Week 1 – Natural Stress Relief
Do you experience trouble worrying excessively? Wondering how you can reign in a sometimes overactive mind and live more in the present? Do you feel worrying creates unneeded barriers for you in certain situations?
It's easy to feel fearful or uncertain about the future. There will always be things that make us nervous or unsure, but we can still make meaningful action in our lives despite these feelings. We all experience anxiety, it is a normal emotion. When we say ‘anxiety ’ we are talking about the emotions of nervousness, worry and fear. Everyone experiences them at different points throughout life. Really, anxiety from time to time in certain situations is to be expected and is normal. For example, if you are posed with a situation of potential harm or personal loss, then nervousness and fear are to be expected. Essentially, it is normal to feel fear and worry in situations of high stress or risk.
Often these emotions can manifest themselves in physical symptoms like increased heart rate, sweating palms, and/or quickened breath. This is what is referred to as a sympathetic dominant response; commonly known as fight, flight or freeze. While it’s a normal part of life, some can experience an excess of these emotions, or feel stuck in them, causing a dis-ease in the person.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America states, “Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year.”
Common treatments include medication and counseling. Medications, in some cases, are helpful and they have their place when they can help a patient function better or keep themselves from harm. However, medication can pose uncomfortable side effects. Counselling is also an effective and helpful mode of treatment and should be sought when it is needed. Additionally there are numerous natural treatments and techniques that we will introduce in this course that can greatly help patients manage the symptoms of anxiety. At Equilibrium Natural Health we have helped many people manage the symptoms of anxiety.
We worked with a 35 year-old mom of two little girls. When she first came in she was having a hard time being in crowds, parenting her children, and was getting to the point that it was difficult to go into work. We worked on balancing her blood sugar by cleaning up her diet and giving her some mood stabilizing herbs. We also worked with her on some of her emotional struggles in the office with our unique emotional therapies. She is now doing wonderfully. She is at full capacity at work. She has been able to attend some recent family gatherings and even go on a week long trip with her sister and her sister’s children— all without any anxiety spikes. This mother took a proactive role in her own healing with the things we had her practice. Many of the same natural techniques that we used to help her get well are reviewed in this course.
A Few Things to Remember
The human body is amazing! It works toward finding balance and healing all on its own. Because the body is self-healing, and that includes our mind and emotions, we need to remove the blocks to that healing. Additionally when you provide the body with enough time and energy to repair, it is amazing what kind of things occur.
When addressing stress and anxiety, we look at all aspects of your health throughout your life; even your childhood. This means looking at your physical structure, your mental/ emotional/ stress status, as well as your own biochemical makeup. In particular with anxiety, we want to look at the stressors on your body that could be contributing to it, whether you are aware of them or not. Because everyone has stress, managing anxiety becomes a balance between eliminating unnecessary stressors and learning to manage the necessary stress of daily life. We compliment this by supporting and improving the aspects of your health (physically, biochemically) so that your body becomes more equipped to handle stress.
The healing process is supported with increased awareness of your surrounding environment, how active you are, the things that you are putting in and on your body, how you are interacting with others, and stress management skills. The other thing to remember is that health and healing is a daily practice; it won’t happen all at once. Give yourself time to practice different techniques because your health is worth your investment.
Solutions For Anxiety and Stress Reduction
Before you go to sleep, write non-stop for 20 minutes on a piece of scrap paper. Dispose of the paper when you’re done.
This activity will rid the mind of overactive thoughts. You can release thoughts and emotions on paper in an environment of safety without self-judgement. These thoughts, when not released, can sometimes impair our sleep.
Epsom Salt Bath
2-4 cups of epsom salt in a hot bath before bed can help loosen tight muscles and prepare your body for a more relaxed sleep. You can add 2-3 drops of lavender to the bath for more relaxation.
Epsom salt is a form of magnesium. Magnesium has a natural ability to relax and loosen tight muscles thus calming the body and mind.
Deep Controlled Breathing
Lay down in a comfortable place that has little distractions and put on hand over your belly button area and one hand on your chest. Push your belly out and feel the rise and fall of your abdomen. Next, when you push out your abdomen, breath in a deep breath. Use the breathing in conjunction with pushing out your abdomen to get a full abdominal breath and breath in to the count of 5. Hold your breath for 5, and exhale for a count of 5. Repeat for at least 5 breaths. Repeat several times daily. A good practice is in the morning when you wake up and at night before bed.
This helps stimulate the Parasympathetic Nervous system (rest and digest system of the body) which helps with the body being able to calm down and repair.
One step at a time...
You can access the additional lessons by signing up with your email. As you advance to the next lessons, we'll check in with you each week through email. This course, broken into four lessons for four weeks, is designed to help you practice simple natural solutions in your day for naturally working through anxiety and other fear barriers. We also have a game plan action sheet so you can identify which solutions to practice that week and maybe set a goal for the week as well. Additionally for help finding any of the items mentioned in this lesson you can ask our receptionists by emailing us from our contact page or call our office at 360-698-4141 during business hours for a live person to help you.
Please note that it takes some effort to implement the techniques we've explored today and will continue to introduce. While making health changes isn't always easy, we submit that holistic natural healing provides the best results. See this course as an opportunity and introduction to try out natural options. This guide poses no commitment on your part. If you find that what we present doesn't help you, there is no harm done. We're simply here to guide you in practicing natural solutions that have worked for others. Remember also this isn't about practicing all the solutions we present at once (unless you want to.) This is about taking baby steps, picking one or two tips each week and practicing them consistently. Please know that in severe cases anxiety may need to be treated using more acute modalities properly prescribed by your doctor.
We look forward to seeing in you in the next lessons!
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Please note, this guide is in no way a diagnosis of your individual symptoms. If implementing these tips into your daily life does not provide a resolution of your symptoms, it is important to visit with a health care provider for further help and evaluation. There may be important pathological issues that need to be diagnosed and treated with a trained healthcare provider. Please refer to your physician before starting any supplements or lifestyle changes. Here at Equilibrium Natural Health we are committed to helping patients find the root cause of problems. We are available to help you get well. Visit our website at www.equilibriumwa.net to learn more or call the office today to book an appointment at 360-698-4141. We have Naturopathic Primary Care available to help patients reach optimal health.