Stress has Gone Viral

With 1,410,000,000 stress-related sites on Google and 5.1 million posts under #stress plus the 1.9 million #stressed on Instagram, not including the 2.3 million posts under #stressrelief, and all the lesser hashtags concerning stress, one would surmise–we, the human race, have a problem.

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What is it, really?

The definition, according to dictionary.com, is simply:

a state of mental or emotional strain or tension
resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.
Stress can be noticeable or hidden.
Either way, it is a real thing and it is affecting us all greatly.

Studies have shown that 80%, to 90% and, according to, Dr. Alexander Loyd, PhD, ND, the author of “The Healing Code,” even 95% of aches, pains and illnesses today are caused by stress which increases the production of the hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Our heart rate is increased and our blood pressure rises, when adrenaline is boosted, not to mention plaque build up in our arteries when cortisol is escalated. In addition, our brains, gut, and our overall lives are affected in a negative manner.

Furthermore, stress is directly related to the number six killer in the USA, heart disease, and is a big factor in creating ongoing self-medicating, which promotes substance abuses including but not limited to alcohol and opioids. Stress has become a trillion-dollar epidemic says a recent article in the Huffington Post.

Stress is the #1 cause of illness in the USA  – Dr. Alexander Loyd

We all have those days that we exhibit some of the many symptoms of stress:

  • irritability
  • chest pain
  • insomnia
  • anxiety
  • loss of appetite (or in my case, overeating)
  • headaches
  • stomach ache
  • acid reflux

The list is long.

Then there are days when we don’t actually feel it, but our bodies are secretly in war mode attempting to covertly fight off hidden culprits found all around us, every day, the kind that homestead in our cells and wreaks havoc. Our environment is loaded; from our cell phones to the media; from relational conflicts to side effects from the medication we ingest to the food we eat, and on and on. We are being bombarded.

With all the evidence that stress causes illness at a cellular level, the big question is this: how do we rise above all of it and be unaffected? 

The answer. There is no solid answer that will work for everyone all of the time. However, I have included nine of my favorite stress defusers below.

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  1. Be still. Meditation is an ancient practice of focusing on a single point of reference. With all the chatter that is constantly dive-bombing my brain, I like to take some time in the morning to find that secret place of peace that can only be found when we intentionally set time aside.
  2. Breathe. We know that stress can cause shortness of breath, anxiety and other health-related issues. Again, taking time to breathe deeply during meditation or otherwise, increases calmness as well as much-needed oxygen in our body. Recently I was introduced to an exercise in which I put my hands together at my chest and at the same time breathe in and out deeply and quickly for about 30 seconds. If I were to wear a stress monitor, my stress levels would be visibly lowered very quickly. Try it wherever you are when feeling stressed, see what happens.
  3. Healthy diet. Eating healthy has improved my demeanor tremendously over the last decade. Even with my occasional bouts of comfort food stress eating, I find eating green and clean assists in obtaining an overall sense of well being.
  4. Hydrate. Drink clean water. We have a Berkey Water Purifier that has kept us feeling good about the water we drink. Because the system can purify even lake water, we add a few minerals back into the water, like Celtic Sea Salt. Just a pinch will add much-needed sodium to the water which assists in nerve & muscle function while promoting a healthy blood pressure level. We also add lemon whenever possible to increase the alkalinity of the water. It tastes good too.
  5. Walk. I have friends that walk 13,000 to 15,000 steps per day and I applaud their effort. But for me, walking on the treadmill for several miles about three times a week and taking the time to walk briskly around town a couple of times a week seems to increase energy and decrease stress. Walking gives me time to think, listen to audio teachings or sing along with my favorite tunes on Pandora. I take my dog, Koda, with me for added adventure. Walking/running a marathon is on my list of wanna do’s. When I begin training for a 5k, my steps will increase significantly.
  6. Sleep. I love my sleep and go to bed early so I can get up early. I set my clock to chime when it’s time for bed and have a wonderfully peaceful jingle wake me up eight hours later. Before bed, I like to drink Sleepy Time Tea with Valarian to increase a sense of restfulness and sometimes, if I wake up in the night, I eat a banana too, which is a wonderful sleep aid. (Read my blog on “Bananas for Bananas” for more benefits) I also like to wind down by picking up a book and reading until drowsiness sets in, which is oftentimes only two paragraphs. (Studies show that falling asleep to the TV or other electronics can actually deter sleep)
  7. IMG_1815Guard my heart. Personally, I do not watch the news any longer and find my life is much more peaceful. In addition, I have not subscribed to the newspaper or to regular television since 2010 and am no longer subject to mind-numbing advertisements, though, sadly, YouTube and the internet at large is becoming increasingly saturated with ads as well.
  8. Forgive. Holding on to bitterness increases stress internally which adds to the problem. (Read more in my recent blog on forgiveness.)
  9. Pray. Prayer has been a part of my life for decades and I find when I bring things that are bothering me, situations that are potentially stress-causing, before God and surrender them as quickly as I can, life is simply more peaceful and productive.

