An emergency toolbox to lift your spirit!
Gasoline prices are rising, the world is in crisis, contagions are increasing, and the weather is wreaking havoc... If you pay attention to the news even occasionally, you may be feeling the same as many others lately: trying to stay afloat in a deep well of anguish, sadness, uncertainty, and fear. Not even Juan Luis Guerra's famous song El Niágara en Bicicleta sounds so discouraging! But let’s take a breather and calm down. Now is the right time to open our emotional, mental, and physical toolbox and use its contents to keep moving forward.
We know that constant stress triggers a series of chemical reactions within the body, including increased levels of hormones such as cortisol, which in excess is harmful and detrimental to our immune system. Now, thanks to several studies, we also know that negative emotions affect the way your body responds. It has been demonstrated that external stressors can modify cell receptors responsible for immunity (1, 2). Even if there are valid reasons to be on edge and depressed, we must not let stress or sadness keep us in a permanent state of high alert as this deteriorates our defenses. Try natural supplements such as ashwagandha which can help reduce stress. Five studies analyzed in a systematic review show that using ashwagandha helps reduce anxiety and stress. (3)
Strengthen your Muscles, and your Mind
‘Healthy mind, healthy body’ is a truth written in stone! Several studies have shown the relationship between the two, resulting in reduced depression and stress. A healthy body stimulates endorphins, hormones responsible for well-being, in both men and women at any age (4). Dance, do Zumba, practice yoga, walk, ride a bicycle, or try El Diezmo, Dr. Juan’s Tithing Method, to begin exercising gradually. Do simple movements that activate and work your muscles, mind, and heart.
Seek Support from Nature
The connection to nature has been proven to be a concrete, economical, practical way to relax, lift the mood, and, by default, improve overall health. A walk in the park or alongside the forest can quickly lower stress markers, especially cortisol (6). Being in nature can also help reduce blood pressure, heart rate, anxiety, depression, anger, fatigue, and confusion while increasing energy (7).
Other emergency measures to switch to in difficult times:
Focus on what you have, not what you lost or lack.
Call on your innate talents and skills, no matter how minimal they may appear to you.
Set new goals. You may not be able to take your dream vacation yet, but you can plan out the trip while saving money to do it later.
What new interests do you have? Create a list of steps to achieve them.
Look for ways to improve your daily habits, quality of life, and overall well-being.
Join support groups with similar interests.
It is always much easier to just throw in the towel versus pushing on. In the long run, the result is much more satisfying when we make the effort to keep moving forward, focused on a positive outlook which, by the way, is the key to resilience and has become increasingly valued and backed by science as a legitimate way (8).
Things may not be exactly as we hoped, but we are still here – waking up and breathing every day. That in itself is a gift.
Let's get healthier together.
Your Santo Remedio Team
1.J A Aarli. The immune system and the nervous system. J Neurol. 1983;229(3):137-54. doi: 10.1007/BF00313738. PMID: 6191006 DOI: 10.1007/BF00313738
3.Morgan A. Pratte, BS, Kaushal B. Nanavati, MD,Virginia Young, MLS, and Christopher P. Morley, PhD. An Alternative Treatment for Anxiety: A Systematic Review of Human Trial Results Reported for the Ayurvedic Herb Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) J Altern Complement Med. 2014 Dec 1; 20(12): 901–908. doi: 10.1089/acm.2014.0177. PMCID: PMC4270108. PMID: 25405876
4.Lynette L. Craft, Ph.D., Frank M. Perna, Ed.D., Ph.D. The Benefits of Exercise for the Clinically Depressed. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2004; 6(3): 104–111. doi: 10.4088/pcc.v06n0301. PMCID: PMC474733, PMCID: PMC474733, PMID: 15361924
5.Hoang Viet Bach,* Jeongseon Kim,* Seung-Kwon Myung, Young Ae Cho. Efficacy of Ginseng Supplements on Fatigue and Physical Performance: a Meta-analysis. J Korean Med Sci. 2016 Dec; 31(12): 1879–1886. Published online 2016 Oct 10. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2016.31.12.1879, PMCID: PMC5102849. PMID: 27822924
6.Michele Antonelli, Grazia Barbieri, Davide Donelli. Effects of forest bathing (shinrin-yoku) on levels of cortisol as a stress biomarker: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Review Int J Biometeorol. 2019 Aug;63(8):1117-1134. doi: 10.1007/s00484-019-01717-x. Epub 2019 Apr 18. PMID: 31001682 DOI: 10.1007/s00484-019-01717-x
7. Qing Li. [Effect of forest bathing (shinrin-yoku) on human health: A review of the literature], Review Santa Publique.2019 May 13;S1(HS):135-143. doi: 10.3917/spub.190.0135. PMID: 31210473 DOI: 10.3917/spub.190.0135
8.Nansook Park, PhD, Christopher Peterson, PhD, Daniel Szvarca, BS, Randy J. Vander Molen, BA, Eric S. Kim, MS, and Kevin Collon, BA. Positive Psychology and Physical Health Research and Applications. Am J Lifestyle Med. 2016 May-Jun; 10(3): 200–206. Published online 2014 Sep 26. doi: 10.1177/1559827614550277. PMCID: PMC6124958. PMID: 30202275
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