We live in a world of hectic schedules and constant busyness. It can be hard to find the proper balance. As always, ProHEMP is here to help. Read on to find out how our tinctures can support healthy balance and stress levels and to keep stress from wreaking havoc on your body.*
Stress Awareness Month
April is Stress Awareness Month. Stress is healthy in manageable amounts. Moments of low stress are motivating and enlivening. Putting some strain on your muscles is how they get stronger, but it is when stress becomes chronic that problems start.
The human biological stress response began as a survival mechanism. When your ancestors faced a very real physical threat, such as a saber-toothed tiger attack, their stress response would kick in to help them survive the threat.
The stress response is activated in the hypothalamus, which sends signals to the pituitary gland, where adrenocorticotropic hormones (ACTH) are secreted. ACTH then stimulates the adrenal glands, which pumps the body full of epinephrine (also called adrenaline). Epinephrine causes the heart to beat faster, pushing blood to the heart and muscles. The pulse and blood pressure rise, and lung capacity expands. Extra oxygen sent to the brain improves alertness and sharpens the senses. Glucose is released into the blood stream, providing an extra burst of energy. All of this happens in a blink of an eye, for the sole purpose of allowing you to survive that saber-toothed tiger attack.
Once the threat is over, these body systems return to normal. However, if a threat is still perceived, the hypothalamus turns on the stress response backup system, called the HPA axis. If the stress response is your body being revved up in high gear, the HPA axis is designed to keep the pedal to the metal long-term. The hormone cortisol is what keeps the body on high alert, and those levels will stay high until the threat is removed.
Fortunately, people are no longer dealing with saber-toothed tigers. Today, our threats are generally perceptual threats: inadequate time and energy to get our work done, wayward children, strained relationships, worldwide pandemics, worrisome news, and even happy things like Christmas, the birth of a child, and a new job. However, while these threats are not actually endangering our lives in the moment, they feel just as real. Unfortunately, the brain can’t tell the difference between a saber-toothed tiger attack and an upcoming work deadline, so, the body goes through the same stress response for both.
Starting through three-part general adaptation syndrome—alarm, resistance, and exhaustion—sometimes your body needs help returning to normal. Adaptogens are plants that do just that. By boosting your resistance to stress-related situations, these herbs contain help your body to return to a balanced state during a stress response and stave off exhaustion. Most importantly, adaptogens are thought to hold the production of cortisol at bay.*
In today’s harried world, many people live in a constant state of stress. This means that the hormone cortisol is running through their bodies nearly all the time. Long-term exposure to cortisol causes weight gain, memory impairment, digestive issues, anxiety, depression, headaches, and the big three: heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. There are three important ways to keep this from happening. You can reduce your stressors, learn to cope with stress, and reduce cortisol production with adaptogens.
Reduce Your Stressors
No one has superhuman strength, and yet, many of us like to think we do. Unfortunately, trying to “do it all” just leads to chronic stress and adrenal fatigue. First, reduce your stressors. Stop saying yes to everything. Plan your time more wisely. Don’t speed! There are many ways to eliminate non-essential stressors in your life.
Learn Coping Strategies
Busy schedules and life challenges don’t have to activate your stress response. In fact, they only will if you perceive them as threats. There are many coping strategies that can help you deal with stressors without triggering your stress response. Learning to live in the moment, letting go of perfectionism, and controlling your breathing are all simple ways to cope.
Ashwagandha is a popular adaptogen. It is an evergreen shrub that originates in parts of India, the Middle East, and Africa. Ashwagandha is the Sanskrit word for “smell of the horse.” This refers to the herbs natural scent, but also to its strength-promoting properties. Extracts and powders from this shrub’s roots and leaves are thought to moderate cortisol production, as well as other stress proteins. This adaptogen inhibits chronic stress at its origin—right at the HPA axis.
Adaptogenics and Hemp!
There are many ways to maintain healthy cortisol levels. Adaptogenics are just one of those ways. Hemp also supports healthy cortisol levels. Hemp works by impacting the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain, increasing serotonin levels. Serotonin is a mood stabilizer that is commonly called the happy chemical.
ProHEMP’s Adaptogenic Balance Stress/Cortisol Blend combines the powerful stress-relieving properties of both hemp and Ashwagandha. With a fresh, grapefruit flavor, this tincture is designed to be taken under the tongue once or twice a day to lower your cortisol levels and improve your general health.* Don’t let stress get the better of you. It just isn’t worth it. Try Balance today!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.