Nearly 70% of us are feeling overwhelmed by our current levels of stress. As the devastating impact of stress escalates it risks our mental and physical health.
When stress has to stop, but the problems continue, what can you do?
Defend yourself against stress with a cup of Dr. Sebi's Hemp & Chamomile Tea. Rich in restorative phytocannabinoids this herbal tea can lift your mood, reduce stress and eliminate the risk of burnout.
The Evolution of Stress
We have a built-in ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response to stress that promotes our safety above all else. This allows us to quickly respond to danger. Blood is diverted to the reactionary regions of the brain (not the contemplative ones) and we are pumped with hormones to make us intensely alert.
The problem is that the stress response was only designed to be switched on temporarily while we dealt with the threat, and switched off when we were safe again.
For our ancestors, the stress response could mean the difference between life and death - they faced major threats that genuinely endangered their lives. Modern ‘threats’ include sensational media, pollution, inflammatory foods and more minor issues, like negative people, which aren’t immediately life threatening.
Unfortunately, our stress response hasn’t changed, but the sources of stress have. All these minor irritations (which can even include noise and smells) engage our stress response but don’t turn it off – like a backlog in a printer, preventing anything from being printed.
These ‘semi-active’ stressors lurk in the background of the mind and body until you can’t take it anymore and you ‘snap’ (do something about it, or wear out emotionally and physically).
The world we inhabit is very different to the one our early ancestors lived in. The stress response evolved in times where life-threatening issues were just around the corner. Fast forward to 2022, and instead of gigantic cats, we have traffic jams, stressful jobs and alarming news media.
While these things pose no direct threat to our lives, repeated exposure to them triggers our stress response and keeps it switched on, long after the ‘threat’ has disappeared – this prolonged state of stress can be deadly.
Your Unique Allostatic Load
How much stress we can handle before experiencing serious physical or mental burnout is known as our allostatic load. Repeatedly exposing ourselves to the stress response is like driving at top speed with no time or energy to maintain our vehicle.
Trauma from childhood, current relationships and societal issues all count towards our allostatic load. It might seem like our job is the only/main thing stressing us out, but in reality you have a big ‘bag’ of stress you’ve been collecting for decades. All those unresolved emotions add up.
Since the body only has two performance states (stressed or relaxed) and any excess stress will reduce the energy that can be dedicated to ‘relaxed’ functions, like digesting, healing and weight loss. This is why stress increases the risk of all other diseases (like heart attacks) and makes people much more likely to get depressed or anxious.
Stress itself isn’t the real issue, a lack of relaxation and no clear ‘stop’ to the stress is the problem. We need to find ways to clearly communicate with our body and brain that things like the news headlines can be safely ignored.
If we don’t find ways to counteract the stress, then the toll on the body is massive. Imagine a car that never got repaired, how long would you expect it to last? Mental burnout occurs when the stress gets so severe the brain adapts to focus on fear, making it hard to feel positive about anything. Don’t get accustomed to stress, learn how to turn it off!
Switching Off Stress
If you want to prevent the damage being done by stress, all you need to do is turn it off. Imagine you have just watched a horror movie, and it's bedtime, how would you turn the anxiety off? Ideally you would have enough time before bed to do something calming, like reading or listening to relaxing music. Maybe a gentle stroll?
Exercise is a fantastic way to stop stress; it mimics the ‘running away from danger’ activity that the response evolved to support. Sex and orgasms provide another route to stopping stress; all those deep-breaths and passionate action let the body know that the stress has been resolved.
Hemp & Chamomile can also help your body put a stop to stress. The relaxing effect on your muscles and increase in oxygenation, while reducing inflammation, creates mental focus and calm. The herbal duo work in synergy with your natural relaxation response to help you calm down at the end of the day or the beginning!
Any action you take to induce calmness will reduce your risk of the debilitating state of stress called burnout. Take time to alleviate stress by meditating, spending time in nature, deep breathing, or partaking in any activity you enjoy. There are many ways you can override an outdated stress setting, and actively choose how you will respond. Take note of how many stressful events you have already encountered today. How will you switch them all off?