We are living in uncertain times.
As someone who is prone to anxiety, I totally understand how scary it can feel to have so many things feel so outside of your control.
You may feel anxious about your ability to keep yourself and your family safe. Or about your personal freedoms, like your ability to go outside, enjoy a meal at a restaurant or connect in person with friends and family.
There are a lot of fearful messages circulating in the news, on social media and by elected officials. And you have no control over any of those messages.
The only thing you have control over is your ability to control your reaction.
“Between the stimulus and response there is space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom,” This ability to control the response to stress allowed Viktor Frankl to survive the holocaust.
You may have no control over this virus or the measures your local government is taking to contain it, but you do have complete control over your own response. And that’s a lot of power.
Your ability to control your response to uncertainty can help you navigate these uncertain times and support your healing.
As you know, this past year and a half has been a constant barrage of uncertainty and fear for me. It has given me tremendous practice at maintaining inner calm in the face of external chaos. I would like to share my four favorite techniques to stay calm in the hopes of helping you through this time of uncertainty.
1. Help Shift Your Nervous System into the Parasympathetic State
As you may know, I have navigated more than my fair share of emergency situations in the past 18 months. And I’ve certainly fallen into panic but quickly realized that it was not a sustainable place to live. Panic, or the survival state of your nervous system known as your “fight or flight” sympathetic response keeps you locked in a state of high alert where it’s almost impossible to access your ability to think rationally and calm your system.
When you are able to calm down and drop into the parasympathetic state, you can access better problem solving skills and think more clearly. The parasympathetic state also helps turn on your immune system to help keep you healthy and strong.
The parasympathetic state turns on your immune processes, allowing your body to fight pathogens, bacteria, fungus, parasites, viruses, and chronic infections.
Apply the Parasympathetic™ blend behind your earlobe on your mastoid bone to help calm your nervous system. If you don’t own that blend, or don’t have it nearby, you can gently massage the outside of your earlobes or use your tongue as a paint brush to paint along the roof of your mouth – both of these help stimulate your vagus nerve to activate the parasympathetic state.
2. Calm Anxiety
Anxiety can be triggered by over-activity and dominance of the right frontal lobe of your brain. The right brain processes the emotional aspects of the human experience, giving us empathy and compassion, but in overdrive, the right brain can contribute to heightened emotions and anxiety.
Functional neurologist Dr. Titus Chiu strategically suggests inhaling essential oils through your left nostril (which travels directly to your left frontal lobe) to activate your left frontal lobe and balance the over-activity of the right frontal lobe. This creates balance between the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which then leads to feelings of calm and helps halt anxiety attacks.
Calming your adrenal glands calms your cortisol output. This helps reduce anxiety and also stops the suppression of your immune system.
The biggest danger of the coronavirus is the concern of uncontrolled inflammation in the lungs. Calming cortisol output can help support this. Cortisol has a “dualistic” relationship with inflammation – meaning it can be both pro- and anti-inflammatory and the dynamic evolves over time. In the short term, cortisol calms inflammation to enhance your chances of survival. Over time, high cortisol levels from prolonged stress can contribute to inflammation. Chronically high cortisol levels decrease the sensitivity of your tissues to cortisol, undermining its effectiveness in calming inflammation and suppressing your immune system. This can also create a vicious inflammatory cycle. Calming your adrenals and your response to stress can support the ability of cortisol to calm inflammation and reduces hyper immune responses.
Smelling Adrenal™ though the left nostril or apply the adrenal glands (on the lower mid-back, one fist above the 12th rib on each side). Dilute to start or if any redness occurs.
Similarly, applying Calm™ over the heart can help calm anxiety and reduce panic. Formulated with calming oils known to quell anxiety, like Tangerine, Orange, Ylang Ylang, Blue Tansy, Patchouli, Calm™ may help alleviate anxiety, panic, racing heartbeat, feelings of overwhelm and promote calm and relaxation.
3. Ground Yourself
Grounding is a technique that helps you connect to the healing energy of nature and the Earth. Grounding brings us into a state of balance, both mentally and physically. It is in this balanced state that our body can rest, repair, and heal on the physical, emotional and spiritual level.
When we physically ground and connect to Earth, it reduces inflammation, helps optimize organ function and improves detoxification, by allowing toxins to flow out of us and into the Earth On the emotional level, grounding allows our thoughts and emotions to move through us more easily. On a spiritual level, grounding enhances our connection to our intuition and spiritual guidance.
