Getting relief begins with understanding yourself and making a decision to take control—yep, it’s my 3R System to the rescue. You can do something to help your situation. Suffering is optional when you Recognize, Reframe, and Reclaim.
RECOGNIZE what’s going on. Start by taking stock of your situation, then ask yourself what you have done in the past that has actually worked. What are you feeling at this time of year? Can you pinpoint what substances trigger allergy symptoms for you? What lessens those symptoms, and what relieves them?
REFRAME your thoughts and actions. Look at the title of this article again. I promised you FIVE solutions. All of them come from the critical reframing step. Reframing means getting to the nuts and bolts of relief by changing how you think about the problem: Don’t assume you have no control. Here are some patient-proven suggestions for finding solutions.
- I can make changes to my environment. No, I don’t think you should become a hermit. But it can be very helpful to avoid outside air during the hours that pollens are most active, usually 5 am to 10 am. Installing a HEPA air filter in your home can remove 90 percent of the irritants in your indoor environment. Vacuuming regularly and keeping windows closed will further limit what gets into your home. And don’t forget to wash your hair and change your clothes to remove pollen you’ve carried in yourself after exposure to the Great Outdoors.
- I can make changes to the way I eat. Sugar increases the body’s inflammatory response, which in turn can exacerbate the immune system’s allergic reactions. But did you know that there are specific foods that can make your allergies worse? Apples, pears, peaches, cherries, and, for some people, milk, can aggravate symptoms. Best to eat other fruits and vegetables to get your vitamin C this time of year.
- I can try new techniques to reduce discomfort. Acupuncture, natural sensitivity-reducing techniques and, electrodermal screening are just a few examples of old and new modalities that have helped others combat allergy challenges.
- I can try natural, patient-tested supplements. Quercetin, stinging nettle (not to worry, it’s in a capsule), and butterbur are among the natural remedies that have been shown to be successful in some patients. If you have a more serious condition, such as asthma, see your doctor first to clear the way for taking synergistic, natural remedies. The ultimate goal, is for you is to feel well enough to take less medication.
- I can think differently about my allergies. Yes, allergies may be a “cross to bear” in the spring, but studies show that reducing stress and anxiety can help ease the discomfort of allergies. Guided meditation, exercise and yoga, and NET can all help in your efforts to feel calmer and more balanced.
RECLAIM the health you deserve. Find the activities that bring you a sense of fun, accomplishment, and comfort during the allergy season. Know that you are taking responsibility for the way you’re feeling, and congratulate yourself for that. With consistent and diligent action, you may soon be on the way to a spring with far fewer symptoms.