Anxiety is the technical term we all suffer from when we worry about the everyday strains and demands of 21st century living. When faced with a potentially dangerous situation like being attacked by a dangerous animal, our body responds by the brain sending signals to release hormones that prepares us for defending ourselves against the danger. This is a healthy response to a healthy situation. Your muscles will tense up, your heart will begin to race, your breathing will get faster and your blood will become thicker in case you get hurt, so will clot quicker and stem bleeding (isn’t the body brilliant??), and this is healthy anxiety. Whether you suffer from headaches, insomnia, a depleted immune system, high blood pressure or even depression or panic attacks, you could be suffering from anxiety but without the life/death situation, and this is NOT healthy. When your body goes into fight or flight mode and remains there constantly, this is more regarded as stress and is very bad for your health but it is something that is more and more common these days, so here are some things I would use that may be of great help to calm your system back down again.
A simple remedy we turn to first is Lime flower tincture, which counteracts anything to do with anxiety or stress, and for a lot of people, this works fine. Taken daily, it calms nervous excitability and hysteria and just calms everything down. People use it long term and can be of great use without any side effects (even for kids and pets). It is also non-addictive so you can pick it up and put it down as you need it. 50ml £4.50, 100ml £8.50
St John’s wort is better if the stress is accompanied by depression, but if your head is disturbing your sleep at night, then we turn to Valerian which helps sort your body clock so you can get on with everything you need to do during the day but get restful sleep at night. Both are £4.00 for 50ml and £7.50 for 100ml.
A customer favourite tincture is my Stress and Fatigue blend, which does exactly what it says on the tin. Containing Valerain, St Johns wort, Gingko, Juniper berry and Echinacea, it helps your body get on with things and supports it while it does so.
If these don’t help or you really need help with your mental capacity too, then we reach for Rhodiola. It comes in supplement form from Solgar and is adaptogenic, which means it enhances your body to cope with whatever is going on, reducing stress and anxiety-related symptoms. It boosts your mind to enhance memory and supports your immune system as well as being a valuable anti-oxidant and anti-depressant (it helps transport serotonin precursors into the brain to help lift moods so has the effect of a sunny day, not a grey one so to speak!!) Ginseng will do a similar job in the war against stress, so your choice. Students also like Rhodiola, especially at exam time or when under pressure to complete asignments etc as the memory boost has been proven to help. Bonus too for the men as it helps libido. Stress tends to take a toll on bedroom performance and this puts it right again. Another supplement that can be extremely useful when under pressure is L-Theanine, which helps the brain “relax” by influencing alpha brain waves so helps the brain to stop when you need it to for some R&R…
Essential oils are extremely useful for anxiety and stress as they can help keep you calm and help you relax. They can also give you additional help if you are on more traditional medication and and herbal remedies are not a choice for you in case of reaction with current prescriptions.
One of the oils we use for anxiety, panic attacks or irritability is Ylang-ylang. This flower was spread on the bed of newlyweds to ensure a night of undying passion…but we use it to also help panic attacks! It supports the heart and panic attacks often make the heart race: a quick inhale of the aroma from a tissue or the palm of your hand and the heart will calm and stop racing. It clears the heart of tension and calms the mind: all is well again, agitation ceases and calm and relaxation infuses the body ready for sleep (or not as the case may be…it is aphrodisiac remember…). It brings that South sea paradise to you: take a calming relaxing bath with this added to the water and it will bring together your emotions and senses, uplifting and relaxing you. Ylang Ylang we sell is ‘extra’ which is the first pressing, the best you can get.
All Citrus oils are cheerful so use in plenty around the home to cheer up your environment, whether adding Grapefruit oil to your washing up water or cloth to wipe the surfaces, or lemon to clean your bathroom. Not only are they antiseptic and anti-viral etc, but they lift the vibrations of your home and make you feel happier.
Bergamot is lemony fragranced oil which captures the sunshine. Sprinkle on the pillow for a good nights sleep, but it will help you wake up in a sunnier disposition, with its uplifting and refreshing aroma. It eases stress and depression, so inhale during the day from a tissue or burn around the home/office.
Another stress reliever, especially for women, is Geranium oil. This floral aroma is mentally uplifting and refreshing. It balances the nervous system to help not only balance mood swings, but lift anxiety.
