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Home Remedies For Stuffy Nose – From Instant Relief to Long-Term Improvements.

Home Remedies For Stuffy Nose – From Instant Relief to Long-Term Improvements.

A stuffy nose is not a joke. Your speech becomes slurry, you sound funny while taking, your nose begins to drip mucus (not every time, though) and just when you blow your nose to get a moment of sweet relief, your nose gets filled up in no time, leaving you frustrated and slow again. It makes your head feel really heavy and reduces your capacity to perform any of the tasks you should be performing on a normal day. It sure doesn’t help if your job involves a lot of paperwork in a little time frame.

Stuffy nose, also known as blocked nose or nasal congestion (more officially) is a respiratory disorder. It is also a condition that occurs more often than any other. There is a common misconception among most people that nasal congestion is as a result of the accumulation of mucus in the nose. This is not true. It actually occurs when the blood vessels in the nose become inflamed, leading to the swelling of the tissues lining the nose. It could also be caused by any of the following;

  • Infections: The common cold and the flu are conditions that are caused by virus infections. These viruses are passed through the air and in turn, they cause the nasal tissues to inflate. Sinus infection could also cause nasal congestion. A common symptom of a virus infection is the green or yellow coloration of the mucous, which is discharged from the nose.
  • Allergic Reactions: As a response to substances called allergens(for example, pollen, grains, smoke, etc.), your nasal tissues could swell. These allergens release a chemical known as histamine. This histamine could cause the watery (and sometimes, uncontrollable) release of mucous from the nose.
  • Figurative Anomalies: Some structural abnormalities such as a deviated septum (the pigment which divides the right nostril from the left), bent nose, etc. could also cause regular nasal congestion. These deformities could be results of a number of things; childhood injuries, accidents during birth, etc. Another structural anomaly is polyps, which is a tumor in the nose as a result of a viral infection in the sinuses.

Like I said earlier, nasal congestion can really be frustrating. However, there are quick remedies to it. Below are a couple of these remedies that have been tested over time and are safe, quick and efficient:

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Take A Hot Shower and Coffee

If you ever find yourself with a congested nose, Make cofee with best coffee grinder and had a hot shower definitely will help. There’s a science to this: The steam from a hot shower helps reduce the thickness of the mucous in the nose and reduce inflammation. All you need for this immediate relief strategy is to draw yourself a hot bath and you should begin to feel relief immediately. The downside to this method is that it’s a temporary solution. You sure can’t stay in the shower all day and almost immediately you leave the shower, your nose begins to get clogged up again due to the increase in temperature.

Use A Warm Compress

Another immediate solution is to press warm water over some strategic positions on your head. This process helps open up your nasal pathways externally. Simply put some water (as hot as your skin can handle) into a bowl, put a cloth inside it and put the cloth over the bridge of your nose, but male sure they don’t block your nasal pathways. Take a few deep breaths and your nose should start to clear up. You should be cautious of the temperature of the water so as not to cause any burns or bruises on your face or forehead. Repeat this process if you feel the cloth is getting too cold. You might have to repeat this process a few times before you feel 100% relieved. You should relax while this process takes place and try as much as possible not to do anything too physically straining.

For those who prefer prevention to cure, here are also a few habits that could reduce the likelihood of nasal congestion:

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Use Garlic

Garlic contains an anti-bacterial called allicin, which counteracts the effects of any viral infections that may cause nasal congestion. It also has Vitamin C, sulfur and other chemicals that help boost the immune system and fight against the bacteria that inflames the nose. However, to effectively use garlic as an anti-bacterial, the garlic must be eaten raw, so as to allow the allicin to work in its raw state. There isn’t a stereotyped dosage for garlic, but it is advised that you take between 3-5 garlic cloves a day for no less than 10 days (they smell weird, I know, but such is the price you have to pay for a free-flowing nasal pathway). Just peel off the skin of the garlic and continue eating it completely. Continue this process regularly to completely free up your sinuses.
Warning: Don’t try this on an empty stomach.

If you feel that the raw taste of the garlic is too irritating, you could use it as a part of your regular diet. Put it in your soups, pizzas, anything. Just make sure that you consume it regularly.

