Live Positively! Learn to Combat Stress and Adrenal Fatigue

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH

Proper adrenal gland support is best aided by a nutritious diet and to live positivelyIf stress is inevitable, does that mean we are truly powerless and cannot stop it from affecting our lives? Or is there something that can be done? And can we stop stress from triggering stress-related health conditions like adrenal fatigue? There isn’t one simple answer to all these questions. But as it turns out, it is possible to manage stress in a healthier way. All it takes is a strong commitment to live positively.

What Does it Mean to Live Positively?

When you choose to live positively, you’re making a conscious effort to become more optimistic in life. You view every situation in a positive light. At the same time, you do your best to keep your anxiety, worries, and doubts from escalating. You learn to push them away even if you’re faced with a stressful situation.

In addition, living positively means taking better care of your mind and body. This mindset will allow you to be more prepared when you come face-to-face with one of life’s many challenges, without resorting to panic and knee-jerk reactions.

How a Positive Attitude Can Help Fight Stress and Adrenal Fatigue

When faced with a challenge—physical or emotional—your body instantly experiences stress. This can occur in any type of situation in which your body must respond or make adjustments to its normal functions.

Typically, your body can effectively manage stress via the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) stress response system. The system is composed of six system circuits: cardionomic, inflammation, detoxification circuit, neuroaffective, bioenergetics, and hormonal.

When faced with stress, your adrenal glands—part of the hormonal circuit—respond by producing hormones to help your body initiate the fight-or-flight response, including the primary stress hormone cortisol.

If stress persists, your adrenals will continue producing cortisol to meet your body’s demand. Moreover, chronic stress forces your adrenals to keep producing cortisol and other hormones until they become overworked. At some point, your adrenals will no longer be able to keep up with requirements and your body will experience significant hormonr imbalances, in turn, triggering Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS).

Adrenal fatigue also represents the body’s inability to cope with stress on a physiological level. This is especially true if you exhibit obsessive compulsive traits which can bring upon stress even in ordinary situations.

To manage this, making more of an effort to live positively can help bring down stress levels and prevent the onset of adrenal fatigue. Studies have shown a positive mindset can effectively counter any adverse effects that stress may cause and may also lead to a longer and happier life.

Anti-aging, adrenal support and how to live positivelyIn fact, one study published in the journal Age Aging found that participants over the age of 95 displayed certain key positive traits including being relaxed and upbeat. Moreover, these participants had a large social support network and valued laughter. Similarly, a study from the University of Pittsburgh found that women who are optimistic are 14 percent more likely to live longer than their pessimistic peers.

Meanwhile, a study published in the International Journal of Indian Psychology observed a negative relationship between optimism and stress among undergraduate college students. Optimism was shown to be positively correlated with acceptance, active coping, and suppression of various competing activities. In contrast, positivity was negatively linked to being actively and emotionally disengaged, feelings of denial, and venting emotions.

Similarly, a study conducted in Hong Kong involving a group of cancer patients found that hope and optimism are negatively correlated to levels of depression and anxiety. Thus, optimism can increase a patient’s quality of life. Further to this, another study in Italy found evidence that optimism can significantly influence physical and mental wellbeing. Interestingly, a Californian study showed a positive association between dispositional optimism—generally expecting good outcomes—and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

As you can see, the simple act of choosing to be more positive in life can have a significant impact on your happiness and wellbeing. At the same time, it can improve your ability to cope with stressful situations. Therefore, optimism, can prevent stress from escalating and if it doesn’t escalate, it probably won’t become chronic, thereby offering you the best chance of avoiding adrenal fatigue.

Easy Ways to Live Positively

Now that it’s clear increasing your optimism can significantly improve your ability to fight stress and prevent adrenal fatigue, it’s time to discover some easy ways you can begin to live positively.

However, before trying anything new for the first time, it is highly recommended that you consult your physician. Certain types of physical activity may not be suitable for you depending on your current health status. Moreover, if you are suffering from adrenal fatigue, you may have developed an intolerance or allergy to certain foods, drinks, and health supplements.

That being said, here are a number of ways you can live positively every single day:

Learn to see the positive no matter what you encounter

When you deal with difficult situations, it can be a challenge to remain optimistic. But this is exactly what you need to do to cope with stress in a healthier way.

Make a habit of seeing the positive side of things. For instance, if you have been passed over for a promotion at work, think of it as an opportunity to prove yourself and show your boss and colleagues why you should be promoted next time. If a business deal falls through, think of it as an opportunity to look for other business partners with visions that align better with your future goals.

In the end, it’s all about developing a better perspective. Don’t dwell on what you’ve lost. Instead, think about what you can still gain.

Practice gratitude

Although we often overlook the importance to live positively, its contribution to adrenal gland support cannot be ignoredSometimes, the mere act of being grateful for what you have each day is enough to lift your spirits and make you feel calm and happier inside. In fact, a study from the University of Kentucky found that participants who were more grateful tended to exhibit less aggression. This, in turn, can lower your anxiety and stress levels. Writing letters of gratitude and reading them to whomever they are addressed to has also been found to increase the number of days you are happy.

Set aside time to stay off social media

Communicating with friends on social media can help strengthen your social network, however, staying connected for hours can have a negative impact on your health. The pressures associated with maintaining an online social life can lead to increased anxiety and stress. This could explain why a study in Australia found that staying away from Facebook for five days per week led to lower cortisol levels.

Based on these findings, staying offline for a few hours each day might be a good idea to help relax your mind.

Eat healthier

Keeping your body healthy and happy also includes making healthier choices when it comes to your daily diet. That means loading up on whole grains, lean proteins, and vegetables.

Instead of eating sweets, consider having some fresh fruit. Just make sure you consume fruits in moderation since they still contain quite a lot of sugar. If you’re recovering from adrenal fatigue, consuming more sugar will only cause your adrenals to become even more overworked.

Take better care of yourself by supplementing with vitamins and minerals

To make sure that your body is getting enough necessary vitamins and minerals every day, consider taking supplements. This could include multivitamins as well as vitamins C, B5, A, and D, magnesium, and probiotics.

Some Final Thoughts

What you first need to understand is that developing a more positive outlook in life is more than just a few basic lifestyle changes. It’s a lifelong commitment to becoming a better version of yourself and requires making a conscious choice to push away negative thoughts and feelings. By choosing to live positively, you won’t give stress the opportunity to take over your life.

© Copyright 2015 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

Dr. Lam’s Key Question

When you choose to live positively, you are essentially choosing to adopt a more optimistic perspective on life. That simply means seeing the good in any situation. At the same time, you’ll be consciously preventing anxiety, worry, and stress from escalating.

Live positively
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