We’ve all heard of stress and we’ve all experienced stress at some point in our lives. In fact stress may be a significant part of your life right now. As a Respiratory Educator and Founder of The Breathing Clinic I see the effects of stress on a regular basis and was inspired to write this book to help inform my clients and members of the community about the different things that can trigger stress and how stress can affect different systems in the body, paying particular attention to the respiratory system (and breathing patterns) as well as the digestive system (and gut microbiome), the endocrine system (and hormones produced by the thyroid and adrenal glands) and the relationship between stress, addiction and nutritional deficiencies.
This book however is not just about the effects of stress; it also provides recommendations and resources to help relieve stress and restore balance, giving you more control from the inside-out to manage future stress more effectively. Along the way, this book reveals some fascinating insights about the effects of stress and invites you to consider the ways in which stress might be affecting you.
For example, if you are fond of caffeine or other “stimulants” and the way they make you feel, have you ever wondered whether your daily indulgence is simply one of life’s little pleasures, or could your daily indulgence be compensating for low energy levels associated with stress-induced adrenal fatigue or hypothyroidism, or a lack of internal motivation and inspiration associated with low dopamine levels?
Most people are aware that stress can cause cortisol levels to rise, which can compromise sleep quality, immune function and sex hormone production, but did you know that elevated cortisol is also associated with depression? Did you know that prolonged stress can also cause cortisol levels to become abnormally low leading to “burn-out,” which is characterised by mental, emotional and physical fatigue and a lack of personal motivation, which can also be accompanied by physical symptoms including body aches and pains, episodes of breathlessness and other respiratory symptoms?
It’s commonly known that stress puts digestive functions on hold but few people realise that stress also changes the internal environment of the gut causing an imbalance in the microbes that inhabit the gut and an imbalance in the immune system and a condition called “leaky gut”, which is associated with symptoms and conditions including burping, bloating, cramping, flatulence, diarrhoea and constipation as well as inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, autism spectrum disorder, chronic fatigue, respiratory conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, some forms of cancer and sexually transmitted diseases.
Did you know that the adverse effects of stress on the gut are worsened by poor diet (especially fast foods, processed foods and commercially baked foods) and other lifestyle factors such as smoking, antibiotics, proton pump inhibitors and certain other medications? It may not come as a surprise that poor gut health and poor diet can lead to nutritional deficiencies, which can compromise your ability to deal with stress, however nutritional deficiencies can also reinforce addictive habits involving sugar, caffeine, nicotine and alcohol, and can also increase the risk of stress-induced addiction relapse.
Stress also triggers subtle changes in breathing patterns, which can lead to:
• Thoracic-dominant breathing
• Rapid breathing
• Mouth breathing.
At first glance, these breathing patterns may seem harmless enough but on closer examination these breathing patterns can actually compound stress and trigger an extensive list of transient symptoms, as well as compromise exercise and sports performance and worsen symptoms associated with a range of medical conditions including:
• Panic attacks
• Chronic bronchitis
• Cystic fibrosis
• Sleep apnoea
• Chronic heart disease
• High blood pressure
• Pulmonary hypertension
• Chronic lower back pain
• Sacroiliac joint pain
• Failed back surgery syndrome
• Gastro-oesophageal reflux.
Looking closely at the subject of breathing in the context of stress, I explain why “deep breathing” (which people are often encouraged to do when feeling stressed), can actually worsen stress. This naturally leads into an explanation of the real breathing antidote to stress, which includes a FREE downloadable guided relaxation that incorporates the 4 key elements of the breathing antidote to stress. Although the breathing antidote to stress is but one piece of the puzzle when it comes to managing stress effectively, it is an important piece and it pays to get it right.
This book is illuminating, but is not a “light read”. This book is detailed and covers a lot of ground, so if you want to start delving into the substance of this book you can turn to Chapter 1 now, however if you want to learn more about the specific topics covered in each chapter, take a look at the outline below.
STRESS EFFECTS: A fascinating look at the effects of stress on breathing patterns, gut microbiome, adrenals and addiction. Description:
Written by the Founder of The Breathing Clinic, STRESS EFFECTS is unique and illuminating, shedding light on the effects of stress, focusing on the respiratory system (and breathing patterns), the digestive system (and gut microbiome), the endocrine system (and adrenal fatigue) and the relationship between stress and addiction!
This book takes an unprecedented look at the effects of stress on breathing patterns and explains why “deep breathing” worsens stress and how you can experience relief with the REAL breathing antidote to stress.
Includes FREE downloadable guided relaxation audios to soothe your nerves, calm your mind and relieve symptoms of stress, giving you more control from the inside-out to control stress before stress controls you!
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