Divorce and the period right afterward is often when our anxiety level surges. Fortunately, there are six natural ways to bring that stress level back down again.
When we are stressed, the hypothalamus activates the sympathetic nervous system and the adrenal-cortical system (via bloodstream) to produce the fight or flight response. The problem is when we stay in this state, it wreaks havoc with the body’s functioning. Being chronically on red alert affects the immune system, decreasing white blood cells and making us more susceptible to colds and the flu. High cortisol (stress hormone) levels raise the heart rate, blood pressure and the probability of insomnia.
In order to combat the negative effects of anxiety, here are six tips for reducing anxiety and having an easier time post-divorce.
- Holy Basil is an ayurvedic medicine from India which has been around for over a millennium and lowers cortisol. It has helped my friends and I feel more balanced using it. Another great resource is Bach’s Flower Remedies which have been around since the 1930’s. They have homeopathic medicine for very specific anxieties. For example, Walnut is for those facing a change in their life, such as divorce or a new job. I use White Chestnut before I go to bed for a more tranquil rest. It is used for stopping persistent thoughts in one’s mind, which can be a problem post-divorce. Their Rescue Remedy is for an acute situation and I use it to stabilize one woman in a panic attack so she could get out of the building and be taken to urgent care. Bach’s Sleep Rescue Remedy is fabulous to use when one wakes up in the middle of the night or to get to sleep. I keep a bottle in my nightstand to squirt in my mouth.
- Consider adding supplements to your regime. Omega 3 helps to keep a steady heart rhythm and maintain flexibility with blood vessels. Stress depletes B Vitamins, which are crucial for the immune system, so it is beneficial to take these post-divorce. Up your intake of protein and green vegetables. If cooking is too overwhelming, get healthy take away food from a natural grocer’s café.
- Yoga is relaxing and the deep breathing increases oxygenation of blood and the release of cellular waste toxins. If yoga is not your thing – then practice deep breathing from the naval (abdomen) several times a day. We tend to do shallow breathing from our shoulder area when tense. Forms of meditation concentrate on the breath. One focuses on her deep breathing and lets thoughts float on by – as if they were clouds. Meditation stills the mind and helps one gain clarity in her situation. Health benefits include decreasing the heart rate and blood pressure.
- Distraction helps to lessen anxiety, whether it is learning a new Zumba routine or mastering the movements of Tai Chi. Take a computer class, baking class, or something enjoyable to get your mind on something else. Continually being focused on post-divorce woes is not healthy or productive. One’s body and spirit requires a break.
- Have fun. Schedule fun into your weekly agenda, whether it is a latte with the girls or a picnic in the park. Post-divorce I could feel the pressure building up inside me ready to explode. Laughing hard with pals or going on a thrilling ride released some of that steam. I made it a point to watch comedies to improve my mood.
- Escape. I took a European river cruise with my mother and sons. Having adventures in Germany and sipping cappuccinos in Vienna recharged my batteries. I came back renewed and what seemed like monumental issues before the trip became more trivial afterwards. A mini-vacation to a nearby city or local amusement park does the trick, too.
Reboot yourself like you would your computer so you can better deal with post-divorce annoyances. Get back on track when the craziness of post-divorce threatens to derail you. Go running. Dust off an instrument. Or pick up your paint brushes again. Get in touch with old friends, and enlarge your social circle to include new ones. Do what you must to make post-divorce a smoother time. Whatever you do, it will be well worth it.
Disclaimer: Talk to your healthcare provider before taking homeopathic medicine or supplements.
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