It has been a year now since the Covid-19 virus saga has taken a predominant place in everyone’s life. The situation has brought on a monumental number of major stressors. By nature, people — and all life forms — adversely react to stress simply because it represents an existential threat. Even some people who enjoy a very enviable lifestyle have been recently disclosing that they are having a hard time coping with the ever-increasing restrictions imposed on every aspect of life.
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What is happening?
Hunkering down involves deprivation from sunlight and oxygen, besides noted restriction of freedom of movement and anxiety about the uncertainty of the future. Under such conditions, the body usually tends to start producing more cortisol hormones due to continuous stress. Eventually, it initiates a breaking down process. Excess cortisol production causes inflammation that brings on disease. When staying mostly confined indoors, the body produces less Vitamin D and the blood is less oxygenated. As a consequence, it harbors more stagnant chi, an undesirable situation that often contributes to a compromised immune system and all types of ailments for the mind and body.
People are concerned about the potential side effects of unwillingly and unknowingly breathing microfibers from face masks. They also find it stressful to not have access to certain commercial services and facilities (e.g. gym, hair salon, spas, houses of worship, etc). Many more people are complaining about gaining excess weight because of a lack of body movement through outdoor activities. Others have been reporting issues with their cognitive faculties, namely their memory and mental alertness. For a healthy, fit, and productive life, one must ambulate to oxygenate and produce endorphins in order to stabilize the moods.
Since most people are bearing the brunt of chronic stress accumulated in the body and mind, even the best of us are looking for solutions to the increasingly challenging predicament.
When it comes to stress, some coping solutions are better than others. Different individuals respond differently to specific coping methods. Everybody has their own sets of beliefs about stress management.
From banging their heads against a wall to using biofeedback, people have seen it all and done it all, in search of stress relief. Some solutions – or perceived solutions – might only make matters worse, e.g. taking a baseball bat to beat an antagonistic challenger to a pulp, or go on a drinking binge. More people are taking refuge in addictive substances such as anxiety medication, processed sugar, wheat (for the opioid-like effect), recreational drugs, alcohol, and violence disguised as entertainment.
While countless individuals have recourse to anti-anxiety medications, they are not aware that their meds are for short-term use. This is so because the drugs’ side effects sometimes end up yielding results that are more detrimental to health than the stress itself.
One does not have to co-depend on toxic, self-hating, and self-destructive practices to cope with stress. The most major drawback with toxicity is that it is disabling.
Regardless of what kind of stress-relief methods people choose to entertain using, it is what works that counts. Individuals may experiment with or adopt whatever methods that they determine to be most appropriate for their personality type. Fortunately, the list is endless. Some methods are basic, and some others are more advanced.
What are the remedies?
Many coping strategies that have been traditionally used have worked well. Now that the old normal is passé, it is in the worthy’s best interest to consider more advanced methods for stress control during the new normal.
The following modalities are six among a large number of strategies that are proven to help control stress. The strategies consist of non-toxic methods that one can use to reduce stress and promote better blood flow for relaxation. The methods fit different types of personalities, lifestyles, and personal interests. The listed strategies are also known as advanced and unanimously considered effective as well as safe. Over the ages, scores of generations of people have used them:
1. Exercises – All methods that consist of voluntarily moving the body: walking, jogging, Qi Gong, yoga, Pilates, dancing, gym-type workouts, etc.). They oxygenate the blood, therefore revitalize the brain and whole body, in addition to burning calories and any excess body fat.
Exercises such as walking and yoga are preferred by people who like to work on their fitness at a harmonious pace. Gym types of workout are well suited for Alpha personalities and more gregarious types of people. Qi Gong and T’ai Chi are usually more suitable for people who are on the more advanced paths of wellness and spirituality combined. These exercises are highly sought by people who aim to improve their body shape, prevent illness, or heal from disease with a focus on the mind-body connection.
2. Laughter – It is still considered potent medicine. It beats synthetic dopamines. Laughter oxygenates the lungs, reinforces the abdominal muscles, and strengthens the immune system. (See HOW TO DETOXIFY YOUR LIFE NATURALLY, p. xiii). There exists an overabundance of online videos featuring pranks, spoofs, and laughter-producing material catering to all kinds of tastes. It is also… free.
This treatment is well suited for people who enjoy levity and sharing fun moments with others.
3. Medicinal Herbs – Many herbs such as Kava Kava, Valerian, and Chamomille are known to relax muscles and uplift the moods. They reduce the damaging effects of oxidative stress.
This medicine is palatable to people who prefer ancient natural medicines.
4. Mindfulness – It includes Meditation, Guided Visualization Therapy, and countless other modalities. It is the art of befriending the self, forgiving the self and others, and also caring for all that exists at the level of a connection with quantum consciousness.
This type of medicine is for people on the path of quantum evolution.
5. Bodywork Therapies – They comprise many varieties of modalities such as: Acupressure, Acupuncture, Massage Therapy, Shiatsu, Reiki, Aromatherapy Bodywork, and Stone Massage. These methods detoxify as well as nourish and revitalize the body’s tissues. The therapies cause a reduction in cortisol levels while promoting an increase in dopamine percentage for the re-balancing of the body and mind.
