3 Amazing Herbs For The Immune System

3 Amazing Herbs For The Immune System - HSP Health Blog

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Do you think your immune system is taking adequate care of you?

Do you fall prey to seasonal illnesses or illnesses that get passed around: colds, flu, etc?

Are sick more often than others around you?

If you are answering yes to the last two questions, then your immune system may not be protecting you adequately.

Highly Sensitive People And The Immune System

It is a bit unfair to blame the immune system for our getting sick particularly if you are a highly sensitive person.

One of the biggest health challenges that highly sensitive people have is supporting and maintaining a healthy immune system. Our immune system often cannot cope with the demands that our nervous systems and cultural expectations place on it.

Although everyone needs to take caer of their immune systems, HSP’s need to step up their self-care to compensate for higher demands on their bodies.

The specific burden that highly sensitive people have is stress – stress in such high volume that it overwhelms out bodies, immune system included if we are not careful.

Even if we were to lead an extremely quiet lifestyle, we need to support our immune systems because our hyperactive nervous system are naturally active all of the time. In the best of situations, we are vulnerable to becoming depleted from nervous system stress.

The Special Problem Of Stress And The HSP Immune System

If we are experiencing a lot of stress and our immune systems become weakened, then when other problems arise, we have a more difficult time coping with them. Viruses, parasites, and other invaders are more likely to take hold in our systems.

Therefore in addition to stress reduction strategies, it is a good idea for highly sensitive people to offer their bodies some immune system support. hese herbs can help:

  1. ashwaghandha is one of the most important herbs for highly sensitive people because not only does it help with stress but it also builds you up. It has the ability to reduce high cortisol levels which gets activated under stress and can be chronically active in highly sensitive people. Since highly sensitive people are under stress a lot of the time, ashwaghandha is highly valuable as a defense agains the effects on long term elevated cortisol which can cause metabolic syndrome and other conditions. Metabolic syndrome is considered an indicator of the potential to eventually get diabetes. Ashwaghandha is one of the most important Ayurvedic herbs because it not only calms the nervous system, but it also boosts energy and vitality, making it particularly important for HSP’s who often feel drained.
  2. tulsi or holy basil is considered a hol plant In Ayurveda that brings in positive energy into the body and help eliminate negative energy. It is rich in antioxidants and  strengthens the immune system. It is considered a healing agent for the nervous system, so it reduces stress symptoms. Like ashwaghandha, tulsi is considered an adaptogen, which means it will strengthen the body. Tulsi will also improve mental functioning in particular the memory.
  3. neem is an amazing herb that is antiviral, antifungical, antibacterial and antiseptic. It is a blood cleaner that is beneficial for skin conditions and dental health. Neem is a strong immune system booster.

All of the herbs individually and combined will help any highly sensitive person to improve the functioning of their nervous and immune systems.They are herbs that I use and personally recommend.

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The Special Benefits Of Health For HSP’s

The Special Benefits of Health For HSP's - HSP Health Blog

Zen © by g0upil

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Do you know what it means to be healthy?

Most people do not.

In our culture, health is often assumed to be the absence of visible symptoms of disease. That is a mistaken view of health.

So what is health?

What Is Health?

Health is a state of harmony between all aspects of your being. It is a state where you are able to function optimally. Health means that nothing is dragging you down: poor food that cogs your system, environmental toxins, poor digestion, stress factors that create the conditions for metabolic syndrome, toxic relationships, toxic work conditions.

Health is a state of perfect balance and well being where every aspect of you being is in sync with every other part of you. You are a fully functioning in the holistic sense.

You may be thinking that it is too good to be true. And yes I am describing ideal conditions that do not exist. However, more is possible than you may think.

Why Bother?

Once you have a picture of perfect health, of total well-being and perfect functioning you can begin to formulate a health plan. In health this is important. We are unlikely to create perfect conditions in our lives and in our health because life is not perfect. The good news is that nature has provided us with a cushion for life’s ups and downs: our immune system.

