Week 1 – Natural Stress Relief
Do you experience trouble worrying excessively?
Are you finding yourself in situations that make you anxious?
Wondering how you can reign in a sometimes overactive mind?
Do you want to be more present in the world?
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 it at different points throughout life. In fact some anxiety from time to time in certain situations is to be expected. For example, if you are posed with a situation of potential harm or personal loss then nervousness and fear are to be expected. Essentially, a situation that causes high stress can be expected to cause some of these emotions. Sometimes these emotions 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 get stuck in the emotions 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 guide that can greatly help patients manage the symptoms of anxiety. At Equilibrium Natural Health we’ve 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 she was having a tough time even going to 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 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.
A Few Things to Remember
The human body is amazing! It works toward finding balance and healing all on its own. Our philosophy includes the idea that because the body is self-healing, and that includes our mind and emotions, what we need to do is remove the blocks out of our way of healing. Additionally, when you provide the body with enough time and enough energy, it is amazing what kind of things occur.
When addressing stress and anxiety we look at all aspects of your health including 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 and 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, 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 which would otherwise impair 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...
We hope you have enjoyed learning a few simple tricks that you can try at home to help manage stress and anxiety. Don’t feel like you need to implement these all at once, try one or two at the start of the week and slowly add or change tips through the week. Many times with traditional medicine we are used to instant relief although it may not always solve the problem. With these natural solutions you can have quick results but know that it may take some investment of your time and effort, just remember that your health is worth your investment.
If you would like to continue to cover the additional content in lessons two through four you can access them for free when you sing up with your email. We’ll continue to explore additional natural solutions as well as therapy we use in the clinic to help patients take control of anxiety and stress in their life. If you need any help finding some of the items mentioned in this lesson, you can ask for our help by emailing us on our contact page or call our office at 360-698-4141 during business hours for a live person to help you.
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.