Short term stress, every now and then, isn’t an issue and can in fact be beneficial. The body responds to these stressors with physical reactions that help us to deal with the situation. For example, increased alertness can help us to focus and meet an important deadline, while increased heart rate and blood sugar can provide our muscles with the energy we need to escape a dangerous situation.
Once the stressful event is over, our body systems go back to normal and we can get on with our day. However, the type of stressors we usually encounter these days are chronic in nature. This means that the stress response is constantly being triggered and those, once beneficial, reactions can become quite disruptive.
It’s also important to note that while many stressors are emotional (like losing a job or experiencing a divorce), they can also come in the form of physical (lack of sleep and poor nutrition) and chemical (harmful chemicals in the environment) strain.
This is where adaptogens come in. You’ve probably already heard of them but here’s a breakdown of what they are, how they work and some instances of when they are used.