However, our immune system has its limits especially the immune systems of highly sensitive people which can be easily overwhelmed by stress and toxins. In order to prevent toxic overload you need to take into account your living situation and your medical vulnerabilities to begin to figure out what adjustments are necessary to bring your situational challenges in line with your capacity to handle them.

Here is a formula for toxic burden that you can use to consider how overwhelmed your body is: toxic food + environmental factors+toxic relationships+situational stress = toxic burden. Once you get a picture of your toxic burden you can consider how well your immune system can cope with it and how much you need to make changes in your life.

None of these factors are quantifiable. But they can give you a sense of how much toxicity your system is trying to handle and whether or not it is being overwhelmed by damaging factors. If you start stripping away toxic conditions in your life you can then at some point notice when what your system can handle is met by your environmental conditions.

You have reached a state of equilibrium.

Is Equilibrium Enough?

Equilibrium is good and beneficial. It will give you  high functioning and is healthier than what most people have. So it is a worthwhile goal. However, it is my personal feeling that when it comes to health, we are better off shooting for the stars.

Highly sensitive people naturally have a lot of energy flowing through them. Too much. So when we allow too many toxins in our bodies, we slow down the processing of all the energy we take in. For HSP’s this is a painful situation.

Extreme Benefits Of Health For HSP’s

Depending on your point of view it is an a blessing or a curse that highly sensitive people cannot really get away with anything in relation to their health. All toxins have an impact; they are inescapable. HSP’s have the mind body connection in spades so there is a big upside to creating extreme health that is worth pursuing.

It can help you:

  • align more natural with your true self
  • make it easier to work
  • make you feel stronger and more resilient
  • make it easier to be in your natural creativity
  • make relationships easier, since toxins affect our personalities.
Pursuing excellent health is, frankly, a must for highly sensitive people. It also offers us the ability to come into our own, to blossom and contribute our talents more fully to the world. It also helps us find some much deserved joy.
That is worth a lot.

The Hidden Danger Of Beliefs

Hidden Dangers Of Beliefs - HSP Health Blog

FENCE © by marc falardeau

Beliefs have a long and troubling history.

There is more anguish and heartache created by beliefs than probably anything else.

So why do we have them and why do they persist?

Take A Step Back In Time

When an event occurs, we come up with an explanation.

Explanations can be true or not. They may be validated or not. If I believe that the sun comes up only on Tuesdays, I will have a chance to determine whether my belief is accurate or not.

Let’s say that one day the sun comes up in the ancient human world. It is a beautiful day. The next day something awful happens. A storm or similar event. Now let’s say the pattern repeats, and it repeats often enough that people come to believe that it is bad when the sun comes out every day. So your group decides to do something about the daily sun schedule. it holds vigils and meetings to plead for the sun to come out only every other day. It creates a sun god with one eye reflecting the group’s desire to have the sun emerge on alternate days. It creates festivals and other events to celebrate the god. A temple is built and games and other social events are created to honor the god.

And so an explanation becomes the basis of a belief which then forms a society.

How Our Biology Cooperates With Beliefs

According to research our brains have a big say in what we do. They have been developed to ensure our survival.

Our early survival required that we live in groups since we were not strong enough to exist on our own. All groups create organizations, structures and a set of beliefs that the group subscribes to. Beliefs are often a form of social glue.

Our brains let us know when we are acting against social norms. They send us an error message, because according to our survivalist brain we are in danger when we act contrary to group mandates and expectations. Research shows that there is a real message in the brain that occurs when we “disobey” group norms.

The Effect Of Beliefs And Group Norms

Group norms will become entrenched – that’s inevitable. And we will build up structures and skills that support our belief structure.

So what happens when we need to make a change. Perhaps we were just wrong, or perhaps conditions have changed.

