Stress has been a focal point in recent months. From the devastating daily news to the shake-up of our usual routines, fear has ruled our lives. It has governed our energy levels, our mood, and our behaviors. It’s time to regain our energetic selves and find happiness in the smallest of moments.
There are two main types of stress: acute stress and chronic stress. Acute stress is short-term, while chronic stress is long-term. Intense anxiety, like traffic jams, paying the bills, and heated debates are controllable by the body. However, once these problems occur daily, they turn into constant pressure.
Chronic stress is not suitable for humans. In the hunter-gatherer age, people adapted to heal from healthy doses of stress, like recovering from a panther leaping out behind the bushes. This form of short-term stress drains energy for only a brief period.
Chronic stress, however, means the body is regularly in the fight-or-flight mode. This state takes away essential nutrients, resources, and energy from regular bodily functions. Over time, these depletions add up. Your resting heart rate increases, your breath rate elevates, and your blood pressure spikes. There is an overall increase in your body’s baseline metrics. These elevations can cause dangerous problems in the future, like chronic pain, inflammation, heart disease, diabetes, and depression. As you can see, our bodies have not developed to maintain stress for an extended time.
Additionally, when the body is overworked, the necessary nutrients for energy, like vitamin B and magnesium, run low. The anxiety that comes with stress further depletes the nutrient levels. As the essential components for energy lower, anxiety increases, which turns into a cycle that is hard to break. Once the sequence is triggered, body functions become less and less effective. Lack of sleep adds to this process, which again leads to less energy.
The best way to regain our lost energy is by removing ourselves from the stress factors. This means turning off the news, silencing the radio, and for once, being present. Schedule time in your day to relax and unwind. Try yoga, meditation, walks around the neighborhood, and breathing exercises to remove tension. Develop a night-time routine that keeps your sleep patterns consistent. Limit the blue light exposure, go to bed earlier, and replace the device in bed with a book. A poor diet with fatty and sugary foods doesn’t supply the body with the necessary nutrients to heal itself. Replace the refined carbohydrate diet with fruits, vegetables, nuts, and high-quality protein. Keep caffeine consumption to a minimum while increasing your water intake.
Constant stress has an incredibly toxic effect on your body, whether you realize it or not. You were not built to be able to maintain peak performance at high levels of stress for long durations. Remove yourself from energy-draining situations, and replace them with calming and grounding activities.
- Porter, J. E. (2017, April 3). What’s the difference between acute stress and chronic stress? HuffPost. Retrieved from huffpost.com/entry/whats-the-difference-between-acute-stress-and-chronic_b_58dcf585e4b0fa4c09598655
- Erratic Energy – Is stress depleting your energy? (2018, April 18). BioCare. Retrieved from biocare.co.uk/news/erratic-energy-is-stress-depleting-your-energy.html