Many people around the world have just gone through a few months of lockdown due a novel coronavirus. As we begin to rebuild, let’s make sure that any physical and emotional stressors that may have built up – and may be continuing or even increasing – are addressed. I am not a medical professional, but I can offer some techniques that have helped me and many, many others to rebalance. Take a few moments, relax, and browse through this post. My goal is to give you support and encouragement, and I would love your feedback.
WHAT ARE EMOTIONS?
Emotions are simply chemical messengers within your body. When we receive data through our senses, these data are compared to prior experiences and then sent to the amygdala (that part of our limbic system which modulates our emotions) for analysis and processing. The messengers are then sent out to various organs and systems in your body with instructions to fight, flee, freeze, or frolic. Sometimes our past experiences or impaired senses can limit our body’s ability to give an optimal response. Sometimes these chemical messages get trapped and do not get processed appropriately. Emotions are normally fleeting, since each new sensory input can strengthen, weaken, or change how we are feeling. If we are not monitoring our emotions, we can begin to move from balance with an occasional and manageable up or down to a constant state of imbalance.
PHYSICAL SIGNS OF EMOTIONAL IMBALANCE
Did you know that emotional imbalance is often reflected in physical imbalance and vice versa? I first learned about this from Henry W. Wright’s very thorough book, “A More Excellent Way to be in Health”. The author investigates the spiritual roots of a wide range of physical ailments, the roots that set the stage for how we react emotionally when presented with people and events in the course of daily life. One of my favorite examples is his analysis of migraine headaches. Migraines are called psychogenic because the pain has no known organic origin. Migraines work in two stages: first, serotonin levels decrease, releasing the pressure on your blood vessels that normally constricts them to the optimal diameter. This causes your body to increase the amount of histamine produced, resulting in dilation of the vessels, and putting pressure on sensitive nerves – resulting in pain. Wright’s research has found that the underlying cause is that the person first experiences conflicting emotions about a situation or relationship and then experiences internal conflict regarding the original feelings. The resulting guilt (not about the original conflict but, rather, about feeling doubleminded about ones own feelings) causes a drop in serotonin levels. Next comes fear about what the guilt means and where it can lead. This fear is what causes the histamine levels to rise. If you are an adult, you could take Imitrex, a compound drug designed to be an antihistamine and a serotonin enhancer. Imitrex would only help with the current headache; it would not reduce the pain or frequency of future migraines. For long-term freedom, it’s important to identify the emotions that are at work in your body and to use natural solutions that work with your body to allow you to release unhelpful emotions and replace them with higher level emotions.
Another excellent book on the subject of the physical consequences of repressed emotions is “When the Body Says No” by Dr. Gabor Maté. I first got this book when I was looking for explanations for a friend with PCOS and another with scleroderma. Dr. Maté believes that your beliefs and the emotions that come from those beliefs – including chronic stress – can cause disease and significantly shorten life span. Take, for example, the way a person deals with feelings of anger. The doctor says that repression of anger over time leads to autoimmune disease and cancer, while chronic fits of rage lead to heart disease and stroke. These findings, by the way, are in line with the Wright findings. You can watch one of many YouTube videos of Dr. Maté speaking on this subject in this YouTube video.
For a quick summary of the secular view of this topic (stress and repressed emotions exhibited in physical dysfunction), read this article by a psychotherapist.
Because our emotions can drive how our body operates, please consider possible emotional roots for any physical issues you might be having. Sometimes you can experience greatly improved physical health and wellness simply by working on your emotional balance.
EMOTIONS AND ESSENTIAL OILS
When emotions are difficult to manage because of physical or environmental conditions, mental fuzziness, or stressors of various kinds, essential oil aromatherapy can be extremely helpful as an immediate reset. Essential oil molecules are able to travel directly to the brain via the olfactory system. These molecules can bypass the logical (decision making) part of the brain and go directly to the limbic system (involuntary and emotional responses). This ability to bypass logic allows essential oils to act in enormously powerful ways when it comes to emotional support! Click here to find out more about how aromatherapy works and here to find out more about how to describe what you are feeling and which oils work best for different types of emotions.
My friends Natalie and Andy Goddard made an excellent video describing how to use “Essential Emotions”, my favorite resource book for choosing and applying essential oils to support emotional balance. You don’t need to have the book to get a lot out of this video. I included the link here to let you know that essential oils are an affordable DIY support whenever you know you are out of emotional balance and want to bounce back to the best you can be in the moment. The Goddards also take the time to describe the steps they use to identify and release emotions that are not helpful to them. They advise:
- Pay attention to what you are believing emotionally (example: should, shouldn’t) and listen to your body through your emotional quotient rather than your intellectual quotient (more on emotional intelligence below)
- Choose to let go/release negative emotions and receive higher emotions (for example, use Black Spruce, the Oil of Stability; the spruces are the most grounding of all the oils)
- On a daily basis, be sure you process and release all emotions that are not helpful so that you can LIVE FREE.
*Use wood essential oils for emotional protection once you have released generational and relational bondages (I love a combination of Siberian Fir and Petitgrain).
*Use Clove for strong boundaries, Ginger for empowerment, Tea Tree/Oregano/Thyme for clearing energetic baggage and negative blocks/baggage, and Yarrow/Pom for protecting the boundaries you have set.
*Use Forgive blend as often as necessary to keep yourself free of bitterness.
