Stress. Moodiness. Anxiety. Depression. Most of us deal with these emotions in some form every day. And most of us are very familiar with the unwelcome side affects of these emotions – ulcers, digestive troubles, heart troubles, etc. It is very true that negative emotions such as these can produce very real health problems and illness. And many of you on hormones are wrestling with the effects of female hormones while still arguing with your male ones, creating a maelstrom of emotions that you may not be totally equipped to deal with.
Stress. It is created for us by our jobs, our home lives, pressures and demands from the outside world, created by hiding and conforming and just trying to get through a day in one piece. We create it for ourselves by trying too hard to be perfect, trying too hard to conform, trying too hard to be what everyone else expects us to be. So how do you manage it all before it results in a major heart attack? Through loving yourself. Yes, that’s right. Loving yourself.
When you love yourself, you do things that nurture you. You take the time to pamper yourself that little extra bit to help make you feel calm and settled inside. You take a few precious moments of each day to do something just for you, to the exclusion of everyone else. You stop being so hard on yourself because the meeting at the office didn’t go perfectly, because that lovemaking session wasn’t fantastic, because you forgot to pick up something at the grocery store, because you aren’t yet a millionaire. You learn to appreciate yourself, your self worth, and your own immeasurable capabilities. Only then are you ready to face the outside world with a preparation for whatever comes.
When it all gets to be too much, there are herbal treatments that can help you get stress under control. These treatments should not be relied on to fix the problems, however. They should be used as an aid, not a crutch, and you should identify and deal with the situation(s) creating the stress in the first place.
You can try a simple bedtime tea of a cup of chamomile, taken about one to one and a half hours before you turn in. Or take a couple of capsules of valerian (one sniff and you will know why you don’t want to drink valerian tea!). Or a cup of passionflower tea. Any of these will help you to relax, so you can get a good night’s sleep. And we need our beauty rest! You will also find that you will face the day in a calmer, more relaxed way, after you have gotten a full night’s relaxed rest.
If you feel yourself stressing out during the day, you can drink a cup of chamomile, or alternatively, you can take a couple of capsules of Kava kava. Kava is very beneficial to the mind and the nerves, and can take away the effects of stress quite quickly. But again, use these measures as an aid, not a cure. Becoming reliant on nervines such as these is not a good thing at all.
Another method of calming is to carry a small bottle of lavendar essential oil. Open it up and sniff deeply of the aroma when you feel stressed, anxious, depressed. Or place a few drops on a handkerchief and keep it nearby to inhale as needed. Lavendar is very relaxing while at the same time uplifting. This is a very useful form of aromatherapy.
After a stressful day, or when you are feeling a little down, why not relax in a luxurious herbal bath? Run yourself a warm bath, add some lavendar or eucalyptus bath oil, light some candles, put some soft meditative music on the stereo, soak in the vapors, and let your troubles go down the drain with the bath water. You can also combine calming herbs into a cotton bag, add to the water, and let soak; you can also add an infusion of calming herbs to the bathwater. You can make herbal bath salts and oils on your own, or there are a lot of good ones out on the market today. You may be better off buying them in a health food store, to avoid those additives that we really don’t need to be absorbing through our sensitive skin. These products have the added benefit of being beneficial to the skin as well as the rest of the body, so do give them a try!
Then there is meditation. It is very calming, and very beneficial to the mind. Set aside a few minutes of each day to do some meditating. There are many ways to do this, and no particular “right” way. And it does not have to be oriented to a particular religion. You find something that works for you and you stick with it. There are a lot of tapes, CDs, videos, books, and websites that deal with meditation. You don’t need to take a trip to visit the Dalai Lama to experience the uplift you can give yourself from daily meditation! You can meditate anytime, anywhere, anyplace, making it the perfect “carry it with you” treatment.
