General Adaptation Syndrome or GAS as it is often called is a term used to determine your body’s reaction to stress. Good stress, that nervous excitement you can get, has been proven to be good for you, but bad stress, that constant day-in-day-out stress isn’t, it taxes your body significantly, particularly your adrenal glands. In this episode, Jen explains the three stages of GAS – the alarm reaction, resistance stage and exhaustion stage, and shares the risks to your health when you stay months or years in the amped-up flight or fright zone.

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Dr Hans Selye proved that two different types of stress influence our daily lives:

  • Pleasant stress, which contributes to wellness and
  • Unpleasant stress, which contributes to disease and sickness

In 1926, Dr Seyle developed his theory on how people adapt to stress, it’s called the Triad of Chronic Stress, and it consists of a series of events known as the General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS).

  1. The alarm reaction. The human body first responds to stress by increasing the amount of adrenal activity to cope with what is happening. We experience this as an increased heart rate and energised feelings.
  • Resistance stage. If the stress continues, anywhere from days to weeks, depending on the level of stress and the individual’s response, the adrenal glands adapt by increasing their function and size. However, if extreme stress is maintained for a prolonged period, the adrenals become tired, which leads to under-functioning. If the stress is too extreme or continues for too long, the adrenals lose their ability to recover.  
  • Exhaustion stage. The exhaustion stage is where you have lost the ability to adapt to life’s stresses. Your adrenal function is limited, and your body can’t resist or handle ongoing stress. Your adrenal bank account is empty, and you are seriously in debt, facing daily challenges to your health. 

We need to have stress than have time to recharge – we aren’t designed to stay amped up.

How long can your body stay in fight or flight?

The “recovery period” between a fight or flight response and normalisation of body functions is variable but often lasts for 20 to 60 minutes following stimulation if the perceived threat disappears.

Unhealthy ways of coping with stress

Do any of these sound familiar?

  • Smoking
  • Drinking too much
  • Overeating or undereating
  • Zoning out for hours in front of the TV or computer
  • Withdrawing from friends, family, and activities
  • Using pills or drugs to relax
  • Sleeping too much
  • Procrastinating
  • Filling up every minute of the day to avoid facing problems
  • Taking out your stress on others (lashing out, angry outbursts, physical violence)

How to deal with stressful situations

Change the situation:

  • Avoid the stressor
  • Alter the stressor

Change your reaction: 

  • Adapt to the stressor
  • Accept the stressor

Healthy ways to reverse GAS

  • Go for a walk
  • Spend time in nature
  • Call a good friend
  • Sweat out tension with a good workout
  • Write in your journal
  • Take a long bath
  • Light scented candles
  • Savour a warm cup of coffee or tea
  • Play with a pet
  • Work in your garden
  • Get a massage
  • Curl up with a good book
  • Listen to music
  • Watch a comedy

Nutritionally there are a few foods that you can play with

Vitamin B

  • Whole grains (brown rice, barley, millet)
  • Meat (red meat, poultry, fish)
  • Eggs and dairy products (milk, cheese)
  • Legumes (beans, lentils)
  • ​Seeds and nuts (sunflower seeds, almonds)
  • Dark, leafy vegetables (broccoli, spinach, kai lan)
  • Fruits (citrus fruits, avocados, bananas)

Vitamin C

  • Citrus fruit – lemons, limes, oranges, kiwifruit 
  • Peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Blackcurrants
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts


  • Dark chocolate
  • Avocado
  • Nuts seeds
  • Legumes
  • Tofu non-GMO
  • Whole grains

Adaptogen Herbs 

Healthy Life Hacks

So, the healthy life hacks I want to leave you with today are: 

  1. Keep hope – If I can come back from burnout and live a healthy life from a place of prevention, you can do it too. 
  2. Make Adaptogen Herbs a part of your daily routine.
  3. Pick one thing off the list of healthy ways to reverse GAS and do it this week. 

Helpful Links

The Adrenal Tonic Jen takes – https://jenjefferies.isagenix.com/en-au/products/vitality-well-being/individual/ionix-supreme

Did you enjoy the podcast today? Please let me know by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts. Every month I draw one lucky reviewer to have a free one-hour consultation with me. Also, remember to subscribe wherever you’re tuning in from so that you always catch the next episode.

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