Stress Relief

Due to the horrifically long time that us Cantabrians have been experiencing earthquakes I thought I have to talk to you about stress and how we can help our bodies cope with this ongoing situation:

“No one can live without experiencing some degree of stress.  You may think that only serious disease or intensive physical or mental injury can cause stress, this is false.  Crossing a busy intersection, exposure to a draft or even sheer joy are enough to trigger the body’s stress mechanisms to some extent.  Stress isn’t bad for you, its the spice of life as all activities cause a certain but differing degree of stress.  But how our body and mind deal with it is what makes the difference in good and bad health.”

The stress response is part of a larger response called the “General Adaptation Syndrome” or G.A.S.  As funny as it sounds G.A.S. has 3 phases:

Resistance and

The initial response is “Alarm” which is often referred to as the “fight or flight” response.  Your body’s response is designed to get you out of danger.  This is seen by the increase of heart rate; increase in blood sugar levels in the bloodstream to our muscles; increased breathing rate to get more oxygen to our heart, brain and muscles; increased sweat production to remove toxic compounds produced by our body and lower body temperature.

Next is the “Resistance” phase, this phase allows the body to continue fighting a stressor long after the fight or flight response has worn off.  Cortisol and other corticosteriods secreted by our adrenal glands (above the kidneys) stimulate the conversion of protein to energy so your body has a large supply of energy long after glucose stores are depleted.  Also sodium is retained which can cause an increase in blood pressure.

These changes allow you to be able to effectively deal with emotional crisis; perform strenuous tasks and/or fight infection.  This is a necessary part of our stress response.  The danger is when this resistance phase is prolonged, (as a lot of us Cantabrians are experiencing with the daily earthquakes over the last 10 months).  Our body can’t physically and/or mentally see an end to it and this leads us to the final stage of G.A.S. …….”Exhaustion”….

…..our body may go into meltdown, lose energy, aches and pains, insomnia, headaches, migraines, colds, flu, P.M.T.  or more serious health conditions may occur such as high blood pressure, anxieties, diabetes, cancer, depression, autoimmune diseases, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis, stomach ulcers, asthma, bronchitis and more.  What can we do to help lessen the severity of our stress levels??

Firstly identify your negative coping patterns and try to replace them with positive coping patterns.  Negative coping patterns can be any of the following: dependence on drugs, alcohol, smoking, overeating; prone to emotional outbursts, overspending or other excessive behaviour.

1.  Learn a “Relaxation Response”, whether it be meditation, prayer, self-hypnosis, deep breathing exercises.  Put aside at least 5 minutes every day to practice any of these techniques.
2. Improve your “Lifestyle Factors”.

Time management is essential to help you deal with stressors.

  • Set your priorities
  • Organise your day based on your priorities
  • Delegate as much as you can
  • Tackle tough jobs first
  • Minimise meeting times
  • Avoid putting things off
  • Don’t be a perfectionist

Relationship issues – marital/family/job related.

  • Learn to be a good listener.
  • Be an active listener.
  • Be a reflective listener.
  • Talk when others are ready to listen.
  • Don’t talk over somebody even if done to you.
  • Don’t be afraid of long silences, some people need time to collect their thoughts.
  • Help others to become active listeners by asking if they understood what you’re saying.

3. Exercise.  Exercise is a physical stressor BUT it helps the body to become stronger and function more efficiently, helping it to be able to handle our daily stressors.  Excessive exercise can have the opposite effect so 15 minutes every day or 30 minutes every alternate day is all you need.  And make it something you enjoy!!

4. Healthful Diet.

  • Reduce caffeine – increased levels can exacerbate the fight-flight response.
  • Reduce alcohol – increases anxieties & depression, interrupts sleep patterns, exacerbates the stress response.
  • Reduce or eliminate refined carbohydrates – can cause our blood sugar levels to become unstable leading to diabetes, increased feelings of depression or/and anxieties.
  • Eat regularly in a relaxed atmosphere – this gives your body a chance to relax and receive an influx of nutrients to ensure it can keep functioning efficiently.

5. Herbal Support.  We have the following products which you can use within your daily routine to help cope with and manage the daily stressors you may be experiencing:

  • Stress Tea – A fantastic tea to ease the tension, re-energise the mind, and make those tense situations more bearable and manageable.  Designed to help with all anxieties and nerve related problems.  Gorgeous smelling and a delight for the palate.  Steep 1 teaspoon of herbs for 5-10 minutes to get the best temperature and flavour.  1-3 cups recommended daily.  Contains: Organic Lavendula officinalis (Lavender), Organic Ginkgo biloba (Ginkgo), Organic Tilia europaea (Lime Flower).
  • Sleep Tea – A great tea to help calm the nerves, relax the body and mind, switching off the constant barrage of thoughts going through your mind, easing you into a wonderful nights sleep. Steep 1 teaspoon of herbs for 5-10 minutes to get the best temperature and flavour.  1-3 cups recommended daily.  Contains: Organic Melissa officinalis (Lemon Balm), Organic Tilia europaea (Lime Flower), Organic Lavendula officinalis (Lavender).
  • Rescue Sleep Mix – The same trusted Five Flower Remedy of the Rescue Mix with that extra Bach Flower remedy to make it even better – White Chestnut.  This remedy is not a sedative.  It will help those of us who have a busy mind.  If your busy mind is keeping you awake then this is the remedy for you.  It helps to clear the mind so that you are able to relax and either focus at work or/and get a good nights sleep.  so you can use during the day too – it’s the perfect remedy for the constant worrier!  Dosage: 4 drops orally every 10 minutes if needed (does not have to be exactly 10, just if more than 10 minutes have passed and the excessive thoughts and anxiety are still there then take again).  Dosage is the same for all ages, from baby to adult and pet/s.
  • Withania – An excellent herb for the long term stress, lack of sleep, if you’re needing more energy, want to improve your memory, immunity and bring back the joy!  Get a pot and mix in a teaspoon of Withania in a cup of milk (whichever kind you prefer), put a pinch of cinnamon in and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes, with lid on.  Pour into your cup and sip through your Java Wand.  Take every night before bed.
Click on the links below to get started today: