When you got the diagnosis of osteoporosis or osteopenia, chances are you were in shock. I know I was! And as you drove home from the doctor’s office, you felt anxious and even depressed.
Your mind was racing… Should you take the drugs your doctor is pushing? Is it really true that you could break a bone just by going down the stairs or picking something up if you don’t? Needless to say, your stress levels began to rise.
As you know by now, your body responds to stress by producing cortisol, which actually harms your bones.
But take heart, because I have good news. Despite what your doctor may tell you, osteoporosis and osteopenia are not diseases, and you don’t have to succumb to the fear and anxiety of an osteoporosis diagnosis.
Instead, you can take action to relieve your stress and rejuvenate your bones, all without drugs.
So I’m thrilled to share with you today five scientifically proven ways to reduce your stress and anxiety, to help you live a happier, more relaxed life, and to prevent cortisol from damaging your bones.
The Importance Of Happiness
Avoiding depression, anxiety, and other stressful emotions is about more than just feeling happier. Your bones actually suffer damage from chronic stress and anxiety, and other body processes are affected, too.
Savers are aware of how your mind affects your bone health and vice versa, and you probably already know a few tricks for keeping your spirits up. Today we’re going to take a look at this in greater depth, and I can’t wait to share these five proven methods for reducing anxiety, stress, and fear.
1. Get More Sleep
Sleep has a profound effect on your brain, and also your bone health. In a study published in the Psychological Bulletin, scientists explored the connection between emotional health, the brain, and sleep. They connected research indicating the role of the brain in generating and regulating emotions, and scientific findings showing the importance of sleep in neurological function.
“As the most prevalent mood disorder, major depression has consistently been linked to sleep abnormalities, found in up to 90% of patients,” the study notes. “The inability to initiate and maintain sleep (insomnia) is a robust risk factor for the development of both the first episode of depression, as well as recurrent episodes.” 1
Another study from 1997 looked at the production of stress hormones in relation to sleep. They found that cortisol levels rose the longer study participants were deprived of sleep.
“Sleep loss could thus affect the resiliency of the stress response and may accelerate the development of metabolic and cognitive consequences of glucocorticoid excess,” 2 researchers concluded.
How Much Sleep Is Enough?
At least seven hours per night is considered minimal. Sleep needs vary, however, so the key is to pay attention to your body’s cues. If you are getting seven hours of sleep but your mood is chronically down and you are feeling stressed, you might need more. Your brain and your bones will thank you!
2. Improve Your Mood By Smiling… For Real
This may seem backwards – most people think of smiling as a result of a good mood. And this is not untrue – according to a Michigan State University study, smiling is much more effective if we back it up with positive thoughts. That kind of smiling is good for your mood.
When workers were asked to fake-smile through the day, withdrawal and decreased productivity resulted. But when workers were asked to cultivate positive thoughts that made them smile, productivity increased and workers’ mood improved. 3
3. Seek Support From Friends And Family
One of the problems with depression is that it can contribute to a feeling of isolation, either perceived or actual. In a report published in Psychiatry, researchers reviewed and summarized key studies on social support and depression.
The report explores the neurochemistry of stress and stress resilience, and the neurobiology of social support. They reviewed studies that investigated how social support affects mental illness, and discussed the clinical significance of social support.
“…findings from animal and translational studies reviewed above show that social support reduces stress-induced cortisol release,” 4 the review notes. In addition, “…social support seems to moderate genetic and environmental vulnerabilities for mental illness.” 4
Isn’t it encouraging to note that “genetic and environmental vulnerabilities” do not mean you are destined to be depressed? You can still take action and seek support from loved ones with excellent results.
Scientists noticed that the most effective kind of support comes from meaningful relationships – in other words, quality is of more value than quantity when it comes to feeling supported. 4
4. Have Respect For Yourself
Self-respect is vital for true happiness. I am not talking about arrogance, but an honest sense that you are unique and have a special contribution to make to this world. It also means respecting your body, such as making the decision not to take osteoporosis drugs that can cause significant damage to your bones and overall health.
People with self-respect are not afraid to make their own decisions, and they are secure in their convictions. When you have respect for yourself, you’re not afraid to question the mainstream and to forge your own path.
Ultimately, self-respect means you’re happier with your life, and that has a huge impact on your mood.
5. Rid Your Body Of Toxins
There are over 14,000 man-made chemicals that are regularly added to our food supply, and the air we breathe can contain hundreds of toxic substances. Many of these chemicals are toxic not only to the bones but also to the brain, causing neurological disruptions.
To overcome depression and stress, healthy neurological function is crucial. That’s why a periodic cleansing of your system is an important aspect of optimal health.
A thorough detoxification gives your liver and kidneys a break from filtering out poisons, and it gives your neurological processes a chance to recover from the influence of toxins.
The Osteoporosis Fresh Start Cleanse: The 7 Day Bone Building Accelerator, is designed to build bones faster and rid your body of toxins (including osteoporosis drugs) in just one week.
Even though I avoid toxins as much as possible, I realize that some exposure is inevitable. So I like to do the Osteoporosis Fresh Start Cleanse at least twice a year – it’s not difficult or strenuous, and you don’t have to search for exotic herbs or difficult-to-find supplements.
True Happiness Comes From Peace Of Mind
When you know you’re doing the right thing for your bones and for your overall health, it brings peace of mind. You recognize that you’re providing your bones with key nutrients for rejuvenation, and you are aware of the true nature of bone health: bone quality (tensile strength and fracture resistance) is of prime importance over mere quantity of bone (greater density).
