Many people-millions! –reside in a state of continuous stress, accepting it as an unfortunate consequence of modern, fast-paced life. While it’s perfectly normal to experience pressure from time to time–that the stress reaction evolved from our normal “fight or flight” reaction –it should not be a daily visitor. Frequent stress contributes to undesirable health consequences, including migraines and sleep disorders.
Far too often, we rely on unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking or regular alcohol use, to handle our anxiety. This can perpetuate a negative cycle that’s difficult to break. Knowing this, it is not surprising that stress is a leading factor in the six major causes of death in America, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and lung disease.
If you’re committed to leading a life of less stress, we’ve outlined simple steps that you may start now. We are not assuring complete bliss, but learning how to control your stress effectively can add years to your life!
Unchecked stress can take years off your life
Chronic stress affects our physical health, our health, and ultimately, our mortality. Emotional stress is especially damaging.
While stress is pervasive, there are ways to mitigate its effects. Besides practicing mindfulness or heavy breathing regularly, eating a nutritious diet, and getting great exercise, several herbal supplements and vitamins have been proven to help alleviate anxiety and its symptoms.
## These 4 herbal supplements are nature’s stress remedies while stress may be more common these days, it’s affected people for thousands of years. In early 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 authenticity to plagiarize beliefs regarding the impact of herbal medications.
Ashwagandha has a storied history in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. The entire plant, from roots to seeds, has beneficial properties, particularly when it has to do with anxiety reduction.
The benefits of Ashwagandha are broad-ranging, but it’s a celebrity when it comes to getting people to feel less stressed. One particularly intriguing study from 2017 revealed a 44% reduction in anxiety levels after taking Ashwagandha, instead of just a 5.5% reduction in the group taking a placebo. A randomized 2012 clinical trial demonstrated similarly impressive levels of stress reduction after only 60 days.
Rhodiola is a plant native to the arctic regions of Asia and Europe which has a rich history of medical usage dating back to 77 C.E. This plant, also known as Golden Root, is used for energy enhancement, to boost mood, and most critically, to decrease stress.
In 2009, double-blind research, Rhodiola was demonstrated to decrease stress, and increase endurance in physicians on night shifts. Working the night shift is notoriously stressful, therefore anything which can help those people ought to be able to assist others, too.
The most extensively studied property of Rhodiola is its capability to help people deal with exhaustion. Since fatigue often contributes to anxiety, whatever reduces fatigue can help in the battle against stress.
- Valerian Root
It might sound like something in the HBO show Game of Thrones, however, valerian is a perennial plant native to Europe. It has been used to aid with nervousness, stress, and sleep disturbances because of the second century A.D. There’s encouraging evidence that supplementing valerian root can decrease stress.
Valerian root is well known for encouraging quality sleep. This is largely because of the soothing, sedative effect. The best part?
Because lack of sleep is a trigger for stress, among those things you can do to improve your stress levels is get a good night’s rest. In case valerian root helps, it can be a powerful, very low side impact tool in your de-stressing arsenal.
Bacopa monnieri is a perennial herb that has proven stress-reducing benefits. It’s been used as a member of Indian Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to enhance learning, boost memory, sharpen focus, lower stress, and improve mood.
In a 2011 study with animals as subjects, Bacopa was demonstrated to increase the period of the brain nerves, which might lead to speeding up communication between these nerves.
Modern research has also concentrated on Bacopa’s remarkable ability to relieve stress, which it achieves partially by lowering glucose levels in the blood. Cortisol is the stimulating stress hormone, so lowering it has a highly effective relaxation effect.
How vitamin and nutrient deficiencies may promote stress
- Vitamin B complex
Low energy and fatigue can contribute to irritability and stress levels. This is the reason the B vitamins, which can be well known for keeping energy levels high and enhancing cognitive performance, may have a positive effect. Clinical data suggests that supplementing with a vitamin B complex can help keep your energy high and stress low.
Clinical trials also have shown that supplementing with a Vitamin B complex can help reduce “personal strain,” and depressed feelings once in high-stress situations. In essence, it supports a sense of tranquility and calm. If you would like to be more relaxed (and concentrated!) Under strain and pressure, supplementing with a B complex could be a major help.
Magnesium is a mineral that’s essential for muscle and nerve function. Multiple studies have shown that magnesium is particularly crucial for sleep, with supplementation helping in this regard. A 2012 study released by the National Institute of Health revealed that supplementing with calcium enhances sleep quality.
As mentioned, sleeplessness and anxiety go hand-in-hand. We all know the struggle and frustration of turning and tossing in bed all evening. If that is something you struggle with, magnesium is worth consideration.
4 lifestyle Strategies for Overcoming stress
It’s important to remember that the very first line of defense against anxiety are three key lifestyle factors: comfort, exercise, and diet. If you consume a balanced diet and have a consistent movement practice, you are not as likely to develop tension and stress disorders.
- Be here now: meditation and mindfulness are key
Additional breathing practices can be helpful for stress relief. Meditation particularly has been demonstrated to be relaxing and helpful in lessening the symptoms of tension and anxiety.
- Unplug regularly
If it’s work or personal relationships that have you stressed, you may want to “unplug” for a bit. Take a 24- or 48-hour break from electronics and social media. A 2011 study showed that detaching from work-related communicating during the non-work period was positively associated with worker recovery and wellness. A small ritual like putting your mobile phone out of sight, or even turning it off may lend instant relief!
- Drink green tea
Another way to reduce stress is to drink green tea, due to its L-theanine content. L-theanine is an amino acid found in green tea leaves. Studies show that L-theanine is very adept at reducing both the psychological and physiological stress responses.
Dr. Jeffrey Gladd, an integrative physician, says, “While Green tea can be helpful for stress, an individual has to also look at the caffeine ingestion and how they respond to it. Caffeine can be over-stimulating, resulting in additional strain instead of improvement. If this is true, think about a natural decaf green tea or look for L-theanine for a supplement”
- Connect with nature
There’s an emerging system of science indicating the curative power of natural configurations and environments. This could mean immersing yourself in the outside using a day at the beach or a boost. Alternatively, you can present natural components, like plants, into your workplace or home.
Live your best life
Yet, even those who meditate, drink tea, exercise, and eat healthfully are likely to take care of stress. It’s a part of living a full and active life.
That being the case, you will set yourself up for success if you strategically supplement with herbs and vitamins which are scientifically proven to lower your stress and boost your energy. Consult with your healthcare provider, or take an online lifestyle assessment to receive personalized supplement advice tailored to your unique needs.