1. Food
Jen Hoy

Calming Frayed Nerves

By October 27, 2010

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null The global economic situation has people upset, frightened, angry and generally ungrounded. We are facing uncertain and challenging circumstances on so many levels that many folks are finding themselves in a state of perpetual anxiety. We may not be able to do much about what is happening in the world, but it's a time when taking care of ourselves is crucial.

Remembering to breathe deeply is one of the first things we can do to settle and bring calm into our bodies. Taking long, slow breaths -in through the nose and out through the mouth- will almost invariably loosen us up. When we don't breathe our bodies contract. When our bodies are contracted we tend to feel fear. If you are angry, sad, in pain, or anxious, breathing will make you feel better. When we breathe deeply our hearts open.

The food we eat can influence our bodies in ways both subtle and obvious. Clean, simple food helps us stay centered, and foods that grow close to, or inside, the earth, are particularly good for maintaining internal balance. Pumpkin, all winter squash, parsnips, sweet potatoes, celery root, beets, carrots and turnips all help bring our energy down into our bodies. Soup in general is a soothing food, and one of my favorite recipes is Grounding Soup. It is a nourishing, comforting blend of ground and root vegetables that's great for calming an overwrought nervous system. Other calming, grounding soups are Roasted Root Vegetable Soup, Creamy Celery Root and Leek Soup, or Squash Soup with Cumin and Corn. Other soups made from ground and root vegetables include Sweet Potato and Kale Soup, Roasted Root Vegetable and Cauliflower Soup, classic Creamy Carrot Soup with Curry Spices, and Butternut Squash and Sage Soup.

Remember to breathe, exercise, and do small things that help you relax. Take a lavender bath, have a cup of chamomile tea, do something for someone less fortunate, put your hands in the earth, and connect with the people you love. This is a time for gathering, not isolation.

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