Coping better with stress
My old friend and teacher, Alfred Vogel, often said that stress on the nervous system can affect almost every part of our body and is at the root of many of our modern-day ailments. Today, we know that there are an almost overwhelming number of factors that can contribute to the build-up of everyday stress.
The central nervous system takes a great deal of the strain both physically and emotionally when pressures are building. Physically it means headaches, muscle tension, upset digestion and fatigue; emotionally, jumpy, irritable behaviour, mood swings and sleep disturbances.
Feeding the central nervous system with magnesium and vitamin B, which are both vital and used up extremely quickly in stressful situations, will minimise knotted muscles and irritation.
Stress and your diet
Firstly, look at your diet. Include lots of fresh fruit, vegetables and wholefoods. Avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine filled drinks like coffee. Fresh water and herbal teas are best.
And make sure that you are breathing properly, not just short, shallow intakes that barely oxygenate your ribcage. Exercising will both improve your lung capacity and increase levels of ‘happy chemicals’ in your body.
Nature provides many herbs to relax and revitalise the nervous system. They work gently with your body to restore balance. There is, of course, the immediate action of Emergency Essence.
This will give respite from the worst excesses of nervous tension or blind panic. It is easy to carry around with you and can be taken as many times as you like or need!
Oats (Avena sativa) are full of vitamin B and calming constituents, gently reducing physical and emotional pressure, while feeding the nervous system. The effects build up gradually. It can be taken long term and is excellent for hyperactive or over-stressed children.
Avena sativa, combined with Valerian, has a slightly stronger in its effect, relaxing muscle tension and relieving anxiety. Stress Relief Daytime offers a calming effect if you constantly feel nervy and wound-up. It also helps to improve sleep quality and can be taken short or long term, alongside other medication.
If you are taking tranquillisers, sedatives or antidepressants, it isn’t sensible to take herbs that have similar effects as well. If you feel your medication isn’t working, go back to your doctor.
Stress affects sleep
Lack of sleep is another factor leading to the build up of stress. Sleep is designed to restore us to full function after a period of wearing ourselves out. During the night, tissues are repaired, organs rest or finish cycles such as flushing out toxins, and the brain filters the events of the day. The problem comes when sleep is elusive.
Missing the time to repair and restore, we find ourselves struggling to cope, unable to concentrate and feeling tired and irritable. The longer this goes on, the more stressed we become.
The solutions are often practical. Take time to relax before bed, not working or watching adrenalin pumping films in bed, and altering your diet or mealtimes. Another common aid to sleep is a herbal tincture, Dormeasan® Valerian-Hops oral drops, 30 minutes before you want to go to sleep.
...and the immune system
Remember that stress can make you susceptible to other infections, like colds and flu. It is a sad fact that when we are stressed, our immune system is weakened and we are more likely to fall prey to lurking germs. In these situations, strengthen your immune system with Echinaforce® Echinacea drops.
For more tips on how to deal with stress, read Jan de Vries’ book ‘Stress and Nervous Disorders’.