Keep Yourself Hydrated

The intake of fluids will increase the moisture in your body, which will, in turn, soothe any irritation in your nose. The fluids will also ease the passage of mucous, making it easier to flow out of your nose, reducing the pressure of your sinuses. The lesser the pressure, the lesser the inflammation you feel. The fluids aren’t restricted to water; other drinks such as sports drinks, soups, broths, juice, etc. will work just as well.

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Change Your Sleeping Arrangement

There are some steps you can take to ensure that you still sleep well, even with a clogged nose

  • Make sure your room is cool. This helps you sleep faster. Make it not too cool, though. Your congested nose should still be given consideration
  • Use as many pillows as you can, or sleep in an elevated recliner. Raising your head will prevent the mucous in your head to slip further backward.

Use Herbs To Improve Your Immune System

For a cold nose, Vitamin C and other herbs will definitely be of help. They help your body develop immunities and fight bacteria and viruses that cause nasal inflammation. Although these herbs might not eradicate a blocked nose completely, they can definitely speed up the healing process. Combining herbs and vitamins with other corrective measures should to the trick perfectly.

If eventually, you fall victim of nasal congestion, there a few homemade solutions that you can try. The advantage of these methods is the fact that you don’t have to wait for doctors’ orders. These methods are also very cost-effective:

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Use A Humidifier

A humidifier increases the humidity of any room it is put in. Using this machine will moisturize the air in your room. Inhaling the altered air will reduce the inflammation in the blood vessels and reduce the clogging in your nostrils. The mucus in your nostrils will reduce in thickness, causing the fluids in your nose to flow easily.

Use A Saline Spray

Saline sprays consist simply of salt-water solutions. This method works under the same principle as normal hydration. The spraying of this solution using a bulb syringe increases the moisture in your nostrils. The more the moisture, the easier it is for the nose to expel the mucous. These days, most saline sprays are accompanied by decongestant medications. For these sprays, it is better to get a qualified doctor’s prescriptions. They can have dangerous side effects if used indiscriminately or if used alongside the wrong medications.

Try A Neti Pot

The neti pot is used to flush out the impurities and mucous from your nose. However, it is not advisable to try this process by yourself or if you have the flu (or any other virus-induced nasal congestion). All you need to do is dissolve salt into water and pour the saline solution into a neti pot. Tilt the spout of the pot into your nostril until the water enters your nasal passages. The saline solution will moisturize your nostril and reduce the congestion in your nostrils. Repeat this step a few more times and then change the nostril where the water flows in. For this process to be successful, however, you must make sure that the water flows out of your other nostril.

Take Allergy Pills

If your congested nose is a consequence of an allergic reaction to some substance or the other, you could use the allergy pills (for example, antihistamine). Adding your allergy medicine to a decongestant will further reduce the pressure in your nostrils. Note that these pills should be taken according to your doctor’s prescriptions. Taking them wrongly could greatly exacerbate your condition. You should also know that antihistamine will make you drowsy. Make sure that a short nap follows the intake of such a drug and don’t exert yourself physically.

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Tanvir Zafar

The founder of ISU Technologies, passionate in writing about entrepreneurship, work and technology.

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Last Updated on February 20, 2019

13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with Them and Enjoy the Ride

13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with Them and Enjoy the Ride

Fear. I spend my life talking about fear — fighting fears, fixing fears and understanding fears. And yet I doubt I get 10 calls a year from people saying “Mandie can you help me fix my fear?”

Why is this so critically important to you?

The realization for me is that fear is not the fundamental driving force in your life it’s what regardless of whether I’m talking to a doctor, a teacher, a CEO’s, a senior citizens or teenager – every single one of those conversations has a direct correlation with your world.

Fear can range from the overwhelming desire to look away or stop in your tracks to literally fleeing your country and the life you knew. In this article, I will share you with 13 tips to face your fears and enjoy the ride.

1. Know That Fear Is Real, but Can Be Overcome

Right now around the world people are facing fear — real fear. Fear that I pray my children and I will never experience. Does that lessen my fears or your fears in your relativity safe 21st century life?

When I look at the world we all live in, I find that fear like so many other emotions can mean so many different things to so many different people:

  • The child who has to be physically dragged to their first day of school.
  • The man facing the judge.
  • The woman with her hand poised over the buttons over her phone because she has to walk down a dark corridor late at night alone.
  • The man as the surgeon says “count backwards from 10 Mr Smith.”
  • The woman that’s told “We are sorry, we can’t help you.”
  • The man that faces the empty circle of a gun and prays for his very existence.

