In our modern world today is a word we hear too often ... Stress! Just hearing or reading the word can make our jaw tighten and our breath shallow. Jobs, relationships, money, trauma can all get in the way of living peacefully. As a Yoga teacher, Holistic Health Counselor, Manual therapist, Spiritual teacher,I always made conscious effort to stay ahead of the daily stressors, but then I got a big dose of painful trauma that put me in a place I had never been , I was diagnosed with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder ). This is my journey, and what I did to support myself during the long healing process.
Our society tends to attribute PTSD with veterans, war, intense trauma, but it can happen to anyone after a trauma or prolonged high levels of stress. For me, it brought on an entire new world that I have never experienced before. I have always been the sunshiny person, the optimist, the go getter and this was the opposite. The brain is an amazing organ as it sends off messages to the body when we are in fight or flight response by creating a rush of energy and hormones that literally feels like a flood of electricity is being pumped into the body over and over again. Over time my body responded with depletion, exhaustion, worry, sadness, heart palpitations, headaches, muscle and joint pain, brain fog, and high blood pressure, not to mention weight gain and overall displeasure in day to day activities.
Digging out of that place took time, my entire being needed to be altered. I started with what I knew; therapy, yoga, meditation, studying, reading. At first I could barely get up, I would do one little task a day, walk to the end of the driveway, or listen to some calming music. Some days I even tried to just plow through it, which depleted me even more. After a time, and along with the support of a wonderful therapist, adaptogen herbs and clean food, meditation and lots of peace, I was able to heal slowly.
Mind, Body , Spirit ... The Healing
What comes first? What needs the support most ? I decided I could not leave any of these mind, body, spirit, aspects of myself out, so I went all in. I detoxed, and cleansed, I meditated, medicated, sat in nature, I took herbs and teas and supplements daily. Slowly, I came alive, not without struggle or feeling defeated at times, but I kept plugging away the proverbial mountain I had to climb.
Eventually I came back to my peace, my presence, and I began to see the light literally and figuratively, one...day...at...a...time.
**Here are some natural remedies and suggestions that can support your journey to healing and reclaiming your peace;
1.)Eat whole foods for your constitution- unprocessed and clean foods support your gut and your brain. (we will get to the gut brain connection in another article) Ayurvedic practices teach that, everything you digest is either nourishment or poison.
2.) Hydrate -to support your tissues and clear out toxic loads from your body.
3.) Create a Daily physical practice- walking, running, dance, yoga, belly dance, play a sport etc, to increase uplifting natural endorphins, and blood flow to the body.
4.) Meditate- a contemplative walk or sitting quietly, start with 5- 10 minutes then increase time and as often as twice a day once in the morning and once at night.
5.)Lower the noise- deliberately lower the noise by turning on the sweet sounds of nature and turning off the tv, the distractions, the unneeded noises.
6.) Support with Herbs- introduce adaptogens into your daily routine.
Adaptogens; herbs known by herbalists to support the bodies ability to adapt to stressors.
Some of the most common herbal adaptogens are Ashwaghanda , Reishi, Holy Basil, and many others including Cannabinoids.
Adaptogens have been used for hundreds of years by Herbalists from all disciplines and cultures.
Luckily, Justen our Herbalist specializes in adaptogens, and has formulated several versions to support us in our daily lives. ( Drops of Sunshine, Drops of Peace, Ultra Adapt- added to web soon, call for order)
7.) Find a good therapist or mentor to help you sort out some thoughts and lighten your mental load (always reach out if you feel you can not get out of your negative thoughts or feelings)Write it out in a journal, cry it out with someone who supports you unbiasedly. Read a sweet story or a self help book.
8.) Love yourself- do things for yourself that nurture you and lift you up !