Friday, October 10, 2014

Natural Remedies For Stress


So this week we have talked a little bit about stress and anxiety. Panic attacks lately, anyone?  I would love to say there is one go to pill one can take that would eradicate stress from one's life, but there's not. We'll maybe there is, but not one we would advertise here on prtliving! Stress and anxiety can really be a such a life-sucker. It's hard to live life dreaming of changing the world and fulfilling our purpose when we are being run over with stress and worry. How can we find our calm, our own peace, and our rhythm amidst feelings that seem to overtake us and then even cause us physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach pains, chest pains, and fatigue. It's interesting that I'm talking about stress today because in my life these days I don't feel bogged down and run ragged by stress half as much as I used to. I mean it definitely still happens from time to time but not even half as much as it used to. My lifestyle has changed so much without even effort or hard work, but almost seamlessly as I've continued on a journey of wellness and healing. I always, always say healing is not about loosing weight or just physical symptoms. It's about our spiritual healing, our physical healing, and emotional. Health is about all of those things and they're all connected and in my mind one in the same. If you have a mental deficiency it will show somewhere, somehow in your physical body through some symptom and vice versa. It's important when we talk about something like stress and anxiety that we talk about our lifestyles. It's funny because I was at the orthodontist two days ago when the secretary said something about how she hates it when people talk about loosing weight and about changing their lifestyle. She said "I don't want to change my lifestyle, I want to be able to eat unhealthy fattening things all of the time!" I just laughed. It's totally the opposite of what I teach and believe. I do believe reducing stress takes some serious consideration towards a lifestyle change. Here are some of my thoughts and recommendations below~

1. YOU are in charge of your own happiness 

Probably the single most thing that I would talk about first with anyone approaching me about stress is this: The realization that YOU are in charge of your own  happiness. No one ever wants to hear that! And especially people who are stressed! Hah. Realizing you are the only thing in charge of your own happiness means a whole lot of other things for your life, but once you really do come to that realization other things start to fall into place pretty seamlessly. (I've used that word twice in this post, so I must like it today!) It's very easy for us to believe life just happens to us, people just treat us horribly, such and such has never been what you want and never will be, we are victims to our horrendous circumstances, and everyone else seems to have it better than us. People come to me and tell me all of their live this and that has happened over and over and over again and they've never had xyz and how horrible their lives are.  I can't tell you HOW many people I talk to that try to convince me "No, danielle, no really my life is way harder than most people!" They tell me how so and so has it so much easier than them, and then the next day I go to lunch with so and so and that person tells me how much easier the other person has it than them! It wasn't until a point came in my life that I had to really come to terms that junk happens to EVERYONE. Seriously, everyone has storms and obstacles and you can make even more obstacles by how you respond. We can ALL make a case for our problems, failures, regrets and even make a good case for it. We can all find negative things to talk about or dwell on. Every human alive can do that. I had to come to terms with the realization that I could have whatever in life I wanted and that I could create the life I always dreamed of that was inside of my heart all along. I had to do that, along with God who makes all things possible. I could let life happen to me and sulk and throw pity parties or I could decide to quit complaining get off my butt and start doing things about it and create the life I believe in and am proud of. No more complaints, no more obstacles would I even talk about. No use in giving my energy away to talking about such things. I was going to give my energy to good! So I started and I've been in that process of doing that ever since! I can't tell you the freedom that comes from that! You can be your best hero or your worst enemy and we need to choose wisely! Our lives depend on it and other's do too. You may wonder how this relates to stress, but just try it and see for yourself. ;)

2. Eating foods that are going to give to your body, not take away

We can be full of faith, full of inspiration, ready to conquer our dreams and be weighed down with sickness. As I've said above, our minds get healed simultaneously with our bodies. We need to feed (notice, I didn't say fight against! I said feed.) our bodies and minds. One of my wise mentors said to me recently, "Processed foods equal unprocessed thoughts!" I was like wow! So true! Do you want crap to be swimming around in our heads, not able to discern our left from our right? No. So we really shouldn't be putting junk into our mouths either. Feed your mind by feeding your body healthy foods. I highly recommend my posts on How To Listen To Your Body. Eating healthy foods doesn't mean freak out crazy calorie counting or eating grilled chicken and drinking low-fat milk for the rest of your days. Not in my mind at least. I stray away from that. I want you to feed your body things that will make you feel alive and make you feel energized and good! We all need to learn what those foods are for us, while keeping in mind you can pretty much cancel out processed foods, chemicals, and hormone laden meats. Those will surely make you stressed trying to figure out what cloud you're living under and make you feel all sorts of bad emotions you never want to feel. If you're having a week where you're already prone to struggle and feel crazy anxious, be wise about your food choices. Fill yourself with greens, live raw vegetables, fermented foods full of live enzymes, and grass-fed meats and butters that will stabilize your hormones. These foods will help you and not take away from your body's desire to stabilize your body and mind.