These and a million more (Portrayed in every kind of movie, book or song you could imagine) are what make us human. We face fear and somehow move forward or are stopped in our tracks.

Like the rabbit in the headlights of the car that veers off through the field away from the tyres of the car or stays still praying for salvation. Like someone will save them. Sound familiar?

Fear is huge. Fear is everywhere and yet fear can be overcome, controlled and can even be a power for good.

2. Accept Your Fear

Firstly if you aren’t facing the barrel of the gun, atrocities that make the news or impeding death, that’s a good start. However it doesn’t mean your fear is any less real.

We are quick to say “I can’t moan, my life is not as bad as X.” While in theory, that’s honorable your appreciation of Mr. or Mrs. X’s horrific life won’t change anything directly. So accept your fear is relative to you.

And here’s what can be done.

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3. Get Some Perspective

I found myself asking anyone that would answer “what is your worst fear”. The answer that intrigued me the most came from my daughter (15 years old and she usually has a copy of Fight the Fear – my book – in her school bag so she can help someone else be as positive and confident as her. No matter what life throws up.)

And her fear, surprised me — heights. I pointed out that we live in a sprawling bungalow (one storey) and the highest she goes is two storeys’ at school! She laughed but added, fear isn’t like that Mum. I know it’s not a real fear, but it’s like when you stand on a chair and feel unsafe.

That girl will go far. Because she truly gets fear.

We know something is scary and yet we still do it. Why? Because we have a perspective to the fear. When you lose perspective, it can feel too big, and too scary.

So look around you to get some perspective on your fear:

  • Are you really at risk?
  • Will this kill you?
  • Which leads us on to..
  • If the worse was to happen what would it be?

4. Hold a Hand

As a coach, it is my job to holds someone’s metaphorical hand and help them face a fear.

Like the child petrified of the thunder storm or the teen that can’t get back in a car again after failing their test, your job as a parent is to reassure, encourage, enable and motivate someone to face something that ideally they never would choose to again.

We know many of our fears aren’t real. However, it is only when someone guides us with love, respect, lack of judgement and safety are we able to get through fear. And trust me, you can get through your fears. I’ve seen it so many times.

Ask yourself:

  • If the worse were to happen, what would that be?
  • Could that really happen?
  • If the worse did happen, how would you recover?
  • If the worse were to happen, what would you need to do next?

By seeing fear as not the end destination but part of being human, you can see through it’s wily evil ways and move forward.

5. Know Whose Hand You Hold Either Physically or Emotionally

This helps with fears for the rest of your life.

Think of someone you can always rely on (and ideally you won’t just answer yourself because that adds a lot of pressure to your existence!) And you will find that you’ve already found a way to get through fear.

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The beauty of this is that it means that fear becomes part of life not something to be feared and shied away from.

It means you know you can turn to your friend, partner, colleague, parent, sibling and say “Right I need to deal with this, and I’m going to need you to help me.”

For one moment, think about it from the other person’s view point. When we get to help other people we feel valued, loved, respected and lots of other positive emotions and we get a good dose of positive chemicals setting off in our bodies too.

Your fear, and your determination to fight it, helped someone else too. Now that’s cool right?

6. Understand That There Are Some Things Fear Will Never Touch

I like to find role models in life — people who have faced heroism, history changing moments, war, atrocities, miracles, life saving inventions.

Not everyone was looking for greatness, however they all found it. And one of my favourite books to date is written about Alistair Urquhart, the forgotten highlander. If this doesn’t get turned into a film in the future, then no man’s story is likely to.

Alistair went through the most horrific experiences in the 2nd world war. If you think of one of the awful things that happened back then in our world, Alistair went through at least 3 of them! Asked afterwards how did you cope? He talked about how whatever they did to his body, no matter how they starved, tortured, threatened or mocked him, they couldn’t have his mind. In his mind he was free.

Of all the people’s voices I’ve heard in my head over the years, this is one of those statements that reminds me anything is possible if you have faith and hope.

Look for the things in life that fear can’t touch. They will create confidence and faith for the future, whatever you face. And they will give you a sense of why being you is awesome.

Of all the billions of people on this planet, no one will have an answer identical to yours!

