5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress: CBD Can Help

This article first appeared on MadebyHemp.

cbd oil stress


In our modern, fast-paced world, stress is becoming a very common component in our everyday lives. It has become so common, in fact, that we no longer seem to notice stress until it has compounded into something bigger and has started affecting our health. Stress, or rather, stress hormones (a primary stress hormone like cortisol), are released into the body to trigger our “fight or flight” response. In dire situations, these hormones help elevate our energy supplies, increase the concentration of glucose in our blood, and even help our brain use glucose optimally for quicker decision making. However, long-term activation of the body’s stress system could cause a host of health problems — anxiety, depression, heart disease – to name a few.

Therefore, it is important we learn of ways to relieve ourselves of stress. Below are five simple ways to relieve stress:


1. CBD Oil

You’ve probably heard of CBD quite often this whole year. There is good reason for that. Aside from its uses in alleviating the symptoms of epilepsy, it is also being used as a natural means of reducing anxiety and stress. This is because all mammals have an endocannabinoid system. This is a network of CBD receptors along our central nervous system. These receptors react to CBD by fixing imbalances, strengthening our immune system, and relieving symptoms of stress and anxiety. So a couple of drops of CBD oil every day might just be the trick to help alleviate our everyday stress.


2. Meditation

If you are looking for a very cheap way of reducing stress without taking anything, meditation is the way to go. Meditation has been known to help ease stress and anxiety by focusing our attention to emptying our mind and breathing deeply. Not only will this help you relax, it could also re-energize you to help you face the rest of your day with a bit more calm. If you find yourself stressed by too many meetings or an impending deadline, take a few minutes to center yourself, empty your mind of any thoughts, and breathe.


3. Exercise

Physical activity causes our body to release happy hormones like dopamine and serotonin. To people who have experienced what is called the “runner’s high”, this is actually the rush of endorphins released by your body as a response to running. Endorphins help our body reduce stress by helping our body overcome pain, and regulate our sleep. The stress hormone cortisol actually reduces the production of happy hormones in our body which will lead to more stress for us. Exercising would help build these hormones back up in our system.


4. Reduce caffeine

We all have a caffeine threshold. Caffeine is known to help keep us awake and give us that boost of much-needed energy, especially in the mornings when all we want is to go back to sleep. However, too much caffeine can contribute to anxiety which in turn causes stress. It could also cause heart palpitations, cold sweat, and some digestive upset when you take too much caffeine. So if you find yourself getting anxious after your second or third cup of coffee, it might be a good idea to skip that cup of joe and maybe have something with lower caffeine levels. Perhaps a nice low caffeine tea, or, dare we say, some decaf coffee?


5. Socialize

Spending time with friends and family is a great stress reliever. No matter how introverted and socially averse you are, there is always someone you prefer spending your time with. And for those of us who are extroverted, being with people is an energizing experience. Laughing and having an enjoyable time with the people you love will help you relax more, and forget about your woes. In women, spending time with family and children helps in releasing oxytocin, a natural stress reliever.

No matter your station in life, stress is unavoidable. Keeping these five tips in mind will help you in managing or maybe even relieving stress. And in turn will help you enjoy life more, avoid health issues, and even develop a healthier relationship with yourself and with your social circle.

Why Stress Causes Sugar Cravings—and How to Fight It

This article first appeared on Sweetdefeat.

stress causes sugar cravings

Understanding the connection can help you change your eating habits.

You get into a fight with your friend and suddenly you simply need a sweet treat. You get an urgent work email and immediately head towards the office candy bowl. Or you’re feeling sad, so you sit down in front of a favorite movie with a pint of ice cream.

We’ve all been there: craving sugar for psychological reasons that have nothing to do with hunger. It’s called “stress eating” for a reason. When you experience persistent stress, your adrenal glands release cortisol, which increases both appetite and motivation. Together, that makes you more likely to eat even when you don’t need it. Understanding how stress affects sugar cravings helps you recognize the signs, so you can can say “no” the next time a craving strikes.

