An interesting word isn’t it!
Stress in the dictionary means, “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.”
What is stress?
Stress is a situation that triggers a particular biological response. When you perceive a threat or a major challenge, chemicals and hormones surge throughout your body.
Stress triggers your fight-or-flight response in order to fight the stressor or run away from it.
Typically, after the response occurs, your body should relax. Too much constant stress can have negative effects on your long-term health though.
Which Hormone is Most Affected?
Stress increases levels of the hormone cortisol, which can cause weight gain, disturbed sleep and high blood pressure. Happy people tend to produce lower levels of cortisol in response to stressful situations.
We are all under so much more constant stress with daily life demands and responsibilities.
Some of the stressors we have could be from work stress, being exhausted by caring for loved ones or babies, anxiety about change, with keeping our health intact, and coming events, about having enough money for the future, major life-changes such as moving home or school, grief, and shock can all play havoc in our bodies...
This builds up to a point that the body can no longer tolerate and the body begins showing signs of dis-stress.
Waking unrefreshed, getting a sore throat every week, feeling more emotional than usual, digestive upsets and finally weight gain!
Continued stressful situations, cause an on-going cortisol release. This can cause an increase in appetite, and cravings for sugary and fatty foods. This over time can increase the belly fat and cause weight gain and obesity.
Homeopathic Remedies for Stress
This is where homeopathy excels in reaching deep down into the very vital force of the person to elicit a calming down of the mind and the emotions.
The remedy needed will depend on the individual presentation of the persons particular cause of their stress.
Chronic long-term stress requires a consultation and working with your homeopath to find the constitutional remedy.
Short term or acute stress can usually be handled with more ‘first-aid’ type remedies. I’ve listed some acute remedies below:
One of our top remedies for stress is Kali Phos. It is used to manage stress that happens after overstraining the mind which could from work or school studies, and even from too much mental stimulation at home.
Kali Phos has this constant state of worry. This in turn leads to ongoing stress, headaches, and sleeplessness or insomnia. This remedy helps the mind relax and symptoms gently disappear.
Along with this worry, they can also tend to feel weak, fatigued and exhausted from minimal exertion.
If this is your constitution it will also help with the generalised anxiety, memory weakness, sadness, irritableness and restlessness among other ‘Kali’ usual characteristics.
Aconite is well known as a remedy for stress. Fear, fright and anxiety are part of the remedy picture. Aconite does it’s best work in the first 24 hours of a stressful situation. It can stop the stress right in it’s tracks. So that means think of this remedy when in the very acute first stages of stress and panic attacks. You’ll notice a lot of anxiety, restlessness and doing things in a rush. Along with the panic attacks, there can be intense palpitations which can instill a fear of death.
Coffea is a medicine used to treat sleeplessness that develops due to stress. Excessive thoughts flow through the mind constantly and lead to sleeplessness. Palpitations may be present, and the person tosses about in the bed from side to side. Excitement, nervousness, restlessness, excessive weeping and brooding over the little things, oversensitivity, and irritability are the main indications for Coffea.
Ars Alb is a very anxious and restless remedy. If the remedy is not taken in the early stages this anxiety will turn into ongoing stress. They tend to overthink and have lots of thoughts crowding the mind. Any illness that comes on will instill a fear of death. Stress can bring on a tight chest and if asthma has been in the history it can resurface… so can skin conditions. You’ll find midnight the common time of aggravation and the person will be fatigued and restless with lots of fear and anxiety.
Ignatia is our top acute grief remedy, and this leads it to being an indicated remedy for managing stress that stems from grief. This grief could be from the death of a loved one, or a disappointment in love. The type of stress seen in a person needing this remedy are sad thoughts, lots of crying and a desire to be left alone. They may also sob and sigh frequently and have a changeable mood with laughing and weeping in quick succession.
Some physical signs are exhaustion, a dull mind, restless sleep, head heaviness, loss of appetite, constipation frighten easily, and muscle twitches.
Nux Vom is a well-know remedy for stress with irritability and anger. They tend to get easily angered or irritable, and get offended easily, are oversensitive and quarrelsome. Sleeplessness plagues them and they often wake at 4 am with thoughts of work. Another common problem is the gastric troubles. Constipation and hdeartburn often accompany stress with the Nux patient. They have little will power and so take drugs or alcohol to excess.