A secret weapon for dealing with stress

Everyone experiences turmoil in their life in one form or another- some more serious than others.  In my experience, life seems to ebb and flow between periods of turmoil and ease, with no clear signs or delineation of either.  Sometimes I don’t realize when I’m in the thick of it until I’m on the upswing.  Nowadays, when I am asked what’s been going on with me, and my response is, “Oh, not much,” I’m thankful!  Sometimes no news is good news, and the boring, mundane experiences are something I crave the most.​

Over the last decade, I have experienced several deep depressions, struggling relationships, dealing with a special needs child, and other sorts of turmoil.  During these dark periods, I became a basket case.  Sleepless nights, no desire to do anything, unorganized, no joy or laughter, crying.  I couldn’t even fold the laundry without breaking down into tears.  Then I would feel guilty because I knew that there was someone else who was probably experiencing a much more serious situation than I, but here I was, lonely, confused, and overwhelmed.  So I hid my feelings out of embarassment.

I used to turn to medicines to help me cope.  In fact, that’s what the doctors seem to suggest before all else.   Sure, there’s a time and place for that, and yeah, they do help, sort of.  But they also affect brain chemistry and made me feel like I was living on a cloud.  It was the weirdest feeling.  I also was advised not to drink more than 2 glasses of wine.  Seriously!  Come on people!  I’m depressed, and you want to take my wine away too?!  So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I don’t take those medicines for depression anymore!

I’ll let you in on a little secret- things have changed for me. No longer do I feel like I’m going to lose my sh**.  I am prepared.  I am strong.  I can handle anything.  I now feel that I have a powerful arsenal, my own secret weapon, if you will.   I feel compelled to share this with others because I know how hard it is to pick yourself up from the deep, dark, depths of your own personal cave.

First, embrace yoga, meditation, prayer, or deep breathing. Something that creates calm and quiet.  If yoga isn’t your thing- no sweat.  Just find a quiet place to sit down, set your timer on your phone and close your eyes and breathe.  You’d be surprised at how relaxed you’ll feel and how clear your head will be if you do this for 10 minutes a day.  I promise.

Second, open your mind to the possibility of using essential oils for mood management.  They are more powerful than you think!  When breathed in deeply, the little particles of oil pass through the olfactory bulb, into the brain, and trigger a relaxation response, and the brain sends messages throughout the body to behave in a certain way.  Using essential oils such as Lavender, Frankincense, or Wild Orange for stress consistently throughout the course of a day will help to promote a feeling of calm and equilibrium.  The first thing I do in the morning (…after a cup of coffee, I’ll admit!) is to rub a couple drops of a doTERRA blend called Balance and Wild Orange onto the bottoms of my feet.  This sets me up for my day- I embrace all the things I need to do, instead of dread them.  I feel prepared instead of overwhelmed.  And I feel grateful.  You can make that change too.  All you need is an open mind.