Yesterday we talked about how going back to nature in the way we live and nurture our bodies benefits us physically. Today, we will discuss it mentally…..
When we make a healthy selection or prepare a meal from food that we know we consciously selected for nutrition, we are telling ourselves mentally that we are worth it. Here’s the thing, the biggest hurtle we have in weight loss, eating healthy, quitting smoking, etc. is the mental aspect. We start out with some superhero will power and then in a moment of weakness we cave in. This is when our mental weaknesses have their fun in our mind. They tell us we aren’t good enough, strong enough or capable of succeeding. In the moment our bodies are going through physical withdraw, our mind then turns on us as well and we give in to what has been harming us the whole time. Why? It’s so much easier! Well, it’s easier at that moment. We can suddenly go back to mindless eating, smoking a pack of cigarettes, etc. However, once that rush leaves, we are left with the feelings of yet another failure. Trouble is that with those of us already suffering from depression, anxiety, low self-esteem etc. this is a state of mind that we try to avoid because we know it can lead to a major downward spiral.
Here is some advice I can offer, every day that you chose you, you become more confident. As your health changes and your body changes so does your mind. When you feel good about yourself and what you are doing it makes it easier to continue. I am NOT saying you won’t slip up. The key is not to tear yourself up over it. Learn from it. Say ok, this is what happened, I am smarter today then I was yesterday about what triggers me and get back up and start again. It’s the persistence that pays off.
With all the healthier choices that I have made for myself, I still have struggles mentally. I have terrible anxiety, which leads to very poor sleep and I have a history of panic attacks. For over 10 years I was on prescription medications for all the above, as well as depression. Over the course of those years, my dosages kept rising until they could no longer, then I would be switched to a new medication because my body stopped responding to the previous. In switching, there was a LOT of trial and error which would leave me with nausea or mentally weak for months at a time until finding a new prescription that would work for a while.
Today…..I no longer take prescription medications. In my education in herbs, I experimented and tested things on myself to a point where I am now able to use them as needed. I carry a roller ball in my purse with essential oil blends that I have created for myself and on days I know will be extremely difficult I wear a diffuser necklace with essential oils that have been proven to work for me. Sure, I still have a “bad” day on very rare occasions BUT I had those before as well.
Now, I am not telling you to stop your medication and start experimenting with herbs cold turkey. I am saying that herbs have incredible healing benefits. I was able to completely give up my medications after a long time of trial and error but not everyone can. That doesn’t mean you can’t supplement or use in addition to. I am saying to question, research and take your health back into your own hands instead of just relying mindlessly on others for your fix. No one knows your body as well as you do. As always, use under the supervision of your doctor because some can have side effects when used in conjunction with prescriptions.
Ok, so let’s talk about my favorite ways to use herbs for mental health. I already mentioned using them as an essential oil but we can also use them straight out of our garden and this can be a cheaper option since purchasing quality essential oils is very expensive and can be a bit intimidating to those who aren’t sure where or what to look for. My favorite way to use fresh or dried herbs is in teas. I love teas and there are some fantastic places online to order quality herbal teas from if you don’t want to make your own. One of my favorites is an Etsy shop I discovered called Sunshine Cottage. However, I will warn you that you need to go in knowing what ingredients you are searching out in a tea. Many great, especially smaller scale, suppliers won’t make claims about their teas involving health benefits because of fear of being sued.
Another great way to use herbs for this purpose is aromatherapy and this doesn’t have to always be in the form of an essential oil to reap benefits from it. A dream pillow is a great way to do this as well. I am currently designing our first dream pillow that will be available in our shop in September. They will contain an inner pocket that can hold herbs of choice that will allow you to breathe in their aroma while you sleep. Lavender would be an excellent one to start off trying.
Continuing along the lines of aromatherapy, there is a line of products that that we carry in the shop: our Artesian Soaps. While these were primarily marketed for their spiritual uses, you can read all about their other benefits in the product descriptions. My family uses these three soaps interchangeably depending on the time of day that they shower. Sun King in the morning and Moonlight Magick in the evening but then Aphrodite Dreams can be used anytime and is more of an everyday go to bar if you have to pick just one. They all contain a mixture of essential oils as well as dried herbs. All three are handmade by me with careful consideration being made for the potency of each ingredient benefits within a particular time frame. This is why I make smaller batches of 20-30 bars rather than large ones. I have no use for a bar of soap that has no benefit because of expired and ineffective essential oils or ingredients. We want only the best for our family and for yours.
Oh, and this is a good place to mention the only essential oils that I use on myself or in any of the products in the Cynnamon Charmed shop are those from Eden’s Garden or occasionally DoTerra. I would feel comfortable using Young Living as well; I just don’t have a need at this time to do so. There are lots of different companies out there making claims for purity and the best essential oils. I am also an individual who looks for a great deal when possible….HOWEVER, essential oils are not a time to skimp. You absolutely get what you pay for. However, you also need to be aware that just because it’s expensive don’t mean it’s better all the time. So, if you are looking toward trying essential oils and want me to refer you to someplace, I would feel confident referring you to any of the three companies listed above. There may be others out there but I stick with what I know and what I have experience with and that is these.
I am going to go ahead and give you the weekend to ponder the benefits of herbs for our mental and physical well-being. Do some further online research and take a look at the following links and attached images…. Then we will pick back up on Monday with Herbal Uses in Spirituality. Blessed Be )O(
Moonlight Magick, Sun King, Aphrodite Dreams- our 3 Artesian Soap Bars for aromatherapy
Sunshine Cottage - excellent teas
Eden's Garden- favorite essential oil supplier