Anxiety and Stress

Although we all experience anxiety from time to time if it plays too central a role in your life it can have some detrimental effects. We often experience anxiety symptoms when we have competing demands placed on us that overwhelm the system – our body.

Anxiety is different from stress and is defined by feelings and thoughts of worry, fear, or unease. These Anxiety symptoms can be triggered by stress, or some people experience it with no identifying stressor in their life, perhaps it’s an accumulation of things or something mundane and every day that we don’t register as particularly stressful.

If anxiety is not managed and anxiety symptoms are not recognised it can result in an anxiety attack, an anxiety disorder, and or associated mental health challenges.

In this guide we have covered various elements of anxiety and stress and whilst we aren’t able to cover every single area we hope it goes some way to helping.

We’ve included some great advice and lifestyle tips to help you combat anxiety attacks and high levels of stress and, of course, included some great supplement options and supplement packages to support your health when under chronic stress – after all, that’s what we do!

Anxiety Triggers

Anxiety triggers are all around us, common examples of everyday stress and anxiety include worrying about an upcoming meeting or presentation, being embarrassed in certain social situations, becoming nervous about meeting new friends, or going on a date.

We all naturally experience stress and anxiety in our life, but it is important that it does not become extreme as it can take a very negative toll on your health and wellbeing.

Usually, anxiety relates to how we perceive certain situations. But could the situation you are anxious about actually be viewed as a positive situation where you become excited about the upcoming event not anxious?

So, if we can begin to identify potential triggers are we better able to manage our perceived thoughts towards the situation?

Anxiety Disorders

If one experiences chronic anxiety it can result in an anxiety disorder.

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Excessive worry about everyday problems
  • Social Anxiety: Involves intense fear of being judged by others and becoming embarrassed. This is more than shyness and can result in one avoiding social situations and can negatively impact one’s relationships and performance.
  • Phobias: Is intense fear of a specific thing such as an animal, object, or situation. Most of us have something we fear but it is not a phobia unless it has a large negative effect on your life.
  • Agoraphobia: Fear of being in a situation where one cannot escape or find help if they are experiencing a panic attack. Often people with this anxiety disorder avoid public places or they don’t leave their home.
  • Panic Disorder: Involves unexpected and repeated panic attacks. Those with a panic disorder experience panic attacks with no identifiable trigger which results in a fear of getting one in public which can cause them to change their routine.

Symptoms of Anxiety

Many individuals experience panic attacks or anxiety attacks in their life due to stress or links to another anxiety disorder. It can be very scary for the first time as it may feel similar to having a heart attack.

Common symptoms of an anxiety attack are a racing heart, short breath, shaking, and nausea.

It is natural to experience some stress and anxiety in your life. However, if you notice that anxiety and stress levels are starting to increase and causing negative consequences in your life it is important to address those feelings as early as you can.

60 Seconds to Calm:

Why not try this simple 60-second breathing technique to help bring calm when you most need it:-)

Use it anywhere, anytime, in any situation.

Physical Symptoms of Anxiety

It is important to notice signs of anxiety and stress so you can apply anxiety self-help skills. Anxiety can manifest in your body in a number of different ways. You may experience all of these or just a few of them:

  • Racing heart
  • Shallow Breathing or trouble breathing
  • Hyperventilation
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Nausea or stomach cramps
  • Hot flashes or chills
  • Feeling detached
  • Feelings of losing control or not being able to cope
  • Racing thoughts
  • Panic

Some people may not be aware they have anxiety due to it being a consistent presence in their life. One reason for this is that modern culture supports the use of stress or anxiety to help with motivation and movement towards one’s goals.

This is not necessarily a bad thing in the right environment, conditions, and volume. However, too much stress and anxiety can be detrimental to your health and research also shows that we can accomplish more when we are in a state of calmness.

We can experience stress in our lives in different ways. Our emotional response to stress is what triggers the body’s stress response.

