Causes of stress come in many forms we may not be acknowledging. People think about stress in terms of a heavy work week or single parenting children, but stress can manifest from many life circumstances. Physical illness, dealing with addiction in our homes, the loss of a job or a loved one, the illness of others, financial insecurity, moving, feeling unsafe at home or in your neighborhood, the political state of our country, divorce, even empty nest syndrome. These all cause a neurological response in our brains. We are hard wired this way, and it’s really important. Our “alligator” brains, our hind brains, the part that’s in charge of our stress reactions, think we are running from the dinosaur or fighting the bear. It’s sending signals to our body to keep us alive and protect us for survival. Our hind brain just responds to the triggers around us on a daily level, and our bodies are designed for our ultimate survival. This is amazing, powerful process that we need to acknowledge, even as we look for the clues and answers to unraveling our stress response and calm our bodies down.
Let’s talk a little bit about how stress manifests as symptoms in our bodies and minds. The top 3 I see in private practice are insomnia, anxiety and fatigue. I also see a lot of short term memory loss, lack of focus or motivation, acne and digestive complaints as well. These all have a physical basis for occurring and over the next few weeks I will dive into each topic more completely to discuss why your body is reacting this way, and how to reverse these common complaints.
Ultimately we cannot always take away the stressors, but after successful treatment I often hear the following statements, “I know my stressors are still there, but it just doesn’t affect me the same way. I don’t react and get overwhelmed the same way. I’m able to attend and focus on my life better, I’m sleeping better and my mood is more stable, despite the ups and downs of life happening around me. My digestion is more regular. My skin and digestion is not as sensitive to what I eat. Overall I feel I am able to cope better with what is going on around me.” You can access this too! With the right support you can start to notice the changes too, in just a few weeks.