Stress often seems like an inevitable part of our everyday lives. We can quickly identify common situations that trigger it – running late for work, managing a toddler’s public tantrum, getting stuck in a traffic jam, or dealing with an endless to-do list. However, there are less noticeable factors that might be causing stress in your body. Let’s dive into them.
The Unusual Suspects
It’s not just the apparent stressors; several unexpected elements in your lifestyle can contribute to stress levels. These include:
Believe it or not, not consuming enough food can trigger stress hormones. When you undereat, your body goes into ‘survival mode,’ thinking it might be starving. This state triggers cortisol production, leading to heightened stress levels.
A moderate amount of exercise is healthy, but pushing your body beyond its limits can increase cortisol levels. Over-exercising without sufficient rest and recovery can place your body in a constant state of stress.
3️⃣ Staying up late
A good night’s sleep is crucial for your body’s recovery and maintenance processes. However, staying up late consistently can disrupt your body’s natural circadian rhythm and increase cortisol production.
4️⃣ Scrolling screens before bed
The blue light emitted by screens can interfere with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep, and hence, increasing cortisol levels.
5️⃣ Chugging coffee instead of food
Caffeine triggers cortisol production in your body. Replacing meals with coffee can cause a double whammy of cortisol production: from caffeine and from lack of proper nutrition.
Time to Flip the Narrative
Repeated exposure to these unusual stressors over time can disrupt cortisol balance and contribute to chronic health issues. It’s time we started changing our approach. Instead of normalizing habits and lifestyles that stress the body, we should promote habits and lifestyles that put our bodies in a state of calm and safety.
Stay tuned for upcoming posts where I’ll share strategies and ideas to help manage these less recognized stressors and bring about positive changes to our lifestyle.