Growing Through Anxiety

 

This article is strictly based on my opinion concerning the topic of anxiety and anxiety disorders. I realize there is no one size fits all. I do find it very concerning that young adolescents are unnecessarily being labeled with a disorder, and I believe that anxiety can be used for the growth of an individual, it doesn’t¬†have to be a disorder. You can learn from it, and develop yourself through it. Again, this is My Opinion, and I maintain all rights to it. Hope you enjoy and maybe even relate to it. ūüôā ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†

What does it mean to have anxiety? The definition of this term is simply being nervous or uneasy about an approaching event. Holding within your mind anticipation about something upcoming in your future. So, what is an anxiety disorder? An anxiety disorder is characterized as a mental illness where the individual feels unreasonable amounts of anxiety in everyday life. ¬†¬†In researching this topic I have found that there are numerous anxiety disorders ranging from phobia’s, to social anxiety, general anxiety disorder, and even panic attacks made the list.¬† Personally I have known many who were told during their high school years that they have an anxiety disorder, and I feel under my observations that this momentous thing we call an anxiety disorder, is aimed at the younger population, under the premise of ¬†” lets catch this early, if you begin to show symptoms of anxiety we can begin treatment and make you better. We can prescribe a Paxil or even a Xanax, perhaps you’d prefer a Zoloft?” Seriously, this to me is ridiculous. I even came across a list of symptoms geared toward children! This is crazy, and I am here to offer a sound voice of logic in regards to anxiety, and I’m not selling you any medications.

Anxiety is a very real thing and you wouldn’t be called human if you didn’t experience it. I remember my awkward early teen years, and my even more awkward later teen years, then my very strange early twenties. I felt a great deal of anxiety, but I was growing. I didn’t know who I was yet, I was learning, and it was through the anxiety and all the awkwardness that I developed self awareness and I learned who I was. Is it possible that by pushing the agenda of anxiety disorders that we are in fact losing our individuality? For instance, I don’t like crowds and when I find myself in one, I naturally gravitate a lone corner by myself. I also prefer one on one conversations and small meaningful groups of individuals. Does this mean I have a social anxiety disorder? Or could it simply be that I am a unique individual who has specific preferences? As a young child I was extremely shy, that is simply who I was, that was my personality. And now if you are thirteen years old and are shy and unsure of yourself there is someone waiting to slap you with a label, they even have a downloadable brochure to help your parents understand your anxiety.

Look, I’m not trying to hound the medical community, but in this area they are failing miserably, and I have this urge to speak out. I rarely see anything but acceptance in regards to anxiety disorders and I hate to see wonderfully unique individuals loose who they are to fit what is considered “normal” by the same people writing them habit forming prescriptions, telling them they have a problem and stunting all personal growth and development.

I am not a huge fan of statistics, I feel they lack accuracy in some forms, but I have been astoundingly shocked at the amount of people I know who take anxiety and anti depressant medications. For anxiety, benzodiazepines (Valium, and like drugs)  are the go to medications. Each year doctors reportedly prescribe more than  fifty million prescriptions of this medication. This sounds accurate, if not slightly understated. I am not even including ant-depressants that are prescribed, the number would be astronomical to say the least. All of these prescriptions keep you from feeling emotion, essentially dumbing down who you are.

It is disturbing that young children are being medicated due to “anxiety disorders.” When will someone say enough is enough? The common medications that are prescribed for anxiety are not only habit forming ¬†¬†with a long list of side effects, but their main function is to block your neurological facilities. The main stream anxiety medications have been found to actually change the neurochemistry of the brain. Over time there is a buildup of the drugs in the body causing physical and mental dependencies, and for what reason? Because you didn’t want to feel? Because someone told you you had to fit into societies label of normal?

I am aware that not everyone will agree with me on this, but I am speaking from experience, and I am very grateful I was never labeled as having a disorder. I am grateful that I was able to grow and develop through my awkwardness and uncertainty. Working through aspects of my individual personality, with the ability to feel every inch of who I was, and who I was becoming. It is my opinion that anxiety disorders are chronically over diagnosed, in an effort to increase profit and create dependents. I would not be who I am today if my personal growth had been stunted with medications I never needed.

In closing, I would just like to say that it’s okay to be nervous or feel anxiety about things. The answer should not be, to not feel. Let yourself experience things. There is always a first time. I’ll never forget the first time I ordered my own food. It was difficult, but I made it through, and over time it became easier and easier. I had to learn to use my own voice, it was a difficult process, full of growth and learning. As difficult as it was, with all the mess ups and embarrassing moments of ” well that didn’t come out right”, I became uniquely me. And that’s all I want for others. Whoever’s reading, I want you to be individually you.

