Stress is unavoidable. Every year, sometimes every day there seems to be new things to be stressed about. Finances, health, loved ones, job security, politics, the future… the list goes on and on. Life has a way of throwing one curveball after another and it’s easy to become overwhelmed. This can be particularly difficult for men as there is more societal pressure for them to seem like they “have it all under control”. Gender stereotypes depict men as always being strong, not showing emotion and not talking about their feelings. Asking for help is sometimes seen as a weakness, which
Stress and Energy
Stress is a natural part of our lives, and although it gets a bad reputation, stress isn’t necessarily a terrible thing. Stress helps us deal with new situations and threats. It keeps us alert and on our toes. It can even be considered healthy: the ability to adapt to stress can make the body (and mind) stronger – but only if there is a proper “recovery” period afterwards. Where we get into trouble health wise is in situations of chronic stress; when there isn’t enough recovery but a maintenance or resistance to stress for so long, followed by a phase
As we are slowly emerging from the COVID-19 situation, many of us are feeling a pressing need to get back in shape and to clean-up our diet. Some might even be tempted to undergo a ‘little detox’ to overcome the sluggishness feeling and get rid of the extra kilos. However, we must consider our level of stress and overall energy before entering any kind of detox process. COVID-19 Impact Stress can be lifesaving but when it becomes chronic, it has all sorts of negative impacts both on our physical and mental health. At the end of April, an IPSOS poll
The importance of the digestive tract, also called the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), is often underestimated. Its purpose may seem to only digest food, absorb nutrients and then excrete waste; however, the world inside the GIT is actually an entire ecosystem, and one that constantly influences our health. The bacterial colonies within this system uses the food we send down, producing nutrients and neurotransmitters, sending signals, influencing inflammation and the immune system, and interacting with the nervous system. There are literally trillions of living microorganisms inside the gut and throughout the digestive system with the power of suggestion over our mood.
Several studies have examined the influence of emotions on cognition, but common everyday situations also testify to the prevalence of this phenomenon. Indeed, who has never forgotten something important under the effect of acute stress, or hasn’t witnessed a menopausal relative complaining about becoming forgetful? The mechanisms and neural circuits involved in emotions and cognition are inextricably linked, and the maintenance of this delicate neurochemical balance is easily disrupted from exposure to stress. Stress triggers a cascade of hormone and neurotransmitter release throughout the brain, affecting our thoughts, decision-making process and behavior. Understanding the Impact of Stress Hans Selye (1907-1982),
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could deal with stress in a very calm and controlled manner? This wouldn’t be the same as repressing your anger or hiding the fact that you’re upset. This would be the ability to tolerate stress in a way that your heart rate doesn’t increase, you don’t have to feel the need to raise your voice, and you don’t feel angry or frustrated inside. Did you know that stress actually causes certain hormones to be released in your body that prevent you from thinking clearly in moments of stress? When you increase your tolerance for
Fear Factor: Fear is a complex sensation elicited by a perceived risk or danger that can directly produce a number of behavioural modifications. Fear can be conscious, subconscious, both, and can be acute or learned. This complexity explains why there is so much variety in how people perceive and respond to threatening cues. Some fears may have an evolutionary basis; ie. fear of poisonous snakes; while other fears may be the result of conditioning from a bad experience, and some fears have no rational basis (phobias). Responses range from freezing at the sight of a clown, to instinctively punching the
Yoga Benefits: Yoga is an ancient discipline designed to bring balance and health to the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of the individual. In more recent years it has become a multi-billion dollar industry in North America with its mental and physical health benefits. In Vancouver, yogis stroll the streets with their mats thrown over their shoulders, looking so good in those Lululemons. However, the benefits of this practice, lulu’s or not, go far beyond a toned back-side and they have been well documented. Yoga has been shown to significantly improve feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression in healthy
Most people don’t successfully carry out and maintain a detoxification program. It is difficult to stick with a strict diet or drink an unpleasant tasting powder. Most commercially available detox kits contain herbal supplements that are little more then a laxative. A good detox will stimulate multiple elimination pathways with the main focus on the liver and intestines. Diet – Adequate fluid and fibre from whole grains, fruits and veggies are extremely important to help keep our bowels moving. Fibre provides bulk for the stool, binds fats, prevents blood sugar elevations and stimulates elimination of toxins. Antioxidants, vitamins and minerals are crucial for
Summer is winding down and it’s back to work and school for the majority of us. With the hectic pace and high responsibilities of modern society, it’s no surprise that most of us may already feel somewhat stressed and tired, even after a relaxing summer vacation! Generally speaking, our body has an amazing ability to cope with stress. The adrenal glands release cortisol and other hormones to increase blood sugar and give us that immediate and quick acting fuel to handle stress. This is obviously great news! But too often our bodies end up relying on cortisol for long-term use.
GABA is a supplement worth taking for dealing with issues of anxiety. I have been using it in my clinical practice for many years for this very reason. GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is a neurotransmitter made from the amino acid glutamate. GABA acts as a main inhibitor to the brain and nervous system, functioning as an “engine brake” on the system in times of stress. Low levels of GABA in the brain have been associated with restlessness, anxiety, insomnia and poor mood (1). GABA has been shown to inhibit the excitatory impulses in the brain, including those responsible for panic, alarm,