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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

{Anxiety & Our Thoughts} and a GIVEAWAY!

 
For a large part of my life I have felt anxious. At certain times more so than others. It was always just kind of there and I accepted it as part of who I was or as normal. But the older I get the more I am starting to ask questions, like why am I feeling this way? What exactly is it that is making me feel this way? What am I so scared of? What if it happened... Would it be as bad as I feel it would be? And what can I do to help myself address these feelings or situations that bring about these feelings when they come up?

 
{What makes us think and feel the things we do? What can we do about it?}

 These are interesting questions! Excited to uncover what might really be going on under these thought and feelings. We will be looking at scientifically and biblically supported ways of addressing these thought and feelings. Lets get started :)

 
{The Root} : Where does the anxiety originate from?


What we fear {what happened to cause fear?}
 

For example, I tend to feel anxious around groups of people that I don't know. I believe God has helped me to trace that fear back to when I was younger and something embarassing happened to me in front of a large group of people. Now when in certain unstable feeling situations where I don't know the people around me I feel afraid of them judging me and rejecting me without really knowing me. The uncertainty of the situation and possibility of being hurt again makes me feel anxious.

 
What we believe {about ourselves, about others}


Using my example again, I am believing that others are watching me and judging my every move in those moments. That people are looking for the places where they can find something "wrong" with me to use as ammunition. I am also believing that what others say about me can define me or it says something about who I am.

 
What are roots that you may have? It can be hard to look at them for sure but once we do there is freedom in that! I challenge you to write it down, what are you afraid of and what are you believing about yourself and/or others?

 

{Feelings} - Results of our thoughts, fears and beliefs

The feelings of anxiety can often distract us from what caused it in the first place because they can be very uncomfortable at times. But it is comforting to know that these feelings associated with anxiety are directly effected by our thoughts and the great news is that we get to CHOOSE our thoughts and beliefs. And I truly believe that a thought or belief can trump a fear anyday when applied to our lives regularly!

 

Here's where the fun part begins :) I have applied many of the things I am about to share to my life and I  can say for sure that they work!

 

 {Challenge Your Fears & Beliefs} -  what would really happen?

 
This is actually a form of therapy called CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) that has had wonderful results in patients' thoughts and brain activity. My friend Heather brought this concept up to me a while back and the times I have used it it has helped so much (not to mention it has been proven to change brain activity :) ). The goal of CBT is to look at situations that cause distress and to develop "more realistic interpretations of events." Many of our fears and anxieties may be more distorted in our minds than we realize. How freeing to see a situation for what it really is and not what we have perceived it to be :)

 
"Scientific studies of CBT have demonstrated its usefulness for a wide variety of mental illnesses including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders, substance abuse disorders, sleep disorders and psychotic disorders. Studies have shown that CBT actually changes brain activity in people with mental illnesses who receive this treatment, suggesting that the brain is actually improving its functioning as a result of engaging in this form of therapy. CBT has been shown to be as useful as antidepressant medications for some individuals with depression and may be superior in preventing relapse of symptoms. Patients receiving CBT for depression are encouraged to schedule positive activities into their daily calendars in order to increase the amount of pleasure they experience. In addition, depressed patients learn how to change (“restructure”) negative thought patterns in order to interpret their environment in a less negatively-biased way. As regular sleep has been found to be very important in both depression and bipolar disorder, therapists will also target sleeping patterns to improve and regulate sleep schedules with their patients. Studies indicate that patients who receive CBT in addition to treatment with medication have better outcomes than patients who do not receive CBT as an additional treatment. CBT is also a useful treatment for anxiety disorders. Patients who experience persistent panic attacks are encouraged to test out beliefs they have related to such attacks, which can include specific fears related to bodily sensations, and to develop more realistic responses to their experiences. This is beneficial in decreasing both the frequency and intensity of panic attacks. Patients who experience obsessions and compulsions are guided to expose themselves to what they fear in a safe and controlled therapeutic environment. Beliefs surrounding their fears (of contamination, illness, inflicting harm, etc.) are identified and changed to decrease the anxiety connected with such fears." - from the National Alliance on Mental Illness

 
So, our next step is to ask ourselves... What would actually happen if_________________<insert the thing that causes you distress and/or anxiety here>? Was it not as bad as you have anticipated?

