Easy ways to manage stress for thyroid health
The stress response is regulated by the adrenal glands. These are walnut-shaped and can be found in the upper part of the kidneys. They release stress hormones into the blood every time we find ourselves in stressful situations. These stressful situations can have to do with finances, relationships, work, and being stuck in traffic.
A little bit of stress, specifically called acute stress, is fine. It helps us escape or protect us from danger. And the body has no problem dealing with this. Chronic stress is the one that harms health. Our bodies were not made to cope with high levels of stress for long periods of time. Studies indicate that more than 30% of the population faces extreme stress.
One of the most notable ways that stress affects thyroid health is by depressing the HPA (hypothalamic adrenal pituitary) axis. This is related to the production of thyroid hormones. In addition to this problem, stress hormones alter the T4 to T3 convention. And this leaves the body with insufficient T3, making the signs of hypothyroidism worse.
Stress hormones have also been found to weaken immune barriers. As such, foreign elements get into parts of the body that aren’t supposed to. And this, in turn, causes autoimmune reactions.
This stress can trigger an inflammatory response, which can trigger an underactive thyroid. Therefore, it is important to manage stress to reduce the chances of hypothyroidism or other thyroid disorders.
Fortunately, there are many ways to deal with stress. And we’ll talk about these here:
Adopt a good diet – Part of the stress is due to the food we eat. Therefore, following a good diet is a good starting point. The diet I recommended in Chapter 2 should help you avoid most foods that stress the body. This particularly refers to sugar.
You should also avoid stimulants. Examples of these include alcohol, caffeine, and drugs.
take it easy – Our giant schedules often leave us too exhausted to do anything else when the day is over. And this is bad since we all need some time to relax. The body cannot be healthy if it is put in a state of high productivity at all times. You will burn in the end.
There are many options on how to relax. Meditation is a good example.
If you just need something simple, you can try breathing exercises. Inhale for a count of 4, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and then release it for 8 seconds through your mouth. Do this for at least 10 minutes.
Another great way to relax is to walk through the woods. Nature has healing abilities. You can also watch the sun rise or set. Both of these actions will provide stress relief.
To sleep – Some brag about sleeping for less as if it were a sign of strength. But this is simply a lack of knowledge. Whether you have hypothyroidism or are as healthy as the sun, you need to get enough sleep every night. Studies have shown that sleep reduces stress, helps the body restore hormonal imbalances, and strengthens the immune system. It is recommended that you get at least 6 hours and 30 minutes of sleep every day. But don’t let this be more than 8 hours. That will not be healthy.
Also, the quality of your sleep is important. If you keep waking up, that is not quality sleep. Make sure to avoid caffeine in the hours before bed. Also, avoid using phones or computers 2 hours before sleeping – the light from these devices can make it difficult to fall asleep.
Make sure your room is dark and has the right temperature. Also, create a regular sleep schedule by going to bed at the same time every day.
Laugh and have fun – Take time to get together with your friends to socialize. This can reduce your stress and improve your mood. This is why most of us feel so energetic after having a good time with friends.
Also, as a way to have fun, be sure to enjoy your hobbies. If you love hiking, make time for it.
Keep a journal – Although many think that journaling is useless, several studies have shown that it has many benefits. Among them are its healing abilities. Writing things down helps reduce stress. And this, in turn, leads to better health.
You can write in a notebook or you can use any of the journaling applications available.
Take adrenal adaptogens – these can help keep your stress levels under control. Examples include licorice, ginseng, and ashwagandha.
Get support – you can talk to experts about your problem. And this is one of the best ways to deal with stress.
Eliminate the stressor – While all of these tips are intended to reduce stress, your true quest should be to find what is stressing you out and eliminate it from your life. All problems are best dealt with at the root. That is the only way you will be guaranteed successful results.
I hope this has helped you!