Stress is part of our daily lives, and a little stress is good for us. Stress keeps us motivated, can help us focus and remember important items, and in small doses stress can actually help our immune system. Chronic stress is where the problem lies. Our bodies release many hormones during the “flight or fight” response, one of them being cortisol. Cortisol acts as a natural anti-inflammatory in the short term, but extended exposure to high amounts of cortisol can result in weight gain, thin skin, and muscle wasting.

Chronic stress can eventually result in adrenal fatigue, where people experience energy loss, insomnia, and other symptoms. Dr. Potter uses some botanical herbs called Adaptogens to help patients, as well as various nutrients including Vitamin C.

Stress management strategies are also very important and can make a big difference in the way we handle stress. Dr. Potter tells her patients to get some small stickers and place them where you’ll see them everyday (bathroom mirror, car radio button, etc.) and every time you see a sticker take a deep breath and think a wonderful, relaxing thought. Begin to find joy in the small moments. Additionally, exercise can have an enormous impact on the way your body deals with stress. Find an exercise you like doing and do it regularly. Find what you love and incorporate it into your life.