In addition, you can find a great deal of support here at Save Our Bones by connecting with others who have followed the Program, and have halted bone loss and reversed osteoporosis and osteopenia.
Once again, the Osteoporosis Reversal Program covers all aspects of bone health, including your state of mind and emotions.
So get plenty of sleep, practice genuine smiles, surround yourself with supportive friends and family, respect yourself, and make sure you do a periodic detox. Your bones, body, and mind will thank you!
Till next time,
1 Van der Helm, Els and Walker, Matthew P. “Overnight Therapy? The Role of Sleep in Emotional Brain Processing.”Psychological Bulletin. 2009 September. 135(5): 731-748. doi: 10.1037/a0016570 Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2890316/
2 Leproult, R., et al. “Sleep loss results in an elevation of cortisol levels the next morning.” Sleep. October 1997. 20(10): 865-70. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9415946
3 Scott, Brent A. and Barnes, Christopher M. “A Multilevel Field Investigation of Emotional Labor, Affect, Work Withdrawal, and Gender.” Academy of Management Journal, Volume 54, Number 1. February 2011
4 Ozbay, Fatih, et al. “Social Support and Resilience to Stress.” Psychiatry. May 2007. 4(5): 35-40. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2921311/
Comments on this article are closed.
Please do not use the word ‘Scientific’ for your Non-Scientific BS. Thank you.
You certainly have interesting facts to report although I don’t know how much medical background (if any) the sources you list have. It’s the “in thing” to berate and malign mainstream medicine. I know how much wrong they can do as I was on and of bisphosphonates for almost 12 years. I broke two bones during that time which healed in about five weeks. I eat organically to the extent that I can and enjoy many of the foods in your program daily. Yet I have many issues and complications you and many people like yourself either aren’t aware of or refuse to recognize.
For one, I have lived with type I diabetes for 45 years and have been at death’s door countless times even with the use of an insulin pump the past 26 years. I have had to use copious amount of glucose at times to avoid becoming comatose and I DO maintain tight control over glucose levels. I cannot avoid insulin, I would die. I certainly realize that medications, in and of themselves, are acidic.
I also live with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis and the medication was just changed three days ago. I suppose you are going to tell me to adopt Terry Wahl’s paleo diet protocol or go strictly vegan in an effort to ” cure” myself. I have little of a support system, no family, no friends, and am often isolated due to an inability to drive ( much of the time I can barely walk). I am performing several of your exercises on the bed with my daily MS stretching routine. They are difficult but I am doing some.
I am on ten different medications for nine different conditions/diseases. I am sure you would say I am weak and have no self respect because you may view me as a person who won’t stand up to big Pharma and western medicine. Since you are so full of wisdom, kindly let me know how to address the issues of these personal conditions : 1) type I diabetes, 2) MS, 3) major depression, 4) bipolar disorder, 5) social anxiety disorder, 6) coronary artery disease, 7) peripheral vascular disease, 8) Raynaud’s Syndrome, 9) periodontal disease, and 10) osteopenia WITHOUT the use of any pharmaceuticals or physician. I reside in a small community far away from any naturopath and I doubt very much that my husband would take me to one. PCP is pushing further bone drugs that I won’t take, scans are only paid for every two years with the use of more drugs and not covered by insurance otherwise.
I am quite curious to see if you will respond to this message at all. I had written Susan K Brown, the medical anthropologist of the Better Bones Blog and website based in Portland, Maine, more than several years ago and had not received any response. I do have part of your program as far as the guidebook and Bone Appetit. I am taking what I can from it.
Each time your emails arrive I am glued to it for bone reviving encouragement. I had my third none scan and numbers are repetitively worsening, but I am trusting The Lord brought your site to me to keep my eyes open. Thank you for your constant updates!
Good morning Vivian,
An EXCELLENT and valuable information ! This is a very
good reminder to all of us. Thank you very much for
sharing to help us improve and reverse our bone loss
naturally. Vivian, I truly appreciates everything you’re
doing for us and hoping that in GOD’S timing I would
like to meet you to thank you in person. Take care
always and have a wonderful day. Marlene
Hi Vivian, thanks so much for your awesome website. I would just like to clarify something about cheese. Would cottage/ricotta cheese be O.K. because I think that they are done more like plain yoghurt.
I am so glad found your website. I am 66 and was anorexic as a teenager and was given a bone scan. My GP wanted to prescribe drugs. I protested after reading the side effects – the website gave one as atrial fibrillation , and I come from a family with a history of heart problems! My frax index was influenced by the fact that I had an avulsion fracture of the wrist after falling during a game of badminton.
I was lucky to have a retired osteopath as a friend who suggested I had a second opinion. The consultant who I saw examined me further, decided that the fracture was not a fragility fracture per se, and, despite bone scans of 2.8 neck of hip and 2.6 spine and overall hip, decided that, as I was active, medication was not necessary at this stage – to be reviewed if I have further fractures, or scan on 3.0 plus. He suggested that muscle building was good, as was keeping active. I am determined not to be phased by the diagnosis, concentrate on good food , exercise, smiling and sunshine , and enjoy each day as best I can. I look forward to more positivity from your website, and want to tell young people, sitting at work at their computers, that the time to start looking after their bodies is NOW – but at whichever age we are at not just the young!