The Ups and Downs

My beautiful daughter is experiencing her first year of college and the past couple of weeks has been a genuine ride of emotions. So many firsts in this first year—that I could truly understand the quote, “Life is a roller coaster. It has its ups and downs, its thrills and terrors, and every once in awhile it just randomly breaks down.”

My daughter has been in tears multiple times in the last couple of weeks. She is in tears without knowing why she is feeling so down. It breaks my heart and the mom part of me just wants to take her off the roller coaster and give her a needed break.

Emotions are a real thing, so when I was reading the book, HEAL, by Kelly Noonan Gores there is a part about depression and anti-depressants: “Its true for antidepressants and other psychiatric medications, which we now know can actually promote long-term experiences of depression.”

It is a crazy thing to think about—our body may get a natural dose [or lack of something that causes] depression, so society goes to the doctor & they prescribe an anti-depressant. The body COULD naturally create a solution on its own through balancing natural chemicals that come from being in nature, exercise, service, etc. [granted not all situations can naturally, but…]I thought it is interesting how because the body takes the anti-depressant it almost becomes dependent on the person taking it, so it promotes depression in the body, so the med has something to fix. It begins an inevitable cycle of depression that stays in the body. Wow!

Something inside me clicked. I have been reading about Oxytocin (Kissing, love chemical) because my daughter has been recently experiencing her first real relationship that involves kissing, so another aha moment chimed in to how this chemical is playing in her system. Then she is a week before her period, so she has her usually monthly hormone cycles kicking in and then you throw in additional stress hormones into the mix and my poor daughter is going up and down with cycles of emotion and internal chemicals. No wonder she is a mess. Her body cannot keep up with everything.

This got me needing and wanting to figure out some solutions to find natural ways to help balance out the body in times of stress, emotions, the ups and downs of life.

I have been telling my daughter to do those things that are going to help balance her out—Get outside and into nature. Do some body movement, exercise, even yoga. Eat healthy foods, primarily fruits and vegetables. Get outside of yourself and serve someone to receive the natural, endorphins of chemicals in the body. Listen to upbeat, mood lifting music. Read something positive like affirmations. Take a warm shower, be in water. Be still & meditate.

DIET: In the book, HEAL, Lifestyle medicine expert Dr. Mark Emerson explains how, through diet, many Americans are poisoning themselves into disease…we are ingesting things we are just not designed for, such as genetically modified foods, chemical pesticides, processed foods, preservatives, refined sugars and factory-farmed animal products, to name a few. All of these kill our microbiome, disrupt our hormones and inflame our gut. Our body deals with these offending items as best as it can, but there’s going to come a point where chronic, repetitive bad behavior catches up with us. That’s what he calls the tipping point. “Cancer doesn’t happen overnight; its a progressive, decade-oriented thing. It takes awhile to get cardiovascular disease. It takes a while to develop diabetes. Its just the sum of the parts of all the harmful things we are exposed to or doing to ourselves. It’s a toxic environment that we’re introducing to the inside of our bodies, and that’s manifesting in different diseases.”

He recommends eating a whole-food, plant based diet. “A whole-food, plant-based diet means eating unprocessed, predominantly plant-based food. That means vegetables and fruits and whole grains and legumes, essentially all the foods that are nutrient rich with phytonutrients and antioxidants. Eat food as grown: eat it how it comes out of the ground.

The PHYSICAL BODY is also meant to help us process emotions

Remember: Your body needs to be your best friend. Act like that. Say kind words, think positively about how it works and is able to process, play, work,

“The truth is, the body never attacks itself, and the body loves itself unconditionally. It’s working for you all the time, no matter what, and it’s your best friend.” -Anthony William

Occasional FASTING: “They are finding that seven days of fasting can result in a year’s worth of repair on the digestive tract. According to Kelly, scientific research has shown that after three days of fasting, all of our major organ systems start self-cleaning. Your liver will dump all its old bile and regenerate fresh bile, and your heart will clean itself. The reason fasting works is that we spend so much energy every day digesting food. When we remove that task from the daily agenda, our body’s natural intelligence immediately uses that freed up energy to repair any damage to the tissues of the body and reset itself by dumping toxins in a big way.” -Heal

NATURE: Seeing nature has healing effects, but getting out into is even better. “The actual contact with the great outdoors is even more remarkable. Earth’s surface possesses a limitless amount of free electrons of a negative charge. Many studies have shown that when our bare feet come in contact with the earth’s surface (also called grounding or earthing), we absorb a large amount of these antioxidant negative ions through the soles of our feet; these ions have the power to neutralize free radicals and thereby reduce chronic or acute inflammation. -Heal

Studies show that grounding for as little as twenty minutes a day can impart tremendous health benefits, which include improved sleep, faster wound healing, reduced stress, reduced blood pressure, reduced pain, and of course, reduced inflammation.-Heal

“Forest Bathing” or taking a walk outside while tuning in to nature. A study concluded that the practice is linked to stress relief, lower anxiety, lower blood pressure and more. -Heal

Spending time in the mountains in higher elevations our blood actually becomes more alkaline. The alkalinity is a key factor, because we know when our bodies are alkaline they are less hospitable to opportunistic viruses, bacteria, colds, flus, things like that. -Heal

Water, whether swimming or soaking is also good for us. The minerals in the water, such as magnesium, sodium, potassium, calcium, bromide, iodine and sulfate all get absorbed into the skin. They have a detoxifying effect and have been known to speed up wound healing, reduce pain, increase circulation, reduce inflammation, stimulate lymphatic drainage, and alleviate skin disorders. -Heal

Even being near water, “Our brains are hardwired to react positively to water…being near it can calm and connect us, increase innovation and insight, and even heal what’s broken.” -Heal

Young blonde woman meditating in the park

BE STILL: “Ancient practices such as yoga and meditation are two ways to help bring our bodies back into balance. Science is now proving that these aren’t just spiritual practices; they have real, quantifiable, beneficial physiological effects on the body as well. Yoga improves balance, endurance, flexibility, circulation, and strength, as well as greater body and breath awareness. Meditation relieves stress and anxiety, strengthens your immune system, and releases healing chemistry in the body.” -Heal

Life is an ebb and flow of so many directions, feelings, emotions, not to mention that we are each individuals with very different paths, chemicals, experiences, stories. We need to be gentle with ourselves and do those things that are going to call on a higher place within us to help us break through barriers of depression, anxiety, stress and fear. A place that can lift us spiritually. A place that can feed and nourish our bodies and souls with what they need on every level.

Life will have its ups and downs, but it is how we handle the journey that will truly matter in the end. Make it a path full of good things that will truly fill you up with what you need. xoxo

-Peace, Love and Light to you today. -H

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