Does this sound familiar: About mid-morning, you notice a slight increase of tension in your neck just behind your ear at the base of your skull. An hour later, you notice that the pain has crept up to your temples. Nothing you seem to do helps you to get comfortable. By the end of the day you have a pounding headache and your neck is stiff. You try to put your finger on what the cause maybe then you remember that you forgot to pay your light bill and it was the last day that you could pay it.
Stress...a word that has become very popular these days as we face a society marred with economic hardships, employment terminations, and home foreclosures. With today's fast paced living, is it any wonder that we overlook the little warning signs from our physical body or from our inner guidance system that something isn't in balance? What we need to realize is that we need an approach to maintaining wellness that will help us to focus on minimizing stress and it's physical and mental effects on our well-being. Here you will find a few options that will allow you to naturally combat stress through nutrition, herbs and supplements, and exercise.
gETTING YOUR LIFE IN BALANCE
We all know that stressful situations can arise at anytime.By creating and adopting new patterns in the way we deal with stressors, we can then be successful in turning stress into serenity. The following tips and techniques are simple, practical and effective in assisting you in creating new habits for stress-free living. Be sure to check with your primary care provider before starting any of the protocols mentioned.
Mindful eating- What we consume can cause biochemical reactions that can put stress on our body systems which can cause us to feel tense and unhealthy. Through mindful eating we are more aware of those foods that we consume that off us inner calm, better digestion and a healthier diet. Mindful eating allows you to slow down and take a break from the world. To eat mindfully we need quiet and calm in order to eat. This prevents stuffing or cramming our foods down which often causes stress to the body.
Moderation of Caffeine- Caffeine does provide a small jolt of energy that you may need to get through your day, but it also increases your stressor-response impulses. The slightest irritation is often magnified when experienced while drinking coffee or caffeinated beverages. The stress overload and eventual mild substance- dependency that caffeine produces to our cardio-vascular and central nervous systems is really worth it in the long run.
Stop using drugs, alcohol and tobacco- Needing a drink to "relax" or to "unwind" is an unhealthy cycle, especially if it is a daily habit. The effects of alcohol can remain with you for hours after having the drink. It would does not erase the the stressor, and it could eventually lead to health problems that can cause you more mental stress worrying about your health. The same goes for hard drugs,which often lead to higher drugs once your drug of choice losses its psychotropic effectiveness. The health risks of tobacco far outweighs it's "relaxing" effects. The assumed calming effect from smoking comes from the deep inhalation and slow exhaling that is associated with smoking. Yogic breathing provides the same effect and saves your lungs!
Get a massage: well, you know I'm a massage therapist so you know this had to be on the list :) A full body massage provides you a great stress-busting option to help you to de-stress and to relax. If you can't afford a full body massage try this self massage tip: With your right hand, reach across your body and wrap your hand around under your left armpit, with your fingers resting on the outside of your shoulder blade. Using your index and middle fingers, knead the muscles. Now switch arms and show the right side some love!
Aromatherapy bath: Aromatherapy has been proven to provide wonderful relaxing results by incorporating essential oils into your bath water to facilitate stress relief. One of my favorite aromatherapy bath blends to combat stress includes chamomile, lavender, rose and geranium essential oils. To make your own bath blend combine 2 to 10 drops of your favorite essentials oils in a tub of warm (not hot) water and watch your stress melt away.
Stress relieving herbs and supplements:
Vitamin B Complex: helps to regulate nervous function, produces energy ,assists the adrenal glands in producing hormones, and it helps the brain to generate serotonin ( the feel good hormone). B vitamins are often depleted from the body quickly when we are under stress!
Vitamin C: helps to adrenal glands to function properly which allows it to produce anti-stress hormones. Constant stress strips and depletes your reserve of vitamin C. Be sure to drink plenty of water when ingesting this vitamin to avoid kidney stones.
Vitamin E: is essential to immune function which gets compromised when you are under stress.
Melatonin: is a hormone made in the body from serotonin and is secreted by the pineal gland. When you are under stress, your natural melatonin-cycle gets thrown off, hence one the reason you can't sleep at night when you are really stressed.
Chamomile- this herb is known to soothe and relax frazzled nerves and helps to induce sleep. It comes in a loose tea, in capsules and in an extract.
Lemon Balm- has a reputation as a cold and flu fighter for centuries, but it is also used as a sleep aid. It has a pleasant, lemony aroma and is best used when it is drank as a tea. It takes about a week of usage to get maximum benefit.
Valerian root- is a popular sleep aid that quiets the mind and helps to release tension in the body. The effect of this herb is felt 30 minutes to an hour after ingestion. It's best to build up to an effective dose, as it does cause sound sleep. *Avoid taking if you are currently taking any barbiturates like Valium, Xanax and Ativan.
The bottom line is ....stress can only effect you let it. But if stress is a constant factor in your life, you have been provided with a few natural ways to help you to alleviate and eliminate stress in your life. One simple secret that will help you move from stress to peace is always find joy in the way you live. Find a way to live your life for a purpose that will outlast you. Delight yourself in the events, people and experiences that shape your life- even when they get to be a little tough. If you need assistance or have any questions about the items listed here in this blog feel free to contact me for more guidance. I am a certified holistic health practitioner and a licensed massage therapist. For more information visit my website: www.asoulfultouch.net
LaDawn "Khetnu Nefer" Frasier is a multi-passionate women's holistic health coach, who is dedicated to helping women overcome issues with their womb. As a uterine cancer survivor and a woman living with PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome) she knows first hand how important holistic health is in helping women to heal themselves. This blog chronicles her health journey as well as provide tip and tools for others to utilize on their holistic health path.