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10 Ways to Cope with Anxiety and Stress

We all have things that trigger feelings of anxiety and stress. Some are small and insignificant, such as being stuck in traffic, and others are life disrupters that turn our world upside down. The one thing that’s certain is that trying to avoid those things that stress us is like trying to walk in between the raindrops in a thunderstorm.

The world we live in is only getting more complex. We are surrounded by choices. From the close to 100,000 drink combinations at Starbucks to the 27 apps on a typical smart phone. At times it seems that our ability to innovate has exceeded our ability to cope with innovation. It’s simply overwhelming.

Its’ no wonder that prescriptions for anti-anxiety meds have increased by 50% in the last 20 years.

Mobile technology isn’t helping any of this.

  • 50 percent of us check our e-mail or text messages before getting out of bed in the morning.
  • 60 percent of us sleep with our mobile devices in or near our bed (up to 79 percent for those under age fifty).
  • 30 percent of millennials actually sleep with their smart phone “in” their bed.
  • We spend on average of 5.5 hours on mobile devices daily, however 40 percent of 22-32 year-olds spend more than 13 thirteen hours a day on their mobile device!

It’s all pointing to the inevitable conclusion that we live in a world whose complexity, uncertainty, and volatility is increasing faster than our ability to cope. When the context of change exceeds your ability to cope it creates stress.

Since we’re clearly not going to slow down the overall rate of change in the world, there are only two ways to reduce stress. You either have to avoid the triggers or learn to better cope with them. Notice that I didn’t say you had to adapt to the change. The greatest myth we perpetrate in modern society is that we have a mandate to adapt and accept every change. While that sounds very progressive, it can actually create even more stress because now you are not only anxious about the change but you’re also setting a high bar that you have to hurdle by adapting to something your body and mind really do not like, which in turn creates even more stress.

The fact is that not all change is good change that contributes value and quality to our lives. Take my earlier example of driving in traffic. If I could show you a way to get to your destination that is faster, more pleasant, more scenic, and which contributes something positive to your life wouldn’t you choose that over adapting to the traffic?

Although we don’t like to admit it, that’s the way most stress works. We choose to stay in stressful situations because we actually adapt to the presence of stress and accept it as normal. That only makes stress a permanent part of your life. Chronic stress is not normal. It damages your body, dulls your mind, and depresses you emotionally. And then all of these in turn make it even harder to cope with the triggers that create the stress.

So how do you reduce stress? Here are 10 ways to start both eliminating the triggers of stress and anxiety and coping with those that you have no control over.

1) Get off of Social Media

I know, I’ve started with one of the hardest and most difficult stressors to eliminate. With smartphones we are tethered to social media like tagged wildlife. Worse yet, studies have shown that social media triggers addictive and obsessive responses in the brain. But it’s not just what social media does to your brain but also what it does to your workload. Eliminating social media is exceptionally effective at reducing the stress of not having enough time. We spend nearly 2 hours each day on social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter, and exponentially more right now. What would your day feel like if you had two extra hours to do things that you really needed to do? Well, guess what? You just got those two hours. It’s up to you how you use them.

2) Take a Break

Small breaks every 15 minutes have been shown to have a tremendously positive effect on productivity and well being. The key here is to avoid falling into the trap of believing that simply bumping up against an obstacle repeatedly will cause it to give way. In many cases that’s only going to increase your stress and frustration. Imagine your car being stuck in deep snow while you just keep spinning your wheels and digging deeper and deeper into the snow making it harder and harder to get out. Instead take a step back. Clear your mind. And then revisit whatever it is you’re dealing with from a new perspective.

3) Talk it Out

Depending on what type of personality you are this may appear to be very natural or very painful. This of us who like to retreat into the confines of our own mind believe that we can somehow will our way out of just about anything by focusing hard enough without interruption. In fact the worst thing in the world you can do to me when I’m stuck and stressed is to try and talk to me. My instinct is to shut you down faster than I’d swat away an annoying fly. Yet, conversation is one of the most therapeutic forms of problem solving. Keep in mind that I’m not suggesting someone else has the answer, but that your talking it out will help you find an answer. Although I’ll admit to being the last one to take my own advice on this, I can attest that as a holistic practitioner I’ve never ceased to be amazed at how people usually figure out their own problems with nothing more than encouragement and a bit of objective perspective.

4) Take a Walk/ Workout

Cliche, right? Perhaps, but walking actually release the feel good cocktail of endorphins, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin which stimulates you brain and causes you to feel better about yourself and your situation. Again, the challenge is that we want to believe we can “deal” with the stressor and we see walking away as a loss, when the greater loss is in spending much more time than is needed or warranted trying to “figure it out.”

