Hi everyone! Aoife “ee-fa” Earls, Naturopathic Doctor here! I’m a geek for mind-body medicine. This is a picture of one of my peaceful places that I give myself as part of my daily peace prescriptions, and I thought I would share a discussion I had with my students (I teach psychology) the other night around neutral and peaceful activities, stress hormones and blood pressure.
So often when we’re trying to feel less stressed out we want our stress to just go away. Our body can’t be tricked - it knows when we don’t feel peaceful and calm. Research shows however if we really want peace and calm in intense stress to make a meaningful physical change (like lower blood pressure), we have to go get it and make a conscious effort to put ourselves in peaceful situations. What's interesting is that peaceful situations actually activate blood pressure as well, but in a happy-joy-rest-and-rejuvenation aspect. Peace heals.
This means we will have better digestion, clearer thinking, access to creativity and better sleep. So at those times you can’t “calm down” (because who really can calm down on command anyway?!), consider telling yourself it's okay to be stressed or worried, and then choose something neutral or peaceful. Don't try to calm down, just put yourself in a situation or place or activity that you know makes you go into that neutral or peaceful zone, like:
-staring out the window
-just watching the wind in the trees
-noticing the water
-cleaning your toenails 😂
So, what’s your “peace” prescription? Have a think about the things you do that are neutral (meaning they don’t make you feel tired, fatigued, or irritated) that you could add to your day. Your blood pressure and mood will thank you!
Krause et al 2019
Holsen et al. 2013 PMID 23891965