Stress is your body’s way of responding to perceived threats in your environment. In small amounts, your body’s natural stress response is a healthy and beneficial mechanism that has evolved to help us survive and thrive. These days, however, perceived threats are everywhere. Your body interprets an iPhone notification in the same way it would have perceived a predator 1000 years ago. Our wiring simply hasn’t caught up with the times and we are seeing increasing numbers of people suffering from health problems caused by stress.
Everyone experiences stress from time to time but when you experience too much stress it can cause chronic inflammation and health problems ranging from compromised immunity and insomnia, to gut health issues and even mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.
Stress management techniques such as taking stress supplements and vitamins and following an anti-stress diet can all help to lower stress levels.
Read on for five signs that you might be suffering from chronic stress, and find out how to naturally lower your stress levels and find stress relief:
1. You’re having trouble sleeping
Insomnia is one of the most common symptoms of low-level chronic stress. Often you’ll find yourself struggling to fall - and stay - asleep much sooner than you realise you’re actually stressed. The constant ‘cortisol dump’ that occurs when you’re under constant stress can inhibit your body’s ability to wind down and get a good night’s sleep. This can evolve into a pretty nasty cycle, as poor sleep results in further stress being placed on the body as it fights to function without necessary rest.
Remember, you should be aiming for between seven and nine hours of shut-eye per night. If you’re not currently benefiting from seven plus hours of sleep, there are a number of things you can do. First, try to establish a healthy routine around bedtime . Second, make sure you are taking the right supplements to support your natural diurnal cycle.
LYMA contains full-spectrum adaptogen KSM-66® Ashwagandha, which has been clinically proven to reduce insomnia: helping you to fall asleep more quickly, and to stay asleep throughout the night. LYMA’s patented formula also contains Cognizin®, a powerful brain-booster that can increase mental energy, focus and processing speed, helping you to feel more alert and productive the day after a difficult sleep.
2. You gain weight easily
This happens for a couple of reasons. Firstly, stress can lead to you turning to comfort foods to make you feel better: comfort foods that are commonly laced with added fats, sugars and are carbohydrate-heavy. However, even if you keep your diet clean, stress can still cause your body to hold on to more fat than is desirable. This is because your body is wired for survival and if it thinks that you are under threat, it begins to store fat as fuel.
Research carried out at Stanford University has shown that, as chronic stress levels increase, the rate at which fat cells are created in the body is given an almighty boost. Reducing the cortisol that’s pumped to the tissues and organs of your body is the key to stopping unwanted weight from creeping on. Yoga and meditation can both help to reduce cortisol levels and thus prevent the undesirable knock-on impact on fat metabolism and storage.
If you’re guilty of reaching for the crisps and sugar-loaded snacks when stress hits, take a look at our ultimate guide to anti-inflammatory eating and try to incorporate some of these principles into your diet.
3. Your skin is suffering
Break-outs can be one of the first signs that your body and brain feel they are under siege, particularly if you don’t usually get spots. Stress and acne are directly correlated. As discussed, secretion of cortisol is one of the primary effects associated with elevated stress levels. The other hormone that stress causes to be released into the bloodstream is testosterone. The combination of cortisol and testosterone leads to an increase in sebum production (the oily substance that can block pores and result in spots) and can be an absolute nightmare for your skin.
If you’re affected by stress-induced acne there are options. First and foremost you should try adopting a nourishing and balancing skincare routine , both morning and evening. Ideally, you will combine your new regime with taking the right skin-supporting supplements. LYMA can help to counteract the excess sebum production associated with chronic stress. Our formula contains Lycored Lycopene™ at 30mg; the clinically-backed optimised daily dose for those of us wanting to diminish excess sebum production, balance the skin’s microbiome, and experience a smoother, radiant, and more even complexion.
4. You’re experiencing gut problems
Stress kicks the sympathetic nervous system into overdrive. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for your body’s innate ‘fight or flight’ response, and has evolved to override your parasympathetic nervous system or ‘rest and digest’ response (the latter only ramps up when you’re feeling relaxed). By overriding the parasympathetic nervous system, stress relegates bodily functions such as digestion and causes these systems to temporarily shut down.
KSM-66® Ashwagandha is a natural root-extracted adaptogen that builds up and reinforces the parasympathetic nervous system, making you more resilient to the detrimental effects of stress. It does this by helping to regulate endocrine function, keep the thyroid functioning normally, and to support the health of your adrenal glands and reproductive organs.
Over time, stress can also lead to inflammation of the gut, IBS, leaky gut and other digestive complications. Plus your body will be nowhere near as efficient at absorbing the nutrients from the food you eat.
One of the most effective ways to switch your parasympathetic nervous system back on is to engage in some mindful breathing exercises .
5. You keep forgetting things
Can’t get through the day without constantly checking your diary, writing reminders in your phone and sticking post-its all over your desk? Forgetfulness is a common complaint among those suffering from chronic stress.
If you’re struggling with memory impairment as a result of stress, try supplementing with LYMA. Cognizin® is formulated at a clinically-approved 250mg in LYMA and is the world’s leading nootropic , scientifically-proven to improve memory and brain function. For memory to function optimally your brain requires sufficient energy: Cognizin® is a patented form of citicoline that supports that healthy supply of oxygen to the brain, efficiently transporting nutrients from one neuron to the next so that you can flourish.
You need more than just vitamins to fight and banish stress, which is why LYMA is the ultimate supplement. LYMA is so much more than a vitamin pill: LYMA contains eight patented ingredients and has been formulated specifically with reducing stress in mind. LYMA uses the latest technology to go above and beyond what any other supplement is able to promise.
If you want to kick stress to the curb, you’ll need to take a multi-pronged approach. You’ll need to combine lifestyle changes with stress-management techniques such as yoga and breathwork, and will need to ensure you’re eating a nourishing diet as well as taking the right supplements.