The literal definition of ‘frayed ends’ is when the threads of rope or twine are caused to become separated from one another on each tip. For most of us living always ever-busier and resource demanding lives, we’ll relate more to the figurative definition – being less than your best due to unrelenting stress from any number of sources. Left unchecked, frayed ends can lead to an entire unravelling of that length of rope, and constant stress may have you feeling progressively more unraveled yourself.
The unpleasant reality is that for most folks stress is unavoidable by and large, unless you’re on easy street and don’t have much in the way or responsibilities, obligations, or accountabilities. That’s pretty much none of us, and it’s a fact that some people are more predisposed to be stressed than others. Whether that’s the case with you or not, what’s similarly unavoidable is chronic stress has decidedly negative effects on your body.
You can attribute that to your hypothalamus – a tiny gland located at base of your brain – and the cortisol it pumps into your bloodstream in response to the stimuli of stress. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that’s often referred to as ‘the stress hormone’ and it have very specific influences on your body
- Blood sugar (glucose) levels
- Fat, protein, and carbohydrate metabolism to maintain blood glucose (via gluconeogenesis)
- Immune responses
- Anti-inflammatory actions
- Blood pressure
- Heart and blood vessel tone and contraction
- Central nervous system activation
Introduced to the bloodstream in moderation and intermittently, cortisol is a very beneficial and helpful hormone. However, when you’re flooded with the stuff constantly it turns from helpful to harmful across all of those processes listed above. That’s why too much stress is harmful for you, and in fact it can be harmful to a great extent.
Let’s discuss why in greater detail, moving towards why a quality stress B complex supplement can be especially helpful for those of you with ‘frayed ends’ nearly all the time.
Hero or Villain
Cortisol can really be either depending on how much of it you have floating around. If it’s at just the right amount then it’s a hero, keeping your blood sugar levels balanced, enhancing the function of the immune system, and – most notably as regards the connection between stress and mental health risks– keeping your central nervous system free from a propensity to overreact to stimuli.
Too little cortisol promotes adrenal fatigue, but most people who are overly stressed will have the opposite problem of having too much cortisol on the prowl in their veins, which can lead to:
- Impaired cognitive function
- Hampered thyroid function
- Blood sugar imbalances, including hyperglycemia
- Sleep impairment issues, including insomnia or hypersomnia
- Decreased bone density and muscle mass
- Elevated blood pressure
- Lowered immune function
- Slow wound healing
- Weight gain focused on the abdominal area
Among other effects. Each of the symptoms listed above has the potential to promote or lead to further debilitating diseases or conditions, and the connection between stress and lowered immune function is particularly troubling. The effects of chronic stress can be scary indeed. Integrative Therapeutics Cortisol Manager is an excellent product as well.
Bs to the Rescue
Taking a B complex vitamin supplement is an excellent way to deal with stress naturally, and taking one regularly in conjunction with effective stress management techniques can really help steer clear of suffering from excessive stress.
A B complex vitamin will consist of 8 different B vitamins:
- B1 (Thiamine)
- B2 (Riboflavin)
- B3 (Niacin)
- B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
- B6 (Pyridoxine)
- B7 (Biotin)
- B9 (Folate)
- B12 (Cobalamin)
Each of them is beneficial for balancing levels in your body that promote good mental health, including mental resiliency – the ability to be tough, flexible, and full able to stay strong between the ears when things aren’t going your way due to stress and / or anxiety or from any other source.
Two of them, however, are particularly powerful for keeping you on an ‘even keel’, as they say. Riboflavin (B2) is very helpful for mediating the effects of stress, and Thiamine (B1) is essential to the metabolic process producing adenosine triphosphate, which is necessary for the body to produce cellular energy and a lack of it will make people more susceptible to stress.
B6 Improves mood by optimizing the production of serotonin and other neurotransmitters (which in turn helps to prevent or treat depression due to chronic stress) and a good B complex vitamin will reduce levels of homocysteine, a toxic amino acid that is associated with an increased risk on Alzheimer’s disease.
A quality B complex will also improves memory, reduces migraine headaches frequency and intensity, and improves skin, hair, and nails.
Unless you live in a bubble, life is going to continue to challenge you and put your resiliency to the test. That’s part of being an adult and there’s really not much to be done to stem the tide of stressors in our lives. But you can work to make it so that you’re not so easily frazzled and it’s really worth the effort. Practicing meditation and yoga are two anti-stress activities that come highly recommended as well.
Be a structurally sound ‘rope’ of a human being, with little to nothing in the way of ‘frayed ends.’