5) Read

This is another one of those activities that we often see as distracting us from the task at hand. Yet, I’ve found that few things stimulate my ability to think through a problem more than the simple act of reading. Sometimes I’ll stumble across a nugget of wisdom that is tangentially or even directly applicable to my challenge at hand. But most times it’s just a way to get my mind to divert from a train of thought that has been holding it hostage. We don’t want to admit how easily we can become near sighted and lose peripheral vision necessary to think creatively.

6) Write, But Don’t Judge

This is one of my favorites. Our brains are muscles. They work best when we exercise them. But they also need time to recover and rebuild. I’m convinced that moderate amounts of acute stress are a good thing. If you’re a small business owner it’s just part of your life. Yet, the periods of recovery in between the stress are critically important. One way to give your brain time to recover is to write, I’m not talking about writing anything deeply meaningful or, for that matter, even remotely interesting. Instead, my suggestion is to simply write with no judgement about what you’re writing or how you are writing it. When you’re done writing just toss it in folder of random thoughts and streams of consciousness. It’s no different than going to the gym to workout. You’re not doing anything permanent. You’re not building a stone wall when you lift weights. You’re not going anywhere on that treadmill, or exercise bike. But you do it because it has a long term impact on you. Same with writing. Just do it for 5-15 minutes — no judgment, no proofing–and see how much sharper you are

7) Take a Nap

“And just when am I supposed to do that?” you’re asking. Well, that is exactly the problem. Most of us do not get enough sleep to begin with. Short power naps are one way to improve that. According to WebMD, “Research shows longer naps help boost memory and enhance creativity. Slow-wave sleep — napping for approximately 30 to 60 minutes — is good for decision-making skills, such as memorizing vocabulary or recalling directions. Getting rapid eye movement or REM sleep, usually 60 to 90 minutes of napping, plays a key role in making new connections in the brain and solving creative problems.” Yes, I know, the guilt of daytime napping is a hard one to cope with, which may contribute its own form of stress. Then again, if you haven’t tried it you may be very pleasantly surprised at its benefits.

8) Meditate

People fall into two categories, those who meditate and those who haven’t yet. Once you do it’s amazing how drawn you will be to it whenever stress shows up. I’m not going to give you a meditation method here. You need to study it and develop your own approach to meditation What I will share is something a good friend once told me. Meditating is not about trying not to think, instead it’s about allowing your mind to wander where it will while you observe calmly and without judgment. All I can say is, try it.

9) Listen to Music

In the age of mobility it seems as though each of our lives has a soundtrack. It’s a good thing and it can help reduce stress significantly. A group of neuroscientists at Mindlab International in the U.K have come across a piece of music that they claim reduces overall anxiety by 65 percent and reduces physiological responses to anxiety by 35 percent. I’ve often found music, in general, to be a wonderful way to help my mind get into a sort of creative zone where ideas flow smoothly and that same feel-good brain cocktail gets released. After all, who among us hasn’t been caught coping with rush hour traffic by performing a bit of carpool karaoke?

10) Stop Asking “What if?”

Lastly, it’s one thing to deal with the stress of the present without adding to it the stress of the past. While there are many episodes in each of our lives that we carry forward, the worst sort of stress is the “what if” games we pay about the past. I’m going to be very blunt here. The only reason to second guess the past is because you are unhappy with where you are now. If that wasn’t the case there would be no reason to questions how you got here. So, if that’s the case what you really need to focus on is your situation right now, right here. Do that and the what if games come to an end. Don’t do it and I will guarantee you one thing. Several months or several years down the road you will say “what if” about today as well!

Will the ten ways I’ve described eliminate your stress? No. Some degree of stress is a normal response to the world we live in. If you weren’t periodically stressed you also would likely not feel much of anything else. We need the occasional thunderstorm in our lives. Most of us just don’t want to live in a perpetual monsoon.

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Essential oils : The best stress relievers

Essential Oils: The Best Stress Relievers

 

Essential Oils became one of the trending ways on how a person can easily relieve from stress. They are frequently used for aromatherapy which is a popular complementary therapy since it can stimulate emotional responses by using our sense of smell.

These essential oils are the best remedy for stress because they are all natural which are taken from flowers and other herbal plants. They are pure essential oils without any chemicals added, and this is one of the reasons why it gives more relief and somehow healing effect to some illness especially when dealing with anxiety and stress.