Now take Clary Sage, which is euphoric and helps treat high blood pressure, anxiety and stress. Add the two together and you have my Stress blend with a few secret added extras. A bath with that and you will wonder what you were getting uptight about…as a team, geranium and clary sage are great for anxiety and stress. Essential Oils are extremely beneficial and can help with all aspects of this dis-ease within the body.
Sleep an issue?? Going to sleep then waking up again? Head not closing down? Waking up and feel like you haven’t slept at all? Then Sweet Marjoram oil may be the answer. Add 8 drops to a bath and relax in the warm luxurious water for 20 minutes, and feel that stress just float away, then put some on your pillow before sleep…and you will sleep! The brain starts to recognise this aroma as meaning shut down and sleep, and it does, so give it a try. It will also ease those aches and pains that stress brings to the neck and shoulders so use in massage as well as the bath for complete body relaxation.
When under this state of fight or flight, the body is under great strain and cannot do what it normally does because of this state that holds it in this mode, so the immune system becomes compromised. You are much more likely to catch viruses and colds when stressed than at any other time so it is vital that you defend your body. Diet is often an issue because you don’t get time to think about diet, and when you reach for food, it tends to be comforting food like chocolate or cakes, so ensure, if you are not being as good about your food quality as you could be, that you supplement with good quality vitamins to make up for this situation. Also add tea tree to the bath to boost your immune system from the outside and help your body fight.
Many nutrients are vital to help you cope with the stresses and strains of life, but none more so that of a good multi-vitamin and mineral plus a B-complex, which supports your nervous and immune systems so keep these up daily. Calcium and magnesium relieve muscle tension (no more sore neck) and promote a healthy heart – vital when under stress. N.B. they do no good just sat in the bottle either…having them on the shelf doesn’t work!! When under stress, please remember to take the remedies daily…
Crystals interact with our own biochemical energy and the energy of the crystals gets absorbed through the aura into the body. Carry in your pockets or have by your side and they will work, so long as you can cleanse them in water by holding under a tap for a couple of minutes or holding in incense smoke. Now that bit is out of the way, here are some crystals that can help anxiety and stress
The first crystal I would use for this is Faden quartz. This is clear quartz that has come under stress itself and been fractured, then has repaired itself again. They all contain a line where the quartz fixed itself and are strange, squashed, twisted shapes. This crystal can be programmed to heal anything and increase your capacity to heal yourself (the body is amazing you know). Carry one of these and programme it to help with panic attacks/ anxiety/stress and help yourself to heal your life. Keep it with you in your pocket at all times. Prices from £5 – £25, and can be used for all healing situations, not just anxiety – simply cleanse thoroughly on a daily basis and programme to your health need.
Other crystals that help with stress include amethyst (which we call our stress-free zone), as it relaxes the head for sleep – keep a cluster by your bedside and a crystal in the pocket. Labradorite, on the other hand, helps you get work and play in equal balance, as all work and no play makes Jill a stressed-out girl!!
If you do suffer from anxiety or stress, maybe it is time to re-evaluate your life and bring pleasure and indulgence back into it. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune, like taking time to have a sumptuous candlelit bath and let the chores wait until tomorrow – time is precious, but so are you!! 20 minutes in an aromatic bath with a glass of wine and a book is worth far more than getting the dishes put away. They only get used again anyway…
When stressed, don’t try and help yourself by leaning on alcohol, caffeine and cigarettes as they can actually aggravate your situation and you will find yourself on a downward spiral, so limit your intake of these. A glass of red wine at the end of a stressful day is relaxing and health promoting, but a bottle is just a sore head in the morning whilst starting yet another day in the wrong mode…
Another help for stress is exercise and it is a proven fact that pets are vital to good health. I didn’t want a dog but was given a “fate accomplis”. Now, no matter how bad the day has been or how up the wall I am, there is always a loving greeting when I walk in the door, and a 20 minute walk with the dog after tea is priceless; it helps straighten my head, sort out my strategy plan for the evening/day after and gives me valuable exercise at the same time. You could even borrow a friend’s dog or take up a relaxing sport or join a gym – believe me, it works and you make new friends whilst getting away from things for a couple of hours!! Our bellydance class isn’t so much now about the exercise but is a support system for us self-employed!! However, it does help carry us all through for another week and keeps us trim at the same time. You just have to find something that fits in with your likes and lifestyle. Find the time for yourself; you are so worth it…
I do hope my list of healthy options helps you get a more relaxing and stress-free life