Sugar and Stress Eating

For our ancestors, stress made them eat more, and that was a good thing. When humans were just trying to survive, eating sweets in the form of fruit meant better nutrition. Today, our stress responses are triggered almost constantly, by work, family commitments, or even the ever-present noise of city living. And the extra food is no longer a good thing: Research shows that chronic stress is linked to craving sweet and fatty foods, which contributes to the development of obesity and the host of ill health effects that accompany excess weight.

When you eat sugar, your brain releases feel-good chemicals and its reward system is activated, just as it is by drug use. In fact, sugar addiction can be just as powerful as cocaine addiction. Research suggests that “the brain reward circuitry may be a key player in stress-induced food intake,” says a 2007 study published in Physiology & Behavior.

The bad news is that your body is programmed to want sugar when you’re feeling stressed. The good news it that by recognizing the reason for your craving, you can make better choices.

Reframe Your Cravings

It’s hard to make cravings go away completely, though if you cut back on your sugar intake, they will diminish as your body becomes accustomed to your new low-sugar lifestyle. Here are five tips to help you kick cravings:

●      Acknowledge the craving. Recognize that your body is craving sugar, but doesn’t really need it. Once you learn to distinguish between true hunger and cravings, you can take the proper steps to fight the cravings.

●      Feed hunger with healthy options. If you’re truly hungry, have a balanced meal or snack with veggies, good fats, and protein, which has been shown to help stabilize blood-sugar levels.

●      Fight cravings with a lozenge. Sweet Defeat lozenges contain extracts from the plant Gymnema sylvestre and have been shown to reduce sugar cravings. The lozenge also temporarily blocks the ability to taste sweetness, so treats aren’t satisfying: the sugar doesn’t activate the brain’s reward cycle.

●      Take a walk. Remember how sugar releases those feel-good chemicals in your brain? Well, so does exercise, so that’s a great alternative to indulging in sweets. Research shows that taking a brisk walk can help reduce sugar cravings.

●      Plan for a treat. Cravings cause us to behave impulsively. Rather than eating a sugary treat when a craving hits, make yourself a deal: If you still want it in two hours, or tomorrow, then you can have it. Research shows that this if-then bargaining can help reduce unhealthy food consumption.

Cravings can be hard to resist, but when they hit it’s important to remember that you are ultimately the one in control.


Benefits of Essential Oils | 5 Oils to Naturally Heal Yourself

I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs over the years. Who hasn’t?   Moments of extreme joy and happiness, peppered with moments of stress, despair, anxiety, depression and lack of motivation.  I truly believe life is geared that way, ebbing and flowing like a river, and teaching us valuable lessons along the way.  One day, I stumbled upon Essential Oils at a Wellness Event in Long Island, NY. The woman had a full spread of essential oils perfectly arranged in neat rows on a table. When I first approached the table, each bottle looked like a precious gem waiting to be unlocked.  I told her I had been stressed out from work lately, experiencing extreme anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Nothing had been working. She handed me the bottle of lavender and asked me to close my eyes and take three deep breaths. Almost instantly, it felt like I was transported to a beautiful lavender field in the South of France, and a feeling of relaxation and euphoria rushed over me.  After a few breaths, I opened my eyes and my stress and anxiety levels dissolved by almost by 80% (yes they're that effective).     She educated me that there were essential oils not only for stress and sleep,  but for mood elevation, energy, balance, digestion, immune support, hormonal balance, respiratory support and more.  Instantly I was hooked and bought 8 oils on the spot that day and couldn’t wait to tell my friends and family about these gifts from the earth.  


So you may be asking.... What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. They act as the plant’s natural defense system, and simulate a similar response when we interact with them.  Scientifically, they trigger our olfactory nerve which is connected to our “emotional brain” and limbic system which controls heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, mood, stress, hormonal balance and more. Over time, essential oils can have  powerful a healing effect on us emotionally, mentally, and physically.  


So what are a few of my favorite oils that I can’t live without?

