The concept of burnout has been a hot topic recently. With ongoing stress around COVID-19 and the political climate, it’s no wonder so many of us feel overwhelmed. In addition, you may be experiencing stress from work or personal challenges. Understanding how your body reacts to these stressors can help. And it all starts with your adrenals.
Your adrenal glands produce stress hormones like cortisol during times of distress. Now, in the midst of a crisis, this response can be helpful because it increases your heart rate and helps you spring into action. However, if your adrenals are constantly working overtime to produce cortisol — meaning you’re under chronic stress for an extended period of time — long-term fatigue, mood swings, and increased inflammation may follow. These symptoms can have a serious impact on your overall health, potentially leading to diabetes, high blood pressure, or anxiety.
Here are four ways to lower your stress hormones, support your adrenals and feel better:
Hit the pause button
Meditation can have incredibly positive effects on the mind and body. Not only is it known to lower your stress hormones, but it can also decrease your blood pressure and reduce inflammation in the body. The best part? Meditation is for everyone. All you need is an open mind and a relaxing, comfortable spot that’s free of distraction. Before you start, know that there is no right or wrong way to feel during meditation. It’s your practice. Focus on deep inhales and long, slow exhales, and practice consistently. Even just 15 minutes a day can make a positive impact on your adrenal glands and overall well being!
Move slowly and intentionally
Those high intensity interval workouts you’ve been doing may help you feel less stressed, but you could actually be triggering your cortisol levels to spike. HIIT puts our bodies in “fight or flight” mode, causing the adrenals to work overtime. If you can, avoid strenuous workouts and switch to low-impact exercises like yoga and stretching, walking, and lifting light weights. A regular yoga and stretching practice can reduce muscle fatigue, increase blood circulation, and help restore your mind. Or, if you choose to do a combination of walking and light weighted exercises, you will be well on your way to a balanced lifestyle.
Spend time outdoors
As the weather gets warmer, there will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Hiking, playing tag in the backyard with your grandkids, or doing yard work are a few forms of movements you can do while you soak up some Vitamin D. Best of all, outdoor activity helps reduce stress and anxiety, fight depression, and promote overall wellbeing.
Focus on your diet
You certainly don’t need to detox regularly, but take a good look at how you can improve your diet to support the adrenal glands. Various foods and beverages including caffeine, gluten, alcohol, saturated fats, and processed sugar can irritate the body— leading to an imbalance. Try introducing more anti-inflammatory foods that are high in antioxidants, like broccoli, kale, grapefruit, avocados, and cauliflower to help lower stress and support your adrenals.
Ready to bring balance and vitality back into your life? Connect with us online or text us at (901) 312-7899.