The Mindfulspace Blog 

The Mindfulspace Blog

This is written by Gail Donnan and other contributing authors who may or may not want to be identified but have given their permission.  It has it's own Facebook page.


July 2017

The science of stress, anxiety, depression, adrenal fatigue, low mood, low energy and ways to cope.

A lot of people contact me at the studios suffering from stress or may have insomnia, feel anxious, suffer from depression, don’t feel well or “just not like the old me”, among other symptoms of long term pain and chronic fatigue.

I’m not shy about it, but I turned to Meditation & Mindfulness because I began suffering from anxiety and panic attacks in my forties.

I opened up to a friend and she recommended I read “Essential help for your nerves - by Claire Weeks”. This book talked about de-sensitisation of the body due to stress and the high levels of cortisol and adrenalin overloading the nervous system. At last, I had something I could relate to, call it my light bulb moment.

I taught anatomy & physiology for many years and have a basic understanding of the human body’s systems as well as being a holistic & Reiki practitioner.  I knew that there was more out there to help me than I already knew about.

I decided to research the Endocrine (hormone) and the Nervous systems in greater depth. Our fight or flight warning system in the body has always played a major role in human survival.  In these modern times, the brain has developed but the old warning system hasn’t.  What we see as ‘threats’ nowadays are not life threatening but the Amygdala in the brain cannot differentiate between a real and an imagined threat.

When it detects stress, the body produces huge amounts of adrenalin and cortisol; which over time can be the cause of long term, sleep deprivation, loss of perspective, anxiety, questioning life’s purpose, eating disorders, adrenal fatigue, cognitive action and development, depression and often suicide.

I began researching foods, supplements, complementary techniques, meditation, yoga, mindfulness and therapies that would help me and slowly I started to get better.

I wanted to write this to reach people who may not want to be ready to admit where they are or are too scared to ask for help.

There is a lot of support out there; one thing I always make sure I speak about if I can is Adrenal Fatigue.  There can be many causes of this but in my case it was burn out through too much cortisol and adrenalin being produced.

This leads me to talk about Magnesium.  Magnesium is often an overlooked mineral, it is known as nature’s tranquiliser and is brilliant for fatigue, PMS, Headaches, Muscle cramps, stress and sleep. 70% of us are magnesium deficient. Magnesium is included in most multi vitamins but an extra dose makes a huge difference to your wellbeing.

It is amazing for anyone who has a lack of energy, stressed or anxious, great for relaxation and sleep if taken 2 hours before bed.

Magnesium can also be absorbed via the skin trans dermally through bath salts, oil sprays and flotation therapy (REST) or Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy which is a quick way to uptake Magnesium through Epsom Salts trans-dermally.  Or just having a bath before bed with Epsom salts is beneficial.

A friend of mine Tracy is a huge fan of Magnesium and she helped contribute to the next part of this blog and here is her story – thank you Tracy for sharing this:

“Around 2 years ago, I didn’t realise at the time but was having a hard time at work, not balancing life well and felt run ragged.  I was trying to eat well but didn’t have time to shop or cook.  I knew I should exercise but couldn’t spare the time and as for sleep I had forgotten what that was.  Only now I realise how close I was to a breakdown.  I left my job and began to seek answers.  I looked to a friend who lived with fibromyalgia and began to wonder if I had that. We explored ways to help her and I came across the term Adrenal Fatigue.  We need magnesium more than was ever though to allow proper brain functioning to aid our ability to deal with the effects of cortisol.  The website MAG has been really helpful; they advocate blood tests to give a baseline on which to work. 

I have tried to remove as much toxic load from my diet and environment as possible, eating food cooked from scratch and organic where possible. I take a bath at least twice a week with Epsom salts (Magnesium Oxide) as the body is very good at trans-dermal uptake this way. I use sodium bicarbonate as the salt increases the magnesium uptake.  I add lavender essential oil to aid relaxation and I use a magnesium spray on aches and pains.

I also take an adrenal cocktail twice a day on an empty stomach (an hour before or 2 hours after meals) – 4oz freshly squeezed orange juice and ¼ tsp of cream of tartar and ¼tsp of Himalayan pink salt which slows the body to grab and hold on to as much magnesium as possible. Best to shake it up and leave in the fridge. Research shows it has little to no effect on the risk of high blood pressure and heart attack. I also try use a diet high in naturally occurring magnesium so leafy greens, seafood, nuts etc.…

I have so much more energy, sleep better, think, focus and communicate better.  Thomas DE Lauer has forum on Facebook which is well worth looking at”

Other alternative to counteract stress

Lavender oil (couple of drops) in the bath or on bed linen is a great sedative.
Avoiding electrical gadgets one hour before bed and removing them from the bedroom will aid melatonin (a hormone that tells your body to prepare for sleep)
Research adrenal boosting foods and supplements
Research serotonin (feel good hormone) boosting foods and supplements
Take a look at Yoga or Meditation (something to switch the brain off)
There is a free meditation below this blog
Take a look at Mindfulness – a life changing philosophy
Specific breathing techniques produce noradrenalin which allow the nervous system to relax
Start taking supplements


Thanks for reading...until next month.

Gail