Stress at work

Today's stressors come in many forms: from physical (e.g. noise, sudden temperature changes, excessive exercise), through physiological (physical injury, illness, food allergies, lack of sleep), biochemical (nutrient deficiencies, environmental pollutants, nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, sugar & / or salt) as well as psychological and mental (work, family & social pressures, financial problems). As much as we may prefer to, we cannot always avoid it. They can all trigger a stress response in an individual and these will vary for each and every one of us.

What makes us better or worse 'copers'?

Our ability to cope with stress, i.e. our stress threshold is programmed early in life and reinforced throughout. It is that threshold which determines if stress is harmful to us or whether we can use it to our advantage. It only becomes a problem when we feel we are not coping or if a particular stress continues and is not being addressed.

Consequences of long-term stress

Many of us thrive on stress and often ignore the warning signs. We push ourselves beyond our physiological barriers regardless of our coping threshold, exceeding these barriers can be devastating to our health. Stress has a profound effect on our blood glucose balance. We have been designed to burn the glucose released from its stores in the liver to produce energy for fighting or running away from danger. This is the mechanism we have inherited and in the centuries gone by it served us well.

Unless we fight or run away from the stressor we face, our ability to deal with the physiological cascade that it triggers inevitably gets out of hand. If this process repeats itself over a period of time, impaired regulation of blood glucose entails and gives rise to such symptoms as: weight gain, headaches, tension, irritability, anxiety, poor concentration, insomnia, difficulty in getting up in the morning, and food cravings to mention but a few. When not addressed properly, these symptoms can potentially develop into such degenerative diseases as diabetes, heart disease, or rheumatoid arthritis.

Nutrition in stress management

Our long term response to any pressure is largely dependant on the availability of the raw materials used by the body during stress arousal. It is the nutrients needed for the production of all stress hormones, blood sugar management, digestive enzymes, and other anti-inflammatory substances that we need most of in long-term stress. Additionally, when we are stressed, our digestion slows down and absorption of whatever fast foods we may grab at a time suffers, thus further affecting our nutrient status: when stress buffers become markedly compromised, adequate response to stress becomes impaired by default.

Nutritional therapy and lifestyle medicine can considerably improve our coping ability as it encompasses both the dietary and lifestyle habits. It often means changing life-long habits and working out a new comprehensive plan for the future wellbeing.

Stress can leave us nutritionally depleted in specific nutrients and the tailor made supplemental support that Focus Nutirition+ may suggest is vital. It is usually necessary to embark on learning stress management techniques alongside nutritional intervention to complement the above programme.

Why choose Focus Nutrition+ to help manage the stress of your workforce?

Focus Nutrition+ offers the experience of dealing with stress in both a clinical and a corporate setting. It offers guidance, sensitivity, and confidentiality with a personal touch second to none. It can focus on a specific issue that causes most work days to be lost or deal with stress management overall. Your particular needs and expectations will help me determine the best strategy.

Since many surveys predict an average person to face at least two burn outs in his or her life after the age of 30, preventing this situation by means of nutritional approach is one of the best ways of dealing with the problem. Investing in the health of our staff is the best way of ensuring success of your organisation as a whole.