The Stress Response

By Rebecca Carden — April 18, 2016

Slow Down

The stress response.

Women are wired. Many of them are tired too. Tired and wired.

Rushing Woman’s Syndrome has evolved out Dr Libby Weaver’s observation of a shift in women’s health and behaviour over the past 16 years. Never before in her work has she witnessed so many females in a mad rush to do everything and be all things to all people. The repercussion of this….. a serious influx of people with reproductive system and sex hormone challenges.

This relentless urgency, this perception that there is not enough time, combined with a to-do list that is never all crossed off is having significant health consequences for women and men alike. This is the stress response.

The perceived need to rush in order to meet the families needs, career demands and social expectations is changing the face of women’s health as we know it in such a detrimental way; from the worst PMS to IBS, weight gain and depression to infertility.

If you carry excess weight around the stomach area that just won’t shift, are constantly tired yet can’t get a good nights sleep…. you are most likely a rushing woman (or man) and your cortisol levels (stress hormones) are through the roof.

The stress response has two branches. The sympathetic nervous system (SNS), also known as the amped up “fight or flight” response, and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) which is the calming “rest, digest, repair and reproduce” arm of the nervous system. The challenge for people today is that they live in SNS dominance and don’t achieve enough PNS time. This plays havoc with weight management, food cravings, sleep quality, patience, moods, self-esteem, and overall quality of life.

One of the hormones driving this is adrenalin, which communicates to every cell in the body that your life is in danger. These days, our poor nervous system can’t distinguish from a physical threat to your life, coffee jitters or plain old stress.

When we live on adrenalin, we don’t get quality sleep, have nasty sugar cravings AND find it harder and harder to utilise stored body fat as a fuel, instead burning glucose. When we primarily burn glucose as a fuel (instead of body fat), the body can’t risk the glucose fuel tank getting too low so your sugar cravings set in to get you to top up the tank.

It is super important to realise that we cannot live our lives in a state of stress response. It’s just not sustainable and the end result is burn out, thyroid problems and depression.

When we activate our PNS and focus on incorporating more of it into our lives, it has the most profound effect on health. Our hormones balance out, liver function (detoxification processes) and digestion work better so there’s far less bloating, the thyroid works better which is important for metabolic rate and the ability to burn body fat, most importantly we are clear headed, happy and content because we are calm and well slept.

So what can you do about it?

Start saying No. Embrace the No! If it’s not essential or will deplete you, don’t say yes to it and instead politely decline. Strip back to only what’s essential.

Schedule into your daily calendar ‘you time’. Make it a non negotiable. Even if it’s only 30 minutes, dedicate that 30 minutes to quiet time out. Breathe deep and slow.

Grab yourself a bottle of Serenity or Balance Blend therapeutic oils and apply to your pressure points throughout the day to calm and reduce anxiety.

the stress response

Ditch the sugar and carbs from your life for a while to enable your body to get back into fat burning mode and away from sugar and caffeine fixes.

These are simple things but they work. It’s just a matter of being diligent with your practice and routine.

Visit to read more about Rushing Woman’s Syndrome if this resonates with you.

We totally recommend reading Essentialism by Greg McKeown or downloading the audio book as well.

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