Why Ayurveda Works For Stress Reduction In HSPs

Ayurveda For Stress Reduction - HSP Health Blog

As a highly sensitive person, I experience a lot of stress.

Most highly sensitive people do.

It is not a choice. Our nervous systems are sponges for the stimulus around us.

We become flooded and overwhelmed. If we are not careful we can drown and become unable to function.

Stress Reduction: A Necessity For Highly Sensitive People

Stress reduction is as much a necessity for highly sensitive people as air is for everyone. We simply cannot live without it.

When the pace of the world was slower, highly sensitive people could manage the stresses of their nervous systems better. Now that there is so much activity in our social space, the challenge of stress reduction for highly sensitive people has become more difficult and even acute.

Highly sensitive people require:

  • the opportunity to process whatever they take in
  • rest when their nervous systems are overtaxed
  • a lifestyle that supports their stress reduction requirements
  • work that supports their health and quality of life.

How Stress Reduction Problems Become Worse

Highly sensitive people can suffer more when their lifestyles do not support their needs or make their health challenges worse.

The demands of being highly sensitive require that we commit a certain amount of our energy to it. When our energy is too low or diverted elsewhere, then we will suffer and most likely become sick.

The following can make it more difficult for us to handle our sensitive natures:

  1. water, air, and noise pollution
  2. processes food
  3. food with additives
  4. GMO foods
  5. leftover foods
  6. fried and fermented foods
  7. meat which is harder to digest than other foods
  8. staying up too late
  9. lack of exercise
  10. an irregular schedule which will upset the nervous system
  11. work that is too high pressure or too much drudgery
  12. relationships that are unsupportive, competitive or demanding

Much of the modern Western lifestyle is aggravating to highly sensitive people. It is not a fault of highly sensitive people but is is a reality we have to deal with.

Why Ayurveda Makes Stress Reduction Easier For Highly Sensitive People

There are so many challenges in modern life that make life hard for highly sensitive people.

I have tried many different methods to become healthier including juicing, vitamins, supplements of various kinds, meditation, Ayurveda, reiki, affirmations and the Sedona Method. I have read many books about health and well being.

I have discovered that most methods are a form of “managing the symptoms.” I did not just want to manage symptoms. I wanted to be healthy.

Being healthy is a different goal than not having symptoms of illness. I have learned that few approaches really get the job done.

Only one that I have found has really helped me to become well and that is Ayurveda.

Why Ayurveda Works For Stress Reduction In Highly Sensitive People

As a highly sensitive person, I need to simplify whenever I can.

Health can be complicated since we are complex beings – particularly if you are highly sensitive.

Ayurveda is the one discipline that actually lets me simplify my health regimen because

  • it is a group of health practices customized to support the highest well being of each individual
  • it is holistic and total.
  • it offers a set of daily practices that let me be at my best
  • its diet strategies ensure that the problems of food in our current world are not my problem
  • TM, the Ayurvedic meditation practice is easy. It relieves stress, heals the nervous system and supports the higher self. I have been doing it for almost 20 years and love it..
  • Ayurveda has a magnificent understanding of food and herbs. Their herbal remedies have helped me immensely.

There is a lot to learn in Ayurveda. Frankly I consider myself a student and always will.

Implementing Ayurveda

I have been integrating Ayurveda into my life slowly over time. I have noticed, however, that the more I do the less I am affected by stress.

I use the following Ayurvedic practices:

  • TM has been especially helpful since I find I am less affected by drama around me after practicing TM for so long. I have been told that it works on the nervous system and heals it, which I have found to be the case.
  • I find that the daily schedule has helped me reduce stress. I like to go to bed around 9PM and rise between 5-6AM.
  • I also like the daily massage, called Abhyangha. It is self massage using oil. It helps with detoxification and stress reduction.
  • the diet is very soothing. When you eat food that is wrong for you, it creates stress in the body. The digestive system becomes weaker and toxins build up in the body. The Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle work to prevent that outcome.
  • There are times when I have had difficulty maintaining the diet for schedule reasons. I have however, maintained a regimen of herbal remedies that support me and help me detox in spite of dietary lapses. The two herbs that I use religiously are triphala and neem.
  • Ayurveda offers herbs for stress. Ashwaghandha is the best known and I take it for stress relief.

I highly recommend Ayurveda for highly sensitive people for relieving stress and putting themselves onto a path that can work to achieve quality of life: something we deserve.

I believe that it is better to put your effort into becoming adept at a health system that eliminates problems that to continually try to fix that which does not work. Micromanaging health symptoms is not the same as becoming healthy.

