How does stress affect your nervous system?
Stress affects us all, but it can be especially difficult for mums. Juggling work, family life, and your own personal needs can often leave even the most organised of mums feeling overwhelmed and overstressed. But what does this mean for our physical health? How does stress affect the nervous system? Let’s explore.

The Fight or Flight Response
When we feel stressed, our body reacts with a “fight or flight” response that is triggered by the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). This response is designed to help us respond to danger or perceived threats by preparing us to either fight or flee. The SNS releases hormones such as adrenaline into our bloodstream which increases our heart rate. All of these changes are designed to help us respond quickly in a dangerous situation.

Long-term Stress
In the short-term, stress can be beneficial in helping us cope with difficult situations. But when it becomes long-term, stress can have a negative effect on both our mental and physical health. Prolonged exposure to high levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) has been linked to many health problems. Stress also weakens the immune system making it harder for our bodies to stay above the wellness line.

Managing Stress Responses
It’s important for us to find ways to manage our stress levels so that they don't become overwhelming and lead to long-term damage to health. Exercise is a great way to managing stress as it helps reduce cortisol levels while increasing serotonin – a hormone that helps create feelings of wellbeing and happiness. Mindfulness meditation is another great way of reducing stress; research has found that just 10 minutes per day can make a big difference in helping people cope with stressful situations more effectively. Other strategies include getting enough sleep, eating whole food meals regularly throughout the day, taking breaks from work and finding time for yourself each day – whether that be reading a book or going for a walk.

At the end of the day, remember that being mindful and showing yourself kindness is key for overall health and wellbeing! Take a deep breath and remember that you are capable of finding inner peace naturally! I hope this blog post was helpful in understanding a bit more about our complex nervous systems and how it responds to stress. 

Make sure to check back for my next blog post where we'll dive deeper into ways of calming and supporting our beloved central nervous systems.


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