For many people, the festive season is not "...the most wonderful time of the year..." It can often be the most stressful and challenging emotionally, physically and materially.
And that stress can play havoc as you try to be joyful, merry and bright whilst decking your halls and checking your credit. It's well known that stress is a joy killer. It's now becoming increasingly well-known that calmness is a bell-ringing bliss-bringer!
So, why bother making the effort to Be Calmer for the Festive Season?
Unless you're in a tiny (and weird?) minority who thrive on stress, arguments, disappointments, packed shops, over-eating and so many of the other festive over-indulgencies, you'll probably appreciate what your endocannabinoid system can do for you in stressful times.
As the main function of the Endocannabinoid System [ECS] is to restore physiological balance - homeostasis - your life experience can quickly elevate from misery to ecstacy simply by allowing it to do it's magic.
Your ECS is responsible for regulating amongst other things, appetite, sleep, immunity and mood. Maybe your personal festive stress season is responsible for bloating appetite, reducing sleep, impeding immunity, and generally lowering mood?
However, an imbalanced ECS is not helpful at all. An overactive ECS can be as detrimental to wellbeing as an underactive one. Balance is the key. With that in mind, you might treasure some of these Holiday tricks that help you to Be Calmer at Christmas.
Here are 6 things you can do to help your endocannabinoid system do it's job of keeping you beautifully balanced and awesome.
Chronic stress can over-stimulate the Endocannabinoid system so, to compensate the brain decreases its CB1 receptors, impacting emotional stability and encouraging low mood, even depression. Exercise helps you de-stress. You don't have to hit the gym at all hours. Moderate exercise is all it takes - and that can simply mean a brisk 30-60 minute walk. Movement is crucial to helping boost your levels of anandomide (a feel-good cannabinoid) and 2AG (a dampener of pain perception). You can always use a muscle rub balm afterwards to help spread the love.
2. Omega 3
Many Western diets have an imbalanced Omega 6: Omega 3 ratio, which can elevate inflammation. Increasing your Omega 3 intake with fish oils, Hemp Milk or Marine Algae if you prefer the vegan versions, can counterbalance this ratio. (Btw. fish eat the krill that eat the algae so that's why Vegan's say "cut out the middle men" and go straight to source.)
Interrupted and poor quality sleep can be the ruination of the most balanced, patient and loving individual - just ask any new parent. Many of us simply don't recognise the value of sleep for restoring, renewing and revitalising all aspects of our being. When the body is calm, without feelings of anxiety or stress, it will more readily relax and be able to sleep well. Researchers know that the Endocannabinoid system governs sleep. Do your own research to discover how people have used CBD oils to improve their quality and quantity of sleep.
Phytocannabinoids are compounds that interact with the Endocannabinoid system. These can be found not only in cannabis and CBD oils but also in a range of spices and ingredients such as ginger, hops, black pepper, cacao, essential oils, maca and many more sources. As each of us requires a personalised diet - one size has never, and will never fit all - experimentation is recommended to find your preferences.
Sexual pleasure and orgasm are intimately entwined with the Endocannabinoid system and massage oils are often used to enhance and enrich the experience. Btw. There is no evidence to suggest that a partner is required in this health-promoting behaviour so , enjoying self pleasure or play with others appears to be equally effective. Again, trying it out for yourself either or any way is thoroughly recommended for increasing the circulating levels of 2-AG.
6. Breathing and Meditation
Whilst everyone is enjoying the endless revelry, why not take yourself off for a little 'me time and spaciousness?' A simple few minutes a couple of times a day to relax and become mindful of your inbreath and outbreath can bring instant relief to festive over-stress. Rather than seeing this as a chore, why not see it as an investment in your sanity, equanimity, harmony and longevity? If you can get through the revelries with your calmer self intact, you'll be able to tackle most hyper-emotionalised life circumstances in pretty much the same way.
And goodness knows there seem to be increasing opportunities to practice your abilities to Be Calmer every day, never mind just at peak party times, so why not practice in the lead-up?