Does the sound of rain calm you? How about the sounds of a waterfall, or wind blowing or crickets chirping or birds singing? Now there is scientific evidence showing the sounds of nature do exert a calming influence over our stressed minds and bodies.
In a previous post titled “Ahhh Lavender!” I shared about my wonderful find in the Keys Creek Lavender Farm. One of my purchases was the Lavender Stress Relief Mist, which I’ve now had the delight to try out and I can truly say I LOVE it!
One of the things I love about it is that when you spritz it on, the fragrance lasts for a long time, and it smells so very, very lavender, it is truly lovely. I take deep breaths in and enjoy it so much. Before I’ve even realized it, I’m snoozing, no matter how fast my thoughts are coming, or how many problems I’m trying to solve, or the hour of the night, it works before I’m even are aware it’s working.
An example was the other night, when I had a few work things on my mind, good things which needed to have just the right sort of creativity to bring about my desired result. Creative juices flowed, even overflowed. Add to this that someone very dear to me decided to take a red eye flight across country. When my head met my pillow, dear one was 31,000 feet in the air. I wasn’t worried, but the thought of it was uncomfortable, and checking the flight tracker app on my phone from bed wasn’t as soothing as a lullaby, right?
So I spritzed a full spritz of my Keys Creek Lavender Stress Relief Spray and in no time I was fast asleep. Know how I knew it worked quickly? I woke up 5 hours later, just in time for dear one’s landing, watched the landing, did another spritz and, voila!, quickly back to sleep.
The best thing was I woke with no “cotton head” but a clear head and renewed energy for the day!
It would certainly seem true that when you’re stressed, your skin shows it by the development of a large pimple in a most undesirable location (read “Does Stress Cause Acne?“), a new patch of eczema springing up, and the flaring up of your rosacea, right?
Scientific research has yet to confirm – until now. [Read more…]
The wonders of age old epsom salts will never cease – and there are quite a number of uses and benefits it seems. From soaks to scrubs, relax to laxative, muscle cramps to blood sugar to cleaning grout and preventing hardening of the arteries. Seems our forefathers knew a good thing when they soaked in it, right?
Fresh from a little nip and tuck of my toe (nails), I’m now a week out and still swollen, bruised and hurting. My doctor gave me a choice for taking care of my tootsies after of either soaking in an epsom salt bath twice a day for 20 minutes, or use a cream that would help heal “just as well”. Waking 20 minutes earlier to sit and soak did not sound appealing to me, so I opted for the cream. A week later, my painful, puffy and red toes couldn’t even fit into any shoes I owned. I was staying undercover in my office, putting on slipper like shoes when I had a meeting or needed to see a Client. Ouch! [Read more…]
Does stress cause acne?
It always seems to happen right when you have that big event, an exam , or you are worrying about something – a pimple or pimples appear. Even in my 50’s I just had two pop up on my chin right before and during a very hectic work week.
It certainly seems to go hand in hand, doesn’t it? Remember in the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” on the wedding day the bride woke up with a big pimple. She put coverup on it, and then her groom told her later he had developed one, but it went away when he sprayed Windex on it!
“Lisa A. Garner, MD, FAAD, a clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, (says that) “When you already have acne and you get into a stressful situation, that seems to be when your acne really flares up.”” [Read more…]
When life is overwhelming, we are stretched beyond ourselves, and we become more stressed and anxious, it is time to go to a quiet, peaceful, place and bring some calm into the chaos. Colors bring peace to me, along with scenes of nature that I can focus on, imagine myself in the midst of, and restore my soul through the magnificence of beauty.
This past year has been one of the most overwhelming of my life. I need to make a conscious effort each day to find peace and rest for my soul. This photo, with the stunning hue of the bluebonnets, strength of the forest, refreshing of the foggy mist, and symbolism of the gently winding path, spoke great peace to me.
I have a thing for forests. When I lived in Switzerland, there was a trail I would walk that would give me great peace and tranquility. I would hike up to a large fallen tree, lay on its strong trunk and look up at the sky, watching the high above branches sway in the breeze and the clouds pass through the rays of sunshine. When I saw this photo of the stunning floral landscape in my favorite color, amidst the gentle forest, I sighed, a deep, anxiety-releasing, relaxing sigh. I share it with you here, and hope you will click through to the photographer’s site to refresh your soul with more of his amazing photography.
The way you manage stress can be evident by the way you see “the cup”. What? Well it turns out that if you are a cup half full, or optimistic, type of person, you are better at managing your stress than your cup half empty neighbors. You could have guessed that, right?
Remember Elle Woods classic line in Legally Blonde: “Exercise gives you endorphins–endorphins make people happy and happy people just don’t shoot their husbands… they just don’t.”
