My Body is Really Sensitive to Stress

By Kim Banting,

It’s true.  Years ago, after my daughter was born, I developed symptoms of PTSD.  I was under so much stress, that I felt like I was losing my mind.  I didn’t know who I was anymore.  I wasn’t sleeping, I was always irritated and impatient and it took nothing for me to fly off the handle.  I was afraid of going out on my own with the kids, so we just stayed home.  I felt like an awful parent because I was too tired and depressed to engage with them.  I beat myself up for this every day, but I didn’t have the motivation to change it.  I was losing a lot of weight and I was already thin, so I looked emaciated even though I was eating a lot!  People (even my friends) would make comments, not understanding that I wasn’t trying to lose weight and it made me feel ashamed of my appearance.  Every day felt overwhelming and the depression and anxiety just got worse.

 This was in my pre-nutritionist days and I didn’t have any reference to how diet and lifestyle could help improve the way I was feeling.  In fact, I was making it worse because I drank a lot of coffee to fight the exhaustion and then used alcohol to try to relax.  You only know what you know, right?

Later, when I was in nutrition school and I was practicing all the new information I was learning on myself, I did a 30-day whole body detox.  The impact was incredible!  I actually couldn’t believe it when on day 3 of the detox, I woke up without an alarm and realized I had slept through the night for the first time in 3 years!  I felt rested and excited to begin my day. I felt joyful.  I remember thinking “is this how other people feel?”. I was calm and relaxed, my digestion felt good and I was productive with my day.  I didn’t need a nap and at 9:30 that evening I went to bed and fell asleep easily.  All I kept thinking every day after this was that I never wanted to lose this feeling again.

When I did this detox, I was still a student and didn’t fully understand yet, all the different things I had helped to heal that changed how I felt.  My liver had gotten a break and was able to deal with stored toxins in my body.  I was eating a high fibre diet and taking probiotics, so my gut and colon were functioning better.  I was eating fresh, whole foods that were nourishing my body and I wasn’t eating sugar or drinking coffee or alcohol, so my adrenal glands were able to relax.

I hadn’t realized that being stressed and not eating well were keeping my cortisol levels high, which was affecting my thyroid function.  Stress was also affecting my liver and gut and impairing their ability to detox excess cortisol and estrogen.  This means they accumulate in the body and wreak havoc on your energy, mood, weight, sleep, emotions, memory, bones and joints, blood sugar levels and more.

Our bodies are very complex, but it is often the simplest things that help them to function optimally.  Good food, fresh air and sleep can work wonders.

Today I live with a low level of stress.  We can’t avoid it completely, right?  We can’t.  I know because I’ve tried!  If I deviate from my usual routine, go away for a weekend, stay up too late or find myself spending time in stressful situations, it can take me days to recover. However, I do know how to keep myself from spiraling out of control and I am super-aware of when the stress begins to climb too high.  What do I do to prevent going back to that dark place?

  1. I spend time with the people who I know lift me up.  This is sooo important!  Our relationships can either fill up our tanks or drain them. Try to identify the people who make your heart sing with joy when you are with them and make time to be with them.
  2. I make sure to have time for myself to exercise.  Making sure that I move my body makes a big difference in how I feel energetically, emotionally and physically.  I still get tight muscles and joints in the mornings and movement helps me to feel limber and flexible.
  3. I also know that I need time to do things I love that relax me like spending time in a forest, reading and knitting.  No matter how much stress I feel, if I take time to nurture my soul, it is manageable.
  4. I make sure I get to bed before 10 every night because staying up late even one night can disrupt my energy for days afterward.
  5. And finally, I take care to incorporate foods that I know keep my body balanced, like fermented foods, adrenal adaptogens, complex carbohydrates and plenty of water.  These are foods that help to nourish the gut, liver and adrenal glands so that they are able to perform optimally.  A sluggish gut or liver is going to make me feel sluggish and I’ve been there, done that and don’t want to go back!

Are you wondering if these tools may help you to better manage your stress?  Are you curious if a detox may help you?  Not everyone is suited to all forms of detoxing, but there are many ways you can do it that are safe and comfortable for you.   Call me for a FREE 15 minute phone consultation to find out what the best detox method for you could be.  In the meantime, check out my handy handout for my Top 10 Hormone Balancing Foods!  Click Here