Therefore, to reduce stress and manage our feelings of anxiety we need to focus on the thoughts we have about our stressors which impact how we feel and our stress response.

Can you develop the ability to counter anxiety by creating self-help anxiety tools like the breathing technique above? This could be used in acute circumstances alongside longer-term lifestyle changes.

Research in the realm of positive psychology (the scientific study of happiness and well-being) has found that we not only need to set goals (you can read our Smart Goal setting blog here) that manage or minimise stress but also focus on goals that have positive associations.

Focusing on the following things will naturally reduce anxiety and improve your happiness and resilience, you can of course add your own in too:-)

Focus on things that:

You are grateful for

That are fun and positive

That bring you joy

That include positive, social interactions

Try to balance setting goals to manage your stress with goals that are focused on improving your health and well-being not solely on reducing stress and anxiety.

For example, a short term goal could be instead of saying “I won’t get anxious in the meeting I have today when I share my ideas with the group” try something like “I have 2 really exciting ideas to share with the group today, I will present them in a fun, friendly way and can’t wait to hear what people think of them!”

Here, you are already building a positive experience for the meeting.

Can I Prevent an Anxiety Attack?

Breathing Exercises for Anxiety

You may not always be able to completely prevent an anxiety attack but there are things you can do to manage and control the situation, breathing techniques are one such way.

  • The way we breathe is linked to how we feel. Anxiety tends to show up in shallow rapid breaths that come from the chest. You may not be aware that you are breathing this way when you are anxious but if you can become mindful of breathing you can implement ways to change it to a style of breathing that will help you relax and reduce the stress response in the body.
  • Placing a hand below your belly button can help you gauge how you are breathing. Your abdomen should expand and contract with each breath. Work to send your breath to the bottom of your stomach first, feeling it expand, then move the air into your rib cage and chest. Slowly let go of the air making the exhale longer than the inhale. This form of breathing will tap into your Polyvagal Nerve signaling to your brain and body you are safe which will help you tap into the parasympathetic nervous system “rest and digest”.
  • The more you are mindful of your breath, especially in moments of anxiety, you will be able to move into abdominal breathing helping to cultivate more resilience, health, and well-being. This is a very simple and powerful tool to use.

Smart Goals

Too often we set big goals and forget to set the smaller ones that will get us there. When we are only focused on the end goal, we may lose confidence and feel overwhelmed as we have not set up the smaller goals to help us get there. To not only reduce stress and anxiety but to also build confidence and success research show it is important to set SMART goals that are:

 

  1. Specific: Get very clear about what goal you are wanting to tackle. For instance, don’t just say I want to lose weight. Set a goal of 5 pounds and include not just the outcome but the method of how you will do it. For example, you can set the goal “I want to lose 5 pounds as part of my bigger 20-pound goal loss by increasing my exercise to 4 times a week, eating foods that are natural and fresh with limited refined sugar, and controlling my portion sizes”.

 

  1. Measurable: Including measurable, quantifiable criteria to your goal (s) will allow you to your track progress. Notice the small steps, they will help keep you accountable and motivated. Track your exercise and measurements. If you want to measure stress reduction, then use a scale to help you keep track of your daily moods. Different apps can help you do this.

 

  1. Attainable: Choose goals you are confident you can achieve and are not too ambitious or unachievable. If you have a big goal break it down into smaller achievable steps that are realistic, and ensure you have everything you need to achieve them. If not make adjustments to your methods and goals.

 

  1. Relevant: Your goals should be meaningful to you and not something you feel you have to do or be set by someone else i.e personal trainer etc. Choose ways to achieve your goals that make you feel good and support your health and well-being. Be creative and pick a method that you will find enjoyable.

 

Choose a goal that will inspire you, something you truly want. Too often people go after things that they “think” will make them happy or successful, but it does not really align with what they need. Get to the heart of your goals and make sure they are in alignment with your happiness and well-being, not someone else’s.

 

  1. Timeline-Based: When do you achieve your goal by? Make sure you give yourself time limits, put things into your schedule, and break them down as much as you can in your calendar.

