The following post is paid for by New Hope Network’s Inside the Bottle and its partners in high-quality nutrition: Natural Factors, NatureWise, NeoCell, Orgenetics, Sabinsa, SoftGel, Trust Transparency Consulting.
In a perfect world, everything would be rainbows and butterflies all the time, we'd get all of our nutrients from a well balanced diet without the need of added supplements, and there would be world peace. While rainbows, butterflies, a well balanced diet, and even world peace are attainable and can happen, sometimes we need a little help from our friends.
In this case, those friends are nutritional and/or herbal supplements. I'd like to share with you #whatsupp (actually, multiple supplements) have helped to keep my anxiety and stress levels under control.
Raise your hand if you have a hard time overcoming stress, or have ever had anxiety of any kind. How about a panic attack?
Stress happens. Big (or consistent) life events can become overwhelming extremely fast. They can leave you feeling lost, depressed, detached, and full of anxiety. Know that these feelings are okay, and you CAN ask for help with how to deal with stress. I feel that so many people don't know how to deal with stress and anxiety in a productive way, partially because they might just be fully unaware that lifestyle changes and nutritional supplements can actually help, or they just don't have the courage to ask for help.
I know stress and I know it well. Here's the short version of my story: Three years ago, my Dad was diagnosed with stage IV cancer. In the same week, my boyfriend was dealing with health issues and became unemployed (meaning I was supporting us), and, I also decided to go back to school part-time while working full-time in a hotel kitchen. Over the past few years at various times, I've felt overwhelmed, had many breakdowns, almost panic attacks, high blood pressure, insomnia, tension headaches, and times of depression. It was both of one of the darkest times in my life, but also one of the most eye-opening, as I learned so much about myself, what I'm capable of, and who "my people" are. And, I wouldn't be where I am today, which I'm pretty proud of!
Lifestyle changes and practicing mindfulness is a great option and can work wonders when it comes to stress and anxiety, and so can some nutritional and herbal supplements! I seriously love herbs. So much so, that I focused my studies for my diploma in holistic health practice on them!
So, #Whatsupp is my favorite for stress and anxiety?
Ashwagandha Withania somnifera!
You're probably thinking "ashwa-what-a?! What the heck is that?"
Before you write me off, hear me out! You'll need to know these two types of herbs before I go any further so we can be on the same page:
Adaptogens and Nervines
Adaptogens help the body cope with and adapt to stress. In a nutshell, adaptogens are AMAZING when it comes to keeping stress and anxiety at bay. They increase the body's resistance to stress AND help the body adapt physiologically, meaning whatever comes your way won't make you crash! Some other adaptogens include astragalus, holy basil (tulsi), reishi mushrooms, and eleuthero (formerly known as Siberian ginseng).
Nervines support the nervous system. They can be divided into a few groups, but the ones I mention here are nervine relaxants, which ease anxiety and tension by calming the body and mind.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb. I take ashwagandha almost everyday. Why? Because when I take ashwagandha, my anxiety goes away and stressful situations that used to turn into an almost anxiety attack or would stress me out to the point of shutting down, no longer do!
I sometimes get really nervous and feel drained around large crowds or when I'm put on the spot. Like, to the point where I start sweating, can't speak clearly, and stumble on my words. When I take a supplement with ashwagandha and a lovely blend of nervine herbs such as lemon balm, lavender, chamomile, and passion flower, I notice an almost immediate difference.
Chronic or acute stress can also cause sleeping problems, and guess what! There's a supplement for that! Actually, there are many available these days. A good night's rest is essential to reducing stress and anxiety. I know that I get MORE stressed when I know that I can't sleep well. You're talking to a night owl here who has an extremely hard time falling asleep before 2 am. (I don't usually get home from work until after 10 pm. #kitchenlife).
#WHATSUPP IS USEFUL FOR AN OCCASIONAL SLEEPLESS NIGHT?
These are the most popular:
Magnesium - Promotes a normal stress response, allowing your muscles to relax, leading to better sleep.
Melatonin - A hormone that regulates sleep and sleepiness. It has been shown to decrease the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep. Other research also supports it for mood.
Sour Cherry - A natural source of melatonin.
Relaxing Amino Acid
L-Theanine, L-Glycine, L-Tryptophan - L-Tryptophan is what makes you so sleepy after gorging on thanksgiving dinner. L-Glycine has a particular effect on the brain and the central nervous system, calming overactive brain neurons. It can also help you to feel rested and refreshed the next day. L-Theanine may reduce stress and anxiety, have a calming effect, and even enhance focus, memory, and attention.
5-HTP - (5-Hydroxytryptophan) - 5-HTP is an amino acid that increases seratonin levels to promote restful sleep, manage stress, and decrease sugar cravings.
Herbs that are nervines can also work quite well when it comes to sleep by helping you to relax and feel calm. Herbs such as chamomile, lavender, lemon balm, skullcap, hops, and valerian are popular choices.
I have tried various supplements that include a mixture of many of these, as well as all of the herbs (some in blends or by itself) and I have to say that they work very well for the occasional sleepless night! I am able to fall asleep easily, sleep well, and wake up feeling rested and not groggy at all! Feeling that way is essential to having less stress and anxiety!
Now, keep in mind that is is ALWAYS important to consult your licensed healthcare professional before you decide to take any supplements, especially if you are currently taking any medications. Many of these herbs that I have mentioned here are considered safe, but some herbs DO have contraindications with certain medications.
Feel free to check out one of my older posts on how to choose a multivitamin here, and also download a copy of INSIDE THE BOTTLE, an inside look on understanding supplements today here!
I hope you find this information useful! #WHATSUPP would you like to try for stress or anxiety?
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