Today we are talking about stress solutions.
I’ve written before about the harmful effects of stress and a stress solution. Here’s an article I did about using your phone and a little device to essentially do DIY Biofeedback. It’s called Heart Math. Maybe some of you use it or have heard of it. You can read about it HERE. It can really help a person change their breathing and the software (app on your phone) is easy to use and with you all the time!
But I don’t think I’ve ever discussed how stress can steal our youth as it decreases our ability to biotransform toxins, meaning chemically alter the toxins so they can be eliminated though one of the 5 detox pathways (skin, lungs, kidneys, colon, liver). And because we live in a chemical soup environment, we need to have a revolving door for toxins or we become toxic which steals our health in multiple ways. Toxins come in, but they also go out!
In short, stress puts us in an emergency response pathway, and “non-essential” jobs of the body come to a halt.
Case in point: if you were being chased by a grizzly bear, would it be important to detox???
No! Running away and or protecting yourself is the highest priority and detoxification is shut down. All hands on deck so we can stay alive.
The problem is….our bodies don’t differentiate the emotional stress we’re facing in the 21st century from the physical stressors. Most of us live in chronic, daily, emotional stress.
Think about your life. What stresses you? On a scale of 1-10, what would you rate your stress today? What would you rate your stress last week or last year? Are you living in a season of chronic stress?
If so, be sure to really read the effects of stress, and comprehend the consequences.
Then be sure to find one (or more!) stress solutions YOU can live with, and create a new stress-busting habit! I will also write one day about our THOUGHTS and how they can create a runaway train on us but in the meantime, guard your thoughts! Take every thought captive, meaning is it helpful or harmful to you? What are you putting on yourself that isn’t in your best interest?
Negative Functions of Stress
(via increased hormones cortisol and epinephrine):
- Stress impairs our ability to detox.
- It lowers immune function/suppresses the immune system which predisposes us to seasonal flu’s but also allows pathogens like Epstein Barr Virus to slowly replicate in the background.
- Stress has been shown in research to shrink our brain (!).
- Stress increases visceral adiposity (belly fat).
- Stress shunts blood away from the digestive tract, compromising our ability to break down and assimilate our food.
- Stress results in mineral loss (bone loss, neurotransmitter issues AKA brain fog).
- Stress raises the risk of cancers, heart disease, estrogen dominance, PMS, fibroids, and blood sugar issues over time.
- Stress damages our organs, and causes hair loss if its extreme, or chronic.
Adrenaline from stress is like battery acid in our blood stream. It is HIGHLY corrosive and instantly acidifies us.
This is why minerals, which are alkaline, are pulled from bones (so they can neutralize the acids).
That battery acid gets to the follicles of our hair and damages them, and months AFTER the stressful event, hair falls out. By then, people have forgotten about the stressful situation and often think the hair loss is from a current event, but it usually isn’t.
And long term acidity sets us up for cancer and other chronic diseases.
One of the best stress solutions you can easily and cheaply do is get connected to nature.
Go watch the bees or birds! Even watching a video of a bee on flowers will soothe you. Here’s three hours of soothing music, nature sounds, and bees doing their thing. Just listening to the music and nature sounds will soothe you if you can’t stare at the screen!
Take a walk and collect stones. We like to look for heart-shaped rocks. We also walk and pray and it’s a favorite activity even in the dark with a flashlight! The wind is often calmer at night than the daytime, and we get to talk to God without disruptions, and admire the galaxy.
Stand in the grass and visualize that your feet have roots growing out of them, deep into the ground. Take a deep breath. Let it all go. Imagine any negative energy you are carrying being released into the ground. Then, as needed, revisit that calm grounded feeling as needed. You can do it from anywhere, anytime!
We have an ancient cottonwood tree on our property. Her name is Emily and we love and take care of her. We protect her from carpenter ants, and get her haircuts if limbs die. We love to see squirrels living with her. This spring a pair of geese were sitting on her branches! I love to sit under Emily and imagine my roots joining hers. Emily has wisdom because she has weathered a lot of storms but is still standing tall!
Go for hikes or walks. Don’t we all intuitively feel better when we get away to the trees and creeks? It’s because there are more negative ions. It’s not a typo- negative ions are abundant in nature, and after rain storms. They are deposited there from lightning strikes and the earth acts as a reservoir for these negative ions. They are available to you 365 days a year!
And know that even if you just need to imagine you are in the mountains, it is beneficial. But you could also buy an essential oil diffuser and an essential oil like pine or spruce to help the process!
Go berry picking! Or fruit picking!
Watch sunrises and/or sunsets and know that the sun WILL rise again, no matter how bad the situation seems right now. When I’m really on my game, I set my phone alarm for 10 minutes pre-sunset, and make a point of watching each night. It calms me down in a way that other things don’t. I am fascinated by the research that Dr. Kelly Turner wrote about in her book Radical Remission. Even if you don’t have a cancer diagnosis, the strategies she identified in people who overcame “incurable” cancers should be shouted from the rooftops!
Plant a garden – even if it’s a few containers on your patio. Johny and I grow a lot of food each summer! If you don’t have space for a garden, indoor towers (with a watering system within) are incredible and will connect you to nature and your food!
Your stress-solution action step for the day: pick ONE action step that you are drawn to and do it consistently. The quality of your life DOES depend on you managing your stress.
See you next time…. I’m headed out to do some root time with Emily!