What is the definition of stress? Stress is basically how our body responds to change. This change can be good or can be difficult. Sometimes I feel my level of stress rise up when I’m getting ready to travel and go on a vacation. As I am organizing, packing and preparing for my trip, there is a level of stress that rises up in me. Vacations are good, fun and exciting right? Yet the process can cause stress. But once I’m to my destination, the stress is gone and I’m ready for the enjoyment.
Well, what if you lost your job, or have a family member with a terminal illness. Or you had a death in the family. Stress can be at an all-time high. What if after one of those events pass, another difficult one arises and this one doesn’t end quickly. It seems to linger. Your level of stress is heightened and could turn to chronic anxiety.
Stress and anxiety can have similar symptoms. Some of those symptoms could be:
- Sleep issues
- High Blood Pressure
- Muscle aches/pains
- Digestive problems
- Memory issues
- Lack of focus/concentration
- Low levels of depression
- Lowered immune system
- Racing heart
- Grinding teeth
- Change in weight
- Sexual difficulties
If your stress is not eliminated and is heightened to chronic anxiety, you could be inviting a barrage of illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.
We all have stress at some point of our life, but some people have such a level of it that it’s active most of their day. Stress and anxiety had been a part of my life … actually for so long I didn’t even remember when it wasn’t there. It had been so part of my life that it actually seemed like a friend. Not a friend I want to keep or hold onto. Not a friend that I’m glad I developed a relationship with. But nonetheless it had been such a part of my life … that it seemed like my friend.
But I decided I want a divorce from this friend. I wanted to part ways. The crazy thing is this friend just didn’t want to go. He or she wanted to hold on. I think part of the problem was I wasn’t serious enough about not wanting this friend around anymore.
Did you ever have a relationship that you didn’t really want to pursue any longer, but you really hadn’t been upfront about it? You weren’t being forthright about expressing your desire to end the relationship. Ending relationships can be done nicely. They don’t have to be mean or hurtful. You just need to be decisive. It can’t be done passively. Because then the friend doesn’t go away and you are complaining that they are still around. Yet you didn’t communicate clearly that it’s over.
Well, I finally communicated clearly to this friend that our relationship was over. Anxiety was no longer my friend. I didn’t want it in my life. It was time to move on, move out and make lifestyle changes. Does this mean I will never feel stressed or anxious again? Absolutely not! But I’ve learning that when anxiety comes up again, I don’t need to hold onto it. I need to get some tools in my travel bag to have with me so when it decides to come back; I know how to release it. I may need to do this again and again and again. But that’s ok. I truly don’t want to live with that stress or anxiety again.
Life for me growing up had been difficult. I’ve experienced just about every abuse there is. So growing up was rid with fear and anxiety. I believe as a child I welcomed the anxiety in as a way to protect me. I let anxiety rule in my life as a way to say “back away, danger, don’t venture, stay put, don’t go there, don’t do that.” Get the picture. The only problem was that this friend took a little too much control and began applying himself to areas of my life where I shouldn’t being responding in that fashion. I should have developed, grown and felt challenged to do new things. Instead, I listened to this friend and it held me back for many years.
Now move to my adult life, I became aware that I lived most of my time in the sympathetic nervous system (that fight or flight mode) and not in the para-sympathetic nervous system. It was affecting my body. I couldn’t lose those extra pounds I wanted off or get a full night of un-interrupted sleep.
Our bodies are a beautiful machine; created by an awesome God! It is His desire that we live in health … divine health. Our God is so awesome and so powerful that He truly can chose to miraculously heal us from all our diseases and health issues. But I believe it’s a partnership. He wants to partner with us to not only bring that healing to our body, but have it sustained. If God were to choose to zap the anxiety out of my body (which He could very well do), unless I learn a new way to handle it when it comes upon me again, I’ll be back where I started.
