Are You Feeling Stressed and Fatigued??

Feeling Stressed and Have No Energy??

It’s crazy, isn’t it?  We now have more modern conveniences than ever before and faster communication, and yet “fatigue” is now one of the most common complaints.

It is extremely important to identify the factors either causing or sustaining this fatigued state.  Is it something happening in your life at the moment that is causing you to feel this way?  Or is it a long term effect of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?  Either way, we need to help you address the cause, in order to reduce the fatigue and improve your energy.

There are seven factors behind fatigue including:

  • A depleted or overloaded stress response;
  • Resultant poor immunity and repeated infections;
  • Habits and lifestyle;
  • Poor thyroid function;
  • Poor diet and/or inadequate assimilation of nutrients;
  • Toxin overload (either self-induced or not);
  • Poor sleep and/or anxiety.

What is Stress?

Stress seems to be a major player in the cause of fatigue.  Normally, stress is a natural healthy response.  It acts to motivate and sharpen our focus in a situation where immediate action is required.  For example, when you are faced with danger, your body switches on the stress response, also called “fight or flight” response, to help you deal with the stressor.  The stress response is triggered by a surge of adrenaline.  Adrenaline is a chemical released by your adrenal glands that makes your heart beat faster and your breathing speed up.  It fills you with that sudden burst of energy and ensures your circulation is directed towards your muscles, heart and brain, in order to deal with the source of stress.

However, in this modern way of living, emotional triggers seem to be around every corner, causing people to have to deal with ongoing stressors.  “I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once.”  We all know someone, if not ourselves, that has felt like this at some point in their life.

Stress requires an adaptive response from the body.  A stressor is any agent or condition which threatens homeostasis or balance.  “Stressors” may include:

  • Environmental – noise & pollution, climatic extremes;
  • Psychological – emotional stress such as resentment, frustration, grief; cognitive stress such as information overload, worry, self-criticism, anxiety; or perceptual stress such as beliefs, attitude, world view, etc;
  • Psychosocial – relationship/marriage difficulties including partner, children, family, employer, co-workers; lack of social support; dealing with health and financial issues;
  • Physiological – trauma, lack of sleep, hormonal, dietary, etc; or
  • Biological – infections with virus or bacteria.
How May Stress Affect You?

When you are already fatigued and you are exposed to a stressor of some kind, your body’s stress response needs constant “rewiring” and this causes your response to become “stressed and tired”.  This then may affect your:

  • Mental wellbeing and mood;
  • Sleeping patterns – whether that be trouble falling asleep (onset) or staying asleep (maintenance);
  • Energy levels;
  • Digestive function;
  • Cardiovascular function such as your heart rate and blood pressure; and/or
  • Reproductive hormones.

It is very important to learn how to recognise your stressors and how to manage them.  In addition, your physical response to these stressful situations, to ensure balance and health are maintained. 

Everyone is unique.  What may affect you, may have no effect on another person, or vice versa.  Some people have positive coping mechanisms which may allow them to cope with more stress, such as:

  • Good time management
  • Taking some time out for yourself
  • Calm breathing &/or meditation
  • Exercise, even if it is only going for a walk
  • Sharing with family/friends
  • Monitoring sleep hygiene
  • Ensuring you are following a healthy diet.

 

However, if you have poor coping mechanisms, these may allow you to cope with less stress.  These may include:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Relying on caffeine, soft drinks, fried &/or sugary foods
  • Rushed eating, skipping meals or overeating
  • Reducing social interactions &/or relaxation time
  • Emotional outbursts.

It is important to let your Practitioner know which mechanisms you use to cope with stress so that they may help you to identify the cause of your stress, along with the impact that stress may be having on you physically and/or mentally.

With resourceful management of stress and fatigue, and with additional consideration for the immune, thyroid, digestive function and iron status, one would expect to see an improvement in both mental and physical performance and concentration, along with a general improvement in health and wellbeing.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Talking to a counsellor or psychologist may be very beneficial.  Talk to one of our dedicated Naturopaths to help you manage stress better and learn how to recover from life’s major stresses.

 

 

Look out for future blogs on stress, fatigue, insomnia and other tips to improve your energy.

Disclaimer:  The advice on this website is of a general nature only and Nurtura Health expressly disclaims all liability arising out of the improper use of the information provided.  Nurtura Health actively discourages any self-diagnosis or self-medication.  Please consult your health practitioner regarding these important health issues.  All rights reserved.