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Environment and your Hormones

What does our Environment have to do with hormones? The answer is — Everything! For this article, the term “environment” means anything that impacts you in your life, for instance:

House and Home: Do you feel comfortable and peaceful at home? Happy even? Do you like your surroundings and feel safe in your neighbourhood?

Our Work: Whether inside the home or outside the home, do you feel fulfilled? If you don’t feel fulfilled and your work is simply a means to an end — you have to support your family — is this okay with you? There has been a major thrust in past years telling us all “let what you love be what you do”. We “should” be in a job or profession that is our passion.   This is, perhaps, something to strive for, but I feel it is a cruel expectation in some ways. Sometimes we are simply in a job that we must do and it’s okay to be okay with that! I know a lady from my hometown who loved scrapbooking. She loved it so much that she opened a scrapbook studio in town as her business. I ran into her a year after she opened, and asked her how it was going. The business was doing well, she told me, but the unfortunate thing was that now she hated scrapbooking. Her hobby had become her work, and having to work at it had ruined the pleasure for her.

Social Life: Do you have friends who add to your experience in life, or do you have friends who bring you down? It’s an easy distinction to make — after being with a particular friend, how do you feel about yourself?

Diet: A diet which doesn’t nourish our bodies properly causes a great deal of stress to the system and can lead to hormone upset. Does your diet include lots of fresh fruit and vegetables; lean proteins, and whole grains, while avoiding over-refined and processed foods?

Water: Do you have access to purified drinking water? There is more and more press about the chemicals and pharmaceuticals which are present in our water — even our processed city water. Many of these chemicals are disrupting to our hormones. We need water for our health and having the best quality water you can is a gift to your hormone health.

Time: Do you have enough “down time”? Do you have time to rest…just rest? When we try to recover from a hormone upset, or we try to keep our balanced hormones balanced, rest is not just important — it’s critical. If you find you are craving some time alone with small fantasies of what you would do, this is something to heed. One of my girlfriends with small children had a small fantasy of having a cup of tea and reading a magazine cover to cover. Once she examined this in her life, she realized the only thing that was keeping her from doing it was guilt. She felt guilty taking some time to herself during the day, even though her job as “mom” went from early morning to late at night. She put her guilt away, and decided that she was worth the effort, and a better-rested and re-charged mom would be a better mom.

The above list is meant as food for thought. Any of the above aspects of life, if unbalanced and in control of us instead of us being in control, will create some kind of stress response in us and our hormones. If something stood out to you as your read this list, maybe this is something to examine in your life. If you feel afraid to make a change for yourself ask a simple question: “what’s the down side of me doing this?” I find when I ask myself this question, it suddenly clarifies for me what I need to do.