Are you stressed?

feeling over-stressed and how to know when it is unhealthyStress went into overdrive in 2020. According to one report, 78 percent of Americans said that COVID is a significant source of stress. Nearly seven in 10 Americans feel over-stressed or higher levels of stress during the pandemic. [1]

A certain amount of stress is healthy. When you’re having a challenging work day or someone cuts you off in traffic, the body releases stress hormones that make you more alert.  These reactions allow you to handle stressful situations.

However, when the stress response stays on when the body no longer needs it, a damaging kind of stress called chronic stress can result. [2]

During the stress response, the adrenal glands secrete cortisol. This stress hormone should do its job and calm down. Feeling frequently stressed can keep cortisol levels high when they shouldn’t be.

As a result, your adrenal glands can become overworked. High cortisol levels also interfere with other hormones that regulate your appetite, sleep, happiness, and more.

7 Signs that Stress Levels are Unhealthy

Chronic stress can feel overwhelming, impair how you normally function, and even increase your risk of illness. [3] These seven clues can help you determine whether stress has taken over your life:

  1. You’re not sleeping well. You may have a condition called sleep reactivity. People with highly reactive sleep systems don’t sleep nearly as well when they’re stressed out. Sleep reactivity can lead to other conditions including insomnia, depression, anxiety, and poor work performance. [4]
  2. You struggle to lose weight. One study followed 5,118 participants over five years. Researchers found that both imagined and real stressors led to weight gain. [5] Stress can also “scramble” hormones that monitor hunger. That means even if you’re eating healthy and exercising, you might have trouble reaching or maintaining your ideal weight.
  3. You feel mentally fuzzy. Do simple work obligations and mental tasks such as reading feel like big challenges? Stress can impair your brain’s ability to remember things, learn new things, make decisions, and pay attention. [6]
  4. You frequently get sick. If you find yourself feeling under the weather frequently, stress might be the cause. One review of over 300 studies found that chronic stress can impair the immune system. [7]
  5. You stress eat. Stress impacts eating patterns, leaving you reaching for what scientists call hyper-palatable foods. These foods are often high in sugar, unhealthy, and very easy to overeat. [8]
  6. You have frequent mood swings. Left unchecked, stress overload can contribute to depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. [9]
  7. Your relationships suffer. When you’re stressed, you may want to withdraw rather than spend quality time with friends. You’re not interested in fun activities. You may feel less affectionate with your significant other, too. All of those things can impair the quality of your relationships. [10]

Managing Stress Starts with Your Diet

eating too much when your are over-stressedThe best way to relieve stress is at the end of your fork. First, remove the sugary, processed foods and beverages that interfere with hormone balance.

Replace them with the delicious, nutrient-packed foods in our Core and Advanced plans. Both plans provide plenty of foods that stabilize blood sugar levels, balance hormone levels, and provide the nutrients your body requires to thrive in stressful situations.

Feeling over-stressed? Try these to help lower stress:

  1. Nuts and seeds are a great source of magnesium, a mineral that high stress levels can lower. Magnesium deficiencies can impact how the body deals with stress. [11] Our Trail Mix Recipe combines pumpkin seeds with your favorite nuts for a crunchy, satisfying, stress-lowering snack.
  2. Green tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid that can reduce stress and anxiety. [12] Enjoy green tea iced or hot, sweetened with a little stevia if you need it.
  3. Garlic is a great source of prebiotics, which feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut. Animal studies show prebiotics can reverse chronic stress levels. [13] Our Sautéed Spinach, Kale, and Collard Greens Recipe packs three A-list greens with flavorful garlic.

3 More Ways to Manage Stress

Along with a well-designed diet, these strategies can help you manage the stressors that life throws your way.

  1. Make mornings easy. Breakfast shouldn’t add to your lengthy to-do list in the morning! Our Chocolate Smoothie with Chocolate Grass-Fed Whey Protein makes a quick, tasty way to stay full and focused all morning, in just minutes.
  2. Prioritize sleep. Not getting enough sleep is considered a chronic stressor, disrupting hormones including cortisol. On the other hand, getting a great night’s sleep – eight hours of solid, uninterrupted sleep nightly – can help you better manage stress. [14]
  3. Take the right nutrients. When you’re stressed out, your adrenal glands go into overdrive producing cortisol and other stress hormones. Over time, that extra effort takes its toll on these hardworking glands. [15]

MaxLiving’s Stress Management Supplements

When feeling over-stressed, try MaxLiving Stress Management Supplements Our Stress Management Bundle helps balance stress hormones for a healthy stress response. We’ve combined two powerful formulas in this bundle:

  • Sleep + Mood Formula helps you get restful sleep and supports a healthy mood.  The nutrients in this formula help manage appetite, food intake, and melatonin production.
  • Adrenal Revive contains a variety of herbs and nutrients that support optimal adrenal health and assist with how the body responds to stress.

Chronic stress can hinder nearly every area of your life, sabotaging your immune health, mental well-being, and your risk of disease.

However, you have the power to stop stress from harming your health and wellbeing, starting with these foods, nutrients, and other strategies. Our Stress Management Bundle provides the exact nutrients your body needs to support a healthy mood, adrenals, and sleep… All in two convenient formulas.

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References

[1] https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2020/infographics-october
[2] https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003211.htm
[3] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32960675/
[4] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29797753/
[5] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23512679/
[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579396/
[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1361287/
[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4214609/
[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK558911/
[10] https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/between-you-and-me/201709/is-stress-killing-your-relationship-why-youre-not-alone#
[11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7761127/
[12] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31758301/
[13] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28242013/
[14] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5923838/
[15] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3079864/