How detrimental to one’s composition is psychological stress?
For the vast majority of us, stress caused by environmental factors day to day is inevitable. Such stress can be attributed to issues of relation to one’s family, career, finances and relationships to sleep habits and daily commitments. Stress can have a profound impact on one’s general psychological well-being in addition to their physiological health.
What happens when stress occurs?
Stress is prevalent in response to any form of stimuli the body considers potentially detrimental to its health or the efficiency with which it is at present functioning. When subject to such stimuli the body secretes various hormones including adrenaline and cortisol, both of which heighten one’s senses and are of relation to the efficiency with which the body is able to recognise and tolerate pain.
Cortisol is a hormone that is released in response to a perceived threat. Cortisol is associated with an insurmountable number of negative repercussions of relation to one’s physical performance and composition in-particular. However, Cortisol actually plays a role of paramount importance regarding the efficiency with which the body functions.
Cortisol is a hormone that is made in the adrenal glands which are triangle shaped organs at the top of the kidneys. The Hypothalamus and Pituarty gland – both located in brain will monitor the amount of cortisol in the blood regulate such levels accordingly.
Cortisol is regarded as the hormone at the origin of all issues of relation to catabolism, whilst this is partly true provided one does not know how to improve the bodies ability to regulate and manage such a hormone, it also has its benefits. Such benefits include:
-Helps to increase metabolism of glucose
-Regulates blood pressure
-Correlative to the body’s ability to rectify issues regarding inflammation
When not subject to stress or anticipating danger, there remains a certain amount of Cortisol in the blood stream. When monitoring such levels, it is viable to have an understanding of the cyclic movements of ACTH (Adrenocorticotropic) and Cortisol release, which generally peak in the morning at approximately 08:00- 10:00am and are at their lowest at approximately midnight in conjunction with the body’s natural circadian rhythm. Such fluctuations are normal and not to be alarmed by.
I am so stressed!
Why am I not hungry?
Why am I particularly lethargic?
Why am I having trouble sleeping?
What happened to my libido?
When under more stress than the body is typically accustomed to, the function of the organs of no relevance to its immediate survival and the means by which it intends to protect itself from potential harm are not prioritised.
The systems most commonly adversely effected during times of stress include the immune system, reproductive system and the digestive system.
How to Reduce Stress and Lower Cortisol:
As the reason as to why one is stresses is subjective the means by which such stress can be reduced is also subjective, that said however there are very broad and basic ways to lower Cortisol that are typically within one’s control. Such Methods include:
-Reduce alcohol intake
-Increase caloric intake
-Consider supplementing with magnesium, holy basil and vitamin C
The Take Home:
The human body works as a multi-faceted system and it is fair to say nothing occurs in complete isolation or for the sole purpose of inhibiting one’s optimal state of homeostasis. If such a homeostasis is comprised and the body is subject to more stress than it considers viable, it will prioritise survival.
– Psychological stress of any kind can impact the body and progression in the gym.
– Monitor your stress levels and incorporate some preventative methods of managing or subduing such stress