing)
- Loss or grief
By keeping your stress level low, you will reduce wear and tear on your body parts that, in the long term, can lead to chronic illness and disease. It is not the stress itself that makes you sick, but the ongoing wear on the body that causes dysfunction and dis-ease.
Healthy Habits, Healthy Life
There are many ways to reduce stress and maintain a balanced nervous system. While the list is endless here are some of the most popular ways to do so: (1) Exercise regularly. (2) Listen to soothing music. (3) Practice Yoga. (4) Participate in sports. (5) Tend a garden.
Each person finds their best way to relax and de-stress. It is something we all need to do on a regular basis to balance or nervous systems and stay healthy!
For an overview of more Whole Health topics, Watch Two Hours of FREE Course Excerpts from the National Institute of Whole Health.