Belief systems create their own realities, and are resistant to change not because people are intrinsically bad but because they have learned how to survive – no matter how awkwardly – in the existing system. The existing system and belief structure become a fence that prevents us from moving beyond them.

The Challenge Of Change

People are encouraged to believe that change is just a matter of changing your beliefs.

That is not the case.

Change requires that we adapt our structures and skills. So when your brain isn’t warning you of danger, then your skills and structures may not support your desire for change.

Change is to be taken seriously. It requires a serious commitment of time energy and resources. It needs time to develop and be assimilated.

Most of us have been taught that change should not be all that difficult. Perhaps that is one reason we do not always make the necessary investments of time and resources. We do not understand what is involved.

Change is a big deal, and involves a lot of effort. It does not come easy, but does not have to be so difficult if you take it seriously.

It is to be expected that change may be a challenge for you. So if you have difficulty with it, do yourself a big favor –  give yourself a break.

 

How Emotional Games Harm HSP’s

Emotional Games - HSP Health Blog

Chess © by frankblacknoir

Do you avoid relationships because of emotional games?

Do people think your sensitivity is just an emotional game?

If that is the case you are not alone.

Emotions And Emotional Games Are Not The Same

Many people are afraid of their emotions. They are afraid of how they will be treated because of them.

Emotions are feelings from your direct experience of life. That is why you are often hear that there are no right and wrong feelings. There aren’t.

Emotional games are just the opposite.

Emotional games come from a preconceived idea about life and reality. People often think that reality is painful, so to avoid it they create emotional games to fend off their ideas about who they are and what awful things might happen to them.

Emotional games are also the basis of all forms of identity. The reason spiritual masters challenge our identities because they are a game – an attempt to turn something fluid into something fixed. It does not work.

How Emotional Games Harm HSP’s

Highly sensitive people are aware of the shifting nature of everything around them. They have to be because their nervous systems pick up on all stimulus, which, of course, is constantly shifting and changing. HSP’s do not have the luxury of denial about the changing nature of reality.

Emotional games present HSP’s with several problems:

  • their awareness is often not welcomed by people around them who seek to maintain a defined view of life or maintain a fixed set of circumstances.
  • HSP’s feel the disconnect with reality and often do not know how to relate to people who operate from what is essentially an ideological view of life.
  • HSP’s with their more fluid connection with life, often do not have strong fixed identities which may make them seem weak to others when if fact they are very strong to be so in touch with nature.
  • highly sensitive people often feel left holding the emotional bag because they have to process not only their emotions but also the unaddressed emotions that ideological living leaves on the table.
  • emotional games clog relationships making it more difficult to relate and solve problems, which often turns relationships into a burden for highly sensitive people.
  • emotional games can consume so much of the relationship space that HSP’s can find intimacy more of a war zone than a rewarding experience and so often prefer to be alone.
  • the greater the emotional games the more likely an HSP is to find the relationship difficult and unrewarding.

Minimize Emotional Games

Highly sensitive people need to minimize the emotional games in their lives because:

  1. they are draining and counterproductive.
  2. they interfere with and harm the natural generosity and creativity of HSP’s.
  3. they increase the recovery time HSP’s need from other people.
  4. they often represent an abdication of involvement in the serious work and issues of life and therefore are disappointing to HSP’s.

As an HSP, you are in a unique position to notice when the energy of another person is false or fixed. Your sensitive nervous system can be used to help you set stronger boundaries with those whose energy suggests that they will demand a relationship based on emotional games.

It is worth considering using your nervous system to create a litmus test or alert when energy around you is false. It will enable you to draw back from those situations and individuals who can drain or harm you.

So many HSP’s use their nervous systems to help others. How nice that we can use it to help ourselves as well!

Enjoy The Benefits of Gratitude!

Enjoy The Benefits Of Gratitude - HSP Health

Teddy Bear Cholla and Oleander © by kretyen

Do you ever get annoyed when you hear the word gratitude?

How do you feel when you hear that you “should” be grateful?

