We’re currently in an epidemic where the demands that are being placed on us are ever increasing, and our brains and bodies are really struggling to keep up with the constant epigenetic (environmental) stressors placed on us. We as a modern society are in a crisis between our DNA and our environment, making us fat, fatigued and frustrated.
Our modern day diets of highly processed foods are only one piece of the Adrenal Fatigue puzzle. When we start to explore the actual root cause of fatigue, you’ll find that your body’s stress response is by far a greater mental trigger to you feeling completely wiped out, with crashes in energy, crappy sleep and feeling fatigued all the time.
Here’s the issue: our stress response is controlled by the response between three endocrine glands; the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, and the adrenal glands, known as the HPA axis. The HPA axis controls our reaction to stress, and the hormones that get released when something triggers us into ’stress. Now the issue we’re facing with our modern society is the constant activation of our ‘fight or flight’ response, with not only the increasing pressure of today’s environment but also the way our brain both consciously and subconsciously deals with them.
We were not meant to be built like robots, yet the increasing tasks and demands of our fast paced lives and the pressure we put ourselves under, with what seems like a competition for who’s the busiest (because busy means successful…right?!) leads to the exact symptoms the women I coach present to me with; low or flatline cortisol in the mornings which means they struggle to wake up and it usually takes them a few coffees to feel fully awake. It means feeling ‘wired and tired’ at night with no release of melatonin before bed time as well as low to zero levels of energy and a serious lack of motivation and clarity in how they approach their day, battling through what feels like brain fog. They either have trouble falling asleep at night or struggle to stay awake in the afternoon but then wake up in the middle of the night…annoyingly at 4am and can’t get back to sleep. Crashes in energy are common, which seem like they strike out of nowhere…and their bodies are getting more and more inflamed, their weight is creeping up and their cravings are dictating the rhythm of their days.
If any of these symptoms sound familiar, or if you’ve already been diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue then you know how debilitating and frustrating it can be. And the journey to recovery can be equally frustrating, with no real path or cure and you’re trying to piece together what you can to feel better. And it can work for a short amount of time, and you’re feeling a bit better, but then you have a crash in energy, or you wake up and feel like you’ve been hit by a truck.
Now, one of the major underlying, or root causes I see as a Health and Wellness Coach is the mental triggers causing you stress; and how you address these triggers. So what traditionally, happens is something triggers a reaction in your limbic system, in your hypothalamus, which then sends a signal to your automatic nervous system and adrenals, along with a cascade of hormones so you might feel anxious, or edgy, or stressed and agitated. And that’s not a major issue, but when your brain detects minor stressors like this, and releases cortisol constantly, it stresses your body and your adrenals and makes you feel increasingly stressed, fatigued and frustrated.
It also has the effect of making you want to eat ALL the sugar, or something sweet to re-fuel, because of that constant stress you’re experiencing, so then you eat the chocolate, or drink the cocktails or consume the wine, and you’re in a negative feedback loop which is very hard to get out of by yourself. And then you find you’re putting on more and more weight, and you’re getting more and more tired, and you can’t sleep and…you get the picture.
This happened to a lovely client of mine, Diana. Diana came to me stressed, having put on 10kg, and she had massive cravings for chocolate – reaching into her “secret sweets” draw at work every day when the shit was hitting the fan in the afternoon because she felt like it would get her through. She was feeling like crap, struggling with her weight and raising two young kids to boot – and let me tell you, she had tried EVERYTHING to get out of this cycle and regain some control but nothing seemed to work. She was taking a mix of supplements for adrenal support in a bid to get her stress under control, and she would try and eat healthily but she was struggling with doing that consistently because she would sometimes be so tired she couldn’t even think about making a nutritious dinner when she got home from work, instead ordering some take away or uber eats and crashing on the couch.
So here’s what we did: we looked at Diana’s current approach and where she was at with everything from how she dealt with her mental triggers to stress, what her obstacles around her nutrition were, to looking at her sleep, energy levels, her weight and anxiety. We then co-created a vision of what she wanted her life to look like in 3-6 months time and designed a roadmap of how she was going to get there. After that we were clear on the exact strategies she needed plus the action steps within each pillar of my Fatigue to Flourish Program; in her dealing with her stress, to her nutrition, sleep and positive emotions, to get there. Seriously, what a turn around! In a matter of weeks Diana had double the energy she had previously with a few tweaks in her routine, her performance at work improved remarkably with the increased clarity in her thoughts, she was sleeping more soundly and she also now had a strategy of how to sustain her energy throughout her days. But she was also impressed with how she was losing weight more easily, which was a lovely by-product of feeling better.
So, what I want you to do now is pause for a second and think about what you want your life to look like in 6-12 months time. Do you want to be stuck here, in exactly the same space? Or do you want to have sorted this out so you can start living the life you envisioned for yourself, that you deserve to live?
So, where do you go from here?
Well, you’ve probably researched this, googling things like “increasing energy naturally” and looked at various websites and been inundated with “health guru’s” trying to sell you their programs, potions and other forms of snake oil. So who do you trust? And which source of information do you follow, without investing in the wrong thing…again?
A good place to start is a Qualified Health and Wellness Coach who holistically addresses the symptoms you feel. By that I mean, doesn’t just give you an adrenal supplement and sends you on your way, but actually looks at your complete life, your stressors and behaviours as well as your nutrition; so what you eat, and when, along with your sleep routine, your current approach and strategies and where you’re at with your energy and your health and works with you to overcome your obstacles and sets the strategies YOU need in place based on YOUR needs. A list of supplements just won’t cut it.
These types of aspects, in developing the behaviour changes and habits you need to reach your vision, as well as working through any mental blocks you have is exactly what my Fatigue to Flourish Program is about. It’s about developing the consistency you need to get better and recover from your symptoms.
That way you’re in the BEST position to SPECIFICALLY address and correct the underlying root cause of the issue, rather than just the symptoms. That way, it’s not a re-occurring issue which gets triggered EVERY time you’re exposed to stress, or when you haven’t slept. You’ll re-wire how your brain deals with stress, along with how you handle it, and have the strategies in place for the other pieces of the puzzle to create exactly the vision you set out to achieve, with the support you need.
Your next steps?
1.Book a free 15 minute Coaching Consultation (phone or online) where we’ll look at your current situation and your next steps.
2. Come to my free Stress & Adrenal Fatigue Masterclass, where you’ll learn how to identify and address your hidden mental triggers to stress, keeping you stuck.
3. See if you’re eligible for my Fatigue to Flourish Program; where we develop the strategies and action steps in my four pillars; stress, nutrition, energy and positive emotions, based on your life to get you from fat, frustrated and fatigued to flourishing in life.
About the Author
Anna’s mission is to connect, support and empower people who are stressed, overwhelmed and fatigued to start taking control.”
Anna does this through her Fatigue to Flourish Wellness Coaching program, workshops and online challenges by working together with you to create your powerful vision, in her four key pillars: unlocking your hidden mental triggers to stress, increasing your energy naturally, wholefood nutrition – energy eating like a BOSS and positive emotions – optimising your emotions for deeper engagement, connection and life satisfaction.
Anna’s Fatigue to Flourish Wellness Coaching Program look at your current approach and develop strategies, habits and behaviour change for instant relief from fatigue, overwhelm and frustration whilst regaining energy, vitality and your zest for life.
For more info please visit fatiguetoflourish.com.au