Anxiety. Stress. Nerves. All of those are the WORST, and sadly, I am familiar with ALL of them. Some people are magically gifted with the “cool, calm, collected gene”, and I am here to tell you, my friends, I am NOT one of those people. In fact, I’m here to talk about how letting your anxiety and stress take over, can indeed get the best of you and why acting like a crazy person can make you sick. Don’t stress though. We’ll talk about ways to deal with it too.
First let me be clear. I am not talking about actual, mental disorders here. Those are nothing to laugh at and are very serious. What I am referring to is those of us that let our anxiety and fear consume us and make us act ridiculously. I personally have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, which obviously is medical. But compared to a lot of people with metal health issues, it’s a walk in the park. Bottom line though, I have been known to take it to a level that is just not ok and turns me into a blubbering, shaky, sick mess. Hence, I am going to give you a little info-tainment today. I find humor mixed with facts is always the way to go.
Your poor tummy bacteria
Ok, being that this blog is called “Tales From a Traveling Tummy” you should know that this is my wheelhouse right here. I am quite familiar with an “angry tummy” and have spent many years dealing with it. 80 percent of your immune system lives within your gut and you have a team of good (and bad) bacteria living in your gut at all times. Usually those two stay pretty balanced, but when you add stress into the mix, your body goes into “fight or flight” mode. When that happens, the stomachs blood flow is impaired and this can kill off the “good guys” and cause all sorts of shenanigans in there. This is why a lot of the time you can also get a cold etc when you’re under stress as well. That major part of your immune system is then compromised.
I heart you
When you’re “freaking out” about everything all of the time (especially if your name is Leah and you’re writing this blog….), your heart is freaking out with you. That “fight or flight” response is kicking in again and starts to elevate those things like cortisol, and adrenaline. This, especially over time, can potentially lead to things like heart palpitations, high blood pressure and possibly even heart disease. No one wants that to happen so chill out, yo.
Chubby Bunny Syndrome
This is another factor I am quite familiar with, weight gain. I prefer to call it “chubby bunny syndrome” since that’s cuter and doesn’t make me feel as bad. Remember that stress hormone Cortisol? Yeah that one. That little rascal definitely has its place, but when your cortisol levels are raised over a long period of time, stuff can get crazy! You start craving all of the foods under the sun, gain weight in your mid section and start looking like a chubby bunny. Weight gain in and of itself can then start to lead to other health risks like diabetes, heart disease etc. It truly is a rabbit hole. See what I did there? Man, I am hilarious.
There are a lot of other ways your body can be affected by stress. If you find that you are having a hard time managing it, be sure to talk to an actual medical professional not some crazy person who writes a blog.
That being said though, I wrote this because I am all too familiar with stress, worry, anxiety and fear and the side affects. I am also familiar though with some good ways to try and cope with those stressors….not that I always follow my own advice, but here you go.
- Just breathe.
- Try to eat a healthy diet with lots of greens, little sugar, gluten etc. It really does help.
- Talk to someone who will listen.
- Grab a teddy bear, especially if his name is Kringle.
- Encapsulated Lavender
- Calms Forte
- As contradictory as it sounds, eat more fiber. That can truly help tame your tummy.
- A good probiotic such as this one by Garden of Life
- Go see your doctor.
- Get some light exercise.
- Try and think positively. It can really be powerful.
Once again, I am not a doctor. I am just a fellow “crazy person” who has been there. Bottom line is, don’t beat yourself up for how you’re feeling. It’s totally normal and we all have been there at least once or twice. They key is to learn how to handle it and try and move on.
Until next time, happy HEALTHY, nom noms!