The best book for learning about Ayurveda as a beginner is Deepak Chopra’s book, Perfect Health. It is a very accessible introduction to an old and skillful health tradition.

I love Ayurveda and hope you will give it a try.

FacebookGoogle+LinkedInPinterestShare/Bookmark

2 Herbs To Relieve Anxiety

Emotional Healing - HSP Health Blog

Nervous system tree © by Mizrak

As a highly sensitive person, do you experience anxiety?

Highly sensitive people are like the nervous system tree above –  a large hypersensitive nervous system often on overhead.

Each HSP handles overstimulation differently.

Some who suffer from excessive stress as well as sensory overload, develop anxiety.

Could that be you?

Why HSP’s Need Strategies For Anxiety

Whether you feel you anxiety symptoms are manageable or whether you are concerned that your symptoms are chronic and increasingly debilitating, as a highly sensitive person you need to develop strategies to handle stress and anxiety.

Highly sensitive people cannot escape the affect of chronic demands on their nervous systems. At some point, the consequences of excess anxiety will show up as an illness. Excessive stress overtime raises the blood sugar. It puts the body into a state of emergency which draws on all the energy stores of the body.

No one can withstand a constant state of emergency on the body. If unaddressed many people develop metabolic disorder and eventually diabetes. Highly sensitive people are in danger of developing a chronic disease if they do not manage their stress and anxiety well.

What Can You Do To Relieve Your Anxiety?

There are some obvious things you can do for anxiety:

  • take stock of you life and consider what is essential and what is not.
  • remove anything that is draining your time and energy and making it harder to manage your stress levels. I know that this can be easier said than done, but it is important to do. There are ways to make it easier:
    • you can start small and do it gradually.
    • under other circumstances it is better to tackle the most anxiety producing problem first. Perhaps some people need to be told that you will be unavailable for awhile due to other commitments (you), or some activities that you feel pressured to do, community activities would be an example, will need to be tabled.
  • learn to meditate. It works wonders to relieve the brain and creates mental rest.
  • try to do a little exercise each day. Yoga, NIA and ecstatic dance can all be done in a few minutes and will help your stress levels.
  • get a good nights sleep. Your body will process the days events and help repair your nervous system during your sleeping hours.
  • healthy food and water make a difference as well. A good meal makes your body feel good and that helps relax it. The wrong food does not feel good to your body and creates its own form of stress.

How To Relieve Anxiety While You Are Changing Your Life

All of the above suggestions take time. Creating a healthy life for yourself is a process. It is important to make sure you can see it through. In order to do so, there are a number of Ayurvedic herbs that can help you relieve stress while you are making changes:

  1. ashwaghandha: this herb is a very well known herb considered the most important for relieving stress symptoms. Also known as Indian ginseng, ashwaghandha helps you resist many forms of stress. It improves your body’s defenses by strengthening your physical defenses, and provides healing for the nervous system. Ashwaghanda relieves symptoms of stress like insomnia and nervous exhaustion. It acts as a sedative to the nervous system which enables you to recover from nervous stress and exhaustion. In addition, it works on the brain and nervous system and is known to reduce cortisol levels. Elevated cortisol levels over time lead to metabolic disorder and create the conditions for other illnesses to energy.
  2. brahmi  is another useful herb to use. It fulfills a slightly different function. Brahmi works more on the brain to improve mental functioning, including cognitive function and memory problems. When under stress we often do not think well. Brahmi helps your brain function better under conditions of stress and anxiety.

Anxiety Relief Strategies

Relieving anxiety for highly sensitive people is a big challenge. Each person needs to develop what works for them.

It is important to make space for change in your life. Any healthy living practices will bring relief to the body but it is often better to make one or two changes at a time and fully integrate them. Although it is a process, it will result in more permanent change and make it easier for you to handle the anxiety you already have while minimizing the anxiety of change.

NOTE: HSP Health has an affiliate relationship with Lifespa.

The Magic Of Oxygen

 

The Magic Of Oxygen, HSP Health

Cartoon Diseased Cell © by ssoosay

Oxygen is becoming a huge issue.

In prehistoric times, oxygen was 30-35% of the atmosphere. Now it is around 20-21% and in large cities even less – around 15%. And the amount of oxygen is declining still. These levels of oxygen are not life sustaining.

We are at risk of permanent structural oxygen deprivation.

What Is Hypoxia?

Too little oxygen in the body or oxygen deprivation is called hypoxia.

