The Right Supplement Might Help Quell Stress And Anxiety
Most of us live with a low-simmering level of stress from trying to juggle work and family responsibilities to navigating sudden problems, such as a job loss or health scare. And now, we are all experiencing added stress from the anxiety and unknowns of living in the age of COVID-19. A May 2020 survey by the American Psychological Association found not surprisingly that stress about work and the economy has increased over the past year, especially among parents.
Elevated stress hormones, especially cortisol, can increase inflammation, reduce immunity, and raise the risk for high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack. In fact, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, chronic stress can negatively impact every aspect of your health and contribute to a wide range of problems that include:
Stress is a problem we clearly need to address, but what can we do? The good news is that there are numerous strategies that have been shown to be effective for relieving stress, including eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of sleep, exercising regularly, talking to friends or a mental health professional, and engaging in relaxation techniques and meditation, just to name a few.
Tip : Make Quick Stress Relief A Habit
Its not easy to remember to use your senses in the middle of a minior or not so minocrisis. At first, it will feel easier to just give into pressure and tense up. But with time, calling upon your senses will become second nature. Think of the process like learning to drive or play golf. You dont master the skill in one lesson; you have to practice until it becomes second nature. Eventually youll feel like youre forgetting something if you dont tune into your body during challenging times. Heres how to make it habit:
Start small. Instead of testing your quick stress relief tools on a source of major stress, start with a predictable low-level source of stress, like cooking dinner at the end of a long day or sitting down to pay bills.
Identify and target. Think of just one low-level stressor that you know will occur several times a week, such as commuting. Vow to target that stressor with quick stress relief every time. After a few weeks, target a second stressor and so on.
Test-drive sensory input. If you are practicing quick stress relief on your commute to work, bring a scented handkerchief with you one day, try music another day, and try a movement the next day. Keep experimenting until you find a clear winner.
Have fun with the process. If something doesnt work, dont force it. Move on until you find what works best for you. It should be pleasurable and noticeably calming.
Give Yourself A Squeeze
You know how your cat will go all rigid for a second, tensing all those kitty muscles and then relaxing them? That looks kind of good, right? Well, you can try it too or a version of it anyway.
Progressive relaxation involves tensing and releasing muscles, body part by body part. You may not have time to do your whole frame in five minutes, but just arms, shoulders, neck, and head will suffice.
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What Science Says About Curcumin
Amazingly, curcumin has been found to reverse harmful brain changes induced by chronic stress.
Human studies are also showing its potential to fight stress. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology showed that taking 500 mg of curcumin twice daily, with fenugreek, considerably reduced stress, anxiety, and fatigue while significantly increasing the quality of life in people suffering from extreme occupational stress.
In another 2015 study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, 400 mg of curcumin was given to healthy adults aged 60 to 85. Only one hour after a single dose, participants scored better on tasks requiring sustained attention and working memory. Continuous use for weeks improved scores on working memory and mood, including general fatigue, calmness, and contentedness.
And it can even help with PMS. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in 2016 in Neuropeptides, Curcumin was found to reduce anxiety experienced by women with PMS and to significantly reduce PMS-related emotional, behavioral, and physical symptoms.
These 4 Herbal Supplements Are Natures Stress Remedies
While stress may be more common these days, it has affected people for thousands of years. In ancient times, people used herbal therapies celebrated in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda to help manage stress. Consider yourself a skeptic? Rest assured that recent clinical studies are lending credibility to long-held beliefs regarding the impact of herbal medicines.
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Quick Stress Relief At Home
Entertaining. Prevent pre-party jitters by playing lively music. Light candles. The flicker and scent will stimulate your senses. Wear clothes that make you feel relaxed and confident.
Kitchen. Ease kitchen stress by breathing in the scent of every ingredient. Delight in the delicate texture of an eggshell. Appreciate the weight of an onion.
Children and relationships. Prevent losing your cool during a spousal spat by squeezing the tips of your thumb and forefinger together. When your toddler has a tantrum, rub lotion into your hands and breathe in the scent.
Sleep. Too stressed to snooze? Try using a white noise machine for background sound or a humidifier with a diffuser for a light scent in the air.
Creating a sanctuary. If clutter is upsetting, spend 10 minutes each day to tidy. Display photos and images that make you feel happy. Throw open the curtains and let in natural light.
Get A Hug From A Loved One
Physical touch can do a lot to relieve your stress. Hugging a loved one can be especially beneficial.
When you hug someone, oxytocin is released. Oxytocin is associated with higher levels of happiness and lower levels of stress.
Oxytocin also causes a reduction in blood pressure. It reduces the stress hormone norepinephrine and can produce a sense of relaxation.;
So don’t be afraid to ask a loved one for a hug if you need it. It’s good for both of you and it can be one of the simplest forms of stress relief available.