3. Juicing 

We've talked a bit about juicing on our blog already. We haven't delved deep into it, but we've answered some questions and given some recipes. Juicing is one of my lifesavers, my go-to's, my priorities. A few weeks ago we were in the thick of packing, moving, and traveling. I had been out of my regular routine and I noticed anxiety creeped in like a vengeance. All of the sudden out of no where I felt so anxious. The very first thing I did was to go to Whole Foods and get some vegetable green juice freshly juiced. Juicing is something we do usually at least every other day. However, with the moving and packing and traveling it had been something I hadn't done or had in a while. As soon as I noticed the anxiety I drove to Whole Foods and got some juice and went back every day for a week to get some. The anxiety subsided within a day. It's very hard to eat that many raw vegetables all at once, but juicing is a way to flood my system with vital nutrients and minerals I would never otherwise get. Those minerals help sustain my hormones and give my body what it needs to keep my immune system working well and to make me stay healthy. Juicing is definitely one of my go-to's with stress and anxiety.

4. Water 

I've talked many times about the value of water.  Water is one of the primary things responsible for a strong immune system which prevents us from getting sick. Our bodies cannot exist off of little water and a very high number of people are dehydrated without having any idea. Are you tired a lot? Headaches? Water, water, water is what you need. When people come to me with health dilemmas usually one of the first things I suggest is water-- it's not even because I know everyone needs it, it's just that what they're telling me usually sounds like a water deficiency. Whenever I suggest water people always tell me, "Oh I drink TONS of water!! I carry my water bottle with me all day long and I drink tons of water!" I often find though that they really don't. :/ It's not until I started actually tracking my water consumption with actual measurements that I found out how much water I really drink. Water plays a HUGE role in stress and anxiety. Your body needs hydration to it's cells so that they can all do their job accordingly. One can never underestimate the power that water plays in our healing. Children especially are highly dehydrated. I can't suggest enough to track your water consumption (and I give you a really easy way to do this!) and make sure you're getting enough! It's also really important to make sure you are drinking it at the right times and in the right ways. Just a tip... drinking water during your meal will give you heartburn! You can find out other tips for how and when to drink water in my Dehydration Post.

For some reason my Epsom Salt post has gotten extra popular this week. Epsom Salt baths are definitely very popular in my household. I have everyone taking epsom salt baths. Epsom salt baths are like juicing... to me I realize when I haven't been doing these faster than I realize I haven't been eating well or drinking enough water. My body LOVES taking epsom salt baths. I've said before that Epsom salt baths are an amazing way to get magnesium which our body desperately needs and receives best through absorption in the skin. Magnesium is especially helpful for stress levels. The warm bath (which I also add lavender essential oil to!) is completely relaxing as well. Sometimes I light a candle, sometimes I listen to music, sometimes I read. I love it. Basically, if you want to stay sane, take epsom salt baths and take them regularly! I do at least one a week. If I'm having a particularly stressful week I take up to one a day! I can't get enough. Read more about which brands are my favorite and my warnings and tips for Epsom Salt baths on this post.

Besides the five things listed above I love to incorporate chiropractic visits into my life. I also just started craniosacral sessions. These are intense, but amazing! If you truly want to walk in freedom and experience healing, I can't recommend these therapy sessions enough, but be prepared for some emotional work on your part. It's worth it in the end and it definitely reduces stress and anxiety in the long run! I also absolutely love my Bach Flowers. We will talk more about those as the days go on.

My last and final suggestion is lavender oil. You can never go wrong with lavender oil. I used to have major problems falling asleep every night and when I was younger I would have to take bennadryl every night just to fall asleep. Lavender oil mixed with coconut oil on my arms, hands, and feet helped tremendously. (I also take melatonin now when I'm having trouble, but that's for another post!)

Disclaimer: PRTLIVING (and all of those feature and interviewed) is limited to providing self-help education in natural health matters and advocating of a healthy lifestyle for the sole purpose of sharing personal experiences and historical information about the traditional use of God-given herbs and natural remedies. This information is not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any specific disease. No medical claims are made. If you have a medical problem, please seek the advice of your medical doctor.
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