Anxiety is also difficult to face especially if you are already stressed out and exhausted as it could really affect the emotional and intellectual aspect of a person. And these essential oils can be used as a great reliever from severe anxiety.

According to some reviews, a lot of patients who suffered from anxiety and depression who has undergone aromatherapy massage became more effective therapy rather than just doing a simple massage alone. Now, let me give you some popular essential oils that are being used for anxiety relief:

  1. Lavender

Lavenders are counted and become one of the most popular essential oil as it provides a relaxing outcome especially to our nervous system and somehow relieves sleep disorders, tensions, panic attacks and a lot more.

  1. Rose

Rose essential oil is very helpful oil for persons dealing with emotional stress, which are the most common, especially to women. It is considered the second popular essential oils for anxiety, stress, and depression.

  1. Vetiver

Vetiver essential oil provides tranquility effect which is commonly used from helping a person who suffers trauma. It provides calmness and awareness.

  1. Ylang Ylang

This is also one of the most popular oil that can definitely treat anxiety and depression as it can help a person uplift his or her personality as it gives positive aura and calmness. It can also be a great remedy from insomnia.

  1. Bergamot

Bergamot is can actually be extracted in teas called Earl Grey. It has floral taste and of course, has a great aroma smell which is good for calming as it gives energy and soothing effect.

There are a lot of essential oils out there, but these are just the popular ones that we use here at the centre, either diffusing them in reception or as part of the blends that our Aromatherapists can make up for you during your treatment. Chamomile and Frankincense are also considered as popular oils good for meditation and inner peace as well, including them on the Top 5 essential oils being used these days.

So if you’re stressed out and exhausted, why not try aromatherapy massage with these helpful essential oils. Help yourself as well and lessen your anxiety. I know you are tired but you deserve to unwind as well. Try these essential oils now and lessen those stresses out there.

www.riverholistic.ie/therapies

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Essential oils for stress

Essential oils for Stress

Claire Kenny 22/11/18

Essential oils contain a highly concentrated form of the biologically active compounds found in flowers and plants. Because they’re concentrated, they can provide therapeutic benefits—including stress relief—in very small amounts. Many of these oils have been used for therapeutic purposes for nearly 6,000 years by the ancient Chinese, Indians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and others.

 

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit. There are many ways to enjoy aromatherapy. Inhalation is the quickest. Just open the bottle and take a sniff. There are also various types of diffusers, which use heat, evaporation and other means to circulate the goodness of essential oils into the air you breathe.

 

Adding a few drops of an essential oil to your bathwater will deliver benefits though your nose and skin at the same time, you can also add them to a diffusers to disperse the scents around your house or car. Essential oils should not be rubbed directly into the skin, try diluting your favourite scent with what’s known as a carrier oil, such as olive oil or coconut oil.

Here are three essential oils that are especially recommended for stress relief:

Lavender

One of the most common essential oils, lavender oil has a calming, relaxing effect. It’s considered a nervous-system restorative and helps promote inner peace and restful sleep while relieving restlessness, irritability, panic attacks, nervous stomach and all-around general nervous tension. Research has also found that it helps reduce anxiety and depression and is a helpful pain reliever.

 

The scent of lavender stimulates brain pathways, including our limbic system, which is connected to our emotional responses and memories. You can try adding a few drops to an oil diffuser in your bedroom. Or massage your temples and back of your neck during times of stress. But make sure it’s 100 percent pure Lavandula Angustifolia, which is the soothing lavender, and not Lavandula Latifolia, the stimulating lavender.

 

Bergamot

The flavonoids found in bergamot oil are good for soothing the nerves and reducing tension, anxiety and stress. These properties also make them effective in treating sleeplessness, high blood pressure and depression. Bergamot oil can also stimulate the “feel-good” hormones in your body, such as dopamine and serotonin. Derived from the Citrus bergamia tree, bergamot oil has many other benefits, including pain relief and antibiotic properties.

 

Ylang-Ylang

Made from the flowers of the Cananga odorata tree, this essential oil sedates or calms nervous afflictions, stress, anger and anxiety, while inducing a relaxed feeling. Ylang-ylang (pronounced EE-lang EE-lang) has been shown to be effective in reducing blood pressure. As a remedy for depression, it is said to have the ability to “expand the heart.” Many depression sufferers have found that essential oils provide a natural and far safer alternative to drugs, and ylang-ylang may be one of the most useful of all the essential oils when it comes to improving your emotional well-being.

 

To relieve PMS cramps and other symptoms, try applying a mixture of ylang-ylang, lavender oil and a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, to the back of your neck and lower abdomen.

