Stress is when your body is responding to a so-called threat. The threat can be a real physical threat or a psychological threat, either way, the physiological reaction remains the same. When there is a perceived threat the autonomic nervous system is activated kicking the body into flight or fight response. It is said that stress is the root of all disease. In a way, this is true as stress can have an effect on bodily systems.
So what happens when your body goes into fight or flight: The hypothalamus is located underneath the thalamus and extends downward from the brain. This is responsible for releasing hormones, regulating body temperature, maintaining daily physiological cycles, controlling appetite, managing sexual behavior, and regulating emotional responses. In a stress situation, the hypothalamus sends stress hormones into the bloodstream, which stimulate the adrenals to release cortisol. This is known as the HPA axis. Chronic stress can lead to an imbalance in this cycle which can have an effect on memory functions, reward, immune function, metabolism, and susceptibility to diseases.
Chronic stress can cause changes to occur in their physiological, emotional, and behavioral responses. Everyone’s tolerance levels are unique and the types of stressors faced by one person may not affect another. We are all biologically different, therefore no one should feel ashamed to seek help about what is causing them stress, regardless of how small or insignificant you think it might be.
Triggers and Causes
Past trauma, growing up in a rough neighbourhood, bullying, financial pressure, troubled relationships, loneliness, abuse, studying, medication, and disruption to the gut microbiome. There can also be unknown trauma, sometimes people may feel anxious without knowing why, and they do not understand why certain issues trigger them. All these and more can elicit a chronic stress response as their bodies are continually in a hyperactive state.
Exercise, injury, surgery, short periods of intense workload, lack of sleep for a short period of time is most likely to elicit an acute stress response. However, this all depends on the time scale.
Here is a quick little drink that I love to help support the body through Stressful times. Note: The drink alone will not resolve stress the root cause will need to be found and rectified.
Fiery Ashwagandha latte
1/2 tsp Organic Ground Ginger
1 tsp of organic Ashwagandha
½ scoop garden of life coconut creamer
250ml Almond milk.
Boil milk on a stove, add powder ingredients and whisk until all ingredients are blended. Let it simmer for a minute and pour into a cup and drink.