According to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, as many as 80 percent of all physician visits are for stress-related issues. Stress is one of the biggest culprits in our mental and physical energy crisis today—and yet only 3 percent of patients receive stress management counseling during a doctor's visit. Something definitely needs to change.
Stress suffocates your energy in a number of ways. With chronically elevated stress, your adrenal glands are forced to operate in maximum gear. This keeps cortisol and other stress hormones high. Excess cortisol leads to a surge of glucose in order to facilitate the perceived “fight-or-flight” situation you’re living in. This is your body’s attempt to make sure you’ve got the energy to run away from that man-eating lion (or run away from that overdue phone bill—because to your body, that stress is all the same).
Spiking glucose inherently leads to crashes. And, for many of us, this is happening day after day after day.
How to fix it: Instead of running to caffeine or sugar for a pick-me-up, be more proactive in buffering stress in the first place. Simple breathing exercises can switch off your sympathetic (fight-or-flight) nervous system within a few seconds. Meditation, restorative yoga, massage therapy, and even moving meditations like qigong and tai chi are all clinically proven to reduce your body’s stress load and enhance energy and well-being.
Find a practice that works for you, and implement it just a few minutes a day. A simple 5- to 10-minute practice can buffer your brain and body against stress and ensure you have the energy to have the quality of life you deserve.