Oxygen deprivation can have many causes:

  • stressful living conditions
  • environmental conditions
  • dense living situations with a lot of demand on the supply of local oxygen
  • automobile exhaust can reduce available oxygen
  • poor breathing habits
  • toxins on the body.

There are a lot of reasons why someone might have unhealthy levels of oxygen in their body. One of the most important occurs when we are under stress which is when we often start to breathe in a shallow way and lose the oxygen intake we need to thrive. Over time, we will become debilitated from a lack of oxygen.

Stress And Oxygen Deprivation

Stressful situations are conditions where the body sends emergency supplies of oxygen and nutrients to where the body thinks they are needed.  Stress creates conditions where greater oxygen is needed and used and less oxygen may be taken in.

On a short term basis that is not a problem. On a long term basis it is a disaster.

When you breathe in, you take in oxygen and whatever else is in the atmosphere. The oxygen comes into your lungs and then enters your blood stream attached to the hemoglobin in your blood and eventually makes its way to the cells of your body which require oxygen in order to function. Oxygen is a catalyst for cell function to come to life. Once used, the cell then sends carbon dioxide waste back through the blood stream to be expelled when you exhale.

Oxygen synthesizes ATP which the cells use to create the energy to function. With hypoxia, the ATP synthesis process does not happen properly and the cells cannot carry out their designated purpose. They will build up lactic acid and cell processes will become sluggish.

Hypoxia also affects the blood, leads to higher acidity in the blood which also affects metabolic processes. In effect, all the cells of the body under the condition of hypoxia will operate in a suboptimal way. When metabolic processes are inadequate, food and emotions will not be processed properly and begin to clog the system weighing you down. As a result you will be start to feel ill at ease, and may not necessarily know the cause.

Hypoxia Symptoms And HSP’s

Hypoxia symptoms include headache, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, and fatigue. Hypoxia may result in depression and other mood problems. According to Normal Breathing, hypoxia can contribute to many diseases including diabetes, cancer, chronic fatigue and heart disease.

Highly sensitive people are particularly vulnerable to this condition of having too little oxygen in their bodies due to the high amount of stress that they experience. Anything that we can do to reduce stress in our lives is valuable and helpful such as

  • taking time to decompress from too much stimulus as frequently as possible
  • good breathing habits
  • healthy lifestyle habits
  • meditation
  • detoxification
  • supportive family and friends
  • therapy
  • energy healing techniques.

Our over stimulated world is dangerous for the health of highly sensitive people. It can seem overwhelming to try to manage your life and still reduce stress levels that can lead to debilitating hypoxia. We all need adequate oxygen levels in order to live well. Anything we can do to help ourselves will be welcomed by our overtaxed bodies and stress emotions.

So allow yourself the nourishment of healthy oxygen levels by eliminating all the stress creating oxygen eaters in your life. Your body and mind will be grateful.


3 Great Herbs For Emotional Health

Happiness – Summer 2008 © by Neticola – Raúl A.

Do you ever feel like an emotional ping-pong ball?

Do you have a hard time dealing with life’s emotional ups and downs?

Do you suffer from depression or anxiety?

Highly sensitive people have a particularly difficult time handling the emotional complexities of daily life. Not because they are weak, but because they notice everything!

Herbal Remedies And Emotional Resilience

Emotional resilience is challenging for anyone except the most hardened person.

In our big and complicated world, emotional openness and compassion do come with a price, however. We often get bogged down and even ill particularly if we are highly sensitive people.

One way to improve the situation is to take herbal remedies that can improve our emotional well-being. Here  are some that can do that for you.

Brahmi

Brahmi is one of the most important herbs for the brain. It is one of the natural herbs known as adaptogens.  An adaptogen is “…an herb product that…increase(s) resistance to stresstraumaanxiety and fatigue.”

According to Clarocet‘s reference library, Bacopa benefits are clear in four areas:

  • improved capacity for attention and focus,
  • improved ability to withstand emotional stress
  • reduction in nervousness and anxiety
  • improved immune system function.

Brahmi is unusual in that it helps the left and right hemispheres of the brain to work together, improves all aspects of mental  functioning and helps us deal with stress.

Ashwaghandha

Ashwaghandha, like brahmi, is a restorative herb and adaptogen, which means it helps the body handle stress. making it very helpful for highly sensitive people.