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Smells like home

Smells like home…

written by: Claire Kenny 08/09/2018


For as long as I can remember, my mother always had a bottle of essential oils ready for nearly all of our minor ailments when growing up.
When it came to exam times, interviews even the debs, mam would just pop into her wooden box of magic and make up blends that we could apply to our pulse points or even to our clothes. Our house always smelled safe.
Some of these blends even today remind of feeling safe and secure rather than the stress I was going through at the time of applying them.
Aromatherapy is the practice of inhaling the scent of essential oils to improve your mental and physical well-being.
One theory of how they work is that by stimulating the smell receptors in your nose, they can send messages to your nervous system. They are also thought to have a subtle effect on the body’s chemical and energy systems. Because of this, aromatherapy is often used as a natural remedy to relieve anxiety and stress.
Essential oils must be diluted with a carrier oil before they’re applied to the skin. This reduces your risk of irritation. For adults, every 15 drops of essential oil should be diluted with 1 ounce of carrier oil. For children, the ratio is 3 to 6 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce of carrier oil. Some popular carrier oils are almond, coconut, and jojoba.
Essential oils should never be ingested, despite claims on the internet that suggest otherwise. There’s not enough research on any one essential oil to prove it’s safe to swallow. Each essential oil is very different, and some are toxic.

Below is a list of some of my favourite essentials oil for anxiety and stress.

Valerian

Valerian is an herb that has been used since ancient times. It’s thought to contain compounds that promote sleep and calm nerves. It can have a mild sedative effect on the body.
How to use: Add a few drops of valerian oil to an aromatherapy diffuser and inhale. Ideally use Valerian at home in the evening as it may make you sleepy or relaxed.

Lavender

Lavender is one of the most popular aromatherapy oils. Lavender aromatherapy is thought to calm anxiety by impacting the limbic system, the part of the brain that controls emotions.
How to use: Enjoy a relaxing lavender bath by combining several drops of lavender oil with a teaspoon of carrier oil or an unscented bath gel. Stir the mixture into warm bathwater just before entering.

Jasmine

Jasmine oil has a gorgeous floral scent. Inhaling jasmine oil can promote a sense of well-being and romance. Unlike some other essential oils used for anxiety, jasmine oil is thought to calm the nervous system without causing sleepiness.
How to use: Inhale jasmine oil directly from the bottle or allow the scent to fill the room through a diffuser.

Sweet basil

Sweet basil essential oil comes from the same herb that you use in cooking. In aromatherapy, it’s thought to help calm the mind and relieve stress.
The phenol compounds in sweet basil oil helped relieve anxiety. These compounds were found to be less sedating than the anxiety medication diazepam.
How to use: Add several drops of sweet basil oil to a room diffuser or inhale through an inhaler tube.

Bergamot

Bergamot oil comes from bergamot oranges and has an invigorating citrus scent. Bergamot helps relieve anxiety and improve mood.
When used topically, bergamot may increase sun sensitivity.
How to use: Place a few drops of bergamot oil onto a cotton ball or handkerchief. Inhale the aroma two to three times to help relieve anxiety.

Chamomile

Chamomile is well-known for its relaxing and sedating properties and intoxicating scent. There isn’t much research on chamomile essential oil for anxiety.
How to use: Massage diluted chamomile oil into your skin or add it to a warm bath.

Rose

Rose essential oil is extracted from rose petals. Roses have an enchanting floral scent known to relax the senses.
Using a rose aromatherapy footbath can reduce anxiety in pregnant women during labour. Not be used unless in labour.
How to use: Soak your feet in a basin filled with warm water and diluted Rose essential oil. You can also add rose oil to your favourite non-scented moisturizer or shea butter and massage into skin.

Vetiver

Vetiver may be less known than other essential oils, but it’s not less effective. Vetiver oil comes from the grassy vetiver plant native to India. It has a sweet, earthy scent and is used as an aphrodisiac.
How to use: Enjoy a relaxing massage with diluted vetiver oil, or add it to a diffuser.

Ylang Ylang

Floral-scented Ylang Ylang is used in aromatherapy to promote relaxation. Inhaling a blend of Ylang Ylang, lavender, and bergamot lowered stress and anxiety levels, blood pressure, heart rate, and serum cortisol.
How to use: Apply diluted Ylang Ylang to your skin, add to a room diffuser, or inhale directly.

Frankincense

Frankincense oil is made from the resin of the Boswellia tree. It has a musky, sweet aroma that’s thought to ease anxiety. A beautiful massage blend of frankincense, lavender, and bergamot can improve anxiety, depression, and sometimes even pain in people with terminal cancer.
How to use: Massage diluted frankincense oil onto your hands or feet. You can also add frankincense to a diffuser.

