Updated: Nov 8, 2020
We all know that long term (chronic) stress isn't good for our physical or mental health, but did you know that chronic stress can affect both the Hippocampus & Amygdala; both of which relate to memory function & behaviour?
The Hippocampus is the part of the brain responsible for memory & learning; chronic stress can hinder memory & cognitive function
The Amygdala is considered to be part of The Limbic system, which governs our emotions, memories & survival instincts
When we experience stress our body goes into "fight or flight" mode since our Sympathetic Nervous System has been activated. This was super useful back when we were running from a Sabre Tooth tiger but these days it's usually our phones, emails & work that's causing this "caveman response". When we go into "fight or flight" mode our body ceases to digest food as it is so focused on responding to the external stimuli, and when our body doesn't digest food this can lead to digestive issues such as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Long term digestive issues can manifest in skin conditions, acid reflux & in some cases Hiatus Hernia
In the UK chronic stress is often linked to the workplace & there is A LOT of research to support this. Just look at the statistics below:
Half a million people in the UK have work-related stress
Chronic stress is the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK
70 million work days are lost each year in the UK alone due to chronic stress
This costs UK employers £26 billion each year
38% of Brits fear revealing Mental Health conditions at work would damage their career
57% of UK employees admit to feeling exhausted by their work
28% of UK employees use prescription medicine to "feel better"
40% of UK workers admit to having little to no energy for their family after work
Millennials & Gen X (18 - 47) are considered to be the most stressed generations
1/3 of UK office based staff are still NOT offered flexible working hours even though a staggering 87% want to work this way!
How Can Yoga Help?
Yoga has been scientifically proven to fight stress because it activates the Parasympathetic Nervous System, which is our "rest & digest" response. When our body goes into "rest & digest" mode it is able to relax & focus on digesting the food in our gut, which leads to the production of more healthy enzyme production for more effective digestion
There are more than 25 studies into how Yoga can reduce the symptoms of stress, depression & anxiety within the body. A decrease in chronic stress alone, is measured by the levels of Cortisol in the bloodstream during the day
It’s important to remember the results are not rapid & just like the gym, consistency is key. This doesn’t mean practicing Yoga for an hour every day, although if you have the time then great, crack on! As little as 10 minutes every day can garner results within a matter of weeks
Need some instant gratification to reduce that early morning micro-stress? Click here for my 5 tips for managing stress that you can implement NOW!
I’m also offering a variety of early monring Power Vinyasa flows, mid-morning POP Pilates & late evening Chill-out bedtime Yoga. Click here to find out more & book your spot