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Listen To Your Favorite Tunes
Surely you have a Spotify playlist to pep you up or soothe your soul. Crank it. Just listening to music has relaxation benefits, one study shows Linnemann A, et al. . Music listening as a means of stress reduction in daily life. DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2015.06.008 .And if youre not going to bug anyone else, go ahead and sing along. You know you want to.
Lifestyle And Home Remedies:
- Keep physically active. Develop a routine so that you’re physically active most days of the week. Exercise is a powerful stress reducer. It may improve your mood and help you stay healthy. Start out slowly and gradually increase the amount and intensity of your activities.
- Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs. These substances can cause or worsen anxiety. If you can’t quit on your own, see your doctor or find a support group to help you.
- Quit smoking and cut back or quit drinking caffeinated beverages. Both nicotine and caffeine can worsen anxiety.
- Discuss your concerns. Talking with a trusted friend helps relieve stress and may provide a more positive perspective on your situation. This may lead to ;healthy plan of action.
- Use stress management and relaxation techniques. Visualization techniques, meditation and yoga are examples of relaxation techniques that can ease anxiety.
- Learn to relax. Your goal is to lower your heart rate and blood pressure while also reducing muscle tension.
- Make sleep a priority. Do what you can to make sure you’re getting enough sleep to feel rested. If you aren’t sleeping well, see your doctor.
- Eat healthy. Healthy eating such as focusing on vegetables, fruits, whole grains and fish may be linked to reduced anxiety, but more research is needed.
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Tulsi Or Holy Basil An Adaptogen Herb You Can Take Daily To Help Your Body Respond To Stress
Tulsi, also known as holy basil or the queen of herbs, is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine, and is a member of the mint family.
This plant is a powerful antioxidant. While people have used it for a variety of treatments, its most significant potential might be for stress-relief and relaxation.
People who take it often report that it gives them a calming energy and a general sense of well-being.
Tulsi has also been found to help regulate your blood sugar and support heart health.
In traditional healing systems, people have often taken this herb over a lifetime to increase vibrant health and longevity.
Chillax With Some Chocolate
When you need a quick break, break off a square of dark chocolate to boost your brain health and reduce stress Berk L, et al. . Dark chocolate increases acute and chronic EEG power spectral density response of gamma frequency for brain health: enhancement of neuroplasticity, neural synchrony, cognitive processing, learning, memory, recall, and mindfulness meditation. DOI: 10.1096/fasebj.2018.32.1_supplement.878.10 . As an added bonus, dark chocolate is lower in sugar than milk chocolate, but it hits the sweet tooth sweet spot.
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Tip : Bring Your Senses To The Rescue
To use your senses to quickly relieve stress, you first need to identify the sensory experiences that work best for you. This can require some experimentation. As you employ different senses, note how quickly your stress levels drop. And be as precise as possible. What is the specific kind of sound or type of movement that affects you the most? For example, if youre a music lover, listen to many different artists and types of music until you find the song that instantly lifts and relaxes you.
Explore a variety of sensory experiences so that no matter where you are, youll always have a tool to relieve stress.
The examples listed below are intended to be a jumping-off point. Let your imagination run free and come up with additional things to try. When you find the right sensory technique, youll know it!
How Adaptogens Can Give You Calm And Clarity
Adaptogens promote balance in many systems of your body. Remarkably, they can calm you down and boost your energy at the same time, without over-stimulating you.
While some adaptogens work quickly, most work over time and have cumulative benefits. Some people take them daily for months before getting the full effects.
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How Can We Handle Stress In Healthy Ways
Stress serves an important purposeit enables us to respond quickly to threats and avoid danger. However, lengthy exposure to stress may lead to mental health difficulties or increased physical health problems. A large body of research suggests that increased stress levels interfere with your ability to deal with physical illness. While no one can avoid all stress, you can work to handle it in healthy ways that increase your potential to recover.
There are several other methods you can use to relax or reduce stress, including:
Connect With Your Breath
Youre probably already breathing unless youre holding your breath. We tend do that when were in a tizzy. Whether youre holding in your air, taking shallow sips of it, or hyperventilating, you might be adding to the stress response in your body.
The good news is that taking slow, full breaths can calm you. Try a quick breathing exercise to get back to a more relaxed state.
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To Aid Those With Acute Anxiety: Rescue Remedy
Rescue Remedy, a combination of five flower essences, is designed for immediate relief from stress or some kind of trauma, says Lindsay F., former homeopath at our Santa Fe store. The formula includes essences of rock rose, clematis, impatiens, cherry plum and star of Bethlehem and is designed to restore a sense of balance to the body.
Stress And Mental Health
The problem is that although these stressors are not immediately deadly,
;. . . being under chronic stress is of significant concern.
