In our culture, stress is a reality for everyone. Our lives are very busy and I hear regularly from clients, friends, and even family that they feel stressed and overwhelmed.
What is stress?
A simple breakdown of stress is, a feeling when someone is overwhelmed and struggles with the demands of life. Stress arises out from our day to day environment and can involve the stability of one’s finances, personal safety, loving relationships, and satisfying work.
There are many triggers that activate stress within us.
- emotion issues
- the death of a loved one
- birth of a baby
- lack of sleep
- traffic jams
- forgetting to eat
- lack of water
- drinking too much coffee
- drinking too much alcohol
- a challenging work situation
Our body’s adrenal glands go into the fight or flight response which sends adrenaline ie. cortisol coursing through out our body when we are stressed. In ancient times we would go into this fight or flight response when we were exposed to a dangerous situation such as running away from a wild animal to save our life. After the incident was over our body would adjust and return back to a state of balance once returning to the safety of the tribe and camp.
However, in our modern world we have many stressors in our home environment and outside environment and our bodies are constantly in this fight and flight response. When we have cortisol flowing throughout our body for a long period of time, this affects our health in the long run.
So how to we reduce stress and return to balance?
In my practice I teach people about using natural remedies and one of the most important are herbs and essential oils. There are herbs and essential oils that are called adaptogens and they specifically help the body to handle stress and have minimal or no side effects when used properly.
I love HERBAL TEAS because they are so easy to make and use. You can also add them to salads, and to flavour vinegars. My favourite adaptogenic herbs are:
- Chamomile has a calming action on the body, aids with sleep and digestion.
- Tulsi or Holy Basil nourishes the body. It also has antimicrobial and anti- inflammatory properties. It is referred to as the ‘happy herb.’
- Lemon Balm is a superior nervine (supports the nervous system). It also helps with focus, emotional outbursts, and anxiety. It is a beautiful tea to give to children.
- Rose hips support us when dealing with heartbreak, anxiety, and depression. It has high doses of vitamin C, great for your immune system.
You can buy these herbs individually or buy dried and combine them to make an delicious tea. If you like you can add some honey and a slice of lemon.
Below is a recipe for a simple tea which I encourage you to try.
Essential Oils are another way to heal with plants. They are extremely powerful liquids that are made from herbs. Because they are so concentrated a little goes a long way. They are also adaptogens which means they support the body to return to balance. The reason they are so powerful is because they work on an part of the brain called the limbic system. The limbic system controls our emotions. When smelling an Essential Oil it travels to the limbic system and has an immediate calming effect on the central nervous system. Quite literally it shifts our mood.
Here are a few of my favourites for helping with stress.
- Lavender is the nurturer and is my favourite to relieve stress, it soothes nervous tension and headaches.
- Chamomile calms the body, mind and emotions. When you can’t sleep because of stress it is a great choice, so help you slumber.
- Bergamot lifts the mood and is my go to for anxiety and depression. It is called “liquid sunshine in a bottle,” for it makes you begin to feel happy.
- Douglas Fir is a conifer oil that supports you to feel grounded, calm, and relaxed. The forest I walk through is filled with Douglas fir trees and it is one of my favourite oils when I need to calm down.
Here is a quick and easy way to reduce stress using Lavender Essential Oil.
Stress doesn’t have to be a way of life and using natural remedies is so easy and simple. I encourage you to give these two recipes a try and notice the subtle changes in your body, mind and emotions. Natural remedies are gentle and build up in the body over time. Begin by creating a ritual of healing when you use these remedies to encourage self care as a habit and everyday occurrence.
If you want to learn more about how to use essential oils to relieve stress and bring more peace and balance into your life then grab a copy of my book, Healthy Living – The Secrets To Natural Health And Wellness. It’s a concise, clear and easy to follow guide for using essential oils, to relieve everyday issues naturally.