Stress as a Survival mechanism
Usually, stress is associated with negativity, but can just as well be a positive trigger for all living things.
Take, for instance, the fight-or-flight response we experience in moments of fear, panic, or danger; from the subtlety of an athlete before a competition to that of a public speaker addressing a crowd, to the more dangerous scenario of jumping off a burning building.
All three situations are stressful but the important thing to note is that each one propels the individual to action.
After the act is performed and depending on the outcome, the individual is encouraged or discouraged to repeat the experience, which can be regarded as an adaptational reaction.
Our ancestors would have used this as a survival mechanism to navigate the danger from predators and other dangerous situations.
Stress propels us to act by producing the hormone, Cortisol, which signals the mind to activate the body to respond to an observed emergency.
Whether an emergency is real or perceived is irrelevant to the mind when it engages it’s self-preservation mode, and this is why mental health stability is important to prevent the loss of reality in a stressful situation.
It encourages using oxygen to create mindfulness that helps us train our minds to overcome obstacles and create better lifestyle choices, so we can develop the skills to manage stress better.
A survey by the American Psychological Association highlights the alarming levels of stress across all age groups in the world today, especially in the United States, amd it turns out that we are more stressed-out than any other time in recorded history.
This is further exacerbated by the struggle to balance the different facets of our contemporary lifestyles like family, finances, health, relationships, with the incessantly switched-on digital overload.
Prolonged exposure to this kind of stress can become detrimental to health and can lead to chronic stress, which can instigate a rapid deterioration of the mental state or the more subtle and dangerous symptoms that develop slowly and unnoticed or misdiagnosed, while the body compensates.
Chronic Stress - Definition, Symptoms and Remedies
What is Chronic Stress – Definition
If mismanaged, Chronic stress can:
- trigger cortisol which accelerates the heart rate, increases tensions in the muscles, changes the functionality of the immune system, increases blood pressure and blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, and encourages obesity
- Accelerate harmful coping mechanisms like binging on unhealthy food, alcohol, smoking, experiencing irritability, restlessness and insomnia
- It can also short circuit the gastrointestinal health, subdue or over excite emotional and mental health
So how do you manage Stress then?
It is important to understand that completely avoiding stress is just as harmful as the overexposure to it, so the median point is managing stress effectively to accentuate rather than diminish life.
Diet, Oxygen, Sleep and Exercise – DOSE, is our flagship and simple approach to managing stress, and can help identify, analyse, and prioritize our stressors and recommend ways to manage them successfully.
Our DOSE program begins with a useful kit from Thorne Research Lab’s at-home stress test, which uses saliva samples to measure the two primary adrenal gland markers of stress – cortisol and DHEA and then in addition to the test results, Thorne will provide a personalized plan for your diet, lifestyle, and (if indicated) supplements to help you manage stress.
Here are some Great Supplements to manage Stress
DOSE promotes the use of natural methods that improve lifestyle habits, like better nutrition and hydration, regular exercise and restful sleep and harnessing the power of meditative mindfulness.
Within nutrition, we believe that supplements can be extremely beneficial to enhance areas of the body where food is not as effective, like our hormones, which the body utilizes to respond to stress.
Here are seven Thorne supplements we have used and can endorse for stress management
Hemp oil plus is a safe and effective approach to balance the body’s reaction to stress and anxiety. According to Thorne, it is a;
“ blend of phytocannabinoids that supports and regulates one of the body’s most important, yet little-known, systems — the endocannabinoid system.* and by nourishing this system, Hemp Oil + benefits users by relieving stress, easing discomfort, and even improving gut health”.
We can’t say enough about this product. It’s like magic – only better!
Thorne’s Memoractiv is a nootropic that combines herbal extracts proprietary nutrients that support creativity and mental focus, promotes a general feeling of calmness, and helps with blue screen filtering. If you’ve ever worn anti-blue screen glasses, you can relate to the soothing effect it has on the eyes. It also has a slow release mechanism, low-dose caffeine content for alertness and concentration, so it is ideal for late night work or studying and generally people who burn the midnight oil. Memoractiv can be paired with Hemp Oil + for more mental concentration and if nothing else, both are a stellar combination.
This merges the best essential B vitamins, with additional pantothenic acid to support optimal adrenal and immune functions.
The Adrenal glands Stress and the hormones related to stress take a toll on your adrenal glands. Adrenal Cortex supports healthy adrenal function because it promotes a balanced stress response.* It’s formulated with a unique extract from adrenal cortex tissue, which plays a valuable role in supporting healthy adrenal glands – while also helping maintain immune function and promoting an energetic feeling.*
5. Relora Plus
Help curb habitual stress-eating habits and decrease anxious feelings with this blend of two botanicals (used in the practice of traditional Chinese Medicine for more than 1,500 years) and six essential B vitamins.* Relora Plus supports restful sleep and balances cortisol and DHEA levels.*
Formulated with a natural inhibitory neurotransmitter – GABA, the PharmaGABA-250 helps maintain healthy stress management and promotes a good night’s sleep.* PharmaGABA is formulated with a natural source of the inhibitory neurotransmitter – GABA. Natural GABA increases the brain’s relaxing alpha-wave production and reduces the stress-related beta waves – creating a profound sense of physical relaxation whilst sustaining mental concentration focus.*
Rhodiola, is a stress-relieving botanical, categorized as an adaptogen because of increases the resistance to chemical, biological, and physical stressors and enhances mood, sleep and concentration.