MENTAL HEALTH . . . ACHIEVING BALANCE AND STRENGTH IN OUTLOOK AND PERFORMANCE

May 25, 2021

With age comes wistful remembrance of the energy, elasticity, and optimism of youth when we bloomed forth from our roots, bobbing, weaving, and waving enthusiastically under sunny blue skies.  Time, however, pushed us through life's seasons, bringing toil and trouble, responsibilities, mishaps, tragedies, and sorrow with it.  Some of us strengthen with age and adversity, standing tall, solid, and unyielding like the oak, arms stretched wide to embrace and gather to the bone everything life has to give.  Others kneel and weep like the willow over the edge of sorrow, fragile even unto the slightest breeze.

With age comes also the realization that there are more days of living behind than before us.  How best to make the most of what remains is an imperative worth honoring; however, marshalling the fortitude and ability to do so may have become difficult.  

Being the victim of egregious disregard, selfishness, cruelty, greed, or violence; natural disasters; war's devastation; or being the victim of disease or extreme poverty can result in serious, and sometimes severe, influence upon our mental health.  Yet, even without these very large stressors, anxieties and other mental disturbances can form around the days of our lives as we watch our time wind down with every monthly bill, see it slip away with every hour at work, all the while not answering the call of our greatest passions.

We are being interfered with - who we might yet become; what we yet have to give back to this world.  Shanghaied by the demands of our interconnectedness:  friends, lovers, family, employers, community, society, nation, and, finally, the world, we find all avenues of stress aimed at us.

Occasional mild stress seems appropriate, keeping our physical body systems well-primed.  Then, when faced with greater stress, managing it with peak physical performance may help alleviate the impact of the stress on our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. The hormone cortisol has an important role to play in advancing our stress response, but when stress is prolonged and not dealt with properly, the cumulative effect is an altering of all levels of health.  Imbalances in digestion and elimination, blood glucose, weight, cardiac function, menstruation, sexual performance, sleep, immunity, the conduct of the brain, and sharp shifts in perspective toward what it means to be alive can occur and ultimately weaken our position in life.  

One more of life’s responsibilities, then, lies in our effort to correct and restore the body’s equilibrium.  As our chronic stress begins to express itself through instances of illness or the development of conditions, addressing such as soon as possible will help reduce stress over their occurrence.  Cheryl’s Herbs has numerous products to consider for digestive issues, diabetes, weight gain, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, menstrual irregularities, low libido, insomnia, weakened immunity, and cognitive dysfunction. Included among these products is a wide variety of adaptogens.  Adaptogens are herbs that support and protect our body’s organs and systems by assisting them in performing within a state of homeostasis, in other words a state of balanced functioning.  This provides us a physical strength that becomes a sound foundation for managing our stressors.  Adaptogens are generally well tolerated as they are generally safe, nontoxic, and may be used on a daily basis.  Additionally, Cheryl’s Herbs provides numerous nervine and nootropic herbs.  Nervines nourish and soothe nerves.  Nootropics act on the mind to improve mood and memory and offer help in preventing dementia and ischemic brain damage.

KEEPING CORTISOL IN CHECK

Released in greater amounts by the adrenal glands when stress looms large, cortisol primes us for immediate action:  the “fight or flight” response we feel when startled, frightened, or under pressure to perform.  Instantly flooding the bloodstream with glucose, this hormone, at the same time, curtails production of insulin so that the glucose is not stored but instead feeds the muscles with heightened energy.  Working in concert with another hormone, adrenaline, cortisol also helps increase heart rate.  Surges of blood and energy allow us to efficiently and effectively meet the demands of our stressor.

Hence, increases in heart rate and glucose energy can help us leap swiftly back onto the sidewalk after stepping out in front of an on-coming car.  Or, more glucose sent to the brain helps us stay on task when giving an important speech to a filled auditorium.  When we perceive stress in our environment, our senses, muscular behaviors, and cognitive functions are instantly brought to the peak by the extraordinary actions of cortisol.

When our level of stress drops, cortisol assumes its normal role of affecting nearly every organ system in the body.  Because we’re laden with receptors for this hormone, cortisol becomes instrumental in regulating metabolism, controlling blood glucose levels, normalizing blood pressure, reducing inflammation, and supporting memory.

Where we get into trouble is when stress is chronic and our response to it doesn’t turn off. Even allowing for differing levels of sensitivity to stress, current times offer countless stressors that affect us not only physically, but reach into our innermost spaces.  Mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, we carry the burden of our stressors.

May has been Mental Health Awareness Month.  Many of Cheryl’s Herbs’ products are designed to offer assistance in relieving anxiety, panic attacks, depression, sleeplessness, and cognitive difficulties.  Please consider:

Adrenal Liquid Extract Combination

A combination of adaptogens and nervines, the popularity of this product lies in its ability to help build physical stamina, improve immunity, soundly nourish the nerves, relieve anxiety, high blood pressure, palpitations, and insomnia, and enhance cognition.  

Bpower (formerly Brain Power) Liquid Extract Combination

A combination of nootropics and one adaptogen, this product helps to raise the level of mental activity as well as mood, slow down the progress of Alzheimer’s disease, and reduce the ill effects of free radical and ischemic damage to the brain.

Nervine Liquid Extract Combination

A combination of nervines only, the purpose of this product is to address anxiety and anger as it offers assistance with PMS and menopausal nervousness; agitation and “fly-off-the-handle” anger; depression in old age; and depression with loss of libido.

Focus Liquid Extract Combination

A combination of nervines and one nootropic herb, this product promotes circulation to the brain as well as links the heart and mind in relaxed unison so that focus is leveled easily, concentration and comprehension are heightened, and remembrance is strengthened.

 Holy Basil Leaf Liquid Extract

This herb assists in the normalization of cortisol and equally important, it “elevates mood and spirit: relieves mild forms of depression, especially when induced from stress, nourishes the vital spirit (heart), promotes cheerfulness, and helps with processing grief and fear.”

St. John's Wort Herb & Flower Liquid Extract

Helpful when we've soured on life, are joyless and find ourselves moving mechanically and unresponsively through our days.  When our outlook is cold and dark, the bright yellow flowers of this herb can introduce a little sunshine into our lives by helping us move through our melancholy and into a better frame of mind.  Particularly beneficial for those who grieve the loss of warmth and light during the Winter season.

SOURCES:  David Winston’s Adaptogens, Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief, Donald Yance’s Adaptogens in Medical Herbalism


This information is not intended to diagnose.  It is for educational purposes only.




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