Here are my 5 favorite essential oils and their benefits to health and well-being:



As I mentioned above, this is one of the most well-known, versatile scents, and is known for stress and insomnia relief.  I carry a bottle around with me at all times to help combat the occasional stress we experience in everyday life.  I either inhale aromatically, massage into my temples, or add a few drops to my drinking water to reduce anxious feelings.  Lavender always helps to balance my mood, nerves, and anxiety. It's seriously a life-saver!  At night, I add a few drops to my diffuser, my pillow, and to the bottom of my feet to help me relax before bed and battle insomnia.  Lavender is also great to add to baths and is soothing and calming to skin.


doterra pepperming

Peppermint is also a very popular oil with a lot of everyday uses.   I use this as a “tummy tamer” or to help quell digestive upset after a meal or if I feel queasy in the car. I either ingest a few drops in purified water, or rub a few drops onto my stomach.  I also diffuse peppermint in my office when I’m studying or writing – this is a great oil for energy and focus. Peppermint is also great to use topically for tired muscles or to massage into temples and neck after a long time concentrating on the computer. Lastly, this is refreshing tasting oil, and sometimes I’ll add to my LIV Superfood Power Protein Drink © | Healthy Smoothie  to add a subtle minty flavor.


lemon oil doterra

Lemon is a cleansing and uplifting oil. I often rub lemon onto my wrists early in the morning so that I can refer to it all day long. Especially during the colder winter months when seasonal depression disorder can set in, this fresh scent is sure to uplift you.  Lemon is also known to be a powerful cleaning agent. When I’m cleaning my kitchen, I add 10 drops of Lemon to a glass spray bottle with 8 ounces of purified water to create an all natural cleansing tonic. This oil cuts grease and grime, and is great for cabinets, stove, and countertops... and smells delightful (and its chemical free!).  Lastly, during the winter months, I combine lemon oil and fractionated coconut oil and massage into my nails and cuticles for a daily fingernail conditioning.

Wild Orange

wild orange oil doterra

I call this oil “happiness in a bottle.”  The minute I spin the top off and take a whif, I am in heaven. Wild orange is an invigorating scent, helping to uplift our mind and body and battle depression.  For an energy boost, I mix 2 drops of Wild Orange with 2 drops of Peppermint. First I add the mixture to my hands and inhale deeply for three breaths.   Then I massage the oil mixture into the back of my neck to help invigorate my nervous system.  In addition, wild orange is a powerful cleanser and purifying agent.  Try diffusing it the morning for an uplifting fragrance to help purify the air. I also love diffusing this scent when I'm doing chores  around the house, or as a welcoming scent when guests are visiting.


frankincense oil doterra

Wow I can’t say enough good things about Frankincense. This is coined the "king of oils" and is  a powerfully uplifting scent. I love using Frankincense in the morning to kick off the day on the right thought pattern, and is also extremely beneficial during times of meditation or prayer.  This is an oil I can’t live without when I’m battling the morning blues or afternoon slump. When my mind isn’t right or I'm experiencing a negative thought pattern, I’ll rub this oil into my temples, the bottom of my feet, or wrists and instantly feel the negativity melt away. Frankincense is also great for skin and can heal cuts and sores. Combine it with your favorite facial moisturizer for beautiful, radiant skin.

Wanna know where you can get the highest quality, purest and most potent oils?

dōTERRA (CPTG)® essential oils represent the safest, purest, and most beneficial essential oils available today. They are gently and skillfully distilled from plants that have been patiently harvested at the perfect moment by experienced growers from around the world for ideal extract composition and efficacy. As a wholesale distributor and Wellness Advocate of doTERRA Essential Oils, ask me how I can help save you 25-55%.  Ask me how

Or, ready to shop?  Visit my store!  






Top 5 Stress Management Techniques | Corporate America

After 12 years in Corporate America, trust me, I know what you’re going through.  The meetings, the deadlines, pressure to perform, sitting for long periods of time, toxic co-workers, fear of being laid off, I’ve seen it all. These can all add up and wreak havoc on our mind and body, impact our physical and emotional health, and interfere with our job satisfaction, productivity, and performance. And you’re not alone. Most American workers in corporate America are experiencing the same and are looking for ways to cope and counteract these harmful side-effects.

But how do we continue to work and thrive in these environments?

Below are my top tips you can learn to protect yourself from the long term damaging effects of stress, while improving your health and happiness at work.