Can Anxiety be Cured and Anxiety Treatments & Therapeutic Approaches

Of course, you should be gaining support from your GP or a counsellor, but I’m a huge believer that we have to take control of our own health and the body has remarkable powers of recovery if we do the right things.

There are so many things you can do to improve your health. We’ve already mentioned some above, and below are more steps you can take.

Let go of “Shoulds”

  • So many of us do things we think we “should” do, rather than doing things we want to do. We adopt the ideas of others into our own life without taking the time to consider whether they are actually beneficial for us. Try getting curious about the things in your life that you love or what you think you “should” love.

 

  • Fact-check Your Thoughts – are you creating anxiety for no reason? Many of us have thought patterns that do not serve our health and well-being but instead cultivate stress and anxiety in our lives. Many of us are in the habit of worrying or going off “worst-case scenarios”, we stress about what people think about us and fear being judged and rejected. When you imagine these things, you put yourself through a process when in reality, and quite often, you may never have to. In these situations, anxiety feelings may run out of control and worsen your situation.
  • Our brains are wired with a “negativity” bias to notice the threats in our life but often we are the ones creating these “threats” with our thought processes. It’s crucial to remember you have control over these processes. However, a major problem is often negative bias is installed from a young age, connected to our upbringings which can make changes in behaviour a very slow and ever-evolving process.
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy can help you reduce the stress and anxiety in your life.

Be Mindful

  • The practice of mindfulness means you become more present with compassion, and meditations for anxiety are widely available. When you are mindful you are able to recognize your thoughts and feelings without having to be hijacked by them. This helps connect to your “wise mind” a place from which you can become more conscious of your choices and how they impact you and those around you.
  • Mindfulness helps you to reduces stress and anxiety and increases compassion, happiness, and well-being.

Connect

  • Our social connections also help us to reduce our anxiety as long as we feel supported and cared for by our friends and family.
  • Exercise can help reduce anxiety and depression. It will help boost your endorphins helping you to feel good and improve your energy. Make sure you find a form of exercise you love. You can walk, run, do a dance class, Zumba, kickboxing, swimming, etc. Find something that you have fun with and having a workout buddy can help with motivation and keep you accountable.

Relax

  • Find time to relax. Anxiety thrives during periods of stress so to reduce our anxiety we need to include in our schedule time to unwind. Find an activity that you enjoy: yoga, stretching, meditation, baths, massages, crafting, painting.

Get Help

If you feel your stress and anxiety are becoming extreme and negatively impacting your life and well-being you may need some “one on one” anxiety help.

There are different anxiety treatments including anxiety medication. There are also coaches and counsellors that can help you gain more individualised tools and skills to help you manage and overcome your anxiety.

Anxiety and Sleep

When you are not getting enough sleep, it impacts your brain’s health and can lead to anxiety and depression. When you sleep well your brain has time to repair and regenerate.

However, if you suffer from anxiety it can make it hard to sleep as your nervous system is activated which can make it very difficult or impossible to sleep.

To fall asleep, you have to switch your nervous system into the parasympathetic “rest and digest”.

Every thought you have is connected to your nervous system so if you think about all the things that you have to do, all the worst-case scenarios, and analysing experiences that have upset you, it will be very difficult to fall asleep.

You need to do things and think thoughts that will relax your nervous system to fall asleep. Some examples are:

    • Meditation
    • Listening to Guided Meditations on YouTube or an APP
    • Deep breathing techniques

Caffeine and Stress

If you are in good health and feeling great I see no problem in a coffee or two during the day. However, if you are under chronic stress or suffering from anxiety then you need to ditch the caffeine!

This might sound counterintuitive initially as caffeine may be “the thing” that is getting you through the day! However, as a stimulant caffeine may potentially worsen your stress and anxiety.

In response to caffeine, your body produces Adrenaline. However, it’s important to note that if you are under chronic stress your nervous system will be already be continually producing Adrenaline. Therefore, we need to be doing the opposite and calming the system, we detail this in the Nutrition section a little later on.

