It seems like Stress is the modern man’s disease- have we become adrenaline junkies, addicted to exciting past times, high powered jobs, having to juggle family, home and work? I’m pretty sure our ancestors had their fair share of stress but probably didn’t know what to call it, so if stress is a normal part of our daily lives and we all agree that a little bit of stress is good for us, when does it become a disease?
When stress becomes chronic (daily) that’s when it becomes a problem but its not the stress that’s a problem but the ability to cope with it and our body’s reaction. To try to understand this lets take a look at what happens to our cells and body when we are stressed. It all starts in the mind, a stressful situation, bad news, financial worries, insecurity, all result in a stress reaction and signal the adrenal glands to produce adrenalin. Adrenalin signals the heart to beat faster, glucose to be released into the blood stream, eyes dilate, muscles tense all in the preparation to fight or run. But we are no longer cave men so the release of this energy and stimulation results in us still sitting at our desks with all the pent up energy going to ‘waste’. To release this energy the body has to divert its resources, so instead of repairing cells, and detoxing, digestion and rejuvenation, the body is preparing to fight or run. If this happens over a long period the body eventually stops responding and other organs such as liver, pancreas, pituitary and adrenals all become overworked with the general symptoms of tiredness, exhaustion, poor concentration, lack of motivation, mood swings, anger, aggressiveness, insomnia, allergies, hair loss, inflammation, poor immune system, digestive problems such as bloating, anxiety, aches and pains and apathy. Skin and hair (hair loss) start to look dull and even our face shows the signs of accelerated ageing with poor wound healing and deeper wrinkles.
Its very easy to become addicted to stimulants to fuel the lack of energy: sugar, chocolate, coffee, tea, guarana, cigarettes etc and then to alcohol, prescription drugs and illegal drugs to relax.
Today stress is associated with almost every disease, but all is not lost, with some simple measures it’s easy to regain strength and restore the body back into balance. A mixture of diet, energy, nutrients and gentle exercise will help your mind and body cope with stress, without having to drastically change your life and regain the work, home and life balance.
Reach for foods that are high in nutrients, low in stimulants, fresh and full of vitality:
Avocados -The number one good food for stress as they are full of B Vitamins, potassium and good fat.
Almonds – Snack on a small handful of Almonds which are high in B’s again and fibre.
Oatmeal – Boost your natural stress busting serotonin with a bowl of porridge.
Fruit and Veg- Its obvious but eat the colours of the rainbow to get a full range of nutrients and phytochemicals.
Dark Green Vegetables- these are particularly important as they are high in B Vitamins.
Good Oils from Flax, Seed and Oily fish.
Avoid the obvious stimulants like coffee, tea, energy drinks, alcohol and sugar.
Herbal Remedies and Nutrients
Holy Basil (Ocimum Sanctum) also known as Tulsi in Ayurvedic medicine is also known for its benefits on the mind, body and spirit. Studies show that Holy Basil possesses great activity for stress and relaxation. As an adaptogen Holy Basil helps the body function optimally by specifically helping lower the hormone cortisol which is released during stress. As well as being high in niacin, Vitamin B3, that helps both DNA repair and the production of steroid hormones by the adrenal gland, Holy basil also contains Eugenol. Studies have shown that Eugenol helps fight stress and enhance mental clarity, elevating mood, and helping the body cope with stress.
Guava is another extract that is naturally high in B Vitamins and the B’s are essential to help with Stress, Energy, Anxiety and Depression. They also help reduce the risk of heart disease, boost memory and help reduce PMS. In combination, they even help burn fat and glucose for energy, help repair our DNA and make the calming chemical in the brain called Serotonin.
Essential fatty Acids and Omega Oil are also critical because they help reduce both the physical and emotional effects of stress. Studies show they lower the release of glucocorticoids when stressed and reduce inflammation, minimising the toxic and damaging effects of stress on our body.
Lack of sleep is well known to cause our body stress but stress also disturbs the body’s rhythm to sleep. Cortisol’s stimulating effect can easily disrupt sleep and the vicious circle keeps on adding to the problem. One essential Mineral is Magnesium. Magnesium is known as nature’s tranquilliser and helps ease the mind and body back to sleep. If you exercise a lot, suffer from cramps or insomnia then a Magnesium supplement combined with Calcium may be what is needed to get the body back into balance.
If you suffer from an overactive mind and get to bed with thoughts of the day and tomorrow going round and round then a homeopathic combination of Avena Sativa, Coffea, Passiflora, Valeriana 6c may help calm the mind and ease the body back to its normal routine naturally.
Anxiety and Fear
All the above will help with anxiety but if you suffer from real anxiety and fear there are three homeopathic remedies that work very well depending on your symptoms:
Aconite- The fear of someone who needs Aconite is usually accompanied by extreme restlessness, fear of death, shock and hypersensitivity to everything.
Arsenicum album- Someone who needs Arsenicum also has symptoms with fear of death but usually with a burning sensation (skin, stomach, throat) and a great fear of being alone.
Argent Nit- The symptoms of someone who needs Argent Nit are usually accompanied by a fear in the stomach, nausea, diahorrea, IBS, digestive problems with palpitations and a feeling of being overwhelmed. A general nervousness about the future prevails.
All three remedies can be taken together or separately and are also very effective for fear of flying too. They are available by mail order on email@example.com or from any of our stores.