Stress Management

Our world today sees us living an uber high-tech existence. In the period of one day we can spend up to 10 hours sitting, staring at screens and our bodies become tense with this expectation and are consequently filled to the maximum with stress hormones. Cyber networks seem to inform us of the latest crisis before it even happens. The survival of the fittest has now reached a global scale and these evolutionary changes not only impact on the world around us but also on our internal world. Our bodies speed up mentally, physically and emotionally to keep up with the chaotic environment we have created. These adaptive changes impact on our health drastically by causing oxidative stress, rapid changes in adrenal function, alterations in digestive function, nervous system anticipation and cardiovascular function.


  • Emotional stress – anger, depression, fear, frustration, sadness or bereavement, remembering past trauma
  • Mental stress – work deadlines, workload and an increase in working hours, feelings of responsibility, seriousness of commitments and discipline, anticipatory anxiety and high ideals, drive and perfectionism
  • Chemical stresses caused by environmental pollution and toxic chemicals
  • Nutritional stress – deficiencies of vital nutrients to sustain life and over consumption of unhealthy foods, food allergies, addictions and eating disorders
  • Physical stress includes the demands placed on the body due to long work ours, inadequate sleep and rest, exercise, hard labour and birth
  • Psycho-spiritual stress – relationship pressure, financial issues, career pressure, issues of reaching life goals and spiritual enlightenment


Every individual will deal with these situations in their own way. Some will externalise their feelings outwardly by punching a boxing bag or shouting, some will cry and others will internalise their feelings of fear and worry, withdraw from society or turn on the T.V. and tune out.

While we may experience the same situation as another we deal with it in our own manner. However, when someone experiences a stressor of any origin and interprets it as negative, the body reacts in a specific manner. This is called the flight or fight response or General Adaptation Syndrome.

The first response is a release of Adrenaline, Norepinephrine and Cortisol from the Adrenal Glands. This gets the blood moving straight to the skeletal muscles in preparation for a fight or maybe just to get the hell out of there. As you can imagine this response would have been quite helpful back in the cave man days. In addition the pupils of the eyes dilate and the mind becomes more alert.

When the crisis is over the Adrenal levels go back to normal due to mechanisms called negative feedback. However if stress triggers become continuous then cortisol receptors gradually become less sensitive to these negative feed back signals and fail to shut down. The body then becomes exhausted from the imbalance; headaches, insomnia, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases start to rear their ugly head. All the blood that is going to the skeletal muscles means that other areas of the body are getting neglected such as the digestive system, immune system and sex drive.

There are many techniques and practises to help avoid getting caught in the vicious cycle of stress responses (so prevalent in this complex modern society) for examples – Relaxation therapies, meditation, aromatherapy, deep breathing, exercise, psychological techniques and nutritional support.


One common nutrient deficiency seen when the nerves are strung out is the family of B Vitamins, specifically B5 (to minimise the exhaustion of cortisol as it is a precursor to its production) and B6.

  • One common nutrient deficiency which occurs quickly when the nerves are strung out is the family of B Vitamins, specifically B5 and B6 (to minimise the exhaustion of the stress hormone Cortisol as these are precursors to it production)
  • Magnesium is a vital nutrient for feeding the nerves and muscles and is depleted easily during times of stress
  • Australian Bush flower remedies may help to take the edge off anxiety and promote a sense of wellbeing. Black Eyed Susan, Bauhinia, Crowea, Dog Rose, Gymea Lily, Jacaranda, Paw Paw,and Southern Cross
  • Bach Flower Rescue Remedy may help to ease the burden of stress and tension caused by emotional trauma
  • The herbs St Johns Wort, Withania, Licorice, Siberian Ginseng, Magnolia, Zizyphus, Passionflower, Oats, Chamomile give strength, grit and integrity to the nerves while calming the stress responses


  • Ensure that you consume a healthy balanced diet with a variety of colours, flavours and food groups
  • Avoid surviving on fast foods, carbohydrates, sugars, soft drinks and caffeine
  • Eat plenty of vitality giving greens
  • Alkalising your diet with foods like fish, miso soup, vegetable broths, sprouts, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and plenty of fruits and vegetables helps keep you vital
  • Avoid refined, tinned, packaged, processed and preserved foods which are low in nutrition


  • Learn what triggers your stress and begin to take small steps towards changing these habits, situations and environments. Keep a diary which details your feelings
  • Begin morning pages in a diary. Write for 10 minutes each morning when you wake up, this process helps you to unravel your emotions and is a documented way of learning more about yourself
  • The practised therapies of massage, yoga, breathing, meditation and counselling are the foundation keys to reducing stress habits