Hormones, Food, and Stress: What Do They Have in Common?

“Stress affects all systems of the body including the musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, nervous, and reproductive systems.” (apa.org)

When stress is present, a hormone called cortisol is released. This is your main stress hormone. Cortisol increases your heart rate and blood pressure and sets off your “fight or flight” response.

Once your body is on alert, it can lead down a rabbit hole of other issues if not addressed. For example, many people eat more unhealthy foods when stressed. This becomes a cycle or habit of poor eating when feeling overwhelmed, sad, angry, depressed, or any other stress-based feelings. 

There are three main types of stress:

Acute Stress

It can be triggered by a single event, such as being cut off in traffic or getting into an argument with a bill collector. 

Acute Episodic Stress

It can be triggered by frequent events like having deadlines.

Chronic Stress

It can be triggered by ongoing events such as dealing with family issues, substance abuse, or dealing with an illness or job loss.

A combination of these types of stress can lead to the cortisol hormones being released.

How to Embrace More of a Stress-Free Life:

Say no to what’s not in alignment.

Say yes to what brings peace and makes you happy.

Eat well. Feed your body like you love it. 

Get rest. Quality sleep is so important. 

Exercise, move your body to release endorphins.

Let go of beliefs and people that stress you out. 

It’s never too late to make different choices. You deserve a life of ease, and it all starts with the way you manage stress.