Frankly it has not my favorite word because I have seen it used manipulatively so often.

So it came to me – perhaps as a result of last week’s election – that ideas about gratitude can often be wrong.

Gratitude Is Not A Debt

Gratitude is not a debt. It is a way of being.

Most often the word gratitude is used to extract something from someone else. It is often used in a mercenary way and that is an ungrateful act.

Gratitude is too often framed in economic terms as something you should feel for receiving any goodness. It is a way of thinking that treats the negative in the world as normal, and the good in the world as a favor.

However, that is not how gratitude really works from what I can see.

The big problem with the economic view of gratitude is that is assumes misery is natural and normal. It assumes that the good is acquired through struggle.

Suppose that is wrong?

A Different View Of Gratitude

A better kinder view of gratitude is to see the good in the world as something we all share and are entitled to. It does not really belong only to some people.

A better view is to see the good in all people because it is there in all of us.

A better view is to see our lives as opportunity to contribute to the common good which we are a part of anyway.

A better way is to help others to see the good in themselves so that they do not feel isolated from the good in the world.

A better way is to preserve the common good and maintain the common good in the world as a matter of self respect and respect for others.

A better way is a simple direct experience of the goodness in the world.

The Benefits Of Gratitude

Thinking of the good in the world as natural, normal and there for all of us eliminates struggle, resentment, and the need to see anyone or anything as an enemy.

It helps us take what we need but not more since there is no one to impress or surpass.

When we see the good as natural then we can relax, give up our defenses, our fight against others.

It’s a relief and a chance worth taking.

How Negativity Fatigue Changed The United States

How Unfairness Fatigue Changed The United State - HSP Health

The Causes of The Great Depression / FDR Memorial Site © by Tony Fischer Photography

Most of us muddle along every day in spite of whatever unfairness and negativity that we encounter.

It chips away at our enthusiasm and spirits but we soldier on.

Except sometimes – like on November 6, 2012.

What Changed On November 6?

The election on November 6 in the United States was an important one, perhaps the most important one ever.

On the surface, nothing seems to have changed much. So what makes this election so special?

Several things were stunning about this election:

  • the magnitude of the electoral college victory by the President although not as large as Ronald Reagan’s 525 in 1984, it was surprisingly large considering how close this election was supposed to be.
  • the number of successful progressive ballot initiatives. Three states legalized same sex marriage and two states marijuana. In the San Juan County, Washington,  citizens voted to no longer allow genetically modified plants and animals. These are all initiatives creating a more humane country with higher quality of life. In Maryland (my state) not only was the same sex initiative successful but some illegal immigrants now have access to in-state tuition. Montana was not so generous.
  • the most important change in my opinion, was that the Republican Party was only able to claim one constituency: white men. All other constituencies lined up behind President Obama.

Many pundits are attributing the election results to demographic change. Although population shifts may play a role, this election was about much more than the numbers.

Voters, for the first time that I know of, voted against the divide and conquer political strategies that have kept the right wing holding on to power for so long. Given the projections about the election, over half who voted decided individually that enough was enough.

Each person voted without knowing what the result would be. And each person woke up the next day to find out they were in the majority.

It felt like a new day in America!

Throughout the country, people took matters into their own hands, without knowing what anyone else would do. We were continually told how divided the country was, and how close the election was going to be.

Americans chose a problem solver, not a problem denier. Americans decided that they had had enough of the negativity of the right. With so many unsolved problems piling up in the country, this was not a “Yes, We Can!” moment. This was a “Yes, We Must!” moment.

Unfairness And Negativity

Negativity is a type of unfairness. It is a way of living life from a conclusion not from facts or reality. Negativity is often a simplistic view of circumstances and people. It is a prejudice.

Negativity is not innocent. Negativity ascribes positive traits to some and negative traits to others. Negativity puts the solution to problems on someone else’s shoulders. And that is one reason why it is unfair.