 
What is the truth that was revealed when you asked this question?

 
Has your perception changed?

 

{Apply Truth}

 
Whether we are young or older we each need to know the truth about who we are. Then when these fears arise we have been equipped to perceive the situation for what it really is and through truth we will be able to KNOW who we are. These truths can not be changed by anything that we do or anything that someone may do to us that is hurtful. We have a firm foundation, not routed in perceptions and wrong beliefs but in truth.

 
Who do you say you are?

 
I can tell you these things about you without a doubt in my mind -

 
* You are loved by God

* You have a unique and special purpose here

* You are wonderfully made

 
How does this compare to what you believe about yourself?

 

Believe me friend, even though they don't feel true at times {believe me, I understand} we can CHOOSE to say I KNOW these things are true about me. I KNOW that I am loved by God. I KNOW that I am unique and have a special purpose here. I KNOW that I am wonderfully made. We can know these things are true because they are written to us in God's Word (which is a lot like a love story - explaining who we really are and how God came to save us).

 

Another truth that we can look at is who do we believe God is?

 

Believing in His goodness, His love, His presence and what He has done for me has been so freeing. During my most difficult time of anxiety after our son Elijah's birth it was using scriptures to remind myself of who I am to God and who God is and has been to me that brought me up and out of what felt like an impossible situation. By His power I came out of it and began enjoying everyday life again :)

 

Here is my list of scriptures, thoughts and quotes from this time that I saved to my I Phone that I would open up and look at whenever I felt anxious and can now share with you :)

 




 

{Scriptures, Thoughts & Quotes – Encouragement During Times of Anxiety}

 

“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:16

 

“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Luke 12:17

 

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” Psalm 46:1-3

 

The Father will only give you what is good! - We can pray with confidence.

 

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

 

Thank you that you love me so much that there is nothing I have to hide from you out of shame... Even unbelief. - Me

 

"The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17

 

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26

 

“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!" Luke 1:45

 

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:17

 

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

 

"You get up and decide you are going to be in agreement with God!" - Unknown

 

"God is faithful, by whom you were called, into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord." 1 Corinthians  1:9

 

God cannot be evil or make plans for evil - it is impossible. He is good and that cannot and will not ever change! I felt God reveal this to me this morning and today in Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts she wrote: "A good God plans everything. Everything. So a good God can only... Make plans for good? He only gives good gifts? A thing of evil cannot be created by a good God?" Yes

 

"Rest and receive" - Jesus Calling

 

"Any created thing of which I am amazed, it is the glimpse of His face to which I bow down. Do I have eyes to see it’s Him and not the thing?" - Ann Voskamp

 

"If I can give thanks for the good things, the hard things, the absolute everything, I can enter the gates of glory. Living in His presence is fullness of joy- and seeing shows the way in."  - Ann Voskamp One Thousand Gifts

 

"His love had invited me into this part of the answer - wouldn't He lead on into the rest?" - Ann Voskamp One Thousand Gifts. Yes! I can trust God!

 

"I have come for you my child :)". "The rest I will also do!"

 

"I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you." – Jesus J John 16:22

 

“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation." Isaiah 12:22

 

“We are already citizens of heaven”, live as citizens of heaven :) - Pastor Toomer, Transit Church

 

"Here lies another day. During which I have had eyes, ears, hands. And the great world round me." One Thousand Gifts Ann Voskamp

 

"The Lord of Heavens Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress." Psalm 46: 11

Reading over these scriptures, thoughts and quotes again I am reminded of how much they helped me! As my eyes were lifted off of my myself, my fears and back onto God and what He has and is doing in my life I was able to rest… *sigh* Isn’t that what so many of us are needing? A good ol’ rest J

 



 

As I came to trust in God’s goodness and who He really is I was able to rest more and more. The Bible as well as Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts played a huge part in changing how I see God.

 



 

I highly recommend the book One Thousand Gifts to anyone that is wrestling with feelings of anxiety, fear or having difficulty trusting God amidst difficult and possibly extremely hurtful or scary situations. This book is going to be a part of the GIVEAWAY at the end of this series J Excited to share it with one of you (deep down wish I could send each of you a copy… maybe one day God willing J) Ann Voskamp also has a blog that has also been SO helpful to me! So encouraging!

