Stress is our body’s way of responding to threats. This natural process served us well when our natural world was full of dangers, but it hasn’t always been good for us as we’ve transitioned to a more civilized time. While stress responses kept us alert for the danger of saber-tooth tigers, and keeps us sharp today when prepping for a big presentation, our modern lives are full of distractions that can create a cycle of continually high stress levels and revolving anxiousness.
What Triggers Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety are broad terms that cover many different conditions. Likewise, the factors that cause both short-term and chronic stress are many, and can be either internal or external. Here are some examples of external and internal stressors.
- Major life changes, like a new job, moving, or a death in the family
- Environmental inputs like driving in heavy traffic
- Social activities
- Workplace pressures
Being aware that these external factors cause you to feel stress is helpful, but it can still be hard to shut them out.
- Unrealistic personal expectations
- Negative thinking
- Inability to accept uncertainty
As with external stressors, adopting a mindful approach to these ways of thinking is key to being in control of them.
The smart approach to handling stress and anxiety is to deal with symptoms of stress early before they become a serious, debilitating condition. So if you find yourself having to handle occasional bouts of anxiety and stress, try incorporating some of the following natural ingredients into your daily routine.
Try These Natural Stress Management and Anxiety Relief Supplements
There is no shortage of medications that are prescribed for stress and anxiety, and if your stress and anxiety levels are consistently high and having negative effects on your daily activities and lifestyle, you shouldn’t hesitate to consult with your physician about the possibility of using these medications.
For many of us, stress and anxiety hasn't reached that level just yet, but we’d still like to move through our day more calmly. That’s where natural stress-relieving ingredients can play a positive role. Here are some excellent ingredients to help you naturally relieve stress symptoms and improve your overall mental health.
This powerful adaptogenic herb, also known by its botanical name withania somnifera, is a staple of traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine. Its many therapeutic properties include improving endurance and strength, boosting sexual performance, improving mental function, and — of course — alleviating stress and feelings of anxiousness.
Ashwagandha fights stress and anxiety by lowering cortisol levels in our bodies; cortisol is known as the stress hormone, and it's released when we become stressed, especially during the fight or flight phenomenon. A significant lowering of cortisol levels has been achieved by daily doses of Ashwagandha over several months.
It’s important to use high-quality extracts of ashwagandha that provide the highest concentrations of active ingredients. KSM-66 Ashwagandha, featured in ASYSTEM’s Superhuman Supplements pack, sets the gold standard for this dietary supplement.
When your body is under stress, it produces the hormone DHEA in response to help manage the stress. But, as our bodies age, the production of DHEA is reduced. In a 2004 study, volunteers exposed to a stressful situation were tested for DHEA and cortisol before and after the situation. Those with lower DHEA levels found the situation more stressful.
Consider taking a regular supplement containing 25-50 mg of DHEA daily to keep your body’s DHEA levels topped off and ready to combat the effects of stress.
Of the many components of the vitamin B complex, B12 is the B vitamin associated with mood--low levels of B12 are associated with mental fatigue and mood changes.
With proper levels of B12, you’re more likely to experience healthy nervous system functioning, which can decrease the stress hormone cortisol. Consider taking a multivitamin with a healthy dose of B12 a part of your day to help keep stress at bay.
This hormone is vital to our bodies. Pregnenolone is made from cholesterol and produced by the adrenal glands. It is a building block for the production of hormones like testosterone, progesterone, estrogen, and others. In particular, its role in producing cortisol offers real potential in naturally relieving stress and anxiety.
For that reason, it has been suggested that supplementing with pregnenolone can help combat stress, plus help improve energy levels and support brain health.
CBD is used for a number of different applications, including pain relief. Additionally, many people who use CBD-derived products choose it for its ability to relieve feelings of anxiousness and stress naturally.
A review of existing CBD studies concluded that preclinical evidence supports the use of CBD for improving mental health. There are plenty of different ways to take CBD, from oils to edibles to vaping products. CBD is generally considered safe, but it's best to start with small amounts to check for possible side effects if ingesting it versus using a topical form. As always, consult with your health care provider if you have questions about starting a CBD regimen.
The calming effect of a hot cup of tea is universal knowledge. Taking a moment to put on the kettle and brew a cup of tea often provides just the break we need to snap the cycle of stress and anxiety. But, not all teas are created equal — some herbal teas are prized for their ability to help combat stress and feelings of anxiousness naturally.
- Chamomile tea is a favorite for relaxation. Like most herbal teas, there’s no caffeine, and this tea also naturally boosts serotonin and melatonin levels to help you relax.
- Valerian root tea has been used in herbal medicine for many years as a natural sedative. In fact, it’s often described as “nature’s valium.”
- Lavender tea is prized in aromatherapy for its calming effects. When used as a tea, you’ll not only enjoy the benefits of its calming aroma, but also its natural soothing effects on the muscles and joints.
- Kava is native to the Pacific islands of Micronesia. There, the root is brewed into a strong tea that’s valued for its calming effects. You’ll find kava bars in some trendy urban hotspots, but for most of us, it’s readily available in a more dilute form as a tea. Users swear by its relaxing qualities.
Other natural remedies
The list of natural remedies for stress is long so we can't quite cover them all at once, but here are some other natural ingredients that are often cited as stress and anxiety relievers.
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B6
- Lemon balm
- Theanine (an amino acid most commonly found in green tea)
- Rhodiola rosea
These supplements are widely found individually, or as ingredients in many commercial supplement blends. Be sure to read the ingredients for any supplement you take, and follow up with your physician to check for any interactions with medicines you may be currently taking.
Some Other Natural Ways to Relieve Stress
There are many other ways to help improve your overall mental well-being in addition to working the above-mentioned nutrients into your regular regimen. Try incorporating some of these stress-busting practices into your daily routine along with stress-relieving supplements for a balanced and holistic approach to mental wellness.
- Regular exercise
- Getting enough good sleep
- Cutting back on screen time
- Spending time in nature
- Eating a healthy diet and avoiding too many sweets and caffeine
These are only a few of the many proactive practices you can employ to handle stress and anxiety. As with adding natural ingredients to your diet, be consistent and give yourself time with these practices and you’ll reap the benefits.
Find Your Balance
Many of us live with more stress and anxiety than we desire. Tackling the challenges of anxiety and stress are goals for our whole body. By concentrating on the fundamentals of good nutrition, incorporating exercise and healthy activity, and adding smart stress-relieving natural ingredients to our diet, we can go a long way to making ourselves healthier, happier, and less-stressed.
As always, consult with your physician before adding supplements to your diet, particularly if you are taking other medications regularly.
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. ASYSTEM products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.