60 Seconds to Calm:

In case you missed it earlier in the guide, here’s our simple “60 seconds to calm” breathing technique.

How the Body and Mind are Affected By Chronic Stress

Understanding the impact of stress can help you learn how to reduce that impact and in turn, protect your mind and body from physical burnout and mental health challenges associated with increased stressors.

In understanding your body’s response to stress, you can then appreciate the need to find time to destress and allow your body time to rest and recharge.

What Happens When the Body is Under Stress?

The stress response in the body is complex. The two main systems impacted are the autonomic nervous system, specifically the sympathetic “fight or flight” system, and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.

These two systems are simultaneously activated in the body to help us prepare to fight the threat off or flee to safety. Unfortunately, this survival system can overact to stressors that are not life-threatening such as stressors at home, in our relationships, or at work.

This system is really an evolutionary tool for life-or-death situations. You avoid being attacked by a mountain lion and then rest and recover! However, our modern world is less about dodging mountain lions but coping with multiple and a continued overactivation of the stress response due to daily stressors. It’s these continued stressors that gradually take a toll on your physical and psychological health as slowly the body is unable to cope with the demands.

Sympathetic Nervous System

When your brain senses stress it activates the sympathetic nervous system. The alarm bells and sirens begin to alert your body to danger, even when that “danger” is arguing with your partner, or being late for a meeting! Your body just knows stress, it doesn’t differentiate between what’s causing the stress!

The alarm bells cause noticeable physiological changes as a result of the sympathetic nervous system being activated. Blood is directed to areas of the body necessary to manage the perceived threat such as your heart and main muscles ready for action.

  • Your breaths become shorter and shift to your upper chest
  • Your heart rate increases
  • Your muscle tension increases ready for activation
  • Your upper part of your face becomes flatter or less expressive
  • Your voice becomes more high-pitched with a narrow range of intonation
  • Your mind might begin racing and it can become hard to focus and think clearly

Everything is geared towards action, of course, you aren’t necessarily about to move you might just be overloaded with paperwork on your desk!

Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis

This bit is quite “sciencey”, don’t panic if it doesn’t all sink in immediately:-)

The HPA Axis is the body’s “stress system” which controls levels of cortisol and other stress-related hormones that are impacted by chronic stress. This system is found in the limbic system (hypothalamus) and the endocrine system (pituitary gland and adrenal glands) that regulates the body’s physiological response to stress through the release of hormones.

The Axis is responsible for regulating hormones, modulating the immune system and digestive system, nervous system activity, and energy use in the body.

When stress lasts longer than a few minutes it results in the release of cortisol from the adrenal cortex. Cortisol release is controlled through the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) in the hypothalamus, where corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) is released in response to stress.

CRH then impacts the pituitary gland which causes it to release adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) which then causes the adrenal cortex to release cortisol. The CRH-ACTH-cortisol release is what makes up the HPA axis.

You can see from the highlighted text above that continued stress will increase demands on your Adrenal Cortex to continually produced stress-related hormones – not something your body can continually sustain.

CRH-ACTH-cortisol is released through positive and negative feedback from various parts of the brain to ensure the cortisol production remains within certain bounds and is the level required for a certain situation.

Cortisol’s main role is to release glucose into the bloodstream to facilitate the “fight or flight” response to increase energy to help you to take action.

However, while it does this is also suppressing the digestive system, immune system, and reproductive system.

Another important hormone that is released by the pituitary along with ACTH is beta-endorphins which is a morphine-like hormone. ACTH and beta-endorphins are similar in structure and are released in response to CRH stimulation by the hypothalamus.

Endorphins are important in reducing pain in the time of stress.

From the above, you can see how hormone production can easily be affected by chronic stress. Hormones are signals / messengers around the body and affect EVERYTHING we do. You can, therefore, see how under chronic stress ANY system in the body could potentially be disrupted

 

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This makes managing your stress levels one of the most important things you can do for your health.