 

Here is a link to Ann’s Blog if you are interested in checking it out:


 
Here is a link to a recent post on anxiety titled “The 1 Secret to Squashing Anxiety This Year”:


 

I hope and pray that you have been encouraged and that this helps you practically in your moments where you are faced with a fear, a belief or a feeling of anxiety. Love you all and look forward to the next part of the series on Nutrition; how it effects our emotions and what we can do to help!

 
If you have any prayer requests – things I can be praying for you about specifically please feel free to message or email anytime!

 
Also don’t forget to comment below by just saying hi and telling us a little bit about yourself to be entered into the GIVEAWAY at the end of the series - you only need to comment on one post to be entered!! If you feel lead to share this post on your Facebook page let me know you did so in your comment below and you will be given an extra entry in the giveaway! Feel free to invite friends to come enter the giveaway also :)

 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Emotional Wellness Series {Thoughts, Nutrition, Essential Oils & Exercise}

Hello again all! I am very excited to start this series because it is something that is not only personal to me but something that I believe more of us face daily than we realize {according to one study approximately 40 million US adults have some level of anxiety and 14.8 million US adults have some level of depression}. I hope that these posts will equip each of us to better address our feelings of anxiety or depression that might come up and that we may also be equipped to help those we know who are having these feelings!

During this series we will learn about 4 different tools we have been given to help with anxiety:


Thoughts{what we tell ourselves about ourselves vs. the truth}

Nutrtition {eating healthy and nutritious food, promoting gut health, omega 3s and vitamins}

Essential Oils {Using oils aromatically and topically}

Exercise {Being active and spending time outside}

 
 
{There is something so free about just being able to throw your arms open and smile... maybe spin around in circles too like when you were little for good measure :) Praying and hoping we can all be this kind of free!}
 
 
 


Excited to learn together and to add some more tools to the tool box, one tool at a time right :)

Love to you all and hope you have a great week! Tomorrow we'll begin the series taking a look at our thoughts and how they effect us - it's amazing how what we think and what we believe about ourselves and the world around us effect us in so many different ways.



P.s. I am really excited about this and wanted to share - at the end of this series I will be doing a giveaway on the blog to help equip you with some tools to get started or continue what you have already begun! To be entered into the giveaway you'll just need to comment on the one of the blog posts or on the Facebook post. If you feel lead to share the blog entry on your facebook page let me know that you did in your comment and you will recieve an additional entry! Will announce the giveaway as we get close to the end of the series!






** Note: I am not a doctor and cannot diagnose any condition or provide medical advice. Just sharing here what I have learned in the hopes that it might help others. Before starting anything new please make sure you are informed about the product, how to use it and any times the product should not be used such as when you are pregnant or breast feeding. If you have any questions about the use of any of the products we are talking about please feel free to message me and I will seek to get you the best answer.



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Change of Name {Nature's Toolbox}!!

Welcome, welcome!! Thank you for stopping by to check out this new adventure that God has taken me on and the blog that will document this journey and the things I learn along the way! I am passionate about sharing with you all the natural ways that we have been given to help our minds and bodies to heal. So many gifts all around us :) As the subtitle states, the focus of this blog is to talk about "helping our bodies heal one truth, one drop and one meal at a time". So I'll be sharing about the truth of God's Word and how this effects our everyday lives and the gifts of essential oils and nutrition and how they can impact our minds and bodies for good - a lot of good not just a little bit of good :)

