Brain Health: Counter-Acting Chronic Stress After Loss February 9, 2015 • 0 Comments I did not anticipate the stress that comes with adjusting to life after a traumatic loss. Loss throws us into a state of uncertainty, often evoking fear of the unknown, and unchecked fear can lead to the hormonal stress response, ultimately placing an extraordinary burden on the body and brain. I recently learned that once our bodies are hijacked, and under the influence of the hormonal stress response, it is a good l-o-n-g seventeen minutes before you can think clearly again, and that the cascade of hormones take three to four hours to flush out of the system. The brain on chronic stress is nothing to brag about, yet many of us walk around acting as though it’s a badge of honor. Since there are studies that show the brain actually shrinks when exposed to long-term stress, it is a good idea to put measures in place to protect your most vital organ while learning to hang in the delicate balance of ambiguity. I don’t know about you but I don’t really want a smaller brain for any reason, particularly the loss I experienced. If anything, I want an integrated brain that has figuratively and expansively grown to accommodate all the new information and lessons learned while navigating the aftermath. I thought I would share a few things I do on regular basis to protect my body and brain while adjusting to the environment of loss. I offer these ideas up in the hope that they help you protect your health too. First, I drink my favorite green drink which contains a lot of celery because it is rich in a unique compound called Luteolin that blocks molecules in the brain that trigger inflammation. In addition, it is mineral rich, particularly with magnesium which is soothing for the nervous system Green Juice Bliss: Wash and cut: 3 Stalks Celery; 1 large Cucumber; 2 Broccoli Flowerets; 1 large Apple; 1 peeled Lemon; 3-4 leaves of Kale; Half bunch Cilantro. Place ingredients in juicer feed tube, alternating the kale and cilantro between the more watery fruits and vegetables. Second, I meditate every morning. Sometimes in the afternoon as well. I often begin with the simple mantra of, “I am breathing in, I am breathing out” because my mind has a tendency to wander. Or, I use one of Terri Cole’s fabulous guided meditations. Third, I get my heart rate up in some way, usually on the Rebounder. This simple exercise is one of the most effective ways to flush stagnant toxins from the lymphatic system. I always feel better after when I am done with my twenty minutes of bouncing. Fourth, I take a high-quality Fish Oil supplement because the brain loves good, healthy fats. “Sixty percent of your brain is made up of fat. DHA (docosahexanoic acid, a type of omega-3 fat) alone makes up about 15 percent to 20 percent of your brain’s cerebral cortex. It’s found in high levels in your neurons – the cells of your central nervous system, where it provides structural support. Because your brain is literally built from omega-3 fats, it makes sense that high doses of them following injury might support your brain’s natural healing process.” Dr. Mercola Fifth, I take Glutathione because it is known as the Mother of all anti-oxidants. Taking this daily is a great way to manage and balance oxidative stress due to both the physical and emotional environment affecting your body. And lastly, I drink rivers of good quality alkaline water to keep my body hydrated. In the morning, I add the juice of a lemon to help my liver detox. And there you have it – a well-balance stress protocol to help keep you healthy and functioning while you transition through the stress of loss. While you may never be free of loss, may you always find yourself cherished, connected and loved. –db Who is Dianna Bonny? Hi, my name is Dianna Bonny. It’s my mission to candidly share my journey with you. For me, it’s all about the healing: to create a radiant healing energy for others who have befallen a similar fate. Together, we can forge beautiful lives of belonging and connection. Thanks for joining me today! I look forward to hearing from you.