In the first part of the article we talked about physical energy drainers, about low immunity and about the effect of fasting on the recovery of the immunity cells. In the second part we will talk about mental energy drainers, their chemical effect on body and possible solutions.
According to Dr. Herbert Benson, president of Harvard Medical School’s Body-Mind Institute, toxic thinking leads to stress, which impacts the natural abilities of our body to heal. Scientific studies show clear connection between brain, nervous system, hormonal system and immunity system. Positive emotions help heal our body while negative emotions over a longer period cause diseases.
According to Dr. Tomas Kaspar, author of “Don’t rush to the grave” our brain releases neuropeptides, which trigger release of certain hormones. Positive eustress causes release of positive hormones endorphin, serotonin, dopamin. Negative distress causes release of negative hormones adrenaline, kortizol, kortizon, aldosterone, noradrenaline and others. Negative hormones prepare our body for survival – fight or flight. Body works on “emergency mode” and shuts down all other functions to reserve enough energy for the fight. Due to “energy saving mode”, the immunity system is reduced, digestion is slowed down, metabolism does not work efficiently, the reproduction system is turned off (women can’t get pregnant, men losing erection), fat production is mobilized and muscle mass is reduced (because fat is easily accessible energy reserve).
Short term distress helps us survive. Afterwards the body needs to recover from the damages caused by the release of the stress hormones. Long term stress means body doesn’t have space for regeneration. It doesn’t come back to its balance and nothing works as it is supposed to work. When our body is too tired to prevent a disease, it gets even more exhausted by fighting a disease. Our energy reserve gets depleted. Without proper energy recharge, we are more likely to develop various health problems, easily catch a virus, our skin gets prematurely old, we develop acid stomach, osteoporosis and other problems.
According to recent studies pointed out by Dr. Tomas Kaspar, our mental state influences our health 4 times more and 4 times faster than our food! Additionally our emotions have an effect on our physical body and vice versa. In order to recharge energy we need to consider both physical and mental aspect.
From physical aspect we already discussed in part 1 of this article, the need to detoxify and nourish cells with micro nutrients. From mental aspect, we need to find ways how to reduce toxic emotions such as: inability to forgive, envy, anger, depression and worries, anxiety, frustration, fear, sadness, regret and guilt. All of these cause us stress.
Can we get the negative stress under control?
Dr. Caroline Leaf, author of “Turn on your brain”, is suggesting 8 steps for mental detox. Additional step, number one, comes from Optimum Health Institute in San Francisco.
- Stop being the receiver of toxic news. The standard news on TV and radio are 99% percent negative, based on fear. You will not miss anything really important by not listening to it. If something really important happens, people will tell you about it. Negative gossips about others or debating about hurtful things others said about you also belongs to the toxic news category.
- Control your thoughts and set up realistic expectations. Life isn’t perfect. Don’t let the imperfections take you away from what is good in your life.
- Use positive words for defining your world
- Express your emotions. When the emotions are suppressed, it is preventing the positive hormones to be released that could clean up the damages after the negative emotions. Releasing emotions means a free flow of neuropeptides in chemical lines so that the emotions can be processed.
- Tune your heart into love. This point is about gratefulness, positive thinking, spending time with people who bring you joy and happiness.
- Therapy of hugs, petting and touch. Gentle touch leads to release or hormone endorphin and enkephalin that participate in body healing process, reduce level of stress hormone cortisol and reduce our blood pressure. Skin hunger is referring to a phenomenon when a person is for long time without a partner, longing for a hug even more than for sex. In Belgium, Daya Vidya, Evi Maes (www.beingloveandbeauty.eu) and Vanessa de Smet (www.vanessadesmet.com) are proponents of the methods emphasizing the power of touch.
- Games, laughter and humor. Laughter reduces kortizol, adrenalin and increases endorphin.
- Physical exercise releases endorphin and sweating helps remove the waste caused by toxic emotions.
- Spiritual aspect. This point is about meaning of life, values, our mission, and connection to the universe, God, love or something bigger than us.
How to do a recharge on a mental level?
The advices of Dr. Leaf are all valuable and great. The challenge is finding time and place for it. What if there was a special place just for me,without distractions, where I can do it?
As a manager in a multinational corporation, going through several acquisitions and divestitures, I was under a constant stress. With the busy schedule, responsibilities and deadlines, I didn’t even consider taking time off even when being sick. Instead I relied on my strong will to push myself further. As a consequence of this lifestyle, I started to suffer from low energy, compromised immunity and health issues.
My body was fighting one infection after another and every six months I developed a new health problem. It was going on for 2 years till I was diagnosed with a burn out and had to stay home.
Weeks went by and I was making very little progress. My body was fighting on so many battlefields, that my battery was still close to zero. I experienced feelings that I didn’t know before like anxiety, lethargy and a big cloud of negativity. I felt frustrated for not getting better.
It occupied my mind how can I do an energy recharge and immunity boost. I really needed to make a major reboot of my system, in order to break the downward spiral of my health and energy. I read books and researched this topic and eventually decided I wanted to try juice fasting. I hoped that cleaning my body and recharging my immunity would also help clean my mind. I wanted to go away from any kind of stress, household duties to be able to focus on just myself getting better. I knew I could not do this at home. Such a reboot requires a lot of discipline and proper facilities.
I searched for a place offering juice fasting , exercise and activities to release stress. I did not find an ideal place, so I decided to develop the program myself, at my parents cabin in Slovakia. My mother agreed to join and committed to follow a 7 day fasting with vegetable juices, nut milk for proteins, water, yoga, Pilates, daily hiking in the woods, sauna and massage.
There was no TV or radio to distract us. We were surrounded by nature, just two of us. We were hiking twice a day and looking for other points of view to stressful situations. Spending quiet time in woods with slow breathing. On a few occasions when I felt the stuck emotions were getting ready to be released, I took alone time and let the tears out. The anger, sadness and frustration were slowly leaving my body. I realized my situation wasn’t that bad, I was just putting a lot of focus on the things that didn’t work. It helped me find some gratitude and focus on what I wanted for my future, instead of the self defeating negativity.
As my body was getting cleaned, nourished and flexible, my mind started to get better too. I noticed around day five I started joking and laughing again. I was in a good mood and suddenly noticed the beauty of the nature.
On day 7 I felt happy, I woke up early in the morning full of energy, my joints didn’t hurt, I lost 2 kg (from 59.5 to 57.5) and some centimeters of stubborn belly fat. My nose wasn’t running with allergies as it used to the previous 9 months. My mother lost 5kg, and as a diabetic reduced her blood sugar levels to almost normal. She was feeling very positive and motivated. We were both amazed of what effects can be reached in just 7 days.
After this experience, I became a fan of juice fasting. I continue this practice and want to share this quick and effective method with others who need a system reboot. 7 days is ideal for a major reboot, while 2-3 days is easy to start with and provides a quick detox and energy recharge. If you only have one day, it is still worth doing it. Consider it as a regular body maintenance.
I have developed a balanced body and mind program “Recharge Oasis”, with juice fasting as well as beneficial physical and mental activities. If you are curious about this program or would like to support my efforts in any way, I will be happy to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.