Stress: Too Much or Too Little Can Affect Your Energy

Wellness/Disease Prevention 0 No Comments

Energy production and the lack of, is something that tends to affect most people at some stage of their life. Sometimes it is just due to circumstances such as overworking or “burning the candle at both ends”. Sometimes however, it is a sign that something is going amiss in the body. There are multiple causes for fatigue and stress is just one of these.

Some degree of stress is imperative for health. It is only when stress becomes excessive that it has a negative impact. In fact animals normally live in what is known as the ‘hormetic zone’. This described the situation where their environment is not too comfortable but not too harsh either. In this natural state where there is mild stress put upon the body through exercise, periods of fasting and temperature extremes, the body is naturally stimulated to produce more of the mitochondria batteries (mitochondrial biogenesis).

Our modern lifestyle has sought to decrease many of these stressors which would have been a natural stimulus for the production of energy in our ancestors. For example, the necessity to do physical activity in order to attain food and shelter or the periods of famine that occurred as part of a normal yearly cycle, would have acted as stimulants in the hermetic zone.

Excess stress on the other hand can have numerous adverse affects upon the body. The gland that responds to stress is the adrenal gland. The adrenal gland works hand in hand with the thyroid gland, and suppresses its function during times of stress. As slow thyroid function can impact on our energy levels, this is just one of the reasons why we can feel flat.

 Stress can induce magnesium loss and this loss can have a significant impact on energy levels. This loss of magnesium occurs as a result of increased stress hormones (catecholamines and corticosteroids). Physical stressors can include such things as trauma, temperature extremes, exertion, surgery or burns. Emotional stress includes such things as depression, pain, anxiety or excessive excitement, lack of sleep, worry and information overload. Environmental stressors can also have negative impacts upon magnesium levels, as can dietary stressors such as a nutritionally inadequate diet, an acid forming diet or alcohol.

Good health is always about balance and this includes a balanced amount of stress – enough to be stimulatory but not so much that the body’s healing abilities and normal function is interfered with. Activities such as regular exercise, meditation and time out each have a part to play in maintaining healthy stress levels, so make sure you enjoy some of these de-stressing activities every day.

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