How did I start using essential oils?
I began using oils in the spring of 2013 when I began holding a weekend women's workout group. At the end of the class we would all do a little yoga together to cool down and to stretch out our tired muscles. I remember taking yoga classes back in 2009 when I was pregnant with little one #1 and I loved the idea of sending the ladies off with that special relaxing smell that essential oils brings - specifically Lavender. Around the same time my friend Samantha Huddleston (we spent a good part of our pregnancies together with our first children doing yoga, drinking Chick-Fil-A and talking about new mama things - she is a great friend :) ) started to hold yoga classes at her home and had begun incorporating essential oils into her classes. I thought this was such an awesome way to show love to the ladies and care for their emotions as well as their bodies that I was ready to start looking into it. I talked with Sam on the phone before that class began. I wasn't quite ready to jump in head first so I did not enroll at the time and just went with a small bottle I found at a store nearby. I LOVED getting to use it at the end of the women's workout group, they all seemed to appreciate it and you could see them relaxing as they breathed it in - as women we all need that deep breath relaxation right? It was awesome to see! Those classes ended, I continued to use the Lavender I had at night time on my pillow or sometimes on my wrists and neck if I felt stressed or anxious. I slowed down using in 2014 until we moved back to Fayetteville. Once back in Fayetteville our dog Marley began scratching a lot and we started noticing fleas on her... they are interesting little creatures and fast! The kiddos also began getting a lot of mosquito bites this past summer as well. Dan and I started looking into natural ways to treat the fleas and mosquito situations. Alot of what we found when searching pointed us in the direction of essential oils. I was intrigued and excited at the thought that this could actually work... and it was natural... and it was good for us! So much better than having to layer the chemicals on Marley and the kiddos if we didn't have to. So Dan bought a few bottles for us online of Tea Tree Oil, Lavender, Cedarwood and Orange. They all smelled so good, Cedarwood was a really special one for me right away with it's woodsy smell. Just taking a sniff of the bottle seemed to just settle me down mentally and physically. So we used the oils mixed with Dr. Bronner's soap on Marley and it worked WONDEFULLY! As we scrubbed her with the soap the fleas would start to just pop to the top of her fur or fall off. It was such a great feeling to be able to help her with things that I could trust are good for her. The next episode that we looked to essential oils to help with was a mold problem that we had in our house in August - September of this past year. I began having a cough, runny nose, etc. I doctors thought it was a virus, I thought that could be it too. But then it just hung in there. And then I noticed that it would get worse at certain times of the day when I was in certain parts of the house. Then I was thinking "ok... something is up". Dan and I one night just started looking around in our kitchen and we noticed patches on the walls we hadn't noticed before. Then we realized the stuff we were looking at wasn't dust but mold. I was surprised and ready to get after cleaning it up so that this sinus/chest congestion would hopefully go away (not to mention not wanting the kiddos breathing it in either). So again, we searched online and a lot of what we read about treating mold naturally pointed us to vinegar and some to Tea Tree Oil. I was excited! Again, another thing that we can treat naturally! So again I bought a small bottle of Tea Tree Oil from a store nearby. Since we didn't have a diffuser at the time I put it into a metal spray bottle I had left over and mixed the Tea Tree Oil with water. I made it strong in the hopes that it would knock this mold out and it DID :) :) I sprayed it directly onto the patches that were all over the kitchen walls and also in the air throughout the house in the hopes of killing any stray spores that might have been floating around. Within days I was feeling almost completely better!! This was huge for me because this congestion had lasted almost 2 months. Huge relief, huge gift! I would use them here or there but was still generally not using them topically unless it was Lavendar on myself. Then at the beginning of this year I felt like God brought to mind using the essential oils to potentially help our son Caleb with the things that go along with having ASD {Autism Spectrum Disroder. He has had A LOT of improvement with changes in nutrition and also speech therapy at Sandhill Therapy Solutions but I was curious about what else we could try to see if it might help him. After looking it up it seemed like quite a few people have had great outcomes with using essential oils with children on the spectrum, so we just started with what we had on hand that others said had helped them. We started with Lavender, Orange and Cedarwood. This began only about a month ago and not long after that I contacted my friend Sam about becoming a Wellness Advocate for DoTERRA :) I was excited to do this not only because of the needs that our family has but also because of the quality of the product that DoTERRA sells. I think it's so awesome that they have taken this gift {Gift of The Earth as they call it - which is the meaning of the name DoTERRA}and they are taking great care to give each person the very best product that they possibly can so that they can receive the maximum amount of benefits from each oil. I also love that this fits in SO well with everything that I love to do :) This job as a wellness advocate truly has been a gift from God for me - even though I only have been at it for two weeks :) I love getting to share with you all natural ways to help your bodies to heal and not only that but DoTERRA offers great incentives to their customers who order through them - I also love a good deal :) So this journey continues and I am SO excited to share with you as we go the things that you can try in your own home, on yourselves and with your families. So much good stuff to come, this is exciting and I hope you will join me on this adventure of healing physically, mentally and spiritually!

Much love to you all and THANK YOU again for stopping by

p.s. If you ever have any questions please feel free to leave a comment or to message me directly using the box over on this --------> side of the screen :)
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