Stress, the sickness of this century that is gradually taking the lives of many. Now a days, stress is as harmful as smoking, and the problem is that we are getting used to living with it as if it were natural. Many people feel important when under stress and even others become so dependent that when not under stress they look for a stress situation that generates them the same feeling, and thus gradually become addicted to stress.

When we are stressed we release many hormones that tell our body that we are in danger, and that’s when health consequences happen, deteriorating our wellness.

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Being stressed is not just work related, we can be stressed emotionally, because of a relationship, because of lack of self-acceptance, in an urge to achieve weight loss, because of not getting what we want at the material level, or simply because we have to make a decision we do not know how to take. So if you fall into any of the following signs, asses what could be the trigger issue of stress and start searching for solutions otherwise the symptoms will continue to occur and with increasing intensity.

1. Falling asleep is difficult and you wake up easily

As we stress cortisol (known as stress hormone) is released from the adrenal glands, glands located just above the kidneys. When bedtime comes the natural cycle is that for cortisol levels to decrease and so we can sleep easily, however when we are stressed and this hormone is up in the clouds, it is very difficult to fall asleep.

2. Even though you rest and get some sleep, your are tired all day

The condition of chronic fatigue is linked to stress. And chronic fatigue includes several symptoms such as, bad memory, difficulty concentrating, sore throat, joint pain, muscle pain, headache and lumbar. High levels of cortisol is a cause of this condition, so you can rest a lot but if you are still stressed fatigue will be a constant.

3. Recurrent  Lumbar Pain and Headache 

When stress is constant deposits of cortisol are depleted, and this causes prolactin levels (another hormone) to rise. Prolactin then increases sensitivity to pain, together with the high cortisol levels makes us more prone to this type of recurrent pain.

4. You are constantly sick and catching a cold

The body has a natural ability to repair cellular damage from cancer to a flu, but stress through cortisol inhibits the immune system, leaving us prone to catch any illness and making recovery even more difficult.

5. Your Libido is on vacation

High levels of cortisol inhibit the libido in both men and women, sex hormones are diminished avoiding at all costs a pleasurable sexual relationship.

6. You eat only Lettuce, train in the gym 2 hours daily, but somehow you don’t loose weight or even worse you keep gaining weight

This is hard to understand but it is the harsh reality for many. When we are stressed cortisol inhibits weight loss, but more horribly it favors its gain. In particular, weight gain around the waist is a clear sign that the weight gain is also linked to high levels of stress. So you can spend the whole day at the gym and fill your fridge with lettuce and carrot, while you continue to be stressed for whatever reason (including wanting to achieve a weight loss) forget it, it will never happen.

8. You suffer from anxiety for sweets and unhealthy food

As a result of a rebound effect stress leads you to crave for all that food we know is outside healthy habits. Cortisol increases blood glucose, that in turn causes insulin to rise in order to reduce the high level of glucose. Then we do a drop in energy since glucose descends and at that very moment you find yourself wanting with all your strength a donut, a pizza, french fries and all that you already know is just not good for your health.

8. You don’t know if you’re sick to your stomach or if you suffer from constipation

Our gastrointestinal tract is extremely sensitive to cortisol. Well think about it, when we are in a dangerous situation (whether you are prey to a tiger, or our boss is venting all his stress with us) one of two things can happen, or you pee (or number 2) in your pants or you spend days without going the bathroom. Some bodies react differently, but it is clear that stress is associated with an increased proportion of constipation. So you can also eat lots of fiber, drink water and exercise, if your constipation does not improve your it’s time to check your emotional side.

9. You suffer from anxiety

You bite your nails, you gulp 10 muffins, you drink 2 liters of soda, you heart pounds like on a marathon, and even you become intolerant. All this as a result of cortisol. Anxiety becomes a constant and since you don’t know how to deal with it you start seeking behaviors that dispel your anxiety which in some way hide fears and insecurities, a vicious circle that can only be broken when you find the solution to your stress.

10. Depression is part of you

Serotonin, a hormone that is involved in our mood is affected by the levels of cortisol. A higher level of cortisol, decreases the production of serotonin, hence we become more prone to depression and negative moods. The good news is that not only releasing stress but also food can help us be happier, a diet high in carbohydrates and low in protein has been shown to be a measure that favors the production of serotonin. This is why diets should not be restrictive on any food group, moderation and knowing your needs is the key to success.

If you fall into one or more of these symptoms it is important that you find the path to wellness, starting on a yoga class, playing a soccer match or even spending time with those you love can help dispel cortisol. Evaluate the causes and plan yourself a strategy to counter the century’s disease! For now it’s time you leave the computer now that you’re done reading and go do a headstand, go out for a jog, call a friend, and get out of you routine.

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