STRESS CAN AFFECT MORE THAN YOUR MIND
Being stress is essential for survival and it is an important warning system to produce the fight-or-flight response. The fight-or-flight response is a survival mechanism that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival. However, having too much stress can be detrimental to health. The triggers of stress, in general, are similar for most people but women respond to stress differently than men.
WHY WOMEN RESPOND TO STRESS DIFFERENTLY?
Women have a completely different hormonal system, which, as a result causes them to react more emotionally and become more exhausted on an emotional level as compared to men. The current do-it-all generation of women assume many roles as daughters, mothers and wives who have to juggle between their personal life as well as their working life. They are the primary caretakers of their children and the elderly while having to focus on their professional career. As a result, they become emotionally worn out and stressful. There are many risks that affect both emotional and physical well-being when women have too much stress to handle.
Stress manifests itself in physical, emotional and psychological symptoms. The most common ones are: sleep problems, constant fatigue, unbalanced digestive system, increased appetite and eating unhealthy foods, or on the extreme end, loss of appetite, and impatience and emotional imbalance. All of these symptoms can worsen during the hormonal cycle of a woman. The worse symptom of all, however, is burnout.
There are many risks and affect both emotional and physical health. For example, the symptoms can present themselves as lack of self-esteem, weight problems, problems getting pregnant, depression, anxiety and trouble socializing with people
MAGNESIUM, THE NATURAL “CHILL PILL”
Women will find themselves to be able to cope with stress better by supplementing themselves with magnesium. It is known as an anti-stress mineral and because it works so well in managing stress and anxiety, it is sometimes known as the natural “chill pill”. Supplemented with magnesium has been shown to stabilize the mood too. The relationship between magnesium and stress works in 2 directions. When the body is under stress, more magnesium will be excreted via urine and this causes a depletion of magnesium in the body. At the same time, the body also uses up its stored magnesium in reacting to stress. On a different note, when a person is lacking of magnesium in the body, the stress level is somehow magnified. Magnesium deficiency is associated with higher stress level and anxiety.
MAGNESIUM FOR BETTER SLEEP QUALITY
Magnesium acts on NMDA and GABA, the neurotransmitters that help us to relax and promote better sleep quality especially in people who do not sleep well. People with low level of magnesium often experience restless sleep and wake up frequently during the night. An open clinical trial and polysomnographic study (the sleep study that is used to diagnose sleep disorders) demonstrated a significant improvement in the overall sleep efficiency from 75 to 85% in subjects taking magnesium supplement. Magnesium has shown to improve the insomnia severity index, sleep time and sleep efficiency. In short, Magnesium helps us to fall asleep faster and have a peaceful sleep. Magnesium was also found to regulate melatonin production, a hormone that controls the body’s sleep-wake cycle. A low level of melatonin at night has been associated with sleep difficulties.
MAGNESIUM REDUCES MIGRAINE HEADACHES
A Cochrane review strongly recommended magnesium as one of the treatments for migraine headaches. Magnesium supplementation has been shown to reduce frequency, duration and intensity of migraine attacks by 41%. Magnesium is an abundant mineral that exists naturally in our body and is necessary for our health. It may be a safe migraine treatment when compared to migraine medications, which can come with severe side effects. Other research has shown that taking daily magnesium supplements can be effective at preventing menstrual-related migraines too.
MAGNESIUM, WHY YOU ARE PROBABLY NOT GETTING ENOUGH?
Most of us are not getting sufficient magnesium from our diet. This ancient mineral has declined drastically in our food source. There are 3 reasons why we do not get sufficient magnesium in our diet. Magnesium content in the vegetables we consumed has reduced from 25% to 80% due to soil conditions, fertilizers and pesticides used. In addition, 80-95% of magnesium in bread and pasta were removed due to refining process. Our changing eating habit nowadays is also another factor why we are lacking of magnesium in the body. So, supplementation is the best way to provide our body with this much-needed magnesium.
TIPS TO MANAGING STRESS IN WORKING WOMEN
The first step to effectively manage stress is to recognise that stress exists. It is also important to have a clear understanding that stress can be additive and it is not the normal way of living. It is important that women dedicate some me-time for themselves while working hard to maintain a healthy balance in their lives, improving their relationship with their partners, and their children and themselves. Meditation and breathing exercises are also some of the ways that may help to manage stress better. Last but not least, taking a good magnesium supplement with high absorption and bio-availability such as amino acid chelated magnesium to provide the body with this essential mineral to help them manage stress better.