Some of the best natural methods to strengthen your immune system and decrease dis-ease in the body are directly related to decreasing stress.
Stress keeps the body in the fight or flight response which keeps most of our energy focused on SURVIVAL instead of HEALING.
As a Holistic Life Coach, Reiki Master, and Mindfulness and Meditation Teacher, I’ve seen first-hand the power of using natural healing techniques to overcome all kinds of stress, overwhelm, trauma and pain.
Unfortunately, we live in a society that tends to focus on “magic pills” and “quick fixes” that keep us searching for external things to solve our problems – instead of looking at what we can control internally.
When I lost my brother at 18 to an allergic reaction to a prescription drug, was sexually assaulted a few years later, and then had a traumatic car accident – I was faced with ample opportunity to heal and work through stress, overwhelm, and emotional pain.
The greatest tools?
Things that helped me reconnect to my mind, body, and soul in a natural way.
So when everything with the Coronavirus started to get stressful in the external world – I knew the most important thing I could do was double-down my focus on my internal world.
After all, the internal is really all we can control right now.
So if you’ve been feeling extra stress right now… if you’re faced with a lot of unknowns, uncertainty, or fear around what might come next…
Firstly, I want you to know that it’s totally ok to have those feelings and there’s no need to feel guilty or suppress whatever is coming up for you. Find a way to accept and honour your feelings, be with them, and question where they are coming from.
Secondly, I want to share five easy but powerful tools that you can use any time you need to help you release stress and bring your body back into a place of peace, alignment, and safety!
This brings you out of your headspace (where all of the stress and overwhelm is residing) and back into your body and soul. It helps you connect to something more solid than the whirlwind of thoughts.
You can do this by getting outside in nature, feeling your feet on the earth, or simply visualizing yourself connecting to the earth. (I have some free guided meditations to help with this on my Youtube channel if you want more support!).
When you are stressed or anxious your breathing will become shallower which means less oxygen is coming into your body. Deep breaths show your brain you are ok and not in immediate danger, plus it floods your cells with oxygen which helps your body function more optimally.
The 4-7-8 technique can be very helpful to use throughout the day when you’re feeling stressed. Count to 4 with each inhale, hold for 7 seconds, and then exhale over 8 seconds. Remember, the longer the exhale the more your heartbeat is going to slow down!
Even just 5-minutes a day of meditation has been proven to provide countless benefits to reduce stress! Meditation creates more clarity which will allow you to take a more solid approach to the situation at hand compared to acting out of fear.
Spend a few minutes in the morning visualizing a white light entering through the crown of your head and filling your body. As you see yourself filling with light, feel how deeply you are relaxing! If you’d like, you can also visualize black smoke leaving through your root chakra or your feet, symbolizing any stress, fear, and tension exiting as your body fills up with positive, healing light!
This helps release stagnant energy in the body and also releases endorphins which help you feel better! We all know the power of movement but it can be very easy to ignore it in times of stress or “crisis”. However creating that forward motion is so powerful in tricking your mind out of the overwhelm and into a new point of focus.
If you’re short on time you can opt for a quick walk, do some squats, jumping jacks, or sit-ups in your house, or a try out a few yoga poses! Any of these options of movement will give your mind a temporary break from the stress so you can come back with a clear head.
5. Food Choices
A lot of foods in the Standard American Diet actually INCREASE stress in the body, especially those that are processed and/or more acidic. When your body is in a Fight or Flight mode – the ability to digest decreases because it’s more focused on making the necessary changes to keep your body alive! Survival is more important than digestion, but this can lead to more health issues along the line!
The best food choices are natural, organic, life-giving foods. Pay extra attention to your own food sensitivities during this time and see if any foods are actually fuelling your physical feelings of stress!
If you notice a spike in stress or anxiety before/after a meal, see if you can find a pattern around what may be causing it by keeping a small food journal or a note in your phone. Foods full of sugar and white flour can increase stress for the mind and body, coffee can trigger anxiety for some, and foods that are dense and hard to digest (like meat) make your body work harder.
The best choices you can make for yourself when feeling stressed out is to pay even more attention to eating, breathing, thinking, and feeling HEALTH!
In times of stress and lack of control – try your best to be mindful by tuning into what you CAN control and double down on things that are going to help you feel better in the present moment.
The more focus you can put on getting to an energy and mindset of positivity, hope and love – the better you’re going to feel mentally and emotionally, and the better you’re going to set yourself up to heal and stay strong physically.
Stay strong, stay safe, and take care of yourself on all levels. Your mind, body, and soul will thank you for it!