Same thinking here – if you’re happy, you don’t flip under stress. Now there is research to back this observation up. A new study published in the American Psychological Associations Health Journal and ScienceDaily.com shares:
“Results show that indeed the “stress hormone” cortisol tends to be more stable in those with more positive personalities…. that pessimists tended to have a higher stress baseline than optimists, … also had trouble regulating their system when they go through particularly stressful situations. “On days where they experience higher than average stress, that’s when we see that the pessimists’ stress response is much elevated, and they have trouble bringing their cortisol levels back down. Optimists, by contrast, were protected in these circumstances,” says Dr. Jobin.
While the study generally confirmed the researchers’ hypotheses about the relation between optimism and stress, one surprising finding was that optimists who generally had more stressful lives secreted higher cortisol levels than expected shortly after they awoke (cortisol peaks just after waking and declines through the day). Jobin says there are several possible explanations, but also notes that the finding points to the difficulty of classifying these complex hormones as good or bad. “The problem with cortisol is that we call it “the stress hormone,” but it’s also our ‘get up and do things’ hormone, so we may secrete more if engaged and focused on what’s happening.”
So if you are not a natural optimist, there’s hope. You can change your thought habits with much discipline and persistence. Let me tell you a secret to changing your outlook. It’s gratitude. Expressions of gratitude, in your thoughts, and out loud, throughout each day change the way you see life.
The bottom line is that YOU make the choice, each moment of every day to be grateful or stressed, negative or energetic.
You have more meetings than time to produce and your phone is going crazy with calls, emails and text messages. Pretty soon your head is spinning, your eating whatever is handy, and you’re getting a little snippy at the smallest inconvenience. Sound familiar?
What can you do to maintain your calm, get everything organized to continue being productive, and stay focused while your phone is ringing away? Find your mindful spot.
Your mindful spot is the place you can go to disengage yourself from the overwhelm, and put you into your peaceful calm.
Focus on things around you where you are right now, and breathe. Take a little stroll in the fresh air.
Sing a happy song.
Do some positive self talk like:
“I am fully able to handle everything that comes my way with a positive attitude and successful outcome”.
Organize, prioritize and make lists in the order of importance and when things need to be accomplished.
Think happy thoughts and …
Most of all, Keep SMILING!
When your doctor tells you to make lifestyle changes, what does that mean? By now I think everyone knows the big changes to make:
- Stop smoking,
- cut out alcohol,
- start exercising regularly,
- eat a healthy diet of vegetables, fruits, lean meats and nuts.
One could do all of the above, and without working on reducing stress – or learning how to change your perception of things that cause you stress – your risk for stress related health issues will remain the same.
How do we get a handle on stress so that it no longer influences our health in a negative way? [Read more…]
“You’re a nurse, let me ask you a question…”, is usually how it begins, followed by a laundry list of symptoms they are having. I inquire as to what supplements they are taking, meaning what do they consume in addition to a healthy diet. The look on their face usually changes – eyebrows raise as they begin to share this tablet, that vitamin, another brand of something. I usually ask, is that all? Are you taking anything for weight loss or energy? Which brings more to the list. Then I ask if they are taking the standard recommended amount of each, which then prompts the confession of double and even triple amounts, sometimes two to three times a day.
The saying “if some is good, more is better” does not apply to medications or supplements, in my opinion. Treating ourselves with supplemental vitamins and a wide variety of plant extracts, herbs and other holistic foods should be proceeded with a cautionary note. Here are some: [Read more…]
You know one of my favorite things to do is to SMILE!! Why? “I Love To Smile” will tell you. Wearing a smile, even when speaking on the phone, helps your happy personality shine through. Now there are more research findings showing that smiling can help us overcome a stressful event. Truly.
“In a study forthcoming in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, psychological scientists Tara Kraft and Sarah Pressman of the University of Kansas investigate the potential benefits of smiling by looking at how different types of smiling, and the awareness of smiling, affects individuals’ ability to recover from episodes of stress.”
Their “findings show that smiling during brief stressors can help to reduce the intensity of the body’s stress response, regardless of whether a person actually feels happy.” Science Daily
The different types of smiling noted were a basic grin versus a smile that includes the eyes (I call this the “Twinkling Eyes” effect). Try it – right now. Grin, and then smile a smile that includes your eyes. You can’t help but feel a big smile right down to your heart. I can totally see how smiling can help smooth out those rough days.
Smiling allows you to be ready to laugh when the opportunity presents!
And you know how “I Love to Laugh!”, don’t you?
Want to be relaxed, healthy and stress free? Then try to Smile and Laugh a whole lot more!
Stress shows on your face. It also wreaks havoc within your body if you are stressed for long periods of time. How do you get rid of stress? That’s a question that only you can answer. Stressors come from so many different places,events and circumstances perceived by each of us uniquely. It’s what you do with it, and how you handle it, that can help you protect your skin and health from it’s detrimental effects if you allow it to take over.
While at the grocery store this morning, I was concentrating on navigating my way through the shoppers to gather my groceries, when I looked up at a woman who looked so worried and stressed. [Read more…]