• Iris Grattan

7 Ways to Take Better Care of Yourself

Stress increases estrogen in your body.


This disrupts your recovery process.


Learn seven self-care techniques I use to build resiliency and support hormone balance.



(I created an e-book on this post. It's Free. You can download it here.)


Stress increases cortisol in your body (1).


Cortisol increases inflammation.


Inflammation increases estrogen.


Excess estrogen can lead to fibroids. (With other imbalances like poor detoxification in the liver and kidneys.)


So, you must deal with stress better to recover from fibroids.


But, it’s how you perceive a responsibility that determines its level of “stressfulness”.


Some responsibilities are taxing of mind, body, and spirit.


Other demands, like exercise, stress your body but boost health and wellbeing. (Exercise decreases estrogen!)


With self-care techniques, you can handle a variety of demands. It increases your emotional flexibility and resiliency to most challenges.


You'll also recover and transition with greater composure, morale, and harmony.


I listed the top seven things I do to take care of myself.


Pray


Studies illustrate that those who believe in God are less stressed (2).


They feel loved because they trust in an omnipresence of protection and goodwill.


This leads to tranquility, recuperating from sickness more often, and greater well-being (3).


Prayer (4)...


  • Shrinks tumors and goiters

  • Increases hemoglobin (the molecule that carries iron in your cells)

  • Reduces the recovery time of wound healing

  • Calms the heart rate

  • Slows breathing

  • Can reduce blood pressure

One researcher likened withholding prayer to preventing access to surgery or effective drugs (4).


Forgiving others in prayer cleared out my spirit. It only took 5 minutes of being transparent with God to do that.


(I did, however, have to pray for the same people many times until completely healed!)


Creativity, motivation, and happiness flowed into my spirit after that prayer. It still happens every time I forgive.


Resources: A 5-minute clock leads me through 12 different prayers in a 60-minute window.


Five minutes each of...


  • Praise

  • Forgiveness

  • Confession

  • Personal requests

  • Praying for others

  • Reading the Bible

  • Meditation

  • Speaking scriptures in faith over myself and situation

  • Singing

  • Listening (being quiet to see what God may say to you)

  • Praise


Meditate


Meditation improves your body’s ability to handle stress like prayer does (4).


It creates a relaxation response that shifts disease by reducing symptoms.


Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy experience less nausea and fatigue with regular meditation (4).


I sit in a dark or low-lighted room, focusing on my breathing.


Attention to my inhalation and exhalation allows thoughts to pass through my mind freely.


In this way, I maintain calm instead of having emotional highs and lows because I choose not to react to them.


It’s incredible the benefits I receive while being quiet. I trained myself to release harmful thoughts quickly. I also receive the next best steps as God shares with me without distraction.


Resources: Headspace - find in your app store | Omvana - omvana.com


Creative Pursuits


I love calligraphy.


When I struggled with insomnia, practicing calligraphy created a relaxation response. It triggered my parasympathetic nervous system to rest and relax. I often fell asleep after 15 minutes of calligraphy practice.


Creative pursuits that invoke the relaxation response need little active thinking. So, they allow the brain and body to rest even while moving and doing.


Pursuing the artist in you provides an outlet for negative emotions. You can process difficult or painful moments and come to acceptance and peace.


Resource: Kelly Creates has easy courses and all the supplies for learning calligraphy.


Joanne Fabrics and Michael’s Arts & Crafts offer classes.


Visit the American Craft Council event calendar to find local art events and classes.



Photo by Helena Yankovska for Unsplash

Eat chocolate & drink green tea


Dark chocolate and green tea reduce anxiety. They have an amino acid called

L-theanine that calms the brain.


I recommend green tea in place of coffee as caffeine contributes to excess estrogen. Green tea and small amounts of dark chocolate have around 40-50 mg of caffeine. At this low amount, it’s unlikely to produce excess estrogen in your body.


Resource for Tea: Starbucks sells delicious green tea. Ordering it with almond or oat milk instead of water makes it creamier.


(As an unaffiliated aside, naturopathic doctors specializing in cancer recommend Starbucks green tea. It is of such high quality.)


Resource for Chocolate: Pascha Organic. It’s soy, gluten, and dairy-free. And delicious! Check out Whole Foods and Pascha Chocolate online.


Do your hair & dress your best:


This may seem out of left field, but being intentional about how you look sends a subtle message that you’re important - to yourself and to others. (P.S. People treat you the way you treat yourself).


I like the feel of having things together. I do my hair, nails, lotion up. I keep my feet soft and scrubbed. And my legs shaved.


I usually wear dresses or skirts with a flowing, feminine feel.


Now you may not do all that but life's demands are not more important than your wellbeing.


Making yourself attractive gives you confidence. When you’re confident, you’re happier.


Resource: Visit Courtney L. Sanders to learn the value of looking your best.


Scroll down to "That Girl Grooming Guide" to download the free pdf.


Listen to her podcast episode to get more information.


Or, buy her course, Polished and On Point.


She shares the success of this mindset shift and how to do it well and simply.


Breathe correctly (4)


We shallow breathe. That means only our top chest rises and falls.


Compare this to a sleeping baby who’s diaphragm lifts and lowers. The baby’s entire chest and abdomen move.


Shallow breathing leads to tension and tiredness. To disrupt the cycle of stressful response learn to breathe from your diaphragm.


Resource: Practice this technique.


  1. Find a comfortable and quiet place to lie down and sit

  2. Place one hand near your belly button.

  3. Place the other hand on your chest.

  4. Concentrate on your breathing. Notice which hand rises which each breath and which hand falls with each breath

  5. Gently exhale most of the air in your lungs through your mouth.

  6. Inhale through your nose slowly. Count to four as you do this.

  7. As you inhale, slightly extend your abdomen about 1 inch. Don’t move your chest or shoulders

  8. Pause for 1 second. Then exhale your abdomen to a count of four. Your abdomen should move inward.

  9. As you breathe in imagine energy and strength entering your body.

  10. As you breathe out imaging tension and stress leaving your body.

  11. Repeat the process until you feel a deep sense of relaxation.


Retraining yourself to breathe deeply increases your energy, mental alertness, and reduces tension.


It takes practice but has lasting results.



Photo by Chutterspin on Unsplash

Balancing your hormones to recover from fibroids takes time and attention.


It may seem like a lot of moving parts.


In fact, only a few foundational things make a difference.


Managing stress well is one of them.


To receive the next installment in this series on self-care add your name to the list.


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Keepin' it simple, scientific and natural

Dr. G


References:

  1. A Functional Medicine Approach to Fibroids and Endometriosis - Joel Evans M.D.

  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3671693/

  3. https://relevantmagazine.com/life/surprising-links-between-faith-and-health

  4. The Textbook of Natural Medicine - Joseph Pizzorno


#mindfulness #anxiety #stressreduction #peace #prayer #chocolate #greentea #Starbucks #meditation #fibroid #estrogendominance #hormonebalance #resiliency

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