Constant Stress: What Causes It?
By Sara Butler
Everything you do in life can cause stress. Work, family, and the daily hustle and bustle of everyday life are sources of stress for many people. Everyone has experienced stress at some point; at times it can be better while at other times it can be worse. There is a natural ebb and flow to stress, but there are also things you may be doing in your everyday life that are adding to it – things you may not even be aware of. Chiropractic is an excellent way to help remove the physical stress from your body.
The Cycle of Stress
It’s natural to feel stressed, but how you deal with it can be the deciding factor of whether the stress goes away or if it only gets worse. One thing many people tend to do when stressed is reach for unhealthy and highly processed food for comfort. When you do this, the cycle of stress can be made even worse. But there are physiological reasons you may be craving these types of foods, you simply need to be aware of it so that you can make changes to your stress coping skills.
The Cortisol Conundrum
Cortisol is also called “the stress hormone.” It increases when you’re feeling stressed or tense. This can result in a craving for high fat and sugary comfort foods such as ice cream or potato chips. Why does your body respond this way? The reason is because higher levels of cortisol can contribute to higher levels of insulin.
When your blood sugar dips due to higher levels of insulin in your blood, then you begin to crave carbohydrates. That’s why quick sources of carbohydrates are what you tend to reach for when you’re feeling this way – they serve as a quick pick-me-up. But, you need to be savvier about the things you’re reaching for to fulfill this craving. You should try to reach for more nutrient-dense foods such as vegetables or fresh fruit. That glass of wine you crave after a long day? That may not be a great idea either since alcohol increases cortisol levels.
When you can find ways to more effectively reduce stress it will help you maintain a healthy weight and enjoy better health overall; that can help reduce your chances of developing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, and also reduce the number of headaches you get or gastrointestinal problems.
You Need to Get Moving
You can fight back against stress by making sure you’re on the move. Exercise can boost your body’s feel-good hormones called endorphins, and help to lower cortisol levels in your body. Chiropractic care has also been shown to help reduce stress through the elimination of joint restrictions and dysfunctions that help to improve the function of the central nervous system.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.