  • It increases strength, protecting and enhancing the energy of the body which can be debilitated by stress and fatigue in highly sensitive people.
  • It supports the immune system and adrenal functioning. Adrenal fatigue is often a consequence of long term stress and can result in many other physical ailments including allergies and obesity.  Natural Herbs Guide cites a study which found that ashwagandha’s large number of antioxidents support the immune system and help with healthy aging.
  • Ashwaghandha helps stabilize blood sugar and supports the liver as well as the adrenals. Blood sugar levels can be adversely affected by chronic stress, a problem that HSP’s need to be aware of.
  • According to Ashwagandha Benefits, some people use it to minimize the effects of: chemotherapy, multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus, stress induced ulcers and osteo and rheumatoid arthritis.
Ashwaghanda is considered the top herb for the nervous system because of it calming capabilities and worth considering by HSP’s as a way to protect their sensitive nervous systems.

Arjuna

Arjuna is the Ayuvedic herb for the heart. It heals many heart conditions:

  • congestive heart disease
  • angina
  • cardiac arrhythmia
  • hypertension
  • cholesterol levels

In Ayurveda, the heart is not just a part of the physical body. It is also the seat of emotional health. Therefore, arjuna strengthens the heart and support emotional health.

Arjuna helps heal a “broken heart” which makes it a valuable herb for highly sensitive people, who suffer acutely from emotional disappointments and injury.

Creating Emotional Health

Emotional health comes from  good health habits. HSP’s need to be careful about their work and social environments to minimize the chances of emotional injury.

Since it is not possible to control everything, these three herbs will help any HSP to cope better with the emotional demands of their environments.

 

NOTE: HSP Health has an affiliate relationship with LifeSpa.

Unfreeze Those Feelings!

The HSPs 7 Paths To Reducing Sensitivity - HSP Health Blog

Source: Flickr

To a child all feelings may seem huge, since they feel so small – and are.

Children are very natural about their feelings. They experience them and let them go.

Unfortunately, it does not take long before we learn that our feelings are unwanted and inconvenient.

Then we start to reject them and hold them in with all the negative effects that brings.

What Happens To Our Feelings?

Our feelings become objectified. We learn to treat them like objects at a store, some unwanted and others preferred as demonstrated to us by our families and educators.

And so the stress starts. According to Yogi Amrit Desai, founder of Kripalu Yoga in a June, 2010 article in Natural AwakeningsHealing the Root Cause of Addiction with Ayurveda A Natural Cure for Unhealthy Dependence by Linda Sechrist,  

“It is important to recognize that most people don’t know the difference between tension and stress…

He observes that stressors—thoughts and reactions to our lifestyle, relationships, work environment and family life—are introduced through the ego mind. Emotionally charged thoughts and feelings of blame, shame or guilt then get metabolized into our biological body system. Stored in the form of toxins and neuro-glandular imbalances, these feelings create energy blocks that prevent the free flow of energy, or prana, the body’s self-healing wisdom.

Energy blocks may take the form of muscular tensions and weakness in liver, kidney and digestive functions. Gradual decline results in a progressive deterioration of biological processes and consequently can manifest in external symptoms of fatigue, fear, anxiety and insecurity.”

Essentially we are socialized to have certain emotions and reject others and our unwanted emotions then get stuck in our bodies and gradually make us sick.

Why Rejecting Feelings Is A Mistake

When we reject our feelings, we cannot own them and process them.

When we are processing our feelings, we take them in, accept them feel them and listen to them. It is called metabolism.

Metabolism comes from the greek word ” metabole” for change or transformation. At any given time as we interact with our world we are in the process of metabolism – of perceptions, thought, feelings, emotions as well as material substances such as food and water.  All forms of life engage in metabolism, from plants to humans.

When we are unable to metabolize a food it will clog our bodies. When we are unable to metabolize or process emotions, they will clog our system as well. Ideally we process all food and experiences each day so that we are in a state of flowing with life. If only it were that simple!

It is often not  possible to process all information and feelings when they occur. Some feelings can be part of a larger process.  The grieving process is a good example of that.  However, the most difficult situations are those where an acceptable arrangement is not possible – situations that are abusive, demeaning, and dehumanizing –  because the pain of these situations often does long term damage to the energy of the body, and takes a long time to heal.

Learning To Accept And Release Feelings

It can be useful to think of feelings as information.  When the feelings are the result of a past experience transferred onto the present, it is a sign that there is unfinished business in the past that must be dealt with. Another way of looking at it is that energy has become blocked in the body, it has not been metabolized. Under these circumstances it is our job to accept the feelings so that they can be released.