Much love – Nicole Shay

 

References

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anxiety

https://www.healthyplace.com/anxiety-panic/anxiety-disorders/what-is-an-anxiety-disorder-anxiety-disorder-definition/

https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Anxiety-Disorders

http://www.everydayhealth.com/anxiety/guide/medications/

https://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/social-anxiety-disorder

https://www.addictioncenter.com/benzodiazepines/

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Bare Feet for Better Health

This article is about the interesting study of negative and positive ions. I found all the research fascinating, and I love the simplicity of going bare feet for better health.

What is your first thought when you hear the word antioxidant? My first thought is blueberry, but according to some emerging research, maybe it should be bare feet.  The surface of the earth is covered with negative electrons. When you stand barefoot on a condusive earth material, your body can absorb the negative energy, through the soles of your feet. This is what is known as grounding or earthing. This could possibly be one of the most easy and effective ways to obtain high levels of antioxidants, and overall better health.

What is an ion? An ion is an electrically charged particle and can be found to be positive, negative, or neutral. In our everyday lives we come into contact with a variety of these particles. And while you cannot physically see them, they daily affect our health and well being. The effects of these particles have long been felt over time, though no one exactly knew why, when they went to the beach or before an approaching thunderstorm, they would feel exhilarated. As our knowledge grew and technology advanced, scientists and doctors began to notice the effects of these particles through their studies. The effects were first noticed in the 1800’s. Studies were then performed and proved the existence and effects of positive and negative particles upon the mind and body.

So, let’s talk about positive ions. Positive ions can be found anywhere there is an air conditioner or electrical device. Air conditioners and electrical devices such as, cell phones and computers, produce particles that have a positive charge. Positive ions have been known to cause headaches, fatigue, irritability, suppression of the immune system, and difficulty breathing. An overabundance of positively charged particles can cause your whole biological clock to be out of balance. This effects the entire operational system of the body, from the brain, to all cellular communications. This evidence supports the fact that the rise of depression, mental ailments, and disturbed sleep patterns are directly connected to the electrical fields that surround us daily, overloading our bodies with the positive ions. When the body is overly saturated with positive ions, these particles turn into free radicals that cause the body to be more acidic and prone to a variety of ailments, damaging healthy cells and wreaking havoc upon your overall well being. To combat this ever growing issue, you must provide your body with a healthy balance of negative ions.

Where can you find negative ions? They naturally occur across the earth, found in bare soil and on concrete, grass,¬† sand, and even ceramic tile. Any location near running, flowing water is known to be saturated with negative ions. So areas like the beach and waterfalls, or rivers and streams, are great natural ways to obtain negatively charged particles. When the body absorbs these negative ions they turn into antioxidants. This helps alkalize the body, completely canceling the effects of free radicals, providing a healing environment for the cell’s within, which regulates hormones, improves sleeping patterns, combats inflammation relieving aches and pains, improves energy levels, decreases blood pressure, improves focus and concentration, alleviates depression, and on and on are the benefits associated with the absorption of negative ions.

Negative ions make clean air too. The negative particles attach themselves to the positives particles, weighing them down, which then pulls them to the ground, leaving you with fresh clear air. So things like allergens and contagions are removed. If you suffer from asthma, respiratory problems, or have sensitivities to allergens in the air, seasonal or even pet dander, negative ions can provide substantial relief.  You can simply open your window and let some fresh air in to fight positive ions.

If you want negative ions, it is as simple as removing your shoes, and perhaps taking a stroll through your back yard, but how does one go about stabilizing the air within their homes? Nearly everyone has some form of air conditioning, TV., cell phone, or computer. and this pollutes the air you breathe with dingy positive particles. Fortunately there are a number of available products that can emit negative ions into your space, creating a balance and cleaning your surrounding air.¬† They come in a variety of prices with different shapes and models to fit most everyone’s needs. If you do not relish the idea going barefoot, because of health issues or for whatever reason, there are options available for you too. There are things called earthing patches that you can apply directly to your body to absorb negative ions. There are grounding bracelets you can wear and even a product called, earthing sheets, that allow you to sleep all night absorbing all the positive effects of negative ions.