Negativity And The Status Quo

Negativity fatigue comes from a persistent refusal to acknowledge reality and deal with necessary change.

We all need to deal with the problems in front of us every day. When we don’t, problems pile up and actually become not only worse but also more difficult to solve. Negativity fatigue then is a consequence of a systemic failure, a cultural structure’s refusal to adapt to changing realities.

In the 1980′s I distinctly remember a national discussion about the state of our education system. There was much wringing of hands and despairing statements about the future of the country. Recently, I happened to be listening to the radio and heard a similar diatribe about the state of our education system. I was frankly surprised that for the past 30 odd years,in spite of all of the personal development going on the mindset remained the same.

I think it is curious that the mindset exists at all. However, I have noticed that a serious negativity towards people is a common feature of our national dialogue. Put-downs of one form or another are a frequent feature of entertainment, and other media presentations. How often do you hear someone say to another, “what is wrong with you?” How often do you hear someone called stupid for a different point of view?

All of the negativity is not real. It reflects a bias and biases are not reality. On November 6th, the people who are the most on the receiving end of the negative biases had enough and made sure their voices were heard.

We Voted For Ourselves

In this election, the coalition of the marginalized finally overcame entrenched political and economic interests whose stonewalling has created massive problems for the country and the world including making climate issues worse.

Now that the coalition of the marginalized is the majority there is no going back. Although the road ahead will not be easy, cooperation among different people has become the actualized desire of millions of people.

This means that the public square is open to all people: people of all colors, religions, ethnicity and conditions including highly sensitive people.

In this election, the vote said we believe in ourselves. I think that is a wonderfully long overdue event.

The Baby Step Method Of High Productivity

The Baby Step Method Of High Productivity - HSP Health

Baby Steps © by furnstein

High productivity is something everyone wants.

It is a wonderful when we find our efforts and results connecting in a positive way.

It feels rewarding and nourishing.

So why does it often elude us?

How Living In Your Head Gets You In Trouble

High productivity comes with a requirement: we have to engage with reality. So often we work from an idea or ideal without considering the reality constraints that we are working with. Inevitably, then we will fail in some way or suffer a setback because we were not in touch with the issues and requirements to achieve our goal. We lose our productivity.

There is nothing wrong with having an ideal or idea for what we want in life. The problem comes from how we relate to reality.

If you wanted to play professional basketball, but were a 5 foot tall man, unless you were exceptionally hard-working or gifted the odds would be against you. If you wanted to created a new fashion line and had no training in tailoring, or design and wanted the line to be available in one week, you would also be guilty of unrealistic expectations. Unrealistic expectations cost us our not only our productivity but over time can damage our spirits.

The problem is not to make you “realistic” in the sense of assuming you can never succeed. The idea is to understand reality so that you can then create a way to succeed based on reality not in defiance of it.

How Baby Steps Help Your Productivity

Baby steps are a great model for learning how to succeed. Like the baby in the image, each step is an engagement with the present and present reality and one follows and succeeds another. The baby cannot jump too far ahead, but delights in taking each step.

That kind of thinking lets you see each step in your process to achieving anything as something precious to be honored and treated well. Honoring each step is a great way to increase your productivity.

When you do that you consider each step in full context and with all the information you need to make the best of it. You are not rushing to a conclusion. You are joyfully creating your success.

Honoring The Creative Process

As Robert Fritz, author of The Path Of Least Resistance, has written, each time you honor each step of the creative process you are allowing real hope to enter your life.

There is a gift to each of us in honoring our work in all of its aspects, by being thorough and attentive to the work, that gives us a quiet joy and leads to our feeling hopeful. Taking one step successfully, being centered in our work, lets us know that we can take the next step.

Once we know we can do it we have real hope that comes from our own efforts. Our hope is not wrapped up in anthing but our own effort, and that puts it under our control and not at the mercy of others.

That is a wonderful gift to give to yourself. So increase your productivity and take a chance on yourself by taking baby steps.