Stress is a vague term. Some stress is excellent and necessary to motivate us. Other times it can damage our health.
Trying to remedy stress with a one size fits all approach will probably lead to vague results. That’s because there are deeper personal patterns that we tend to fall into when pushed into a state of chronic overload and these aren’t always visible to us. Why do you reach for a third slice of cake when stressed but your friend can barely look at food? Why are some people resilient to major setbacks but others feel overwhelmed at the slightest detour? Some of these are due to personality, but some are also our biochemical balance. Our unique response to stress can be made visible. The best way to assess this is through testing your neurotransmitters (brain messenger chemicals) such as serotonin and dopamine as well as stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.
Here are 3 reasons you might want to test your neurotransmitters.
It’s very personal. An accurate neurotransmitter and stress hormone test will allow you to identify your specific biochemical imbalances and target treatment. It will give you clarity around how best to support your mind and body that is unique to you and your stress response. For example, your poor sleep might be due to low serotonin (and subsequent impaired melatonin) whereas your friend with the same problem has an underlying excess of glutamate. You would approach these situations entirely differently despite presenting much the same.
It may be the missing puzzle piece to your health approach. Testing neurotransmitters is not a routine lab test, however in the context of today’s chronic health diseases, neurotransmitter testing can unify an integrated heath approach and help you uncover key nutritional, gut, adrenal or immune issues that affect proper neural balance. This is especially true if you have a complex health condition.
Increases self-care. It goes without saying that taking care of your health is important, but sometimes even that can be a stressor. With so much focus on physical health, looking good and feeling fit, it’s too easy to overload our nervous system until a point of burnout and exhaustion. Rebalancing your neurotransmitters and stress hormones like cortisol and serotonin is an investment in a more relaxed you.