BY DR. ANDREA PURCELL
No matter where you are in the world these days stress is abundant and can come in many forms… in the last week we have undergone some big shifts mentally, emotionally, and energetically. Sometimes stress surges up in an all-consuming way that explodes as a panic attack or causes us to “blow our lid” to the people we care about the most. More often though stress has a creepy way of sneaking up on us. It could be anything from feeling tightly wound, anxious and constricted to struggling with sleep. Sleep struggles persist and then at some point you fall asleep only to waking up feeling like you never slept at all.
Then there is that fatigued and unmotivated feeling…. like you could enmesh yourself with the couch and not give a fig about any of it.
And of course, there is the maddening mental motor. You know that one that just won’t shut off, it keeps going and going…What if, What if, What if…. I should, I should, I should.
Today I have some suggestions for quieting your heart and mind. These simple things will help you sleep better, breathe more deeply and once again focus on the here and now.
Combating Stress with Natural Therapies
- Start your day with intention. This could be prayer, meditation, or exercise (which I consider to be a moving meditation). Focus on what you want for the day. Not what you don’t want. Only on what you do. Ask for guidance, wisdom, and strength before you set out on the journey of your day.
- Set a strong foundation with a good breakfast and supplementation.
- Limit your exposure to media. Decide which format/outlet you prefer to be informed by and exclude all others. Avoid scrolling on social media, it only acts to distract you from the important tasks in your life.
- Watch your breath. Is your mind spinning? Have you been at your desk for hours without water or a break? Focus on slowing your breath down and taking 3 deep breaths.
- Utilize essential oils. Essential oils are extremely helpful in reducing cortisol levels and managing anxiety. (See the section below.)
- Take time to reach out to friends, family members, neighbors and connect each day. These small points of contact can dramatically affect the way you look at life.
- Use natural supplements to help with anxiety, stress, and depression. (I have listed a few of my favorites below.)
- Practice good sleep hygiene. Stay consistent with bedtime routines and avoid screens 1 hour before bed.
Supplements to Manage Stress
- L-Theanine: anxiety
Extracted from green tea, L-theanine works quickly to dispel anxiety and rebalance the nervous system. Dose L-theanine as suntheanine 200mg 2 x day
- Glycine: anxiety
Glycine is a wonderful sweet tasting amino acid that helps with anxiety and creates a sense of calm. Dose 1000mg 2 x day.
- St. John’s Wort: depression
St. John’s Wort can be found as a standardized extract. Dose 1 cap 3 x day.
- Lemon Balm: depression
Lemon Balm is wonderful nervous system relaxer. A teaspoon of lemon balm glycerite or tincture is a great way to take the edge off before bed or before a stressful conversation.
- Chamomile: anxiety
Chamomile is a great digestive soother and gas disruptor. It is a gentle relaxant and is a great alternative to coffee if you are feeling wired in the mornings. Simply brew up a big mug of 2 bag chamomile tea and let steep for 15min. Then pour over ice and drink as a tea throughout the morning.
Essential Oils to Manage Stress…
Essential oils are the oils from plants that are extremely concentrated. It is important to get good quality essential oils and I use Doterra. The link for setting up a Doterra account is below.
- Lavender: Anti-Depressant Calming, Relaxing, Soothing
Lavender has shown effectiveness in reducing cortisol levels, and supporting restful sleep. Mix 3-4 drops with a few drops of carrier oil rub your palms together, cup your hands around your nose and mouth and inhale deeply. Do this 3 times. Inhale deeply into your lungs and out through your nose. Then gently rub into your temples and massage into your neck. A great calming blend combines lavender, spearmint, and rosemary.
- Geranium: Anti- Anxiety
Geranium is listed as one of the Essential Oils used in place of anxiolytic drugs (anxiety drugs). Geranium reduces anxiety within 20min of inhalation.
- Bergamot:Anti- Anxiety
Clinical research showed that citrus fragrance can restore damage from stress in the brain and reverse suppression to the immune system. Bergamot has potential antidepressant effects.
- Rose: Heart Healing
Rose oil is typically cited as the highest frequency essential oil, resonating at 320 MHz (mega hertz). That’s why rose essential oil is often blended with other oils because it’s vibratory rate is so high. What is not commonly known is that the inherent design of the rose has an ability to cleanse negative energies and emotions just like a broom built in a circular design…And it has an affinity for the heart.
If you hold a literal or imagined rose and point it at your heart close your eyes and twirl it, you can literally feel a lightening effect in your heart chakra and you will be able to breathe more deeply.
The rose will cleanse those negative emotions and energies and absorb them into its vortex. Roses have the ability to lighten the heart and allow more love to flow into and out of the heart area.
How to Use Essential Oils:
Inhalation is a fast route to enjoying their mood-boosting benefits, so just open the bottle and sniff. You can place a few drops into your palms rub them together, cup your hands around your nose and mouth and inhale deeply.
Then there are diffusers. Diffusers mix the oils with water and pump the blend into the air similar to a humidifier. They are popular and easy to find.
- Mix with Carrier Oil
Applying pure essential oils directly to your skin can cause irritation. So, if your skin is sensitive, try diluting your favorite scent with what’s known as a carrier oil (such as organic coconut oil, olive oil or grapeseed oil). I recommend fractionated coconut oil, it stays liquid and combines well.
- Add to a Bath
Add 1-2 cups of Epsom salts and a quarter cup of baking soda to the bathwater along with a few drops of essential oil to help detoxify and soothe skin.
You can CLICK HERE to order your essential oils.
Many Blessings and Peaceful Sleep,