- New research spells bad news for people who get regularly stressed – it can cause pain and immobility
- Here’s how to banish nagging, negative thoughts
- Including a recipe for natural tea to deduce your stress
The other week I told you about new research into financial shock.
If you experience a major financial hammering mid-life or late life, it can hit your health hard and lead to premature death.
But what about those other shocks?
I mean those small-yet-irritating stresses that happen in any given day?
The dog’s puked on the carpet…
A fox has emptied your bin’s content across the front garden…
Someone’s bashed into your car…
A colleague has left you in the lurch.
A massive heating bill arrives.
And you’ve no clean underwear in the sock drawer!
(This is just me THIS WEEK).
I know daily stresses cannot be avoided…
But they can be worse for some people than others.
Because you might (like me) be one of those people who can react quite badly to short-term stress and let it build up over days, snowballing the tension… until a tiny snag that shouldn’t bother you feels like a massive punch in the face.
Or you might be one of those “water off a duck’s back” people (like my blessed Dad) who doesn’t let life get you down.
In which case I envy you and you can probably sit out today’s issue. You are blissfully free of this particular health concern.
But if you’re a regular person…
…you get nagging bad thoughts that you can’t let go…
…Or maybe an incident like an argument, flat tyre, or lost phone knocks you out of kilter for days on end…
…Or, even worse, you’re constantly anxious and teetering on the brink of a meltdown…
Then today’s email is for you.
How long-term pain is linked to stress
There’s been some new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
It looked into stress and the effect on health in later life.
And – as you might expect – it’s not good.
People who get really negative emotional responses to stress – and carry that stress over to the next day – are far more likely to get health problems and physical limitations later in life.
And ‘physical limitations’ is the really interesting bit…
Participants in the study reported how well they could carry out tasks like getting dressed, climbing stairs, carrying shopping, and walking the distance of just a few streets.
Those who had nagging, lingering, persistence worries and stress in their lives had less ability to do the above.
So here we go again… chronic pain, immobility, low immunity and disease could be down to psychological behaviours throughout your life.
Kate Leger of the University of California says:
“When most people think of the types of stressors that impact health, they think of the big things, major life events that severely impact their lives, such as the death of a loved one or getting divorced. But accumulating findings suggest that it’s not just the big events, but minor, everyday stressors that can impact our health as well.”
Now, clearly, your life is a complex web of relationships, experiences and personality quirks, so there’s no way The People’s Doctor can possibly advise on reducing the stressful influences and problems you face.
But we can offer information on some remedies and measures that could work.
For instance, in the past I’ve told you about breathing exercises you can do for stress – check them out here.
Also, I wrote about a device that allows you to breathe properly, reducing pain and stress while getting a better night’s sleep. Check this out.
There’s also a strong connection between magnesium-deficiency and anxiety, insomnia and severe PMS, so take a look at this: magnesium
However, today I want to show you a herbal approach….
A tea recipe for reducing anxiety
You probably won’t remember, but last summer I told you about a friend of mine who’s a naturopath. He took me on a long walk and showed me some amazing naturally-growing herbs with all kinds of wonderful properties.
He really knows his stuff!
As his hobby he makes teas for friends using special blends of herbs tailored for certain conditions.
When I was having a bit of a tough time last year he gave me a blend for stress, anxiety and tension. this, which I would brew twice daily.
All I can say is, it worked brilliantly for me – really, I was sceptical at first, but it took effect really quickly and I believe that stuff got me through a tricky couple of months.
So when I was researching today’s issue, I wrote to him and asked him for the exact recipe, as I thought I should share it.
The teas are…
• Vervain – this is also known by many other names, including Enchanter’s Plant, Indian Hyssop, Iron-weed, Wild Verbena, Herb of the Cross, Pigeon’s Grass and Pigeonweed. Research from 2016 showed that vervain decreases the time it takes you to get to sleep, and can be applied medically for “neurological ailments, such as epilepsy, anxiety, and insomnia.”
• Lemon balm – this is believed to have calming effects, which is why naturopaths often suggest it for anxiety and sleep problems. A study has shown that it can also treat hyperactivity and concentration problems in young children.
• Skullcap – a reputed tranquiliser, it’s often used to treat nervousness, irritability, and neuralgia.
• Avena Sativa, also known as Oat Straw – in the 1980s it was officially commissioned in Germany as a remedy for anxiety and stress. It can also increase attention span and improve mental performance.
• Linden flowers – these are a natural relaxant. A 2008 study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology showed that Linden tea reduced anxiety in laboratory animals.
So there you have it, the ultimate de-stressing tea.
You can pick up these online or from health stores as individual bags, then combine them in equal parts. It does come at a cost, but this stuff lasts a long time, and you could share the tea (and the cost) with friends and family as you can get a lot of tea out of these 5 bags combined.
Of course, if you have serious anxiety issues please talk to friends and family, or seek professional advice. For instance, a good place to go is the mental health charity Mind.
Ok, that’s it from me today.
Until next time, stay stress-free!