It seems too good to be true that something as simple as reconnecting yourself physically with the earth can provide such profound health benefits. It is much like some ancient knowledge lost over time, being newly discovered once again. So, if you find yourself struggling with depression or an illness, and want to speed recovery or enhance your mood, open your window and let the fresh air in, or take off your shoes and go bare feet. Enjoy the beauty of nature and reconnect yourself with it.

 

References

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/11/04/why-does-walking-barefoot-on-the-earth-make-you-feel-better.aspx

https://uk.infinitypro.com/blogs/news/9246473-the-harmful-effects-of-positive-ions-on-the-body

http://www.mysticmarvels.com/history.html

https://www.negativeiongenerators.com/negativeions_depression.html

 

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Have you ever gazed at the many selections provided at your local grocery store and wondered what the best choice might be? I’m sure you have heard that organic is best, but when you compare the price difference between conventionally grown foods to organically grown, you may have thought, is it really worth it? I am going to cover what USDA certified organic actually means, and the overall benefits of consuming organic produce.

Lets quickly look at what the certification actually certifies:

‚Äď The production of food is federally regulated in order to bear the certification

‚Äď Soil condition must be maintained with ¬†green sustainable practices

‚Äď ¬†Only approved naturally occurring fertilizers can be used

‚Äď No synthetic pesticides are allowed

‚Äď Strict guidelines for the raising of animals used in meat production

‚Äst Organic processed foods can not contain artificial additives

‚Äď Non GMO

The above list is the main identifying factors for what an organic certification actually means. I am already convinced organic is better but if you need more information, lets continue.

How does one obtain an organic certification? Well, it involves proper paperwork and fees. The fees are variable considering location and what the agents charge in any given area.  After  the paperwork process is completed, an inspector will then come and inspect the farm and production area, making sure all standards are met before giving the USDA Organic Certification. Yearly inspections and reviews are then completed to ensure operations continue to follow the proper guidelines.

The soil condition in which produce is grown and raised is extremely important in order to be deemed USDA Organic. All functions in regard to the soil must be sustainable practices and no prohibited substances can be used on/in the soil for three whole years before certification can be gained. That means no synthetic, manmade fertilizers or pesticides. That in turn means,  produce that provides a higher concentration of nutrients with no harmful pesticides included.

In order for meat produce to be labeled USDA Organic, all animals must be raised naturally according to their  behaviors. So, animals who need to graze and forage must be allowed to do so, and no antibiotics or growth hormones are allowed. These production guidelines lead to a much healthier happier animal, ensuring ethical treatment and that you are consuming quality produce.

Any processed food that maintains the organic seal must not contain any artificial ingredients except for the limited few like enzymes, and baking soda etc. All produce labeled USDA Organic are also verified to be non GMO. Genetically Modified Organisms are strictly prohibited in all food with the certified label.

This is the generalized form of what it means to be USDA Certified Organic, if you would like to read more on this subject check out the links here and here.

Now, what are the effects of consuming organic foods? You will have an overall better sense of well being. On a cellular level your body will thrive and perform as it should. The key here with organic food is that the typical conventional pesticides and additives are banned in their production. So you are getting a wholesome product full of nutrients, without the neurotoxins and other harmful ingredients that are generally present in non organic foods. And with the mention of neurotoxins, that leads us to matters of the mind. ¬†Neurotoxins and Endocrine disruptors are generally found in the pesticides used on conventionally grown foods. When you consume non organic foods ¬†you maintain higher ¬†levels of these poisons in your body. They affect your thinking, and how the brain and body communicate, by interrupting hormone levels, thyroid function, and in children, they can completely disrupt development. I could go on and on but for the purposes of this article I think I’ll leave it there.

The USDA Organic Certification is not the only way to obtain organically grown produce. I am fortunate enough to live close to a local farm that provides organically grown foods to my local area. But for those in need of an organic choice who must shop within the limits of a grocer, the USDA seal is a good way to verify what you are purchasing is in fact organic and regulated, making it worth the extra money you may spend. Lets grow healthy minds and bodies by choosing food that is produced organically that can improve not only ourselves but the world we live in.  Thanks for reading!

