How to Reduce Stress and Inflammation Naturally
The last two years have changed all our lives considerable. Many of us have experienced elevated stress levels which can lead to chronic stress. Luckily, there are several steps that you can take to alleviate these symptoms. There are also essential oils that can support you.
Inflammation is the vital part of our body’s immune response and a way to heal itself. Acute inflammation is a short-term redness, swelling, warmth or pain that arises with a cut or a scrape, a twisted ankle, or the flu.
However, there is another type of inflammation, which is the modern epidemic of chronic, low-grade inflammation. This type destroys the balance in our bodies and lowers our vitality, making us more susceptible to diseases that range from autoimmune conditions to heart disease, an elevated white blood cell count, diabetes and more. Low-grade inflammation can also show up as acne, wrinkles, candidiasis, acid reflux and chronic pain.
What causes this chronic inflammation?
Diet is a major factor. Excess sugar and refined sugar are a big offender. Also, avoid processed foods, as well as a diet high in animal protein.
The journal Nutrition reports that those who ate protein from meat had higher levels of inflammation compared to participants who consumed mostly fish or plant-based sources of protein.
A 2015 study in the journal Nutrients found a positive effect on glucose levels when people switched from animal to plant protein.
Other causes of chronic, low-grade inflammation include food allergies, food sensitivities, dysbiosis (imbalance in gut flora), environmental toxicity (including from heavy metals), and a lack of sleep.
Our emotions and inflammation
A 2015 study found that people with depression had 30 percent more brain inflammation than those who were not depressed. Our physical and emotional-mental states of being are really one whole that affects every part of us, though we often treat them separately.
Negative feelings can and do create pain, disease and accelerated aging. A paper titled Stress, Negative Emotions and Inflammation overviews how stress, depression, anger, hostility and negative emotions “appear to promote the production of inflammatory mediators, providing a physiological mechanism by which negative psychological states may impact health.”
A study in JAMA Psychiatry found that those who exhibited explosive anger had higher levels of inflammatory markers, such as C-reactive proteins (CRP).
A study on Mexican-American women found a correlation between anger and hostility to inflammation and heart disease, and similar research backs up anger expression as a predictor of cardiovascular disease.
In contrast, a 2017 study from the journal Emotion entitled Emodiversity and biomarkers of inflammation found that positive emotions are associated with lower circulating levels of inflammation.
Taking care of our emotions is just as important as eating healthy. It is critical for our health, beauty and warding off underlying inflammation to help maintain a long life.
How do we take care of our emotions?
Since our emotional health plays such a critical role here are a few steps to help you maintain positive emotional health.
Let them be felt and processed in real time instead of pushing them down or glossing them over. Repression accumulates negativity and can inflame us in a parallel way to chemical pesticides. This mass of emotional toxins contributes to continual stress and anxiety-induced meltdowns.
As humans, it’s healthy for us to experience the full range of feelings that we do. Often, we just need some time to process our emotions until the big feelings subside, then we can choose to let it go before it affects our health and bodies.
Actually feeling our feelings, versus distracting or numbing with Netflix, texts, Facebook, TV, food, alcohol or whatever go-to you have, is one of the most powerful ways to balance your emotional well-being.
Simple try to be accepting of whatever you’re feeling, knowing that whatever you are experiencing is often temporary. If we don’t acknowledge our feelings now, emotional inflammation, anger and sadness will create toxic blocks inside of us.
Detoxing and processing negative emotions plays a crucial role in our well-being, alongside healthy diet, and lifestyle measures. There is a real heaviness in carrying around negative emotions. When you consciously unpack that load, you free up a tidal wave of energy that can be rechanneled toward elevating your natural state of beauty, and you will feel so much lighter and freer.
Essential Oils & Emotional Health
Aromatherapy can be a wonderful option for processing emotions in the moment. The energetic resonance of essential oils can shift the emotional body via the limbic system in the brain. This process releases a cascade of chemistry in the body that shifts our emotions.
A few options for using essential oils include: placing a few drops in a diffuser, Create a personal inhaler blank to take with you or diluted with a carrier oil and press on an acupoint.
Below is a list of oils that can effectively shift anger, sadness and anxiety. Combined with deep breathing, essential oils are a tool for processing emotions and reducing inflammation in the body. These oils can give you a great start on reducing inflammation by improving your emotional health.
Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) to improve feelings of sadness and depression placed on the Shenmen point in the ear.
Jasmine (Jasminum grandiflorum) can be used to aid with anxiety on Heart 7
Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) for resolving anger on Spleen 3
Black Spruce (Picea mariana) for processing trauma placed on the low back
Coriander Seed (Coriandrum sativum) for calming fears placed around the belly button (CV8)
If you are interested in learning more about AromaPoint Therapy or other ways to use essential oils to support your health visit the online school here.