There are releasing practices available including meditation,and the energy healing practices of eft (emotional freedom technique) and reiki that help with processing emotions. Writing in a journaling has been widely used and can be effective.  Therapy groups have been helpful to many.  The more severe the experiences causing blocked energy the greater the need for therapeutic solutions.  The body has its wisdom and in some severely abusive situations it will “store” emotions to be processed at a later date if that is what is needed to survive.

Highly sensitive people and severely abused people need to be aware that they can accept and take charge of their healing process by finding therapeutic practices and groups that will let them forgive and let go of the past. Engaging in such practices helps minimize the potential for long term destructive addiction and therefore is valuable for all people.

For More Information:

Stress, Addiction And Weight



Keys To Sticking With A Weight Loss Diet

 Keys To Sticking With A Weight Loss Diet - HSP Health Blog

scale_zero © by dsearls

A new year often means a new diet.

Diets are always challenging but they can be particularly problematic for highly sensitive people.

Why?

Because overstimulation, stress and difficulties with other people can overwhelm our best intentions.

Can We Make Dieting Easier For Highly Sensitive People?

There are many approaches to dieting but two stand out:

  1. reduced calorie diets. These diets generally take your existing diet down a notch. Depending on your current eating plan, it may be less of what you are currently eating. It may involve a change of foods.  There are many dieting services like Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem among others that find ways to reduce calories without changing your food lifestyle.
  2. meal replacement diets. Meal replacement diets came into vogue as technology entered the food business. Once company that pioneered their use is Medifast. Meal replacements   can have a high amount of nutrition for a modest amount of calories. They are dense nutrition meant to replace 1-2 meals a day.

Either of these approaches can help you lose weight but there is more to it.

What Is Weight Loss Discomfort?

One of the reasons that people have difficulty with diets, is that their bodies feel the withdrawal of food. It can be frightening.

Because of calorie restriction, no matter what your method, you body will most likely digest what you do eat fairly quickly – certainly faster than when you were eating more. So you will feel ups and down from sugar imbalances.

Whatever our current diet, we have found a way to create sugar stability in our bodies, even if it means we weigh more than we would like.

When we start a diet, we disturb that equilibrium and that causes discomfort.

Your  equilibrium changes can also change your moods, make you feel weaker and make it harder to handle stress.

All of these factors can make a successful weight loss diet seem like an impossible achievement.

How To Manage Bood Sugar Levels On A Weight Loss Diet

There are herbs for managing blood sugar levels.

One of the best is gymnema silvestre which is THE Ayurvedic herb used for managing sugar levels. It will stabilize you blood sugar levels while you are reducing your weight.

It wil make the dieting experience much more pleasurable.

Other Ways To Make Dieting Easier

There are a number of other herbs that can help make dieting easier:

  • ashwaghandha and brahmi are two great herbs for helping with stress. It has antioxident and anti-inflammatory properties. It can help you manage your stress levels easier when you are dieting.
  • vidanga and trikatu are two herbs that improves digestion
  • triphala is a great herb for balancing the entire body gently over time.

Making Dieting Work When You Are Highly Sensitive

Being highly sensitive can make health challenges greater but that does not mean that getting in shape is impossible. A solid diet plan, a sensible pace of work and rest, and herbal support can put achieving a heathy weight within reach.

Go for it!

Get The Monkey Off Your Back!

sleepy_mk © by beccafrog

You know the feeling…

You are bone weary.

You are not sure that you can move.

You look at your limbs like they do not belong to you and they have no interest in doing what you want.

Your energy is on strike and you can not afford it.

We have all felt this way. It has a cause and it has a cure.

The Burden You Are Carrying

It is easy enough to write off the symptoms of fatigue to bad diet and too much work. If only it were that simple.

It is easy enough to fault the individual for some weakness that causes them to not be “strong” enough or responsible enough or whatever enough.

It is easy enough to blame bad genes or the weather or some other factor outside of our control.

The reality is that we are living in an unusual time in human history and understanding context is key to making your life more manageable. There has never been this number of human beings on this planet that has grown so complex that no one can manage it any more. Our world is out of control in more ways than one, and you are feeling the effects.

It is not your fault.  But you still need solutions.