In closing, there are more adverse effects of stress that are not mentioned and there are many more ways of defusing a stressful life. My hope is that we all examine our days at least to some extent and make adjustments where needed.

Change our mind,

change our words,

change our habits,

change our life.

Be well,

Cindy

 

Black Gold

Several months ago some friends took a tour of the American Southwest. Upon their return, they shared about the treasure they found. I felt like it was Christmas as they explained this healing gem; excitement bubbling up from within. Though new to us; it appears this oil, known as “blessed oil” is an ancient remedy dating back thousands of years.

In Latin this seed is known as Panacia, which means, cure-all

Black Seed Oil, from the black cumin seed, also known as Nigella Sativa, is a miracle herb according to an article at PubMed. Originating in the Mediterranean, it seems a favorite of the Pharaohs and was even found in the tomb of King Tut himself.

The healing properties are rich in this plant and are documented well over the last fifty years with thousands of sites written on the topic. From acne to infertility; from cancer to diabetes, this powerful gift to mankind is truly a find worth sinking my teeth into. Good results in these areas of illness are beyond fantastic, of course, but my heart actually leaped when I read that this blessed oil could potentially assist in shedding those unwanted pounds. (Shallow! I know.)

Weight Loss: my favorite topic

According to an article published in PaleoHack online, the black seed oil is “basically the new apple cider vinegar” and may actually cure obesity. What? C’mon, I have heard everything now (and have probably tried every diet known to man). However, just the thought of completely curing life-long struggle for me and so many is enough to keep my interest.

Just a small amount of oil can jumpstart your metabolism by creating passive fat burning. A recent post from Organic Facts, online magazine, suggested starting with a teaspoon in your juice in the morning and working your way up to two then three teaspoons per day.  I have been using the oil for several days myself. Only time will tell at this point.

I have tried the oil straight out of the dropper on my tongue. I don’t mind the fragrance or taste but someone with an elevated palate may find it unpleasant. A mixer of some sort is most likely the way to go.

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I also used the oil for several days on my face. The results were amazing. It seemed the oil pulled out impurities on and around my nose almost overnight and the blemishes were gone seemingly just as quickly.

Black Seed Oil or Black Cumin Seed oil may be the most highly regarded of oils for its vast uses and healing benefits; both internally and externally, which is why the seeds of Nigella Sativa may be the most revered medicinal seeds in human history

Here are just a few of the benefits of this amazing blessed oil that has gone viral. In one of Dr. Axe posts, he writes concerning a variety of strains of bacteria from HIV, to the flu to STD’s and superbugs that effectively treated with Black Seed Oil.

In a nutshell, Black Seed Oil is worthy of our attention. Don’t take my word for it, Google it for yourself. In closing, I’ve listed only a few publications you can check out but there are literally millions of sites online to satisfy your researching minds.

Hair loss remedy. Click for a recipe from The Blessed Seed.

