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Community Connection: A Powerful Ally in Stress Management

By Emily Maus, RD

Published online: Nov 02, 2023 Health & Wellness
Viewed 987 time(s)

Modern living can be a source of stress for many due to a fast-paced lifestyle, social media comparison and global events. Constant mental pressure can have a significant impact on hormone balance due to chronic elevated cortisol that challenges many body functions including fertility, blood sugar management and digestive upset. One strategy to managing stress that is often overlooked is community connection. In this article, we explore the abundant benefits that the community has on stress management from the lens of a hormone dietitian.

Hormone-Stress Connection:

Before investigating how community plays a role in stress management, it is important to understand how stress impacts our hormone health. When your body senses danger it releases a hormone called cortisol. The release of cortisol can be from real danger like being chased by a bear or perceived danger such as what will happen when your child starts school–causing destruction to the delicate balance of hormones. 

Community on Stress Management:

Connection with others provides emotional support that can significantly reduce stress. You probably notice when you get a hug from your partner, laugh with your friends, or wave to your neighbor you feel just a little lighter. When surrounded by people who care about you you release endorphins that boost your mood. Endorphins help counteract your stress response.

Community also can be a source of accountability for healthy habits. For instance, joining a local yoga studio, walking club, or cooking course can guide you to making healthier choices overall. Not only are you building relationships, you are exercising and nourishing your body in a way that builds the foundation for stress management. Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals can help you feel both connected and supported in your health because you can explore health promoting behaviors together. 

Social support also helps build self-esteem and determination to make value driven decisions which can contribute to positive coping mechanisms. If you feel more confident in your well-being you are less likely to get overwhelmed with everyday inconveniences. By actively participating in a community that aligns with your principles you will find yourself living more at peace.

Although stress is inevitable, building connections with the community is a powerful tool to reduce the impact stress has on your body. A hormone health dietitian can function as a pivotal resource to community members by empowering and educating on the role nutrition has on stress prevention. If you would like to learn more about how you can stress-proof your life and optimize your hormones, visit https://www.livewelldietitian.com/resourceshop/p/stress-proof or email contact@livewelldietitian.com for more information. 

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