“April showers bring May flowers” is a famous proverb that reminders us that even with the most unpleasant of situations, like the heavy rains of April, very enjoyable things like clean air and abundance of flowers are just around the corner. The month of April is Stress Awareness Month, so we would like to take this time to not only bring awareness to the causes of stress, but give you the tools and guidance to decrease stress and help eliminate the physical and mental effects it has on your overall wellbeing.
Stress is the body's reaction to harmful situations, whether the situation is real or just perceived to be real. By understanding the sources of stress ask yourself, is it short term and long term, internal and external, identifying these key components is a critical part of stress management.
Internal stressors include our feelings, thoughts and expectations.
External stressors arise from the environment and events taking place around us, like the pandemic.
Short term or Acute stress: is an immediate problem, like having an argument with a friend or not doing well on a test.
Long Term or Chronic stress: is constant and persists over an extended period of time, can be debilitating and overwhelming.
When you feel threatened, a chemical reaction occurs in your body that allows you to act in a way to prevent injury. This reaction is known as "fight-or-flight,” or the stress response. Through a combination of nerve responses and hormonal signals, this system prompts your adrenal glands, located atop your kidneys, to release a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.
-Adrenaline increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure and boosts energy supplies.
-Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhances your brain's use of glucose and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues.
Overproduction of cortisol alters the immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system, the reproductive system and growth processes, it does so to preserve energy more as a protective mode ready to fight.
Our bodies are designed to handle small doses of stress; this is what motivates us to make changes to evolve. But our bodies are not designed to handle long-term, Chronic stress that can wreak havoc on Adrenal function. When your adrenal glands are dysfunctional, it causes hormonal imbalances that leave you with symptoms like weight gain, depression, insomnia, fuzzy thinking, intense mood swings, and cravings you can’t control. Chronic stress can lead to inflammation in the body and a compromised intestinal wall, this is the main cause leaky gut syndrome. When the gut is “leaky” and bacteria and toxins enter the bloodstream, it can cause widespread inflammation that can trigger a reaction from the immune system. Our Gut produces 90% of our serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that stabilizes our mood, feelings of well-being, and happiness. So let’s face it, stress is not fun, but it is something we all must deal with from time to time, the key is not to let it become a chronic state.
Here are the most beneficial ways you can reduce stress in your life.
- Exercise: Physical activity helps your body cope with the flight part of the stress mechanism. Exercise gives your body a way to utilize cortisol and release natural “feel-good” endorphins that combat the effects of stress.
- Earthing: Commonly referred to as grounding, refers to having contact with your feet to the ground. This allows you to tap into the Earth's natural electric charge. It stabilizes the physiology at the deepest levels and reduces inflammation, pain, and stress, improving blood flow, energy, and sleep, and generates greater wellbeing.
- Mindfulness meditation: involves increased awareness of the present moment. With practice, it can be utilized anywhere and can bring lasting stress relief benefits. This simple meditation technique can be learned quickly and is considered by many to be one of the easiest meditations for stress relief.
- Best supplements for reducing stress:
Ashwagandha is what’s known as an adaptogen, which means it’s believed to resist disease and regulate the effects of stress on the body.
Rhodiola also known as Golden Root, is used for mood enhancement, energy and to reduce stress.
B-Complex contains an optimal balance of essential B vitamins, with extra vitamin B5 to support healthy adrenal and immune function.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of many cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis. It does not appear to alter consciousness or trigger a “high. One study found that those who took 300-600mg of CBD had lower levels of cortisol in their body, which may lead to improved sleep.
The CBD oil can be found in our Vibrant Skin CBD Medical Sheet Mask, to calm inflammation and restore hydration. One of the most popular products we sell for stress relief is Osmosis Wellness Relax and Unwind Elixir it holistically promotes an enhanced state of tranquility and relaxation from the daily stresses of life.
- 5. Laughter: helps reduce stress and pain and improves healing. Studies show that there is not only a stress-relief effect, but laughter can bring about feelings of being uplifted or fulfilled, showing us that the act of laughter can lead to immediate increases in heart rate, respiratory rate, respiratory depth, and oxygen consumption.These increases are then followed by a period of muscle relaxation, with a corresponding decrease in heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure. Maybe laughter really is the best medicine. “A clown is like an aspirin, only he works twice as fast.’ Patch Adams
- 6. Aromatherapy- can help you reduce the perception of stress, increase feelings of contentment and decrease levels of cortisol. One study found that lavender oil calmed the nervous system—lowering blood pressure, heart rate, and skin temperature as well as changing brain waves to a more relaxed state. An EEG shows that the inhalation of Neroli Oil (orange blossom) immediately put brain waves into Theta, a brain wave seen during a meditative state. At Vibrant Skin Bar we use this essential oil in our signature facial treatment to do just that.
All these tools are very easy to implement into your daily life to reduce stress and promote a healthy vibrant life. If you would like to have your cortisol levels/stress levels tested or if need help finding other ways to lower your stress levels please contact us at Vibrant Skin Bar and schedule a consultation with one of qualified Physician Assistants.
'Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning to dance in the rain.' Vivian Greene
From your, Vibe Tribe