Antimicrobial. A scientific study published on pubmed.com reveals Black Seed Oil effective.

Tumor reducing properties. More from pubmed.com.

Be well,

Cindy

Forgiveness is Good Medicine

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We all know that carrying bitterness, hatred, or even a small offense concerning another is like drinking poison ourselves with the other person’s demise in mind. It doesn’t hurt them nearly as much as it hurts us, and most of the time it doesn’t hurt them at all. According to recent research, unforgiveness could actually bring on fatal disease. Medical institutions and other independent studies are finally proving that there is a relationship between unforgiveness and illness.

On Google alone, there are literally tens of thousands of sites on the subject. It’s frightening. From Mayo Clinic to WebMD to Psychology Today to Johns Hopkins, the medical community is claiming forgiveness matters.

At my Wellness Gallery, I often witness the effects of this emotional and physical saboteur. Once the forgiveness begins, more times than not, the emotional and even the physical discomfort fades. The longer we carry the offense, the bigger this “trouble maker” becomes.

Not long ago, I watched a documentary focused on healing. In it, a woman was afflicted with deadly lemon sized tumors infesting her lymphatic system. She ended up dying in the emergency room only to have an encounter with her dead father.  At this time he shared that was proud of her and even though it didn’t seem like it, he loved her very much. Apparently, she felt unloved and carried that feeling of rejection her whole life which ultimately promoted an aggressive form of cancer.

In this near-death experience, she and her father were able to reconcile and shortly thereafter she was resuscitated and released from the hospital. During an interview, she shared that upon awakening, all the bitterness, unforgiveness and rejection that she had felt concerning her father were gone and within a week so were the life-threatening tumors.

I believe her story.

Not only are there many documented cases of near death experiences but there is also evidence that forgiveness can reverse a medical prognosis.

Last year I had an interesting experience concerning an infirmity that was manifesting in my own body. I knew it had a spiritual or emotional root, but I couldn’t think of anyone that I was holding a grudge against. I sat in prayer one afternoon and asked God to show me. I still wasn’t getting anything.

That night I had a dream starring a hand full of people that I shared unresolved conflict with. The next morning I conducted a simple recipe for forgiveness (listed below) with each one of the people in the dream and my issue subsided. However, there was a side effect created by this particular forgiveness exercise. One of the women that I had not talked to for two and a half years contacted me 10 days later with an apology and we were able to reconnect.  BTW, this is no coincidence, if that is what you are thinking. 

Don’t delay. Forgiving someone does not mean that we put ourselves in a dangerous situation nor does it mean the other person will not have consequences. Forgiveness merely releases us from them. We are actually set free from the pain associated with the event(s). We don’t even need to let the person know we forgive them unless we are led to do so, this exercise is for us; for you, alone.

Though forgiveness may be challenging for some of us, some of the time, it can also be incredibly simple most of the time. Just getting the words out somehow changes things. Try it for yourselves. Ask God if there is anyone that you need to forgive and then see them with your imagination in the room with you. Speak to them directly; out loud.

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Example:

Eric, I forgive you for leaving your tools all over the house. Eric, I release my right to judge you and I bless you. Eric, I love you. 

Now, this is a true story, the names have not been changed. Eric is my hubby and we are in the middle of a remodel. So this may seem like minor incident but an irritation, offense, or bitter root could build into something more. I am learning to deal with it quickly; it’s a process. My desire is to be forgiveness minded in all things, big and little; including tripping over an air compressor sitting in the middle of the kitchen. I’m giggling right now as I write this, but, unforgiveness is not a laughing matter. Even though laughter is good medicine as well. (Oops, rabbit trail)

Back to forgiveness. I have witnessed people really struggle with this, but once we get the words out, situations change; our heart begins to change and our mind begins a renewal; our body follows.

I like to put my hand on my heart when I do this.

