By Leisa Blanch, naturopath and director, Gisborne Health Essentials
Constant consumption of negative and fear-inducing news can induce chronic stress. The ready availability of high-sugar and refined carbohydrates in our foods creates chronic inflammation in our bodies and brains. As a result of the current world state, we are winding up in constant pursuit of instant gratification through our foods and our use of social media.
Okay, so who hasn’t – over the last six months – grabbed for that easy chocolate snack (AKA instant gratification) when a new announcement has been made about the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re all increasingly on edge, anxious with anticipation, waiting to hear the numbers, the new plans, what it means for us, and how long it will affect us…basically, what’s the impact/damage?
There is no way we could have seen this coming. Even if a fortune teller had mentioned this occurrence, who would have actually listened? Probably no one. It seemed very unlikely that anything could bring us to our knees. But here we are and, let’s be honest, some of our 'first world issues' are worth having a laugh about… such as;'
‘Can I still get my greys coloured’…
‘And what about my eyebrows?...
With the latest being, finding a face mask to match our outfit (yep, I fit in to that category too – I highly dislike things not matching).
We really aren’t used to our world being turned upside down so, of course, when it comes to food, we are going to tap into our subconscious and go for what has satisfied us in the past, in other ‘times of need’. Even if our previous coping techniques stem from our childhood, then back there we go.
At Gisborne Health Essentials, I don’t think we have ever had so many clients coming to us with pains in the gut, constipation, bloating, and general digestive upsets, as well as anxiety, low mood and sleep disturbances (which are often brought on by the combination of food/lifestyle choices and stress). These issues are a sure sign that we have spent a good amount of time this year indulging in instant gratification. And, while our adrenals are great, they only really see us through the first three months of a stressful event…beyond that, they get tired, and we are certainly seeing those signs now. So, while we could get away with more instant gratification in those early months, now, there just isn’t the same support from the stress response system. Instead, it’s exhausted, more likely to be inflamed, and therefore less likely to put up with inflammatory foods (or other foods it has built up a reaction to).
So, how can we get from an inflamed, fight or flight, cravings, and instant gratification state, to a relaxed, happy, and calm state of being?
Firstly, follow the advice given by Nicole Woodcock last month.
We need routine, plenty of protein, and serotonin-boosting foods.
Train your senses.
This does not mean depriving them completely, it means educating them. Teach them not to demand things at our expense. In training the senses, we don’t forfeit anything in life of lasting value and, in fact, we find more permanent joy.
At the outset, when something pleasant comes our way, we think ‘what could be more satisfying’, ‘what could be sweeter’. We don’t know that in the long run this sweetness can turn bitter. What is beneficial, on the other hand, may be bitter at the outset. It is the same as your workouts with Change It Up Training. Tough, yes…but don’t you reap the rewards!
Think of food in the same way. The bitter foods can often be the best, particularly for stimulating digestion and digestive function.
Observe your day to see if media exposure is adding to your impatience or diminishing your peace of mind and ability to think clearly and make positive decisions.
While we are on the topic of thinking clearly, I don’t think I’m the only one that has noticed brain fog from wearing the masks. As soon as you can take it off, do! Get in your car and before you start the engine, take off that mask. Our lungs have such a vital role to play in the body. Our in-breath takes in oxygen to replenish every cell of our body. Our out-breath releases toxins, carbon dioxide. Long, deep breaths will keep us in that relaxed state. Shallow breathing (which wearing the mask ensures) will keep us in our fight or flight state where we go for instant gratification, tapping into our subconscious fears and reactions.
Anger and fear can be contagious, but so can peace of mind. Which do you want to spread?
It comes back to recognising what we need to disconnect from, in order to reconnect with our inner knowing.
Ground yourself. How good did it feel for those that attended Change It Up Training in the rain?
Spend time outside, in nature (barefoot is even better), and reconnect to earth. When you are in conductive contact with the earth, its natural, gentle electrical energy stabilises your body’s bioelectrical systems. The benefits are far-reaching due to the reduction of inflammation and free radicals associated with disease.
Reconnect to yourself in whatever way works for you. Whether its yoga with the wonderful Renata, quiet time, meditation, or any other practice that allows the sort of stillness that makes you feel like you are back in your skin, here in the present, and completely alive and invigorated.
To everything that no longer serves you. To the media, to any negativity, comments on Facebook posts, or people that leave you in a state of fear. In this way, you are not only being kind to yourself and your health, you are also being kind to others by spreading peace of mind.
So, disconnect to reconnect and you will make better choices that support a healthy you.
For specific, individualised advice on how this may work for you, drop into Gisborne Health Essentials and have a chat with one of our Naturopaths or book a consult www.healthboutique.com.au