Stress is such a constant part of our day to day lives that it’s nearly impossible to avoid. So if we cannot avoid stress, what can we do to help our bodies become more stress resilient?
There are many simple techniques you can use to recover from stress faster and more effectively. In this series of blog posts I will explore some of these methods available to you. The next blog post will look at the physiological response our bodies have to stress and the effect that has on our health and the beauty of our skin.
When our bodies sense that we are in a threatening situation, real or perceived, it releases two hormones from the adrenal gland, adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline is our rapid response hormone, increasing our heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate so that we can fight or flee from immediate danger.
Cortisol is the long-term stress hormone, helping our body adapt to stresses over a longer period of time by regulating important things like our bodies use of our fuel sources, our moods, immunity, inflammatory response, blood pressure, and the maintenance of connective tissues such as our skin.
Many hundreds of years ago, the human body would react to stress with immediate physical activity, the so called ‘flight or fight’ reaction. But in modern times we deny our bodies this response. For example, we don’t get out of the car and run around madly when we are stuck in traffic getting stressed about running late! This results in our bodies storing the stress response and continuing to produce high levels of stress hormones.
It is as if our bodies have forgotten how to stop the stress response. We can also ‘think’ our bodies into a stress reaction by dwelling on problems that are not a threat to our lives but our bodies will respond in the same manner as if they were in danger. Such an influx of cortisol in our bodies can have serious long-term repercussions for our health and skin, which will be discussed in the next blog post.