Money troubles… work deadlines… stop-and-go traffic…
We all deal with stress from time to time, but too many of us struggle with near-constant stress with no break. And that chronic stress can take a terrible toll on your health – it can even kill you.
When you feel stress, your body reacts with a flood of hormones to deal with the situation. When things resolve, a second set of hormones comes in to calm things down. But with chronic stress, those hormones get all out of whack, and your body never gets a clear “calm down” signal. That’s when severe health problems can begin to develop – unless you do something to get your hormones and health back on track.
Dozens of studies have been conducted about the impact of chronic stress, and the results are not good. It can cause a multitude of health problems, including
- coronary heart disease
- high blood pressure
- respiratory disease
- some forms of cancer
In the direst cases, runaway stress can increase your risk of premature death by more than 200%.
So managing stress and the devastating toll it can take on your body is crucial – and it’s especially important to start that process now. The trouble is, we can’t always tell stress is knocking us down.
Some of the most common signs of chronic stress include:
- feeling extremely overwhelmed by small problems (like spilled coffee or forgetting to charge your phone)
- having a hard time waking up in the morning, even after a good night’s sleep
- intense sugar and salt cravings
- disappearing sex drive
- trouble thinking clearly, like your mind’s in a fog
If you’re noticing one or more of those symptoms, there are simple things you can do to help your body better deal with chronic stress before you’re hit with a more serious health condition.
Some of the best tools in the anti-stress kit are adaptogenic herbs, special plants that have a unique ability to balance your stress response – for example, bringing hormones back to the right level whether they’re too low or too high. By doing that, these herbs basically re-teach your body how to manage stress. Beneficial adaptogenic herbs include ashwagandha, rhodiola, and cordyceps.
In addition, you want to make sure you’re getting plenty of B vitamins, as stress takes a toll on your B levels For the most benefit, consider taking a supplement that contains those vitamins in their active forms, so they get to work for you even faster.
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