Stress is a normal part of daily life whether we like it or not. It faces us every day with our jobs, commuting, dysfunctional relationships, financial struggles, our health, even the physical act of getting out of bed every morning can be a stress. Doctors have been telling us for years that stress can negatively impact our health but what do we do about it? I don’t know about you but knowing that stress can weaken my immune system, possibly cause anxiety and depression, and worse yet, may lead to cancer, stresses me out! So how do we deal with our daily stresses and maybe even turn them into positives?
*Exercise: We’ve all heard that exercise is the panacea for everything but… yuck! Who, other than serious exercise enthusiasts, enjoys being sweaty, out of breath, and so sore you can’t stand up for a week? Not me! If the gym and heavy exercise is your thing, then by all means, you be you. If you hate the thought of a pounding pulse then just go for a walk in nature! Anything that gets the blood moving will help with stress management especially if it’s outdoors. Dance around your living room, take your kids, dog or cat (if you’re a masochist) to a park instead or play your favorite sport. Exercise doesn’t have to be a rigid, tortuous experience and if you enjoy it, you’re more likely to keep doing it.
*Sleep: Get plenty of quality sleep which could be its own topic all by itself. Sleep can be very elusive to the stressed but it’s vital to coping with stress. Invest in a quality mattress and turn off the electronics so you can sleep without distractions. Use a diffuser and diffuse essential oils like doTerra Serenity oil and cedarwood oil to relax the nervous system. Serenity essential oil is a blend of lavender, cedarwood, Roman chamomile, vetiver amongst other oils to fight insomnia and sleep problems. Both oils are sedative to the nervous system and can aid in achieving healthy sleep. Try to avoid alcohol and caffeine as these do negatively affect sleep.
*Laugh: Find something funny every day whether it’s a comic in the newspaper that you enjoy reading or a great movie that makes you laugh. Even finding something funny about a stressful situation. Getting stuck in traffic used to really stress me out until I turned up my music and started singing and dancing in the car! My kids’ and the other passengers in the cars around me reactions were hilarious! I looked ridiculous but I thoroughly enjoyed myself taking that negative stress and turning it into a positive one!
*Essential oils: For stress relief try diffusing doTerra Adaptive and Balance oils. Adaptiv essential oil is a calming blend of wild orange, lavender, magnolia and other oils to lift the mood and calm if used aromatically and topically. Adaptiv also comes in a soft gel to be taken internally. Balance essential oil is used as a grounding blend with Frankincense, Blue chamomile, blue tansy and more. I usually have both of these oils diffusing to create a calm and relaxing work and living space.
*Vitamins and Minerals: Eat a varied diet of organic whole foods to maximize nutrient consumption. Vitamin C, the B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium and calcium and many of the trace minerals are all crucial to how you handle stress. It is best to get your vitamins and minerals from diet but sometimes supplementation is necessary so talk to your natural health care practitioner about the best dosages for you.
CHN, E. L. (2011). Digestive Wellness. McGraw-Hill.
PhD, J. L. (2001). Adrenal Fatigue. Petaluma: Smart Publications.
The Essential Life. (2021). Total Wellness Publishing LLC.
Dragoş D, Tănăsescu MD. The effect of stress on the defense systems. J Med Life. 2010 Jan-Mar;3(1):10-8. PMID: 20302192; PMCID: PMC3019042.
Balmus IM, Robea M, Ciobica A, Timofte D. PERCEIVED STRESS AND GASTROINTESTINAL HABITS IN COLLEGE STUDENTS. Acta Endocrinol (Buchar). 2019 Apr-Jun;15(2):274-275. doi: 10.4183/aeb.2019.274. PMID: 31508190; PMCID: PMC6711640.
Eckhardt CI, Parrott DJ. Stress and Intimate Partner Aggression. Curr Opin Psychol. 2017 Feb;13:153-157. doi: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2016.09.005. Epub 2016 Oct 5. PMID: 28497106; PMCID: PMC5421636.
Dai S, Mo Y, Wang Y, Xiang B, Liao Q, Zhou M, Li X, Li Y, Xiong W, Li G, Guo C, Zeng Z. Chronic Stress Promotes Cancer Development. Front Oncol. 2020 Aug 19;10:1492. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2020.01492. PMID: 32974180; PMCID: PMC7466429.
Freeman M, Ayers C, Peterson C, Kansagara D. Aromatherapy and Essential Oils: A Map of the Evidence. Washington (DC): Department of Veterans Affairs (US); 2019 Sep. PMID: 31851445.