Poor Me?

Ray and I went to the vitamin store yesterday, we’re very religious about taking certain vitamins…3-6-9, Vit B complex, Evening Primrose Oil, Garlic, Vit D, so we had to stock up.  We ended up purchasing something totally different yesterday also.  I shall explain. 
A magazine came to me in the mail the other day and there was an article in it about stress and the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol.  To summarize, in the caveman world, if you got attacked by a tiger, you would have a surge of adrenaline and, providing you didn’t get eaten by the tiger, that spike of adrenaline would diffuse and things would go back to normal.  In today’s society, we’re being attacked by the tiger pretty much constantly with work, money, relationship and family stress.  The adrenaline never really subsides.  Because there is such a constant stream of adrenaline, the body then also produces more cortisol to compensate and try to keep things balanced.  Unfortunately all that does is put things even further out of the natural balance.  Cortisol (and adrenaline) in too high a quantity actually slows down some of the body’s natural processes…like metabolism.  *Alert* Cortisol is the stress hormone which causes belly fat.  Without somehow reducing your stress level and getting your stress hormones under control, it’s a very difficult battle and one that can be very frustrating and discouraging.  
Obviously exercise helps burn off stress and speeds up your metabolism, but we decided to purchase an herbal mixture which is supposed to help.  The one we got has Siberian Ginseng, Rodiola Rosea and Ashwaghanda in it.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  I took it for the first time last night but I can’t really say whether or not it has done anything since my stress level when I came to work this morning went skyrocketing through the roof.  From 6am until 7:33am this morning I was having a perfectly nice day, contemplating a yummy lunch, a rainy trail run this afternoon and a trip to the mall after dinner.   Then all hell broke loose again.  I am trying really, REALLY hard to not get into a ‘poor me’ mentality because I have found, through myself and observation of others, that this mental space actually breeds more ‘poor me’ fodder and it is difficult to get back into Positive-Land.  But come ON!  I can’t take much more.  This has been a rough year, ROUGH.  All I want is a break, some sunshine, a couple of weeks to unwind and recharge….and this morning that little pipe dream was yanked away.  So can I say whether or not the Rodiola works?  Ummm…not yet, no.  Can’t hurt though, right?
On a more helpful note, I found a really cool website.  www.activetrainer.com  It allows you to schedule exercise and mark as complete or not, you can upload event training plans to the calendar (half marathon, anyone?), it asks you every day how you’re feeling, how your sleep was, general wellness, soreness etc and then gives you a smiley (or not) face based on the combination of answers that you gave.  It’s really handy, completely free and in partnership with ESPN.  Go take a peek if you’re interested.

3 thoughts on “Poor Me?

  1. Hi Shanny

    A couple of bits of info that might be of use to you.

    First, studies have found that stress is not caused by what happens to us, but rather by what we believe about what happens to us. A subtle, but important distinction.. This is why two people can have the same experience and one grows from it while the other is traumatized by it.

    If your tiger was literally a tiger, he’d probably bite regardless- but if your tiger is a day over stuffed w/ last minute tasks, whether you chose to believe ” This is hard, but I can handle it” or “I’ll never get this done” will make a distinct difference in the amount of phsiological stress you experince

    You’re wise to avoid “poor me” thoughts, not only because they attract poor me experiences but also because you’ll have less stress if you chose better beliefs

    Also, I recall going to a talk where they said American ginseng was better for women than Siberian. You might want to check that.

    If you like, there’s a great 30 second stress release exercise on my blog around Christmas of 2010 , as well as a number of other useful things. please feel free to stop by and visit


    • I definitely agree with you, well said. Trying to put a positive spin in things can take the sting out of it….plus it avoids the spiral that drags a person down. Easier said than done in the moment, mind you.

      Will check your blog tonight, any stress reliever is appreciated.

      • Oh yes, positive beliefs are easier said than done in the midst of things. I’ve found that building a habit of chosing a positive thought throughout my life makes me more likely to default to it in times of potential stress. Kinda like exercises for building muscles, but for belief patterns

        I’m also currently just starting a series of blog posts on 5 minute meditation. you might find thise of use as well


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