From the above, you can see that your brain sends the signal to your Adrenal glands to produce cortisol in response to stress. It’s crucial to know that your Adrenal glands do not just produce cortisol in fact they produce a number of hormones critical to your health.

Nutritional professionals argue that continued stress places such demands on the Adrenal glands that they cannot continually meet those demands.

This sounds very reasonable to me – of course, nothing can go on infinitely and remember the body is designed to combat acute stressors such as that mountain lion attack, not constant stress day after day, month after month, and even year after year.

This potential failure of the Adrenal glands over time has been termed Adrenal fatigue.

However, Adrenal fatigue is not recognised by most of the medical world. I assume as it’s never been medically proven it’s generally dismissed by GP’s with the consensus that your Adrenal glands work or they don’t and actually Adrenal function increases when demand is placed upon them. Similar to how muscle tone increases when we exercise and use that muscle, it responds to stimulation it’s believed Adrenal respond similarly.

But what if we over-exercised that muscle? Would we damage it? It’s more than likely, isn’t it…

And, of course, we know with diabetics that insulin production can be affected or reduced via our lifestyle and consumption of too much sugar. These factors create too much demand on the pancreas (the pancreas is also a gland) and insulin production is affected.

My belief is, if it can happen with the pancreas then it can also happen with the Adrenals.

Do you know someone that has been signed off from work with “stress”? What is happening in the body? Adrenal fatigue perhaps? How long is that person off work for, 6 months? A year? Often, they need complete rest to recover and it takes a long time.

Of course, we all have to make decisions over our own health but given our modern world and highly stressful lives, it’s likely Adrenal fatigue is commonplace – we just experience various degrees and symptoms of it.

Throughout the day according to the circadian rhythm, a certain level of cortisol is maintained in the bloodstream. The highest levels are in the morning and lowest levels around midnight, this is part of the circadian rhythm.

Stress though can cause an increased overall cortisol output which can result in sustained activation of the HPA axis. Long-term stress can result in negative feedback to the HPA axis which results in burnout and exhaustion.

It has found that stressors that are negative or unrewarding are also more likely to lead to burnout.

The Impact of Chronic Stress On The Body

Stress impacts all the systems in the body including your cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine, gastrointestinal, nervous, and reproductive systems.

As you now know, you are equipped to handle small doses of stress and that can help us stay motivated and keep up with productivity. However, too much of it can effect us in the following ways:

Cardiovascular:

Your cardiovascular system is made up of the heart and blood vessels and provides the body with nourishment and oxygen. Stress impacts the cardiovascular systems as it’s greatly affected by the stress hormones that control the heart rate and direct blood to different parts of the body.

Therefore, chronic stress contributes to a risk of hypertension, heart attack, and stroke.

Immune System

Your immune system is made up of a collection of billions of cells that travel throughout your bloodstream defending it against foreign bodies (antigens) such as viruses, bacteria, and cancerous cells.

Under stress, your immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced which makes us more suspectable to infections.

This is essentially why chronic stress can lead to various diseases and illnesses, your impaired immune system is non-longer able to perform effectively.

Digestive System

Your gut and your brain are connected which is why when you are stressed you can feel butterflies or you can feel various degrees of nausea in the stomach. Stress impacts your digestive system by:

Causing your esophagus to spasm

Increasing acid in your stomach, which can cause indigestion

Causing constipation or diarrhea

With chronic stress, the blood flow and oxygen to the stomach can decrease which can lead to inflammation, cramping, and an imbalance of gut bacteria. This can increase your chances of developing:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Peptic Ulcers

Adding in high-quality probiotic and if needed digestive enzymes may greatly aid digestion during periods of stress.

Psychological Health

As stress causes changes to our physiological health, it also impacts our psychological health. When stress becomes chronic, and our body has difficulty functioning, we become more suspectable to developing anxiety and depression.

The brain works to try and make sense of the body’s fear response which can result in people avoiding certain places, activities, and people.