FORGIVENESS RECIPE 101

  • Take a moment to sit in silence.
  • Start with the first person that pops into your head as you consider an unresolved conflict or offense.
  • If you can’t think of anyone, ask God.
  • Close your eyes and use your imagination. See them standing in the room with you.
  • Speak directly to them using their name.
  • _____________________, (use the actual name of offender in this spot), I FORGIVE YOU for _____________________, (name the offense(s)
  • _____________________, (use the name again), I renounce my right to judge you!
  • I release you from this offense and I bless you.
  • At this time, I also ask for forgiveness for my part in this ordeal, if I had a part.
  • Then finally, I end this recipe for peace, with this: ________________________, (use the name of offender one last time and say) I love you!
  • It may be difficult to say “I bless you” or “I love you”. But if you can, please do. Our words matter and when we speak in faith like this; good things happen. After all, loving our enemies is the ultimate act of forgiveness, mercy, and charity.

It’s worth it! Try it for yourself.

In closing; here is an excerpt from Johns Hopkins site explaining some of the potential positive effects of forgiveness:

Studies have found that the act of forgiveness can reap huge rewards for your health, lowering the risk of heart attack; improving cholesterol levels and sleep; and reducing pain, blood pressure, and levels of anxiety, depression and stress. And research points to an increase in the forgiveness-health connection as you age.

Bananas for Bananas!

 

fullsizeoutput_2ce4For years I didn’t touch bananas because I heard somewhere that bananas had too much sugar and would affect weight loss, insulin levels and more. In my ignorance, I stayed away because I thought they were bad for me.

However, in the last several months, I was waking up in the night craving bananas. Once I had my fix, sleep came quickly.

Then a couple of weeks ago I woke up thinking that bananas were ruining my chances to drop a couple of pounds so I finally took the time to do some research. Today I am free to reap the benefits.

“bananas are bad for you myth” is finally debunked

Apparently, there are at least three (more like dozens) really amazing reasons we should eat bananas:

  1. PROMOTES SLEEP. Bananas are jam-packed with potassium and magnesium which assist in muscle relaxation. Bananas also are rich in the amino acid L-tryptophan which off-handedly generates the production of serotonin and melatonin.
  2. RELIEVES CONSTIPATION. Once again, I thought bananas assisted in relieving diarrhea. When my children were small I always gave them bananas when they were ill, another family tradition has been trashed. In fact, bananas are loaded with fiber and help to assist in soothing the intestines and moving things right along.
  3. WEIGHT LOSS. Once again, I was wrong. According to a variety of sources, bananas may actually assist in weight loss because of the fiber content as well as the low amount of calories; only 100 found in a medium-sized banana.

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All in all, bananas are beneficial. 

I found there is at least of a full page of independent research findings at PubMed. Below is only a couple of them that sparked my interest.

Side note: those with diabetes probably already know that bananas could elevate your sugar levels, so, be wise.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27041291

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28991769

From sickness to wellness….

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In 2007 I lost two feet of diverticuli infested colon. Sounds gross, right!? Well, you should see the somewhat faded scar I have from my rib cage to my pubic bone. TMI?

Sorry, I just really want everyone to know how important total wellness really is. In fact, the quality of our lives depends on our choices; on working our muscles, on feeding our brain and last but certainly not least, on satisfying our Spirit.

I have been on a quest for healthy living for over a decade.

All those years ago I worked long hours in the auto industry, ate on the run, sat in a chair all day and was exhausted. My focus was more on family and career than my own health and I paid for it with years of illness, weekends in the hospital and finally a major surgical procedure.

Through the recovery and lifestyle change, I realized that while many of us spend hours at the gym getting our body in shape, some of us may neglect to pump up our minds with encouraging tidbits and ultimately find ourselves feeling uninspired at the end of the day. Others may be serious about dieting but refuse to get up to get our muscles activated. And finally, many of us may work on our bodies and our diet but find we still have an empty place in our hearts that nothing seems to fill.

My desire for this blog is to explore a balanced life filled with healthy choices, creative outlets, an awe-inspiring spirituality, and love. Now that looks like life and life abundant and it is GOoD!

fullsizeoutput_2461 Cheers!