These processes work well for people who like to feel cared for and nurtured when touched by people with healthy personal boundaries. This medicine also appeals to people who do not have trust issues.
6. Music – It is scientifically proven to have therapeutic benefits with no side-effects whatsoever.
Music (good quality music that is), promotes better blood flow, therefore improves circulation and reduces hypertension. It helps control all types of stress-related symptoms as well as depression and pain. It assists with endurance during exercise workouts. Music is also known to enhance human memory. Music as medicine is unbeatable for uplifting moods.
Why be enduring and adaptable?
For the answer, there is a choice. One can take either the blue pill or the red pill:
> If one chooses to take the blue pill here, it is actually a very good thing, the sign of an optimistic attitude, and optimism is known to attract positive outcomes. There is nothing that says things will not be normal one day, even though they were not even normal before. Things are simply scheduled to not return as they were before. That is why we are to adapt to the new normal but approach the changes with a constructive level of optimism. However, if someone succumbs to the Pollyanna Syndrome (irrational over-optimism), then it is a toxic attitude of expectancy that is as unproductive as no optimism at all.
> If one chooses to take the red pill here, it is actually also a good thing. This action implies that the individual decides to roll with the punches now. The do so with the presumption that it may be for the long haul, therefore they approach the challenge with cautious optimism. There is no proof contradicting that things will improve. The focus is on practicing preparedness, resilience, and adaptability. While we do that, we are to insist on being proactive about paving the way to contribute to making things turn into an acceptable normal that is in concordance with human evolution and human dignity.
In the past few days, world policymakers, economists, and scientists have been stating that things are not likely to go back to normal until the end of the year 2021. And that is a rather conservative expectation. In the meantime, many humans require a strong dose of resilience and lots of encouragement in order to endure.
Some prognosticators of world changes in the scientific community and many observers of the planet have been encouraging the earth’s population to prepare for additional events that may be sources of stress and inconvenience. It appears that there are many more forthcoming changes in the forecast. A mere example of the predictability of the said changes is the catastrophic multi-State winter storm of the past weeks. The blizzard had been forecasted by climate science whose technologies tout a high degree of accuracy with a 95% confidence level.
The major winter storm of February 2021 has been interpreted by some climatologists as an indicator of global warming, reflecting climate change that itself is a resultant of the excessive burning of fossil fuel.
Throughout the time allotted for paradigms to shift, we the members of the Earth’s population are not supposed to assume that we are on a relaxing vacation. This implies that we must practice fortitude, endurance, and objectivity.
It is not what is happening that counts, but how we react to it. The constructive attitude with which we prepare for change is instrumental.
As many more changes are presumably in the offing, then one must be aware that effective stress management helps cope with unforeseen changes more effectively. In the era of the new normal, one must not only effectively manage stress but also train the self to be resilient and resourceful. There is strength in preparing for potential stressors that are likely to require management.
In the old days of the survival of the fittest, it was commonplace for fitness-oriented people to go to the gym to meet their fitness needs. Now it is no longer as practical to go to the gym. Since we are in the era of the new normal, the future belongs not just to the fittest, but to the most adaptable. One can no longer choose to be either one or the other.For this reason, a new level of focused attention to non-toxic stress reduction is essential.
It is vital to remember that one of the most important components of an advanced, non-toxic stress reduction process is laughter. Additionally, if you do not laugh at yourself and your circumstances, you are leaving the joy to others.
All of the above-recommended therapies belong on a to-do list. At the ver least, daily laughter is a must. There is no excuse for not using levity because it is always accessible and free. Not enjoying a good laugh is not going to improve the dire circumstances that so many people are anxious about.
“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”
E. E. Cummings
When all of the above-suggested modalities are used together daily, the combination is maximally beneficial. The modalities help the body produce more endorphins and dopamine, the natural hormones that counteract cortisol and reduce stress in a non-toxic way, with no risk of overdosing. Now, just take a deep, slow, long breath. Hold it. Let go and relax! You are ok… everyone and everything is ok. Enjoy the music, levity, and waterfall. Be grateful for everything! Just… relax!
In my book HOW TO DETOXIFY YOUR LIFE NATURALLY, I provide life-enhancing and valuable information on the importance of utilizing non-toxic stress management strategies, including levity-filled quotes featured at the end of every chapter, for the wellness of body and mind.
For more information on how to benefit from the various holistic processes provided by Sri Regine Lherisson-Bey:
Sri Regine Lherisson-Bey, Ph.D. candidate in Natural Medicine, is a Mind-Body Therapist, Wellness Coach, and published Author voted Wellness Expert by peer consensus in 2005. Therapist Lherisson-Bey is the author of the Kindle bestseller HOW TO DETOXIFY YOUR LIFE NATURALLY as well as the weight management program GET SLIM EFFORTLESSLY. From an original CD, the publication has evolved into an instructional picture book, an eBook, and an effective weight management program. Therapist Lherisson-Bey’s works have been featured on TV, radio, and in several magazines in the past 30 years.