7. Process Your Fears to Carry on with Life

Being brave is not about sticking your chest out and smiling regardless of what hell you endure. It is about finding a way to emotionally process your fears to be able to keep going.

I have a tool kit of things I can rely on – tools, strategies, techniques. They include people to hug or talk to, music. hobbies, walks on the beach and even my favourite food. It sounds mad but at the times where I have questioned “how will I get through this?” I’ve found immense joy in doing the most unlikely of thing that makes me smile.

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It may be a short lived moment of happiness. However, it reminded that nothing stays the same and I can find away.

One client told me that it was crazy when it felt like their world was falling around their ears to run a bath to the brim (you don’t waste water) get the best bath oils, light too many candles, lock the door and drink a glass of bubbly (champagne is only for special occasions.)

Did that moment fix the disaster that my clients life felt? No, however it gave them a moment of calm and the brain is far quicker to find solutions, resolve and motivation to keep going when you do that.

It may feel like madness to do something you love, however it can be a powerful way to help you find solutions to the fears you face in life.

8. Assume the Worse

If you read the statement from the client above. Notice how they assumed it was wrong to fill the bath up to the top? How bubbly is only for special occasions?

Think how naughty they felt to be doing something that was not allowed?

  • Think about what age it may have made them feel?
  • Think about how they feel about champagne?
  • What special moments it’s been a part of in their lives?

And you can see how the assumptions they made about their “right” to have these things was not healthy.

When I drag the assumptions out of people’s words for them to see, they are often struck by how negative the words make them feel.

Don’t assume your words aren’t impacting on you. You can go through fear and actually enjoy the ride when you take the time to understand how you are letting words get to you.

9. Take a Fear That Feels Insurmountable Right Now.

If you were to repeat it to me out loud, what would you say?

Would you have blame on yourself in there? Would you assume others can do it and it’s just you? Would you feel small, unsuccessful, useless, unworthy?

Usually, when you do this exercise, you are able to spot the untruths that run wild in your head convincing you that you are doomed. And rarely when we are faced with our assumptions is there is a lot of evidence to them.

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10. You Are Not Defined by Your Fear

One fear does not define your life – be mindful of that. It is likely to lead you to thinking of all the times you’ve succeeded and bring a moment of calm, confidence and faith back to you.

11. Go with Fear

When you learn to go with fear, you could find yourself actually having fun, no seriously – having fun.

I have a few amazing clients I’m working with right now who would describe themselves as life long worriers, or pessimists. In the past that has served them well, enabling them to keep safe, steer clear of risks and even develop strategies in the event of disasters. However, now they find it’s becoming hard to break the cycle and they really want to because it’s holding them back.

Notice how they’ve found their hidden fears and want to face them?

One client said “I knew this was going to be tough, and I knew I couldn’t fight it alone and I knew you would be the one to help me.” Before I sat an incredibly successful, confident, capable business owner with a family and a social life to die for.

However, I’ve learned that the most successful looking lives can hide things that impact on life, success, love, happiness and business.

We didn’t start with the fear that they felt was holding them back, we broke the fear down, and found lots of little obstacles that had been deemed as “life” and “unchangeable” and “that’s just the way it is” by developing awareness to the little steps on the road to their obstacles to happiness and success they were able to tackle them in a different way.

12. Discover Great Skills in Your Scary Moments

And in that clients words “I came here to work with you to grow my company, and my own personal skills. I didn’t expect to get the children to be cleaning up after themselves and my partner being more attentive! It all feels a little magic.”

The moral is that out of the scariest of moments, we can find great skills we didn’t know we had. Find better, healthier, happier ways to live and find ways to enjoy life more. (And have a bit of magic!)

What a great place to be in ready for the next fear that thinks it’s going to get in the way of you, right?

13. Own Your Fear

Think back over these tips and come up with at least one example for each one. Write them down. Put them on your phone. Turn them into a piece of art. Turn them into a poem. Frame them. Go for a fast walk across the fields, beach, down town and repeat these things in your head to the sound of your feet on the ground.

We rarely take the time to appreciate how far we have come, how much we can achieve or what we are capable of – by really owning the tips in this article you will have given your brain a big fat dose of “Damn right I can do this!” and the motivation and accountability to say “Let’s find a way” through any fear.

You can’t help but feel good when you see that can you? And fear doesn’t stand a chance, does it?

More Resources About Fighting Fear

Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

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