As a result, your ability to think and process things clearly and rationally are affected which can lead to feelings of not being able to cope with life’s daily demands and potentially burnout / exhaustion.

A Holistic Approach to Bringing Balance to the Bodies Stress Response

Since the stress response in the body is so complex it takes a holistic approach to help bring a better balance to the body and mind.

Your mind and conscious awareness can help reduce the perception of stress. As we mentioned earlier, often our perception of an event can be more stressful than the actual event itself. Therefore, thoughts about the events in your life have a very real impact in how your body responds.

How you take care of your body also impacts your body’s ability to regulate when under stress. Taking time to destress and connect to the parasympathetic nervous system “rest and digest” is important in avoiding burnout and exhaustion.

You can access your parasympathetic nervous system through your breath and taking time to relax by exercising, yoga, walking, practicing mindfulness/ meditation, and getting enough sleep.

The power of positive thinking appears to be absolutely crucial to your wellness, repeating positive thoughts and words will, over time, train your subconscious mind to dictate how your conscious mind works.

This can be incredibly powerful in healing the body, much in the way placebo’s work in contrast to medication, and over time your conscious mind learns the positive messages you are sending, much like “resetting” your mind and body.

Nutrition and Stress

Here we are going to move our focus to nutritional measures we can implement to assist the body’s stress response. If you suffer from anxiety we need to address your stress response too, this will help your body rationalise and cope better when under stress.

Above we have detailed some aspects of the stress response, and now we are going to look at the nutrients needed at the various stages of these responses such as energy production and hormonal production.

Dietary changes should be your first step.

However, when under chronic stress often dietary “wants and choices” are not classically healthy. Usually, we either crave sugary or salted foods and reach for the caffeine when under stress – the wild salmon and salad choice is never particularly appealing is it?!

This does in turn create its own problems, refined sugary foods and caffeine are not conducive to recovery as they themselves will impact adrenal function.

The goal, like every other health goal, starts with choosing foods fresh natural foods. From my experience including starchy carbs such as oats, sweet potatoes, rice, lentils and white potatoes alongside protein and health fats is crucial.

Starchy carbs in sensible portion sizes will really help with your energy levels when fatigue and should help satisfy cravings for sweet foods too.

Food List:

xxxxx list foods!

This food list isn’t revolutionary, it’s just “doing” the basics regularly.

Over time and as you improve choosing these foods will become easier but I do appreciate that initially, it’s not always easy to make these changes, so start with small manageable steps and you can adapt things as your symptoms improve.

If you are using caffeine to get through your day then it’s time to focus on reducing your intake, remember caffeine stimulates the release of adrenaline.

Switch to green tea, the caffeine is lower and it contains good levels of L-Theanine which has a calming effect on the nervous system by releasing dopamine and serotonin.

Ideally, you want to avoid caffeine completely but as a bridge to avoiding coffee, green tea can be a great solution.

Regardless of the stress, your body will go through a stress response. This stress response is perfectly normal providing we have time to rest and recover.

Optimal nutrition can have a huge impact on how your body copes with stress and anxiety.

But, how often do we find the time or allow this rest and recovery process to occur? Very rarely!

This is most likely why we end up in a state of chronic stress and we now know this chronic stress has a significant impact on our immune system and in turn is linked to many of the chronic diseases seen today.

How symptoms of stress present can be very individualised. However, some common signs that your body is under a state of chronic stress are:

Fatigue

Tiredness

Feelings of being unable to cope, even with what might appear to very small triggers.

Feeling wired and tired – not being able to switch off or sleep despite feeling tired or exhausted.

Feeling overly emotional.

IBS or digestive complaints.

Lack of motivation.

Dehydration

Difficulty falling or staying asleep.

Difficulty relaxing or unwinding.

Susceptibility to colds and infection.

Weight gain or weight loss or difficulty losing weight

Should I take Supplements for my Anxiety and Stress?