At work, or home, or wherever you spend the bulk of your time, keep an item that has special significance to you. This can be a religious item, a picture of someone or someplace, anything that you can focus on to calm the mind and take you to a better place for a few moments. When you are ready to meditate, take out your special item, focus on it, and then focus on your breathing. Your breath should be even and comfortable. Many meditations are based solely on breathing, which is why you can do it anywhere. Take a deep breath, let it out slowly, repeat twice more, then concentrate on keeping it steady and even. Research has shown that this simple act lowers blood pressure immediately, thereby reducing the stress you feel. You can concentrate your gaze on your focus item, close your eyes, whatever you feel most comfortable with. Experiment until you find what works best for you.
Here is a simple breathing meditation to help get you started:
Rest in a comfortable position, either sitting or lying down, depending on where you are and how you feel. Inhale deeply through your nose to a slow count of 1,2,3. Retain the air for 3 counts, then exhale through your mouth to the same count of 1, 2, 3. Repeat this several times, gradually slowing your breath rate, counting slower as you go along. Don’t hold your breath past the level of comfort, as this somewhat defeats your purposes. This process should be calm, controlled, and free of stress. As you inhale next, envision yourself breathing in love, peace, tranquility, good health, etc. You can envision this “good” air as a favorite color if it helps you to visualize. When you exhale, envision yourself expelling hate, anger, tension, stress, etc. You can envision this “bad” air as your least favorite color. Repeat as necessary, for as long as you are comfortable with. Usually 5 to 10 minutes is good enough for a quick attitude adjustment during the workday at various intervals. As you can tell from this, nobody around you has to know what you are doing, so you can be in a boring meeting, a crowded subway, or the middle of a relaxing bath to do this. Be creative!
You will also find meditation to be a very valuable part of your feminization regimen. Really! Nothing works as well as positive reinforcement. Spend a part of your meditation time concentrating on helping your body to develop, on helping it to ease comfortably into your new chosen lifestyle. Visualize what you wish to become, what you wish to accomplish. Visualize yourself in calm surroundings, in the form you wish to view yourself in. The results are always positive!
Get a hobby! Set aside 30 minutes per day at least 3 times per week to work on this hobby. Allow nothing to interfere with this time. Turn off the phone, the pager, the cell phone, and concentrate on the task at hand. Working with a hobby is relaxing, and takes your mind away from the outside world for a while. If you are trying to quit smoking, this is an invaluable tool for keeping hands and mind busy. Teach yourself to crochet, embroider, build models, garden, repair an engine, whatever really interests you. And don’t be concerned if this hobby doesn’t seem “feminine” enough. I know plenty of females, myself included, that relax not only with the traditional arts and crafts attributed to the housewife, but also with engine repair, building, farming, etc. The important thing is to do something you truly enjoy, gender issues to be ignored for peace of mind and to get the creative juices flowing and the focus on something other than what is stressing you.
Exercise can go a long way to easing stress and banishing its relatives. Yes, exercise! Stimulating the body in this manner releases endorphins that improve the mood. You’ll feel better than just sitting around, and exercise is the perfect way to burn off anger, anxiety, etc. that may be a contributor to your stress. Start simple, as previously advised, but do get active for at least 15 to 30 minutes per day. The benefits are immeasurable!
And again, proper diet is important here, so that you aren’t ingesting foods that actually aggravate your emotional condition. Did you know that food allergies you may not even be aware you have can trigger emotional disturbances? Yes, food can cause these sorts of problems. You may wish to see an allergist to determine if your favorite food is a contributing factor. Caffeine is a huge culprit, so limits are a good idea for your emotional health.
These tips should help you to deal with most minor emotional upsets. If your emotions continue out of control, then you may need your hormonal therapy adjusted. It’s really a simple matter to adjust herbal or synthetic therapies properly to avoid emotional swings. Or you may be dealing with something else. Whatever the case, do seek medical advice if the emotional upheavals continue on a scale you feel you can’t manage on your own. Do give these simple tips a try first, though. Don’t turn to alcohol or drugs! They only worsen the problem, and mask the symptoms. Each one of you is precious to the community at large, and we would hate to lose any of you that way.
Copyright 1998-2016 by Rev. Dr. EarthAngel, ND, DD · All rights reserved