Anxiety is a normal response to stress or danger. A perceived threat triggers the 'freeze, fight or flight' mechanism and adrenaline is released into the bloodstream causing a rise in heart rate, blood pressure and preparing the body for action.
Vitality is at the core of our wellbeing. It is our inner energy, which gives us the strength to overcome illness, whether chronic or acute, and bring us back to a state of balanced health. Your body has an intrinsic healing ability, it will naturally heal itself, if you provide the right conditions for it to do so.
How to improve your energy levels
SLEEP: Quality sleep is vital. A Japanese study in 2007 concluded that lack of sleep increased white blood cell count (the immune cells), a sign that the body is under stress and has therefore increased it’s protection.
NUTRITION: Fruit and veg leave you feeling light and energised, try increasing these.
HYDRATION: We are made up of 70 – 90% water! All of our systems work better if we drink more water.
EXERCISE: Sends nutrients and oxygen to the body and brain.
BREATHING: Increase your oxygen capacity by learning to breathe with the whole of your lungs (most of us don’t!). Oxygen rich blood increases our mental and physical performance. Yoga is a good way to learn this technique.
STIMULANTS: Sorry, no! These provide a temporary fix of high energy, which drops even lower when the effects wear off.
WASTED ENERGY: Mentally, worrying and putting off dealing with a problem expends energy with no result. Physically, by becoming more efficient, planning and organising our lives, we can save energy lost by ‘chasing our tails’ and looking for pens/documents/shoes!
Adaptogens are a class of herbs which provide energy where required. They are deep acting with influence on the immune, endocrine (hormonal) and often nervous systems. Most cultures with a history of the use of traditional medicines include adaptogens in their daily lives after the age of about 60 years.
Panax ginseng (Korean ginseng): Originating from East Asia, this root is used for individuals with a delicate physique and weakened condition. It strengthens the adrenal cortex and therefore has a reputation as a longevity herb. It gives clarity and aids mental acuity.
Chamaemelum nobile (German chamomile): Native to Britain, this herb is a tonic with actions on the liver and digestive system, through which it can improve the appetite and vigour. It also acts on the nervous system calming and balancing energy.
© Extracted from a weekly radio broadcast 2010
Published in ‘Aura’ magazine in February 2011