5 Simple Ways to Improve Adrenal Health
You may be aware by now that stress can be extremely harmful to your health. Studies show 70% of doctors visits and 80% of serious illness are directly correlated to increased stress.
In a culture of constant connectivity, it can be extremely difficult to shut down and de-stress.
Not only does stress directly threaten the body as hormone imbalances weaken immune responses, but 40% of stressed people overeat and/or eat unhealthy foods, further punishing and degrading our bodies.
So what can be done to defend against the mutiny of stress?
The adrenal glands are essentially the gatekeepers of stress. If they are weak, stress has a free pass to enter your system and wreak serious havoc on your health. These triangular shaped glands sit just above the kidneys and are responsible for releasing important hormones to combat stress.
In conjunction with the thyroid, the adrenal glands produce cortisol and adrenaline, the two primary hormones responsible for the flight or fight response which all humans have. Adrenaline tackles short term and immediate stress like an injury or physical attack, whereas cortisol responds to the acute and long term stresses of life.
Emotional and environmental stresses are extremely detrimental to adrenal glands and if left unmanaged, chronic stress can lead to adrenal exhaustion and fatigue syndrome.
Here are 5 simple and effective ways to give your adrenal glands a boost and protect yourself from the potentially devastating adverse health conditions caused by stress:
1. Just Breathe
Seems simple enough yet we rarely take the time to relax and truly breathe. Research shows that even just a few minutes of deep, concentrated breathing can minimize the excretion of stress hormones from our adrenal glands. Take 5 minutes each day and breathe in through your nose and exhale from your mouth. You will feel instantly refreshed and relaxed.
2. Eat Fresh
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Conscious eating will not only encourage healthier meals but reduce the rush to inhale high sodium and nutrient deficient foods. Fast food puts your body in a state of shock like stress and with chemicals like monosodium glutamate (MSG) your body has to work overtime to detox these foreign additives.
Chronic stress sucks nutrients from the body at a rapid rate, so in choosing to eat junky toxic food, you will further weaken and deplete overworked adrenal glands.
The recommended 8 hour sleep not only allows time for the adrenal glands to recoup, but a full nights rest can improve attentiveness and productivity during the day reducing feelings of anxiety that being unable to focus can bring.
4. Eliminate Caffeine
The vicious cycle of sleep deprivation and heightened stress is only made worse by stimulants like coffee and energy drinks. Cutting caffeine altogether from your daily routine may feel like a tiring task at first but it will leave you feeling more rested and less anxious in as little as 3 days.
5. Alone Time
Take time for yourself. Whether it’s meditation, reading, or simply sitting in a quiet room without screens, it is extremely important to manage time to reflect and balance your thoughts. The tendency for many is to lead a life full of social engagements and hyper-activity, but this only feeds stress hormones.
Image Source: Interactive Biology
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