If you live a stress, care free life, eating only natural, fresh, organic food then yes you probably don’t need to bother with supplements!

But if your life is not quite so picturesque then I, 100% believe, you need to be taking supplements on a regular basis to support the needs of your body and help you flourish.

Of course, the body can survive without supplements. In fact, we see many people living into their 90’s who have never taken a supplement in their life!

However, are the majority of these people living a happy, functioning life or simply surviving?

Key Point: If your body is under chronic stress your nutrient demands increase, these demands will most likely outweigh what you can realistically obtain from your food.

The Main Reason I take Supplements.

I’m busy and you are busy too, right! Demands are high and we all often feel the demands on our body and mind increasing. Life is very unnatural compared to the one we evolved with, so it makes perfect sense to me that demands have increased too.

Along with these demands, food quality has decreased.

These are the two main reasons why I regularly take supplements! More stress and demands and fewer nutrients in our food!

The body function on nutrients, namely vitamins and minerals, and if you don’t have enough to go around then how your body functions will be comprised.

For example, if your body is under continued stress then the body will direct nutrients to that process, but what about everything else that needs taking care of to help us flourish? Quite simply the body will prioritise how nutrients are used and therefore some areas may become neglected or undernourished.

Are mental health problems and weakened immune function a result of nutrient deficiencies?

Given our modern world, high-quality supplements should probably be part of most people’s lives, that’s of course if you really want to flourish and be at your energised best!

The Vitamins and Minerals you need for Combating Stress

Vitamin C – approximately 1 gramme a day would be a good target and then dietary sources on top. Vitamin C is found in great concentrations in your Adrenal Glands. Vitamin C is very safe and also inexpensive to take. I supplement with around 1g daily. Vitamin C also helps with collagen production so great for healthy skin, hair and nails:-)

B Vitamins – the benefits of B Vitamins are wide-ranging and they: produce energy from metabolising our food, aid blood formation, produce neurotransmitters and hormones, synthesises DNA, boost brain function, fight allergies and assist the immune system, assist oxygen transportation, and control mood swings. The Nutri multivitamin contains high levels of B Vitamins, far higher than most other brands.

Magnesium – is used greatly during the stress response. It’s very well known for its calming effect on the nervous system and therefore ideal for those under stress or suffering from anxiety. Start with 200mg a day, but you could double that if needed particularly as dietary deficiency of magnesium is considered commonplace in the modern world and, therefore, many of us are likely to be chronically low in Magnesium anyway.

Probiotic / Healthy Gut Bacteria – I recommend a probiotic for most people to help replenish and repopulate their gut bacteria. As we mentioned above, stress has a major impact on the intestinal tract via the connection with the nervous system. Your gut bacteria really is responsible for an incredible number of health aspects throughout the entire body particularly around our immune system and absorption of food and chronic stress and anxiety can significantly damage your gut function over time.

Synergist, supporting nutrients and herbs – LIST CONTENTS OF ADRENAL PRODUCTS HERE!! always use a multivitamin when combating stress and anxiety. A good quality multivitamin should contain vitamins and minerals such as: Zinc and Selenium which support your immune system, Vitamin A which also supports your immune system, bone health, and general healthy growth and iodine for Thyroid function.

Herbs can help in various ways. Some will directly support adrenal function, others will support hormone function and others a healthy nervous system. xxxxxxxxxxxxx

So, you can see there are various nutritional measures that may help. Again, we should remember that everyone’s experiences will be different and therefore their approach will be different too. Approaches should also change as your body begins to heal itself.

For example, if you are wired and tired (i.e. tired but cannot sleep) or feel unable to cope with even small levels of stress then you need nutrients to help calm your nervous system.

If you’re constantly fatigued or tired it can be a sign of long-term stress. So, if you are in the fatigued stage (you may have other accompanying symptoms too) you need plenty of sleep and rest, and nutrients to gently stimulate the body. Recovery from this stage will be long-term process but is more than possible.

