Foods That Help With Stress and Overwhelm

I'm sure you've been putting a lot of thought into doing things regularly to boost your immune system.

You probably know the necessary lifestyle habits that need to be present to achieve this, and you probably have even been boosting those habits even more during this new virus season.

There's another big issue we all deal with that can be greatly helped with proactive habits -- the issues of anxiety and overwhelm. I first want to be clear that I am not speaking of clinical anxiety. If you are struggling beyond basic daily life overwhelm, please consult your doctor.

For the overwhelm that comes with daily life, I like to look to ancient traditions. As a trained Qi Gong teacher, I've learned that in Traditional Chinese Medicine, our kidneys are the body's "battery" that we need to keep charged. When our kidneys aren't functioning optimally, other health problems, including anxiety, arise. The world we live in today takes a significant toll on our kidneys, whether we know it or not. These issues can be small enough to go undiagnosed by physicians but can have a substantial impact on the rest of our body.

Factors such as stress, poor sleep quality, environmental toxins, and alcohol can be extremely taxing on the kidneys. Chinese Medicine views the adrenal glands as intricately connected to the kidneys. The adrenals are two glands that are located on top of your kidneys. They are responsible for the production and regulation of essential hormones, including those involved in the stress response. When the adrenal glands become overworked, through too much stress, lack of sleep, or those other factors, they are unable to function normally, resulting in adrenal fatigue. This leads to numerous symptoms, including insomnia, sadness, digestive problems, weak immune functioning, and especially anxiety.

Thus, by treating the kidneys through specific foods and restoring the functioning of the adrenal glands, you can help ease some symptoms of overwhelm. To feed your kidneys optimally, try to eat tangerines, plums, grapes, grains such as amaranth, rye, oats, and barley, celery, asparagus, cabbage, and black beans. However, it is beneficial to know whether your kidneys are deficient in the yin or yang and treat them accordingly. The yin is responsible for cooling and hydrating the body. If they are yin deficient, you might experience symptoms such as insomnia, night sweats, dry skin, eyes, and mouth, and brittle hair. Chlorella is exceptionally beneficial for increasing the kidney's yin.

Spirulina, another type of algae, also works great. It would be best if you also were eating carrots, grapefruit, celery, cucumber, blueberries, soybeans, kidney beans, and watermelon. These are considered 'cold' foods that will help increase your yin.

Yang, on the other hand, is responsible for stimulating and warming up your body. If your kidneys are deficient in yang, you might experience diarrhea, lower back pain, fatigue, and feeling cold. Generally, symptoms are worse in the morning. If this is your case, eat "warming" foods such as cinnamon, ginger, cloves, walnuts, quinoa, and black beans. Avoid any iced drinks and raw foods and try to limit your fruit intake as these are all considered 'cooling' foods that will only worsen your yin-yang imbalance.

Aside from foods to help stimulate healthy kidney function, meditation can help tremendously with combating daily overwhelm. You can easily fit meditation into your schedule to clear your mind and transform your entire day. If you need some help getting started with a regular meditation practice, join me for group meditation sessions on Wednesdays at 1pm pacific over Zoom! You can learn more at www.shondapalmer.com/weekly-group-meditation

What are your favorite practices that help you stay calm?

Hit reply and let me know, I'd love to hear how you handle this.


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