We lead such busy and full lives, and many of us who live in this fast-paced, around-the-clock, technologically connected world feel weighed down at times, overwhelmed by a nagging obligation to do it all. When we are constantly stressed, running from one thing to the next, we can get stuck in survival mode and our stress response never turns off.
All this unrelenting pressure takes a toll on our health, yet so many of us continue to push through it. Is it any surprise that so many of us are battling physical and mental fatigue brought on by this stress? Our body’s ability to adapt and handle that stress is provided by our adrenal glands. These two tiny glands sit on top of our kidneys and play a critical role in our overall health.
When adrenal glands are overstimulated from prolonged stress, they can become fatigued. When we are stressed our body produces cortisol – the “fight or flight” hormone – but if stimulated over and over again, cortisol levels can become chronically elevated or eventually begin to drop, and when either of those things happen, we feel exhausted. Impacts of this can include constantly elevated blood pressure and blood sugar levels, weight gain, poor digestion, chronic inflammation, lowered immunity, brain fog, fatigue and hormonal imbalances.
Many of us deal with these burn out symptoms at some point in our lives. The amount of pressure we put on ourselves to be successful, as well as the external pressures from society, can be overpowering. But what if there was something you could do to improve your energy, increase your resilience, help you sleep more deeply, and prevent burn out? Something that helps you find an anchoring balance in this turbulent world.
A group of intelligent ancient plants called adaptogens have been utilized for thousands of years by healers all over the world. Adaptogens encourage your body to resist the harmful effects of stress, helping to balance hormones, reduce inflammation, improve immunity, increase energy and improve mental clarity. Adaptogens relieve stress by stabilizing your cortisol levels and steadily guiding your body back to equilibrium again. If you are feeling overwhelmed and anxious, adaptogens can help you calm down and stay grounded. If you are feeling run down and worn out, adaptogens can help you get back on your feet.
These herbs work gently with your body so that no matter how much stress is disrupting your body, your system will remain balanced, which is what it desperately strives for. The one thing all adaptogens have in common is their ability to help the body better adapt to stressors and challenging environments. They work both in the immediate moment and with long term use.
The best part is, adaptogens can do all of this without the side effects that most other stimulants such as coffee, sugar, or alcohol exhibit. But as with anything in the health and wellness world, adaptogens are a piece of a bigger picture. Just taking adaptogens on top of an unhealthy diet and busy schedule may improve your stress levels somewhat, but you also need to take care of yourself in other ways.
Eating nourishing whole foods, spending time outdoors, exercising, and getting adequate sleep are all crucial for a thriving mind, body and spirit. Quick guide to adaptogens: Energizing: Ginseng, Rhodiola, Goji, Eleuthero, Chaga Relaxing/Sleep: Ashwagandha, Cordyceps, Reishi, Schisandra Berry, Gotukola Mental focus: Ashitaba, Rhodiola, Lions Mane Mushroom, Ginseng, Cordyceps, Schisandra, Holy Basil, Bacopa Immunity improving: Astragalus, He Shou Wu, Cordyceps, Turkey Tail If you have it in powder form, you can mix with your tea, coffee or smoothie in the morning and mix with a night time tea.
The wonderful thing about adaptogens is that they adapt to your body’s needs, the body adapts them or they adapt to your body (hence their name), they will meet you where you are at right now. These plants are considered safe, non-toxic and are non-habit forming. However, it is wise to do your research and to use common sense when taking them (some combinations of adaptogens upset your stomach). It’s a good idea to rotate the adaptogens in your routine every few months.
Taking a break one day a week, one week a month and one month a year is an excellent guideline. Adaptogens are so individualized, what works wonders for your friend may not work at all for you. To find which specific adaptogens will work best for you, book a consultation at http://www.vitalynn.com. Consult your doctor before your start to ingest any supplement, especially if you are taking prescription medication. This article is intended as a general information resource. It is not a substitute for professional advice.