I believe we are spiritual beings whose brains incorporate our minds, our will and our emotions. The mind is the “thinking, memory, art & logic” parts of our being. Most of us are cognizant of that and usually work to keep them healthy and “in check” because it’s how we function. Harder to control is our “will” – what we choose to feel or carry out, and our “emotions” – how we react to surroundings and circumstances.
One of my favorite stories is about some doctors who took identical looking brothers and placed them in separate rooms full of manure and a shovel. They observed one brother sitting in the corner of the room crying while the other brother was shoveling manure like crazy. On questioning, the first brother stated that there was nothing to do but smell the awfully putrid manure. The other brother remarked, “With that much manure, I was looking for the pony!” The obvious key to their happiness differed in attitude and expectations.
Stress is an obvious contributor to healthy functioning in life for all of us. We all have times when things are going ok, and times when everything around us seems to be falling apart. At the root, stress is not always bad. Let’s face it, if it were not for “motivation to accomplish something (stress?)” would we ever get anything done? So what can we do to manage these diverse situations in our lives? I think a primary contributor is to “train the brain!”
Stress causes added demands on our bodies. The adrenal glands produce some 50 different hormones. Several of them are for the purpose of helping us handle stress. Added stress requires more work from the adrenals. And the adrenals “feed” on B-vitamins. As a minimum then, I recommend B Vitamins during times of increased stress. There may also be a place for nervine sedative herbals like hops, valerian root, passion flower, and skullcap – all in either teas or capsules. Some mineral products using the name “Calm” are also useful and contain just magnesium, a mineral that is used rapidly during times of stress.
Kava is an herbal known to relax muscles and ease tension, and pantothenic acid provides added adrenal support.
I am not a medical doctor and don’t presume to treat any named diseases, but anecdotally I believe that the loss of the adrenal’s ability to produce anti-stress hormones may be a root cause of chronic stress breakdowns. A Loma Linda University study found laughter is one of the best things to fight stress. Also practice deep breathing and meditative prayer; practice relaxation, find calming activities to brighten every day, and train your mind to evaluate stressful activities. And get professional help when you can’t manage your reactions.
Another of my favorite sayings: “Like a great violin, may your life have enough stress (tension) to make beautiful music, but not so much as to cause the strings to break!” Live long and in good health. Genesis 1:29.
– Randy Lee, ND, Owner, Nana’s Pawpaw Patch – Herbs, Oils & Teas for Health, 1024 S. Douglas Blvd, MWC, 736-1030, e-mail: [email protected].