Grounding, also called Earthing, is easy to do. You can connect to the Earth by walking barefoot on grass, on the beach or even on ceramic tile. Yoga facilitates grounding as does meditation and the consumption of plants grown in the Earth, either as food or essential oils derived from plants.
Essential oils, especially those derived from barks, roots, grasses, needles and resin of grounded plants which are intrinsically grounded through their root structure into the Earth, help you pull your energy centers down into the Earth.
Plants that grow under earth entrain with earth’s energies. This is why stones, root vegetables or essential oils from root plants that share space with the Earth, match the frequency of the Earth and can be used for grounding. Rock, crystals and minerals, in particular, are able to hold a solid vibration so when you hold one in your hand or place it near your body, you have to change your frequency to match that of the rock or mineral. This is one reason that crystals are so popular for grounding.
Natural scents, like essential oils derived from plants, also carry a vibration and smelling essential oils forces you to entrain your energy with the plant and helps connect you to nature and ground you.
When we connect with the Earth, or plants that have grown from the earth, we connect to the balance of nature. The tides, the seasons, the circadian rhythm of day and night, along with the cycles of the moon all ebb and flow in balance. Our bodies are designed to maintain a similar natural rhythm.
When we align ourselves with that grounded energy of nature, it can help us return to and stay in balance. Essential oils and the energy of nature, especially oils from grounded plants like trees or grasses, help ground us and return our bodies to the state of balance and enhance our ability to change in response to body’s demands.
Attention™ blend was designed to support children with ADD/ADHD and it works because it helps ground these kids into their bodies and when they are grounded, they are less distracted, impulsive and more focused. Attention™ contains Vetiver, a perennial bunchgrass with very deep roots that help ground it to the Earth. Vetiver essential oil is extracted from these deep roots and is known to grounds you mentally, physically and emotionally, often helping you explore the root of your emotional issues. Attention™ also contains Frankincense™ and Cedarwood which helps us ground and feel connected to the planet and each other.
Frankincense™ is a resin extracted from trees that grow in the challenging climates of northeastern African and the Arabian Peninsula. These challenging climates make Frankincense™ uniquely resilient and supportive to help with grounding. Frankincense™ is known for helping to purify, sanctify and connect you to your spiritual path, calming the mental chatter of your nervous system. It also helps connect you to the healing energy of the Earth.
Apply 2- 3 drops of Attention™ on the bottom of the feet and back of the neck to help with grounding.
A Note on Applying to the bottom of the Feet
We typically ground through the feet. Placing the feet on the grass, the dirt, the sand or applying oils on the bottom of the feet. There are 4,000 pores on the bottom of our feet, when essential oils are applied to the bottom of the feet it hits your blood stream in 30 seconds and goes into each cell in 20 minutes.
When Max died, a dear friend advised that I only needed to sleep, eat and move (You can read more about that HERE). This was great advice as sleep helps to calm your nervous system and calm stress.
It turns out that melatonin, the hormone released during sleep, is also being shown to help prevent coronavirus. Melatonin has several detoxifying, anti- inflammatory and immune stimulanting properties. Melatonin helps regulate your immune function by signaling your immune pathway and by regulating intracellular levels of powerful antioxidants like Glutathione. For example, research suggests that melatonin may inhibit cell death and detoxify the damage in cells. Melatonin has been found to inhibit inflammatory cascades in the body that contribute to the exaggerated immune response seen in critical Coronavirus cases (Read More HERE) The correlation between melatonin and coronavirus prevention might explain why young children rarely present with severe symptoms when infected with Coronavirus. This is because young children can have up to 10 times the peak melatonin levels of older adults.
Topically applied essential oils can play a huge role in supporting the pineal gland to naturally release melatonin. They can be especially powerful in supporting the brain as the brain is comprised primarily of fat and essential oils are fat soluble so they easily penetrate and assimilate into the system.
Circadian Rhythm™: Melatonin is the key hormone to help us fall asleep. It is typically released by the pineal gland in response to darkness, but modern toxins and artificial lighting can impede this release. Circadian Rhythm™ blend can be applied around the base of the skull (apex of head, above ears and back of head) to help trigger the natural release of melatonin.
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