Short-term Solutions Make It Worse

Most short term solutions for fatigue are nothing more than one form of stimulant or another:

  • stimulants like coffee and sugar snacks do a number on your body by upping the sugar that sets you on the road to metabolic disorder and diabetes. It’s a high price to pay for a temporary boost that depletes us later.  It’s a kind of deficit spending for the body.
  • working harder is another often used approach. We have all heard the expression that there are not enough hours in the day. One Ayurvedic doctor told me that working six hours a day was considered far superior for health and more natural for us than our current culture of long hours and 24/7 availability.
  • distraction can help us pump ourselves up.   Loud music and entertainment can create a high of sorts which is not actually restful and may negatively affect the nervous systems of highly sensitive people.
  • reaching for food is actually a rational instinct since food supports our health and ability to function.  Unfortunately one of the challenges extremely busy people have is that much of our food supply is processed and full of all sorts of chemicals as well as corn syrup and other ingredients that increase weight and act as stimulants to the body.  Because processed food is so high in calories and low in nutrition it can cause people to want to eat more to meet their nutritional needs and when they are tired their nutritional needs rise.  Fatigue can therefore contribute to weight issues.

Fatigue is important information that needs to be listened to.  It provides valuable information about how to manage ourselves and our work that can support long term effectiveness. It can help us learn how to pace ourselves. All of the unhealthy ways we have of handling fatigue in the short term affect our perseverance and staying power in the long term, because they take a weakened state of being tired fatigue, and make it worse.  Over a long period of time, inevitable chronic problems will develop.

Highly sensitive people are very conscientious which can make them more easily tired. By taking poor fatigue handling strategies off the table and working with the body’s nature, HSP’s start to level the playing field on fatigue management.

How To Take The Monkey Off Your Back

Getting the monkey off your back is not a quick fix.

  • you need to accept how out-of-control the world is and accept that you probably will not fix it.
  • you need to put your health ahead of saving the world. That may be easier said than done since it can be a source of income and identity to fix the world.
  • you are not responsible for other people’s expectations including their expectations of a perfect world.

Once you have accepted these things you are ready to work on your life. You must start by making a list of priorities putting health at the top of your list. Getting on a health maintenance plan that supports your highest functioning will help you handle work better and help you feel better at the same time.

MAPI, the Ayurvedic website,  recommends strategies based on the type of fatigue you are experiencing: mental, emotional or physical. Their article,  Wiping Away Fatigue, and offers some tips and case histories of how some individuals were able to recover from fatigue. (You can check your dosha type below.) Next you need to get serious about simplifying your life.

  • what do you take on that is unnecessary?
  • when do you help others when they should be helping themselves? You do not want to deprive others of empowerment opportunities!
  • what do you do that pleases others but is totally draining to you?
  • Is your home and office cluttered?

See if you can reduce one “obligation” or source of clutter a day.  Decluttering your life takes time, which is a good thing because freedom takes time to get used to.

But it is worth it and you are worth it. And by the way, when someone brings you a monkey, say no!

To learn more about your body type or dosha:

The Importance Of Fatigue

Tala
Creative Commons License photo credit: Ryan Kilpatrick

Listen to your fatigue.

Fatigue is an important message from our bodies, emotions and spirits. Western thinking and cultural practices treat fatigue, at best, as an inconvenience. Such thinking is a mistake and particularly problematic for highly sensitive people.

What Fatigue Does For Us

All living things need renewal to be healthy.  If we do not make time for renewal, we are depleting and ultimately destroying ourselves by ignoring a natural part of the life cycle.

Unfortunately, we humans have been operating this way with ourselves and the environment for a long time as if people and the environment are simply part of a larger factory system. One of the consequences is the growing numbers of sick people on the planet.

Highly sensitive people are fortunate to be holistic not linear or mechanistic thinkers. But HSP’s need to protect themselves from the linear, mechanistically organized world of production capitalism which is destructive for their health.

On a personal level, most of us can cope with a certain amount of fatigue and not feel too debilitated.  We may not be at our best, but on occasion that may be an acceptable compromise. However, how we handle that short term fatigue can have serious impacts.

Most short term solutions for fatigue are nothing more than one form of stimulant or another:

  • stimulants like coffee and sugar snacks throw the body further off  balance, and create a temporary boost while depleting us later. It’s a kind of deficit spending for the body.
  • working harder is another often used approach. Many people have to work long hours that are not really suited to their natures. One Ayurvedic doctor told me that working six hours a day was considered far superior for health and more natural for us than our current culture of long hours and 24/7 availability.
  • distraction can help us pump ourselves up. Loud music and entertainment can create a high of sorts but it is mentally induced, not actually restful and may negatively affect the nervous systems of highly sensitive people.
  • food is a frequent choice for helping with fatigue and actually a rational one since food supports our health and ability to function. Unfortunately one of the challenges extremely busy people have is that much of our food supply is processed and full of all sorts of chemicals as well as corn syrup and other ingredients that increase weight and act as stimulants to the body. Fatigue can therefore contribute to weight issues. Processed food also increases the clogging of our bodies that Ayurveda calls “ama”, the creator of imbalance and disease.