Of course,  there are lots of elements to consider and often a personal approach is needed as “magic” answers rarely exist. Any approach should be multifaceted, dietary, lifestyle, and supplement approaches are usually all required.

The body has remarkable powers to recover and repair providing we do the right things

Show wired and tired package show with and without vitamin c?

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Magnesium Calmeze

Ultraprobioplex

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Adrenomax – check which one!

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Magnesium Energen

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What are your Triggers?

To recover you need to recognise and address the underlying issues, until you establish this recover will not begin. Simply because you will continue doing some of the things that have or are potentially causing your problems.

Chronic stress can come in many forms.

It can be an accumulation of lifestyle stressors such as relationships, work, and family where you are in a perpetual “stressed” state.

It can occur after a long-term illness.

It can occur after a one-off traumatic event.

It can occur from over-exercising.

The most important element is to recognise the triggers and reduce their impact where possible. The above are all very different but they are all stressors to the system (body and mind) which ultimately impact your physiological and psychological wellbeing.

Lifestyle Changes

As just mentioned, if you don’t remove, reduce or address the things that are creating the continued stress response then recovery will be very difficult.

Prioritise rest and relaxation – both are critical for recovery. This will help move the nervous system from an adrenaline state to a calm state where the body can recovery and repair.

As outlined above support your body with high quality and high doses of nutrients.

Focus on positive, happy things in your life. The mind is incredibly important for recovery from long-term stress or anxiety.

Be patient. give your body time and prepare to go through various phases of recovery, do not expect a quick linear recovery. In fact, the type of symptoms you experience may differ as your body begins to repair.

Remember recovery i.e. moving to a healthy body and state of mind will vary hugely from person to person.

It will depend on the changes you implement and how long you have been suffering from, but in general 3 – 24 months is a reasonable time frame.

My Story – I’ve Been There!

I’ve been through the complete Adrenal fatigue stage! Dehydration, fatigue, low energy, easily stressed, irritable I’ve had it all so I know exactly what people are going through. I think my adrenal function was literally shot to pieces and is therefore taking a very long time to recover.

But, I’m massively improving, my only issues now are dehydration which relates to dysfunction in Aldosterone from my Adrenals, and the sporadic moments of drops in motivation and fatigue which are combatted via 1-2 days of rest from work and running this website! Basically give the mind a break and I bounce back fairly quickly!

Both will improve with time as all my other symptoms have too, I just need to be a little bit more patient:-). It feels like it’s almost my final stages.

Now, like me, during your recovery, you will see improvements which is fantastic. For me, the first thing I noticed was that I was far calmer, less irritable, and able to cope with most stressful situations – two things I had always struggled with.

I was also chronically fatigued for many, many years, but now I’m far more energised. I still need a lot of sleep at times (10 hours some nights!) but that is gradually improving and I rely on energy-boosting adrenal supplements far less than I ever used to.

I’m not where I want to be but am definitely improving. This points to the fact that my recovery has been slow, but positive.

It’s fairly rare for someone to “rebound” from chronic stress quickly, it’s usually a gradual response unless you nip it in the bud early!

However, for most of us, that rarely happens as usually we seek help when we are almost shot pieces! That’s one of the downsides of our body’s resilient nature, it can tolerate huge amounts of stress before finally succumbing! Unfortunately, that just means our recovery takes longer than it potentially would have.

Key point: It’s not a weakness to recognise you are under stress. Being body smart and body aware is a skill that you gradually learn! Those who think they are being a “hero” by continuing to “push through” are the ones who ended up being forced to rest and then end up at the 24- month recovery stage.

Summary

There are lots of elements to address when under stress. My biggest mistake was not resting and addressing things when the early warning signs were there.

So you can combat chronic stress by:

Recognising the early triggers.

Resting and making lifestyle changes EARLY on.

Maintaining a positive, grateful approach to your life. 

Focus on optimising your diet with fresh, natural food.

Supplement with the nutrients you need to support your body and mind.

Be patient!

I hope all this has helped:)