You guys, I’m a worrier.
I seriously stress about EVERYTHING even if it’s already happened and over with. I’m just OCD enough that I really need to have everything in it’s place, I need to have a plan, I need to be in control. When these things are not within reach, I panic. My brain starts rapidly coming up with all the horrible ways things could go wrong and making a zillion lists of all the things that need to be done, which is highly overwhelming and just makes the anxiety worse.
I know I’m not the only one that struggles with this, but that knowledge doesn’t make it any easier. I drive my husband nuts with my constant rambling about EVERYTHING I NEED TO DO and then panicking some more because when I start saying it all out loud, it seems to become a larger looming cloud of worry. I even try writing it all down just to get it out of my head, but I find myself revisiting those lists and stressing some MORE.
All of this constant anxiety is SO BAD for my health, and it shows. When I’m under increased stress, I break out, I bloat and gain weight, my skin gets dry and flaky, my hair starts to fall out more, I sleep poorly and I have so little energy and focus during the day. All the work my brain is doing to worry is causing physical manifestations of my stress to appear! These changes are not good for my self-esteem either (because who feels good when they look like a zitty teenager with bald spots??), which in turn adds MORE stress onto the pile! It’s a vicious cycle.
We all are under huge amounts of stress on a daily basis. Unless you are living in a beautiful perpetually clean home with no bills or alarm clocks, have never been sick, have never had your car break down or get into an accident, have never had to worry about where your next paycheck or meal is coming from, if you have no loans or debt, no children to be responsible for, and your commute to work is a breeze — then you’ve got stress. And I’m not talking the kind of stress like you experience when you almost get hit by a car, or you get mugged or startled. Those things are called an adrenaline RUSH for a reason. I’m referring to stress that is not life-threatening such as traffic jams, relationship problems, money troubles, or occupational stresses.
When you experience these prolonged levels of stress, your hypothalamus activates a portion of your stress response system called the HPA Axis, which involves your pituitary and adrenal glands.An article published by Harvard Health± refers to this mechanism as the “gas pedal” of your body’s stress response. The brain continues to release CRH and ACTH during these times of prolonged stress which causes the body to produce more cortisol and maintain these higher levels of cortisol to help your brain cope with the perceived stressor. We know that cortisol plays a major role in the development of diabetes, coronary artery disease, and obesity and if your brain doesn’t push the “brake pedal,” i.e. the parasympathetic system calming your stress response down, all that cortisol can start to wreak havoc on your body.
So what do we do? We binge eat, we sleep a lot (and not well, I might add, because stress disrupts our REM cycles), we lash out, we break out, we get sick often, we cry, we scream — we FALL APART.
Lately, I’ve been looking into my life, trying to pin-point all the things that cause me stress and trying to break them down one by one to find healthy ways to handle these stresses. My commute to work is a major one for me, averaging 45-60 minutes one way and in gridlock traffic for most of the journey. In order to not literally rip my hair out, I started listening to audio books (covering the Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, AND Chronicles of Narnia series’ in about 9 months, whew!) which dramatically improved my stress levels. Another is my OCD tendencies and my preference to keep my house very clean and orderly. Living with a siberian husky in Hawaii (hello constant shedding season!) and an army husband who (bless his heart) absolutely must spread muddy army gear from wall to wall at regular intervals makes for challenges in the clean home department. (And we don’t even have kids!) I’ve been trying to focus on cleaning one room at a time, one day at a time and not let it get overwhelming to the point where I feel like the house is crumbling around me. Trust me, it happens, I have days where I get home and get myself into a big ball of stress trying to clean EVERYTHING when I really should be sitting down and de-stressing from my work day and commute. It’s a work in progress. The big kicker is being a part of a military lifestyle where I don’t get to choose when and where we move, my husband is never home, I have to pick up and switch jobs often and NOTHING can be planned in advance. This is hugely stressful for me, the planner, to cope with. I’m learning to be more flexible and more adaptive to last-minute changes…so yet another work in progress.
One huge leg-up I’ve given myself, is this life saver called Ionix Supreme. This is my “nature’s answer to stress” and contains quite the list of powerful antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and natural extracts that support your mind and body while under stress. One huge component of Ionix that I jumped at was that it is an herbal adaptogen. An adaptogen is defined as “a natural substance considered to help the body adapt to stress and to exert a normalizing effect upon bodily processes.” Sometimes, trying to manage my own stress just isn’t enough, I’m not made of stone and sometimes I get overwhelmed. This is where Ionix comes to save the day. I use this stuff EVERY DAY and it has shown me the light. I originally set out to do some research on this amazing stress juice when I stumbled upon this thoughtful and comprehensive look into everything that goes into your daily dose of Ionix. Rather than re-hash it out here, I encourage you to read this blog post and continue to read through her website about her successes and trials with nutritional rebalancing, which I’m also discovering for myself with WONDERFUL results. If you stay tuned, I’ll give more insight into my progress and JOY with this transforming lifestyle that I get to be a part of with my friends!
Please, please reach out. If you can in any way identify with these feelings of overwhelming and consistent stress, please message me! I’d love to help you out. Or if you simply need to vent, my inbox is always open 🙂
I want to leave you with this one more thing:
Do your mind and your body good, and IT WILL SHOW ❤
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