Bye Bye Burnout: Adaptogens for chronic Stress
Are you constantly feeling tired and low on energy, or like you can't seem to cope with the daily tasks at home or work? Do you worry about the people around you thinking that you might not be pulling your weight even though you know you're a hard-working person? Or that maybe you have a bad attitude? This is happening more and more in the modern world, and it's not your fault. You may be suffering from the effects of prolonged periods of stress, which has lead to what we call Burnout.
We understand how frustrating it can be not to be able to put all your energy and focus into your work or interactions with your family so we have put together a guide to explain what is happening in your body to cause you to experience Burnout and made some suggestions as to what you can do about it that don't involve taking any prescription medications.
What is Burnout?
The general level of understanding when it comes to stress has prevented many people and sometimes employers from taking Burnout seriously in the past. Stress and Burnout are interlinked, but that doesn't mean everyone who experiences stress will get burnt out. Prolonged stress, if left unchecked, can cause you to become extremely fatigued, anxious, and sometimes depressed.
What Causes Burnout?
When you experience stress, part of the brain called the Paraventricular nucleus (PVN) recognizes stressors and signals to other parts of the brain to release cortisol. Initially, this can be very beneficial, as it helps oxygenate the brain and messages to our body to produce energy, which can increase focus and physical output.
Your PVN will continue signaling to keep pumping out cortisol until the urgent job we need doing or whatever is causing stress is taken care of. If we experience multiple stressors, they can all trigger the PVN at once, which magnifies the effect.
Typically, certain parts of the brain will calm the PVN by releasing what's called GABA, which can dampen the response and help to return cortisol production to normal levels.
When cortisol levels remain elevated to high levels over time, though, we experience high blood sugar levels (a risk factor for type 2 diabetes). Furthermore, the high levels of cortisol mean that the receptors are in a constant state of activation and will eventually begin to disappear in response. Even the GABA system can be affected by his and become dysregulated. This is the stage where we start to get the symptoms of fatigue, anxiety, and even weight gain.
How to treat burn out naturally?
Meditation has been proven to increase GABA levels by up to 27%, which is very significant and also helps to lower cortisol levels too. To get the best results, we recommend a regular practice as building a routine helps to make the activity permanent and can lead to a more successful practice. Many will know that people often struggle at the beginning, but the key is not to be disheartened and to keep bringing your attention back to your breath, for example, and over time you will train your mind to focus on the things you want to focus on.
Aerobic exercise can be great for reducing cortisol levels. We recommend getting in at least 30 mins of some kind of aerobic exercise five times a week. It doesn't have to be running either. Walking has been proven to have significant benefits for our mental wellbeing when done regularly.
Natural supplements - Adaptogens
Adaptogens help the body to adapt, adjust, and recalibrate itself depending on our emotional and physical surroundings. So, for example, they can help calm in times of stress. They can bring peace to a racing mind in the middle of the night. They can give clarity when everything around them is in turmoil. They can provide energy when we are tired.
Adaptogens for Stress and Anxiety
Adaptogens can help adapt the stress response in our bodies and help bring hormone levels involved in the process back into balance.
The three main Adaptogens most commonly used are Ashwagandha, Rhodiola Rosea, and Ginseng. Each has different effects, but all may be useful for Burnout and stress and, therefore, preventing or helping to address Burnout.
Interestingly many are now looking at using certain mushrooms like Reishi mushroom to help relieve stress and anxiety due to its calming effects.
- Increased mental and physical endurance
- Increased Longevity and immune function
- Reduction in fatigue and depression
- Decreases Stress
- Increases physical performance
- Increases calmness
- Increases Libido
- Decreases fatigue
- Improves cognition
- Increase in subjective wellbeing
Many people looking to beat Burnout may buy a blended supplement that contains all three Adaptogens to get more significant results, however as with many other supplements, you should always research the supplier to make sure you are getting a high-quality natural product.
Lately, the scientific community has been taking medicinal mushrooms very seriously. In China and other eastern countries, mushrooms have been used for decades to boost immunity, promote calmness and relaxation, and improve cognition. For Burnout though, Reishi mushrooms could be one possible source of relief.
Reishi Mushrooms for Burnout
Reishi mushroom can help promote strong feelings of calmness and feeling grounded. Many also take them to help improve the quality of sleep. Reishi has a significant ability to calm the nervous system and promote deep relaxation, which is described as being similar to that of a meditative state. One study showed that it caused a noticeable reduction in fatigue and an improvement in overall wellbeing when taken for eight weeks. Reishi has many other benefits that make it an exciting new supplement, and there are many other mushrooms with benefits to our mental and physical wellbeing.