 

Mcevoy, Miles.  Organic 101: What the USDA Organic Label Means. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2012/03/22/organic-101-what usda-organic-label-means Mar 22, 2012

Mcevoy, Miles. Organic 101: What Organic Farming (and Processing) Doesn’t Allow. U.S.   DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE. https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2011/12/16/organic-101-what-organic- farming-and-processing-doesnt-allow Dec 16, 2011

Becoming A Certified Operation. United States Department of Agriculture. https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/organic-certification/becoming-certified

Andrews, Ryan. Precision Nutrition. All About Endocrine Disruptors.                                       http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-endocrine-disruptors

Finding the Beauty Everyday

 

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I know not every day is as grand as the next. Some days are slow and drag on and on, with little feeling of accomplishment. Days like this circulate feelings of listlessness, and a bit more thinking than is necessary on things like, purpose and failures. Days like this, that feel as if time has stopped and is staring right at me, are the days I have determined I must find and focus on, the beautiful.

There are times I have found, where I have to remove myself from the day, As if I am standing outside of it. Looking from a higher point. A more collective view of life, not just this particular point in time. Not just this day, or this hour.

When I extract myself from the days that wear on me, I can find amazement in my surroundings. My world then becomes more quiet and I can hear things that I couldn’t hear before, because my mind was too cluttered to notice. My heart to heavy to care.

My extracted self can hear the song of a bird, and see the beauty of the swaying trees. My extracted self can feel the breeze of the wind on my skin, and feel hopeful knowing that my life is more than a single day. My life is more than what has been, or what is. There is so much of my life that is yet to be. What I make of it, is what it will be. The possibilities are endless in that respect, and it breathes new life into my heart and soul.

When you are yearning for more within a day. When you are grasping at what feels like emptiness. Remember the beautiful. Notice the things that hold beauty. Focus on the fact that the breath in your very lungs, is a gift. Know, that life is beautiful, regardless of hardships. Hardships are only momentary. Keep pressing forward. Extract yourself from a limited view, and begin to live in a moment that is propelling you in a forward motion, to what tomorrow could be.

 

The Power of The Mind

           This is my first blog post, and suitably so, its title is The Power of The Mind. The mind is the single most important thing in the pursuit of overall well being. So, I will be kicking off with this first piece, referencing Science Daily and their report on a  study done by the University of Granada documenting the the effects of depression on the body. I found it very interesting and hope you do as well.

The Power of The Mind

Often overlooked, in areas where pivotal, the power of the mind is key in regards to quality of life. There is a direct connection between someone’s thought patterns, and the reaction that occurs within their physical bodies. Scientific studies are beginning to support this line of thought. The Science Daily reports, from the University of Granada, ” Depression is more than a mental disorder: It effects the whole organism”

Many individuals like to separate the mind from body, as if what takes place within their thought lives renders no connection whatsoever to the remainder of physicality. This is simply, wrong. Your mind is connected, and when one does not initiate control over the thoughts from within, disturbances are inevitable. These disturbances, in most cases, lead to some form of depression or mental disorder. The body follows suit, and reacts with a variety of health conditions.

When thought patterns are muddled and no control is exhibited, how could anyone combat that feeling of hopelessness? Think of all the things one could think, how vast that landscape is. With no filter and no control, that is how one essentially, drives themselves crazy.

In the study from The University of Granada it was found that individuals with depression show a connection with cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Confirming that depression is systemic and should be viewed as such by the medical community.  The study shows in detail  the connection between depression and oxidative stress, as well as noticeable reductions in antioxidant substances. When undergoing appropriate treatment, levels were shown to adjust to normal ranges.

Within the study we see that with proper treatment the effects of depression on the body can be reversed. This is extremely hopeful and reveals that if you are in fact suffering from depression, you cannot remain stagnant, action must be taken to reverse the ill effects upon the body.

Treatment is important, but the kinds of treatment are what concern me. When dealing with things like depression, their origin is deep within the mind of an individual. Typical treatments within the main stream medical community include prescription of medications that only mask the true cause of this illness. These medications give the patient a list of side effects to go along with their already struggling mind and body.

I firmly believe, no answer can be found within a pill form medication for depression. Depression and mental illness is a far more complex entity, that needs more thought given in treatment, then a simple pill. People need to be able to speak out the issues that their minds cannot resolve. It is the act of speaking these things with someone who can help them, that relieves the burden of it.

Those that are longing for relief within their mental constructs, can find that relief when they take control of THEIR mind, and THEIR thoughts. But they can’t do it alone, those that are struggling must have the resources within their reach to combat the ever growing epidemic of depression. It all begins within the mind of an individual, this cannot keep being overlooked, it is essential for proper treatment so the healing process can begin, and take effect upon the struggling mind and body of those that are suffering.

 

University of Granada. “Depression is more than a mental disorder: it affects the whole organism.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 March 2016. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160301075102.htm>.