Taste Success Wellbeing: Stress and Anxiety

 

With the upcoming Christmas holidays merely weeks away, the extra pressure at this time of year can often be a stressful occasion for many people.

To support you through this time, in this blog we’re going to share with you what stress and anxiety look like and our top tips for having a healthy and relaxing Christmas break. 

 

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What is the body's Stress Response?

When we are stressed, it is our sympathetic nervous system that is activated, enabling optimal physical and mental function to make the best survival choices. The parasympathetic system facilitates the processes for restoration of energy, breakdown and absorption of nutrients, and waste excretion pathways. When we operate mostly from the sympathetic nervous system, our "rest and digest" functions are put on the backburner. The symptoms of a sympathetic-dominant lifestyle are commonly:

  • poor sleep
  • fatigue
  • irritability
  • low immunity
  • headaches
  • panic or anxiety
  • hormone imbalance

Now, what we don't want to do here is just be another way for you to recognise that you're stressed - you probably already know that you are. We want to give you some solid advice on how to truly change your experience of this. We work with people of all ages who experience stress and anxiety chronically, from teenagers through to Octogenarians.  

Our Naturopath Tracey is a compassionate, strong and determined coach, mentoring her clients through the tough times toward a more empowered, focused, and ultimately more enjoyable experience of life. 

Here are Tracey’s top two tools she uses clinically to make a powerful difference to those who are stressed and/or anxious:

  • Nutrition: A key aspect of supporting your delicate nervous system is ensuring your cells have enough of the key nutrients to form healthy connections and send good messages to each other. The Taste Success programme is packed full of foods containing high levels of Magnesium, certain B-Vitamins and zinc to ensure you have a solid foundation for healthy stress and anxiety management. 
  • Herbal medicine: Tracey's dispensary is full of herbal medicines that support healthy mood, adrenal function, sleep and appropriate responses to stress. Herbal medicines are powerfully active in this area of health, and they work with your body to support a natural reduction of symptoms while working on addressing the cause. 

 

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that present as nervousness, fear, apprehension and worry. It is perfectly normal to have moments of fear, worry and slight nervous tension but when these feelings and behaviour patterns occur frequently and begin to affect your ability to cope with everyday circumstances then it might be time to seek some extra support.

Everyone can experience anxiety differently but it is commonly indicated by:

  • Panic or nervousness- especially in social situations
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irrational anger
  • Feelings of impending doom
  • Muscle tension
  • Sweating and shaking
  • Rapid breathing
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhoea

Anxiety is a generalized umbrella term for various nervous disorders:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): This is a common disorder that is characterized by having excessive worry. The uncontrollable feeling of impending doom upon the individual or their friends or families.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Anxiety triggered by a traumatic event or experience.
  • Phobia - Social: Intense waves of anxiousness felt in situations with people or social gatherings.
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD): A condition of repetitive thought processes that result in the need to complete specific actions again and again.

Statistically women suffer from anxiety disorders more commonly than men. Anxiety disorders often occur alongside other disorders such as depression and substance abuse.

In conjunction with nutritional and herbal strategies for managing stress and anxiety, here are some lifestyle tips, which, if you introduce just one, for just a small amount of time regularly, can truly help you to feel better:

  • Yoga: Try a gentle Yin yoga class at your local yoga studio. Yin yoga is peaceful and restorative, it can open up joint stiffness and with the guiding eye of a trained teacher you can see improvements both physically and mentally quickly.
  • Meditation: It doesn't have to be for hours, or in complete stillness and silence. Try downloading a meditation app on your smartphone or tablet to guide you through simple and effective breathing and meditation sessions, some of them are only 10 minutes!
  • Fresh Air: Get some fresh air and outdoor time every day. Even if this means stopping somewhere on your way home to just sit on a patch of grass, or walking around the block before entering your home, so you can separate from work before being with your family. It is so important to allow a small amount of personal time every day so you have the space to process and relax.
  • Sleep: Sleep is often the first thing to go if you are stressed or anxious. If you're struggling to fall off to sleep, or finding yourself wakeful during the night, do reach out and contact us. We have some truly amazing sleep strategies that can help you reset your sleep-wake cycle, allowing your brain the time it needs to recover from the day's activity. 

 

With ongoing support throughout the 12-weeks, the Taste Success programme can be the perfect support network for creating new and positive habits to help manage your stress and anxiety. 

If you’d like to address your stress levels and improve your overall health, book in now for your one-to-one session with one of our friendly facilitators in your area and make 2018 your year for a more content, relaxed you. 

Tracey Loughran