A chronic state of stress can eventually lead to things like weight gain, poor digestion, feeling drained and exhausted all the time.
Additionally, exposure to stress hormones can:
- and increase the risk of substance abuse, anxiety, and depression.
The reason these hormones are so impactful on our mental health is that they are able to bind to receptors in the brain; changing both structure and function.
Research backs up the impact of chronic stress on our health and shows that long-term, stress can be the underlying cause for chronic diseases such as heart disease, heart attacks, weight gain/loss, high blood pressure, etc. Left unmanaged, it can really impact your sleep too, causing excessive sleepiness or insomnia.
Chronic stress can also lead to other negative health behaviors such as drinking, smoking, and overeating as a way to cope . All of these symptoms, whether mental or, physical are interconnected.
Stress hormones are a major trigger of systemic inflammation . Inflammation is the underlying cause of almost every chronic disease. To help you avoid these issues as much as possible, Ive put together this list of some of the most useful supplements whose ingredients have been shown by science to naturally fight stress.
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What Science Says About Lemon Balm
Randomized, double-blind research in 2004 in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine gave participants a single dose of lemon balm or a placebo. After an hour, those taking the higher dose reported reduced stress and improved calmness and alertness.
In another 2011 study, 20 adults with moderate anxiety and insomnia were given 300 mg of lemon balm twice per day for 15 days. Researchers found the lemon balm;reduced anxiety and related symptoms by as much as 18%;and decreased insomnia by 42%. And they observed no adverse effects.
Lemon balm is also able to effectively increase GABA activity in the brain. Your brain uses the neurotransmitter GABA to prevent over-excitement and achieve balance. It helps keeps our stress levels low and plays a role in sleep.
Simple Ways To Relieve Stress And Anxiety
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Stress and anxiety are common experiences for most people. In fact, 70% of adults in the United States say they feel stress or anxiety daily.
Here are 16 simple ways to relieve stress and anxiety.
Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to combat stress.
It might seem contradictory, but putting physical stress on your body through exercise can relieve mental stress.
The benefits are strongest when you exercise regularly. People who exercise regularly are less likely to experience anxiety than those who dont exercise .
There are a few reasons behind this:
- Stress hormones: Exercise lowers your bodys stress hormones such as cortisol in the long run. It also helps release endorphins, which are chemicals that improve your mood and act as natural painkillers.
- Sleep: Exercise can also improve your sleep quality, which can be negatively affected by stress and anxiety.
- Confidence: When you exercise regularly, you may feel more competent and confident in your body, which in turn promotes mental wellbeing.
- Try to find an exercise routine or activity you enjoy, such as walking, dancing, rock climbing or yoga.
Activities such as walking or jogging that involve repetitive movements of large muscle groups can be particularly stress relieving.
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How To Use Ashwagandha In Your Life
If youre feeling fatigued or burned out or like you need to relax and get some sleep, ashwagandha may be able to help.
Finding products made with ashwagandha root is typically best.
Some ways to use this herb:
- Made into tea
- As a capsule or tablet
- In a liquid extract or tincture
- As a powder, which you can add to foods and beverages
People have used ashwagandha traditionally in India in a powder mixed with warm milk, taken about an hour before bed. Ashwagandha is also often added to golden milk recipes made with turmeric. You can make plant-based versions of golden milk with unsweetened non-dairy milk and ashwagandha powder.
While taking ashwagandha is considered safe for most people, some health professionals advise against taking it if youre pregnant or breastfeeding.
Looking For Foods That Help With Anxiety Research Shows That Some Foods Act As Natural Remedies For Anxiety While Others Can Send You Into Overdrive Try These 8 Foods That Reduce Anxiety Today
Are you struggling to keep anxiety at bay even though you meet regularly with a therapist, take your medication as prescribed, and have a good support system? The truth is, treatment for anxiety shouldnt stop when you leave your therapists office, screw the lid back on the pill bottle, or step away from your family and friendseffective anxiety management involves one other significant factor: your diet. If you havent tried tweaking what you eat then you may be missing an important opportunity to beat back your anxiety.
Doctors and dietitians are starting to understand more about how the nutritional properties of the foods we eat affect the brain. There is a clear and important connection between the brain and the gut, explains Jodi Godfrey, MS, RD, a health and nutrition educator. Researchers now refer to the gut as the second brain. When essential nutrients are not sufficiently available, there is a direct effect on the production of neurotransmitters and brain chemistry that can increase or lessen anxiety-related behaviors.
The modifications you can make to your diet are as simple as swapping out foods could be spiking your anxiety for foods that may lessen the severity of your symptoms. Avoid binge-eating your go-to comfort foods and enjoy nutritious superfoods with mood-boosting properties. Youll feel better for it.
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