Fatigue is important information that needs to be listened to. From a process point of view, it can provide valuable information about how to manage ourselves and our work that can support long term effectiveness. It can help us learn how to pace ourselves. All of the unhealthy ways we have of handling fatigue in the short term affect our perseverance and staying power in the long term, because they take a weakened state of being tired fatigue, and make it worse.  Over a long period of time, inevitable chronic problems will develop.

Ayurveda takes a different approach to  healing fatigue – it recommends strategies based on the type of fatigue: mental, emotional or physical. MAPI, the premier US site for Ayurveda has a great article on Wiping Away Fatigue, and offers some tips and case histories of how some individuals were able to recover from fatigue.

Highly sensitive people have an additional problem in that their sensitivity and conscientiousness will add to their work burden and make them more easily tired. An HSP with stress or other disorders will have even greater chances of becoming tired easily. By taking poor fatigue handling strategies off the table and working with the body’s nature, HSP’s start to level the playing field on fatigue management.

Because of their sensitivity, highly sensitive people have a chance to let fatigue become a wonderful early warning sign for them to protect their health and enable them to be at their best.

To learn more about your body type or dosha:

Meditation Heals Traumatic Stress

Meditation Heals Traumatic Stress - HSP Health Creative Commons License photo credit: CyboRoZ

 

Have you developed a meditation practice for yourself?

I have meditated now for almost 20 years and it is one of the best things I have done for myself.

Like many HSPs, stress has always been a problem for me.

Meditation is one of the few things I have found that provides serious help.

Traumatic Stress Required Healing

Many HSPs not only suffer from serious debilitating stress but also the traumatic stress caused by abuse. All the the violence  including verbal and emotional violence in our world causes a tremendous amount of suffering especially for highly sensitive people because it can take a lot of time for us to recover from a traumatic experience. Unfortunately, in some situations, people do not recover, the traumatic damage is too great.

Many Forms Of  Traumatic Stress

Any form of trauma can create serious and long-lasting traumatic stress. All forms of childhood abuse, assault and any other form of violence, and bullying can create deep long lasting emotional and mental pain.

The worst of course is war, where violence is a constant for a long period of time. which is why this new study is so valuable for all trauma sufferers.

Meditation Helps PTSD

It is very useful to understand what treatments benefit those who have suffered the worst forms of abuse, since they can often help those whose injuries are milder.

According to a recent 2008 study of five Iraq/Afghanistan veterans who has served up to two years and experienced moderate to moderately heavy fighting, meditation was able to relieve their PTSD symptoms. According to the release by the Behavioral Medicine Report, the study was conducted by Norman Rosenthal, M.D., a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical School and director of research at Capital Clinical Research Associates in Rockville, Maryland.

Dr. Rosenthal is a well-known researcher who has pioneered  seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and light therapy. In the veterans study, the former soldiers were taught Transcendental Meditation, and the results were monitored using Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS), which is the premier tool used to assess post traumatic stress disorder patients. After eight weeks of meditation, the veterans had a 50% reduction in their symptoms.

Apparently meditation helps PTSD sufferers significantly. This is not the first time that researchers discovered that meditation helps PTSD symptoms in veterans.  In 1985, the University of Colorado also experienced positive results during their three month study.

The Behavioral Medicine Report makes this observation:

Rosenthal hypothesizes that Transcendental Meditation helps people with post traumatic stress disorder because regular practice produces long-term changes in sympathetic nervous system activity, as evidenced by decreased blood pressure, and lower reactivity to stress. Transcendental Meditation quiets down the nervous system, and slows down the ‘fight-or-flight’ response,” he said. People with post traumatic stress disorders show overactive fight-or-flight responses, making them excellent candidates for Transcendental Meditation.

PTSD has a long history. PTSD has been called a number of other different names, including:

  • battle fatigue or gross stress reaction for soldiers who came down with PTSD after World War II
  • combat fatigue or shell shock for soldiers who experienced PTSD symptoms after World War I
  • soldier’s heart for soldiers who developed the symptoms of PTSD after the Civil War.
  • more recently it has been found to be inheritable and can be caused by abuse.

Meditation For Traumatic Stress Sufferers

Meditation has also been around for centuries and we now are starting to have the scientific proof of its benefits. The military sees Transcendental Meditation being used in the future to assist veterans suffering from PTSD which sounds like a great idea.