Eat well

Nutrition and stress go hand in hand. We are what we eat, and with the correct foods and nutrients we are better equipped to face the challenges and stressors of the day. When our bodies endure times of stress – three primary stress hormones are released, adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine.  These are our “fight our flight” hormones causing our bodies to increase levels of blood sugar (glucose) to feed our heart, muscles, and brain to handle the stress successfully. After that initial burst of energy, we typically crash and need nutritious foods to replenish.  Fueling our bodies with the right foods helps us endure and recover from this process faster and with less side effects. Eating at least three healthy meals a day(breakfast lunch and dinner), and if you have a fast metabolism and get hungry between meals, don’t reach for that snickers bar or bag of doritos. I like to keep healthy and filling snacks by my desk – unsalted nuts like almonds or walnuts, a piece of fruit, an organic protein shake or bar, almond butter and whole wheat crackers, celery and carrot crudité with hummus. Snacks help to maintain your blood sugar and energy levels before your next meal, so having them on hand was truly lifechanging for me. Throughout the day, I urge my clients to eat a good balance of green vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, nuts), complex carbs (think beans, sweet potatoes, brown rice)  and supplements to ensure your body is getting essential nourishment, and is maintaining your blood sugar levels. Although contrary to common belief, try to moderate caffeine, sugar and alcohol, as these can amplify stress levels.


We weren’t made to be sedentary.  Exercise 3X a week for 30 minutes is a good minimum. If you can work into your schedule, as a general goal, aim for 30 minutes a day.  Exercise is a powerful stress buster, and aerobic exercise is said to increase blood flow to your brain, lift your mood, supercharge your energy, sharpen focus, and relax you all at the same time. Regular exercise also promotes better sleep and deepens your sleep cycle. Lastly, exercise should be fun! It’s your chance to unwind and decompress from the stress you’re experiencing at work. If you don’t like the gym, try running outside, martial arts, yoga, pilates, walking, bicycling, swimming, dancing, weightlifting or competitive sports. Bottom line, engage in activities that make you happy. It will be easier to do everyday, and that much more worth while.


According to Dr Oz, this is the biggest problem in America. We’re not getting enough and as a result we are slipping mentally, physically and emotionally.  Additionally, sleep helps us produce Human Growth Hormone which is natures youth beauty ingredient – hey, they don’t call it “beauty sleep” for nothing!  Working long hours is stressful and arduous, but when it starts to cut into our sleep hours, studies show that it stress levels actually go up higher.  “A good night’s sleep allows you to tackle the day’s stress easier,”  according to the Sleep Disorders Health Centre on .  Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep a night to ensure you are arming your body and mind to effectively deal with stress.

Foster good, healthy relationships

Lisa Rankin, MD, author of “Mind over Medicine” argues that loving nurturing relationships and a strong support system is our number one most important factor for optimal health. Some argue healthy relationships are even more important than the food we put in our body. Having a strong network of supportive family, friends, and co-workers helps to lighten the load of the negative effects stress can have on us when we are alone. Try to have at least five solid relationships you can call on when feeling stressed at work to share your work experiences, and talk through potential solutions.

Make time for Relaxation and Fun

Americans don’t take vacations – on average they work 60+ hours a week and there is very little down time. As a result, this increases our stress responses and decreases our relaxation responses. Just remember, no amount of kale will counter repetitive chronic stress responses in the body. Because of that, finding time to unplug and unwind is critical.  We need to find respite, and we need to remove our bodies and minds from the chaos. A brief walk outside in nature, a 10 minute mediation in a quiet room, deep breathing exercises, five cartwheels in the park, eating a high- vibrational food like an apple or a cup of green tea, taking a vacation, stowing and turning off electronic devices every night when you get home.  These are all exercises that you can do to help remove you from the madness, center you, and help press the reset button for your body and mind.  We get so wrapped up in our everyday work stresses that we forget we are such a small part of the universe, and chances are the stuff you are worrying about today, you wont be worrying about a year from now.   Lastly, start a gratitude journal. When stress hits you hard, list five things you are grateful for. Not only does this broaden our perspective on life and the things that truly matter, it helps melt stress away. It helps us to be happy, grateful, and whole again.  And when we feel that way we are inviting more of that into our lives.