*Use the Adaptiv Calming Blend in all its forms for soothing anxious feelings day and night. The supplements include GABA; the rollerball bottle is great for topical application; and the 15 ml liquid is perfect for diffusion and DIY projects. If you want extra support, use the Adaptiv app for mediation, journaling, and emotional monitoring. The Adaptiv blend is a rockstar.
Care for and keep your promises to yourself so that you can be a light to others. That’s why we are here.
EMOTIONS AND CRAVINGS
Does emotional stress cause you to crave certain foods, beverages, or other stimulants? Addictions can be started or triggered during times of great stress. Alcohol and drug addiction and sex addiction are beyond the scope of this post, but they can be greatly mitigated with the use of specific essential oils to stop the messenger dump in your bloodstream before it takes over.
Sugar cravings are practically unavoidable because they are driven by emotions, fatigue, and stress. Let’s be honest: it’s really difficult to avoid those powerful drivers during moments of weakness. One of my go-to recommendations for dealing with sugar cravings is being armed and ready with essential oils. Below is a blend designed to give you instant energy and kick those cravings to the curb!
This blend is a lifesaver for anyone looking to avoid sugar during times when cravings are high. Breathing the aroma of this blend is the best way to curb cravings and boost energy in a matter of minutes.
3 drops of peppermint essential oil + 2 drops of grapefruit essential oil
Roller bottle blend:
Add 12 drops peppermint + 8 drops Grapefruit in a 10ml roller bottle, fill the rest of the bottle with Fractionated Coconut Oil. Roll on palms. Take 3 to 5 deep breaths for instant sugar craving support. *If you do not have an empty roller bottle, you can use any empty oil bottle to create this blend.
Emotional intelligence is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions; and to be able to handle relationships in an empathetic and conscious way. Emotional intelligence helps us to be aware that a relationship or situation requires or could benefit from the introduction of active listening, gratitude, optimism, collegiality, and a calm, peaceful exchange of ideas that focuses on issues and not on personalities. Possessing high emotional intelligence is key to establishing positive, healthy relationships both with oneself and with others.
An example of the lack of emotional intelligence is the child who speaks with blunt honesty about some aspect of his parent’s private life in front of their friends: he does not possess the emotional intelligence capacity to realize the feeling of embarrassment his words might cause. Once we reach adulthood, a continued lack of emotional intelligence can cause problems in our relationships on both public and private levels, generally manifesting in high instances of miscommunication, misunderstanding, and a lack of ability to discuss or understand difficult emotions or situations.
General availability of social media and the opportunity to give opinions around the clock on even the most sensitive issues has put the results of lack of emotional intelligence on full display. We see both unwillingness to discuss pressing issues due to the discomfort or upset they might cause OR close-minded arguments that allow only one point of view and that attempt to silence other possibilities. Instead of minimizing the sensitive issues, however, these behaviors contribute to the growth and empowerment of conflict and lack of resolution.
Each of us can benefit from becoming more aware of our emotional environment and how effectively we are interacting with it. Having a baseline understanding of why and how feelings arise when they do, what habits have been learned or cultivated as a reaction to certain feelings or as a means of dealing with them, and knowing where change needs (or doesn’t need) to take place are all types of emotional intelligence.
The good news is that it’s been proven that developing increasing levels of gratitude for the good that is already in our lives can contribute to overall heightened emotional intelligence, as we become increasingly better able to question our emotions, how we are expressing them, and how they impact any given situation. For example, asking myself “am I coming from a place of love and gratitude?” opens an inner emotional dialogue that causes me to pause and assess my feelings honestly before speaking or taking action. You may ask, “How can I be grateful when things are so bad?” My answer would be to take a moment to wipe your mental slate clean of all the negatives and concentrate on the positives, no matter how small and insignificant they may appear next to the “big issues” of the day. Once you have established that there are ALWAYS positives when you look for them, you can bring optimism, hopefulness, and willingness to bridge gaps to any situation that comes your way.
More about emotional intelligence can be found here here.
EMOTIONAL CONTROL TECHNIQUES
By now, you’re definitely waiting for the WITH EASE part of the promise contained in the title of this post. Maybe all the books and videos and words just aren’t enough. Maybe the oils are a great temporary support, but you are looking to release recurring and unhelpful emotions in a way that guarantees that they will no longer be able to take over and cause havoc. I have created a fee-based online course with 6 video lessons, lesson notes, and online interaction. The techniques I teach are based on visualization and train you to keep your blood flowing to the intellectual controls in the front of your brain (conscious decision making) rather than allowing them to default to your emotional seat. Once you learn these techniques and have several weeks of coaching and practicing them in real life, you will be completely prepared to feel at ease no matter what comes your way. The techniques allow you to elevate your emotional intelligence level in even the most unexpected or undesired situations.
Here is an intro video that a couple of good friends of mine and I made to demonstrate how easy the techniques can be.
TRACK YOUR HABITS
Many of us tend to become EASILY OVERWHELMED when looking to make big or multiple changes to our lives. James Clear’s book “Atomic Habits” highlights how the small things in our lives, just like atoms, can make up the big things; and, more importantly, how to make SMALL changes gradually and persistently! If you like lists and trackers, you will love these.
We are each coming through the lockdown and reopening experience – including continuing fears about illness spikes and the huge ongoing sea change in the way we talk about and deal with policing and other government controls – as individuals and as parts of families and communities. The above thoughts are just little seeds. What you make of them is completely up to you. Wellness Made Simple is here to offer education, resources, coaching, and conversation. We are all looking for solutions and healing. Thank you for choosing to join with me in walking life’s path.
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