So, what can we do to be rid of this anxiety? I’ll not be able to cover all the options here. But hopefully these can propel you to get started. The key to every and any health issue you have is to do your own research. Don’t rely simply on what your Doctor tells you. There is so much information out there that he cannot possibly keep up with everything. I remember back in the early 2000’s when I was homeschooling, I attended a homeschool convention. One of the classes I attended was on how to teach your children to research. Being in the information age, there simply is too much information out there to keep up on it all. The instructor said that in order for a Physician to keep up on all new medical procedures, medications and diseases, they would have to read 250 periodicals a day!!! A day!!! Who can do that? That was 21 years ago. What’s the number now? So, it behooves us to do our own research. Educate ourselves. Be an informed consumer … after all it’s your health.
HOW TO GET STARTED
Food – Be cautious with the foods you are eating and the beverages you are drinking. Know that your first brain is your gut. What happens in your gut will potentially set the tone for your emotions.
- Processed Foods
- Meats with sodium nitrate and sodium sulfate
- Artificial sweeteners
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- MSG (E621, Yeast Extract or 50 other names)
- Food Coloring
- Foods with BHA/BHT
- Potassium Bromate
- Sodas (especially diet)
- Processed breads
- Farm Raised Fish
- Hydrogenated Oils or Trans-fats
- Canned Soups
Am I saying you cannot have a cup of caffeinated coffee again or a blueberry muffin? No. But for now until you get your body in a more calming state, stay away from the foods that can excite you … that are neurotoxins.
Eat These Foods Without Worry
- Whole real foods in their natural form
- Fresh vegetables (especially leafy greens)
- Fresh fruit (especially oranges or other citrus fruits)
- Meats that are non-antibiotic/hormone injected (organic is best)
- Whole Grain Breads
- Wild Caught Fish … especially Salmon (not farm raised)
Sleep – be sure you are getting 7+ hours a night of sleep. This is critical. Your body needs to be in that relaxed state to replenish itself. Much healing occurs in your body when you are sleeping. Make this a must!!
Turn off the computer, iPad, tablet, cell phones and TV at least one hour before bed. The blue ray light from these electronics play havoc on your melatonin and makes your body think it’s still early. Hence you don’t easily fall asleep, stay asleep or sleep well. Are you one of those individuals that hit the pillow and are out like a light? Well that’s not good. It means your body is in exhaustion mode. You need to lie down and relax before you go into that sleeping state.
Get yourself into some type of exercise program or activity. You don’t have to join a gym but you need to do something physical to get the stresses out of your body. This is one area that is really hard for me. I hate to exercise. Did I say hate? Yes, I hate to exercise. And even though I’m a Health Coach and know the importance of this activity, I struggle.
How’s your job? Are you enjoying what you are doing or is it causing you anxiety? This is important to look at. We spend a great deal of time working. If we are anxious for those 8+ hours, we are really causing harm to the health of our body. Consider a new job if the one you are in is causing anxiety.
Where are you Spiritually? Do you have a spirit filled life? This is important. For me I’m a believer in Christ and if it wasn’t for that belief and faith in Him, I know I’d be in a worse place emotionally. The trauma of my childhood, the trauma of my divorce, the stress of starting a business, dealing with two elderly parents who were medically challenged would have put me under. Knowing He would help me get through each and every issue was so important to my life.
We all must have a belief in something greater than ourselves; someone stronger than us; someone more powerful than mankind. I’ve chosen Christ. If you have no spiritual life, it would be important to look at that.
Supplements can be helpful to aid in the release of anxiety. A few ideas are Ashwagandha and Magnesium.
This Blog post would be incomplete if I didn’t add Essential Oils to the mix. Essential Oils are such powerful oils to help aid in the release of stress and anxiety.
What are some of those beneficial Essentials Oils to help reduce stress?
- Roman Chamomile
- White Grapefruit
Sometimes you need to try them out and see which Essential Oil works best for you individually. What may work for me may not work for you. Experiment with the oils and see which one or ones bring relief.
As I wrap up this writing, my hope and prayer is that you will make yourself a priority and not allow the anxiety to continue to manifest in your body. I pray that you will realize you are important, you are special, you are loved, and you are worth living a life that is anxiety free.
If you would like to do a Health History to perhaps get a better picture of where you stand health wise, contact me. Right now, I’m running a special through the end of February and am doing them at no charge. Would love to walk with you to wholeness and peace. Reach out here for us to connect
Your Spiritual Life & Health Coach … Believing in You!