The Importance of How We Perceive Stress
In my 3-part blog series exploring the 3 Common Causes of Hormone Imbalance, we have discussed how nutritional deficiency and toxins contribute to hormone imbalance. Today, I’d like to delve into the third cause: STRESS!
If you’ve been following me, you will know that I’ve written a lot about stress, and how it affects our hormone health. I might even go as far as to say that it could be the #1 contributor to hormone imbalance! I won’t go into detail again about the physiological mechanisms by which chronic stress interferes with our hormones. For this I refer you to an article published by Alive Magazine. This article also details specific foods and natural supplements that will support your adrenal glands, to help you cope with stress without experiencing the exhaustion, bloating, cravings, hot flashes, irritability or anxiety that can accompany stressful events when our adrenals aren’t functioning well.
Instead, today I would like to focus on intentional lifestyle choices that help you to not only cope with stressful experiences, but to actually change how you perceive stressful events so that you can enjoy life! Almost every client I have worked with can name one activity that they ADORE doing, that they KNOW improves their wellness on a deep level, that they would LOVE to do more of…..and that they don’t do often enough.
For some it’s running. Vacation. Meditation. Sex. Body work. Religious or Spiritual Practice. Connecting with friends. Listening to music. Being in nature perhaps.
For me it’s definitely my yoga practice. Without my yoga practice I would be a complete mess. It took me decades to find my yoga practice, and I’m quite dedicated to it now because I know what it feels like without it. Without a consistent practice, I am ungrounded, uncentered and lack creativity and clarity. Everything seems to be difficult or stressful. My body begins to ache, my mind scatters, its difficult to find gratitude and presence some days, and my bloating and irritability return. My whole being completely changes when I have let go of my yoga practice, and my health certainly suffers.
I learned years ago that I needed to take personal responsibility for my health and wellbeing. At first I wondered what was wrong with me, that I was living a life full of blessings and still needed to engage in self-care routines to keep me sane. After all, others seemed to be energetic and happy without the practices that I had come to rely on! Yes, it felt indulgent in the beginning (and still sometimes does), to leave my husband watching our two children after a long day’s works so that I can go to a yoga class. It took some time, but I learned that what I need is completely different than what the next person needs. Once you have the awareness of what YOU need, its important to honour those needs. You must honour your unique needs completely so that you can move through each day with the joy and vitality that we all so deserve, without being thrown off-centre by the slightest mishap.
This honouring might look like saying ‘No’ when you don’t want to take something on. Without excuse. It might look like carving out time in your agenda for something you enjoy EVERY SINGLE DAY! For some reason, doing something that brings you joy every day can seem extreme. So let me repeat this: Yes, this is your life, and it’s meant to be enjoyed!
Can you name one thing that you brings you joy that you can invite more of into your everyday?
If I can support you to find what your unique needs are, or to incorporate these acts of joyfulness into your life consistently, please reach out to me. Your health and wellness really does depend on your happiness.
I offer complimentary 20-minute phone Discovery Sessions. This is your chance to ask me any questions, or to clarify next steps for yourself. Book yours today! the meantime, you can find out more about how simple lifestyle changes can support your hormone health by downloading my complimentary ebook ‘5 Must-Have Tools for Hormone Health’ HERE. Inside, you will find more tools to reduce your stress, improve your ability to cope with unavoidable stress, and balance your hormones!