People are ambitious… and overwhelmed
We all know how important it is to fuel your body with the right foods, water and supplements for optimal performance. Achieving your goals requires you to be functioning at your best in productivity, focus and clarity.However, many Americans are overwhelmed and living with a high level of stress. Chronic stress is rampant and its effects are taking a toll—especially on the body and the brain.
The brain is your body’s control center, sending messages to and from your body systems via a network of nerves throughout your nervous system. What happens when your brain stops performing optimally? How does your body function if your brain is unbalanced?An unbalanced or under-performing brain can limit the optimal function of all of the other systems of your body.
The systems of the human bodyIn case you’ve forgotten your ninth-grade anatomy course, the 10 main systems of the human body are:
- muscular system
- nervous system
- endocrine system
- circulatory system
- skeletal system
- respiratory system
- digestive and excretory system
- immune system
- renal and urinary system
- reproductive system
The nervous system sends messages throughout your body telling the other systems how and when to work. For example, the brain sends your legs a message telling them to walk or run. For more information on how the brain works, check out this link.
How stress affects your bodyIn the nervous system, your body’s fight or flight response becomes activated and your endocrine system produces high levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. This response floods your brain with messages and tells your body to increase your heart rate and blood pressure. Stress can then impact your respiratory system by making you breathe harder, potentially causing you to hyperventilate or even have panic attacks. Other effects of stress on the body can include digestive and gastrointestinal issues, reproductive problems, and more. The American Psychology Association offers a deeper look into how stress affects the body’s systems.
Symptoms of stressAs with the human body, the brain functions similarly: if one part is working quite right, it leads to problems in other areas too. For example, if you don’t get enough sleep, your cognition is affected causing brain fog and lack of clarity and focus. Similarly, if you are not fueling your body with high-quality nutrition, your physical output will be lacking. This could potentially result in muscle or bone problems, setting you back even further. Other symptoms of stress include upset stomach, difficulty sleeping, losing interest in hobbies, feeling exhausted and drained, increased mental health conditions, worsened chronic health problems, change in appetite, procrastination and, ultimately, burnout.
Combatting stress in lifeThere are many ways to ensure your brain is balanced and functioning well so that your body systems also perform optimally. Each area below must work together to further brain health, not hinder it:
- Exercise. Exercise increases the development of your brain’s synapses which results in better neuroplasticity. Get your heart pumping to increase blood flow and help carry more nutrients and oxygen to the brain. Exercise also helps with mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety.
- Mental stimulation. Get your brain active with memory games, puzzles, or simply reading. Participating in daily mental exercises helps to strengthen your brain and better manage your stress.
- Nutrition. Eating a diet of high-quality fats and other foods, while limiting processed foods decreases the likelihood of developing cognitive impairment and dementia. Additionally, when you eat good, you feel good. Be sure to listen to your body and fill yourself with necessary nutrients.
- Stay hydrated. Staying hydrated throughout the day improves the brain’s neurons to fire faster, allowing them to communicate more quickly with your body’s other systems. When your body is properly hydrated and fueled with good foods, your cognition is improved which can help you work with more clarity and efficiency.
- Get good sleep. Quality sleep allows your brain to recharge. Studies have found that difficulty sleeping causes people to be more emotionally reactive, more impulsive and overall more sensitive. Also, your body is less likely to fight off illness and your brain is unable to clear out toxins that can lead to brain fog.
- BrainTap. BrainTap allows your body to relax and reset. It also can help you feel calm and balanced both while in the sessions and throughout your day. Practicing regular mindfulness encourages healthy emotional wellness as well as physical wellness.