Clary sage

Clary sage is different from the common herb used to make stuffing at Thanksgiving. It has a woody, herbal odour. Due to its calming abilities, it’s often used as an aphrodisiac.
Clary sage can ease tension and help control cortisol levels in women. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone. High cortisol levels may increase your risk of anxiety and depression.
How to use: Inhale clary sage oil directly when you feel anxious, or massage the diluted oil into your skin. Do not use clary sage while pregnant as it can cause contractions.

Patchouli

Musky patchouli is used in Ayurvedic medicine to relieve anxiety, stress, and depression. It’s often combined with other essential oils such as lavender. Patchouli is thought to promote calmness and relaxation, though most evidence is anecdotal.
How to use: To relieve anxiety, inhale patchouli oil directly or add it diluted to a warm bath or room diffuser.

Geranium

Geranium oil is distilled from the geranium plant.
For women in the first stage of labour, inhaling geranium oil effectively reduced their anxiety during labour. It may also help decrease diastolic blood pressure.
How to use: Apply a few drops geranium oil to a cotton ball and waft under your nose a few times.

Lemon balm

Lemon balm has a fresh, uplifting aroma. In aromatherapy, it has a soothing, restorative effect. Most success stories on inhaling lemon balm for anxiety are anecdotal. It may also improve sleep.
How to use: Lemon balm is a great oil to add to a diffuser to add scent to an entire room. You can also inhale it directly.

Marjoram

Also known as oregano, sweet marjoram is thought to calm nervousness and anxiety. It’s also used to ease headaches, a common symptom of anxiety.
How to use: Dilute marjoram with a carrier oil and rub into your temples. You may also apply to your wrists or add to a diffuser.

Fennel

Fennel is best known as a cooking spice. It has an anise aroma and is used to treat many anxiety side effects such as digestive problems. It may also help relieve anxiety that’s related to menopause and other conditions.
Using fennel essential oil has been known to help menopause side effects such as anxiety, hot flashes, sleep problems, and depression.
How to use: Add diluted fennel oil to a warm bath to help relax your body and your mind.

What to do before use:

Essential oils may cause an allergic reaction when used topically. To avoid this, it’s important to do a patch test on a small area of skin before use.
Place a few drops of diluted essential oil on your wrist or elbow, and cover the spot with a bandage. Check the area in 24 hours. If you experience any redness, rash, or itching, the oil isn’t safe for you to use on your skin.
Essential oils aren’t safe for everyone. Talk to your doctor before using essential oils if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or have an underlying medical condition. You should also consult your doctor before using essential oils on children.
Remember: Not all essential oils are created equal, so you should only buy them from a reputable source.

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Pregnancy Reflexology

Pregnancy Reflexology 

Written By Katie Dowling www.holisticsoul.ie

www.holisticsoul.ie/pregnancy-reflexology/

What Is Reflexology?

A therapy based on the theory that areas on the feet and hands are linked to other areas and organs of the body. Reflexology is used to treat symptoms in many parts of your body by using fingertip pressure on specific areas on your feet primarily, and sometimes on your hands as well. The idea is that this pressure allows blocked energy to flow freely, which increases blood flow to the corresponding part of your body and an uptick in the removal of toxic wastes. (Oh, and it feels good, too!)

How Can Reflexology Help During Pregnancy?

Reflexology is often used to soothe the aches and pains in your back and joints that are taking a beating from your growing bump. But that’s not all. Reflexology can also give you relief from some of your most persistent and wide-ranging woes. These may include morning sickness, heartburn, swelling in your legs (if not due to Pre-eclampsia), constipation, high blood pressure (again, as long as it appears without the other symptoms of pre-eclampsia), insomnia, bladder problems, mild cramping, and even haemorrhoids. In addition, reflexology may reduce emotional stresses, such as depression and anxiety. Reflexology may even be helpful after you give birth — some studies show it stimulates milk production. 

Some contra-indications to Reflexology in pregnancy:

* Pre-eclampsia

* Placental separation

* Unstable diabetes

* Unexplained Bleeding

* Blood Clots

Pregnant mothers are reassured to hear that some of the maternity hospitals are promoting reflexology. National Maternity hospital, Holles Street, Our Lady of Lourdes, Drogheda and MLU in Cavan are promoting Reflexology.

Katie is available Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday

Contact: 0851843002 Email: holisticsouldublin@gmail.com

Source: whattoexpect.com
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