Stress: Explained

1st April 2020 / Health

Stress: Explained

Emily Shannon

Stress is something that most of us will be familiar with. Whether it be meeting a work deadline, having a never-ending to-do list or trying to find that all-important work-life balance whilst keeping on top of the ever-expanding inbox... more and more of us are STRESSED! The latest figures now show that a shocking 74% of Britons feel so stressed every day that they feel overwhelmed, it’s likely that we’re the most stressed-out generation. Now, with the global impact of COVID-19 thrown into the mix, it’s influencing all of our daily lives, and maybe adding to existing stresses.

So, as April is STRESS AWARENESS MONTH, here at Link Nutrition we wanted to bring you the most up-to-date stats, some simple stress swaps, some of our favourite stress-busting tips, delicious recipes and a word from some of our favourite experts! We’ve got PLENTY of exciting content coming your way this April so make sure you stay tuned! First things first though, let’s talk about what stress ACTUALLY is, why we need it and why we might just be the most stressed-out generation.


STRESS: EXPLAINED


Stress is such a common word, we hear it so often these days, in a whole host of different contexts, but what actually is it? Well, stress is the body’s response to a change that requires an adjustment. Our bodies react to changes with a physical, mental or emotional response and how the body responds to these changes can be completely unique. It’s worth noting, that stress is completely normal, we actually need ‘stress’ for our body to function properly. Even positive events and changes result in a certain level of stress, yes it’s true! BUT, it’s when we become stressed too frequently by external stressors (like our workload, a bulging inbox, a traffic-jam or missing your train) that stress becomes a real problem. More simply, it’s important that we learn to control and manage stress levels to make sure that we try to reduce our stress levels! 



STRESS: LET’S TALK HORMONES

You may have heard of cortisol, it’s pretty essential within our bodies, it’s one of our primary stress hormones. It plays a key role in supporting our bodies response to stress and this special hormone is produced by our adrenal glands. Once it’s been made, it’s released into our bloodstream so that it can be transported around the body. Almost every cell in the body has a cortisol receptor, so it’s a pretty important hormone!


When we experience stress the body releases cortisol and another hormone called adrenaline, which gets the body ready for emergency action! The heart beats faster, muscles tighten, blood pressure rises and the senses become sharper. These responses go hand in hand with our ‘fight or flight’ response, which is essential for keeping us safe, it’s our body's survival mechanism. This response is designed to help protect us from all sorts of situations that we may find ourselves in (in previous years, think running from predators!). However, as humans have evolved, this response is heightened, to the point where this response is now being stimulated in traffic jams and when our workload is too much. This means that our cortisol levels are now not following their natural rhythm (higher in the morning, lowering as the day goes on), and in many people, are now constantly too high.



STRESS: HOW TO COMBAT STRESS

The good thing is, there are plenty of ways that we can support our bodies' response to stress! Surprisingly, learning to try and reduce our stress levels is much easier than it sounds! ‘Destressing’ is not something that happens overnight, we actually need to make a conscious effort to not stress, yes that’s right. There are a number of ways that we can reduce our stress levels, with certain herbs, different exercises and a number of different foods, but it’s also important to change our mindset. Mindfulness techniques are just one way that we can try to de-stress, BUT throughout April, we’re celebrating all of the different ways that we can help you to remain calm when stress may strike, support the body to effectively deal with stress and of course give you plenty of stress-busting tips for you to put into practice. Here’s a little taster of some of the top tips coming your way:


  • Our favourite foods to help to support our bodies during times of stress
  • Some simple stress-free swaps
  • Delicious recipes to create at home
  • How to get supplement savvy with some of our stress-busting supplements
  • The best yoga poses to support stress

STRESS: WHAT THE EXPERTS ARE SAYING

We’re not stopping there though, here at Link Nutrition, we’re really passionate about helping you Link Lovers to get more ‘zen’ into your lives, so we’ve called upon the experts! We’re so excited to be able to give you expert information directly from anxiety expert Chloe Brotheridge and Nutritional Therapist and yoga teacher Libby Limon. Stay tuned to find out more, BUT we are thrilled to share that we’ll be covering stress in the workplace, plenty of nutrition tips to combat stress and giving you the low-down on how we can all use yoga to support our stress levels! Make sure you’re following our social channels so you don’t miss out on one thing! Not only that, but watch this space for the launch of our Stress download, coming your way next week on the 8th April - it’s not to be missed!