However, since it is so useful for military PTSD sufferers, we should use it wherever it can make a difference. Many people suffer from emotional and mental stress caused by various forms of abuse.

Highly sensitive people suffer more than most and have a particularly acute need to get help with stress disorders. Transcendental Meditation has been helpful for me. It has the important benefit of quieting and healing the nervous system which is precisely what highly sensitive people need.

Many HSP’s like myself use it and it is worth considering as a healing method.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Ayurveda For Any Type Of Depression

depression

depression
Any type of depression is tricky to heal since it can present itself in many ways. It can range from temporary mood swings to more persisting feelings of dejection or self-pity over an extended period of time. In its most extreme form, depression can even present itself as severe melancholia, leading the sufferer to contemplate suicide.

Most people think of depression as a state of mind, when in fact it is a clinical condition stemmed from a physical hormone imbalance. Once diagnosed, there are treatments for any type of depression that can help the sufferer feel better and which can lead to a drastic change in attitude, outlook on life and even appearance. Studies have shown that there are natural ways to treat depression such as through supplements and exercise that don’t have the long-lasting side effects of strong pharmaceuticals.

Ayurveda For Any Type Of Depression

One of the most promising source of treatments and supplements available is Ayurveda. Ayurveda is a traditional Indian medicine that has been used for thousands of years to treat various ailments caused by an imbalance in the bodies energies. Once the energies are stabilized, it is believed that mental and physical health can return.

Ayurveda is safe and natural. It can be used in conjunction with other medications. Ayurvedic doctors work with Western medicine but nonetheless it’s best to check with a doctor before beginning to take Ayurveda if you are currently taking any other medications.

How Ayurveda Works For Any Type Of Depression

Ayurveda works by addressing the two main causes of depression:

  • an imbalance in the three doshas or bioenergies of the human ecosystem: Vata, Pitta and Kapha
  • developing and promoting an awareness of the inner Self

Doshas are the bioenergetic forces that determine health, both mentally and physically. Dosha imbalances result in physical as well as behavioral imbalances and symptoms. It is believed that depression is largely caused by an imbalance in the body that may progress to more serious ailments if left untreated.

More Than One Type of Depression

Ayurveda is useful for treating any type of depression.

Ayurveda provides a full range of treatments and living solutions that enable you to take care of yourself so that you are in optimum health. They offer excellent stress reduction techniques, diet and lifestyle solutions as well as herbal remedies and detoxification. All of the Ayurvedic treatments are natural and meant to enhance and support the bioenergy of the individual.

The different types of depression show up in different ways:

  • Vata induced depression is characterized by an abundance of fear, anxiety, nervousness and sleeplessness. It can be aggravated by loneliness or the loss of a loved one.
  • Pitta induced depression involves fear of failure or fear of making mistakes. If untreated, this form can progress to suicidal tendencies. People who suffer from this form of depression are usually addicted to success or may be pressured by family achieve things. It often manifests itself in the winter.
  • Kapha induced depression is characterized by the feeling of being weighed down. It involves excessive sleepiness, obesity and feelings of having a wasted life.

The special blend of herbs and ingredients in Ayurveda address imbalances of each type of dosha while not affecting the healthy part of the body. Each type of depression experienced stems from whatever the dosha is lacking. Ayurvedic herbs are a great way to restore balance to the body.

What Are Some Ayurvedic Treatments For Depression?

Ayurveda is a combination of herbs that together work to restore balance to an individual’s body. For those suffering from depression suitable herbs will have a calming effect on the nervous system and brain. Some suitable herbal ingredients include Brahmi, Ashwagandha, Vachaa, Mandook parni and Guduchi that are available in a variety of herbal combinations.

In addition to supplements, there are also external Ayurvedic treatments. Some detoxification treatments that can be helpful are the pouring of liquid medication over the forehead between the eyebrows, and body massage. Ayurvedic medicine also stresses the practice of yoga for health and treatment of specific ailments.

The combination of supplements, yoga and awareness can help cure the depression, allowing the sufferer to lead a healthier, happier life. Unlike western medicines, Ayurveda is a safe and natural way to address imbalances in the body that may lead to a variety of health problems. Ayurveda is particularly valuable for highly sensitive people because if is tailored to the individual, is designed to support your natural and best self and doesn’t cause the side effects of allopathic medications.

For HSPs it is definitely worth asking your natural health practitioner about Ayurveda to find out if you can benefit from its natural approach to treating depression.