Stress is usually characterized by symptoms such as agitation, tension, irritability, headaches, fatigue, low energy, mood imbalance and obsessive behavior, poor digestion, sleeping problems, lack of focus, reduced libido and weight gain or loss.
A common misconception is that anxiety is caused by stress, however its specific trigger points are worry and fear – especially the fear of what might happen. Thoughts can quickly turn into real, physical symptoms.
The following ingredients can be used to address the most common components of anxiety – feelings of anxiousness and nervousness, relaxation difficulties, reduced mental capacity and decreased resistance to stress. These include:
Passionflower – has been shown to significantly reduce anxiety and associated symptoms.
Ashwagandha – studies have demonstrated that it significantly reduces stress while also reducing symptoms of anxiety and improving quality of life. It works to support adrenals by enabling the body to respond appropriately to stress with lower amounts of cortisol, thus helping them return to normal more quickly. It also alleviates mental fatigue by inhibiting an enzyme that degrades the neurotransmitter (acetylcholine) which plays a role in blood circulation in the brain.
Theanine – known for its ability to promote relaxation and healthy mood balance without causing drowsiness by increasing alpha brain waves. This amino acid helps reduce tension and anxiety as well as prevents significant increases in blood pressure.
American Ginseng – is used more specifically to relieve physical nervousness. Also helps to support cognitive function and working memory.
Holy Basil – improves symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.
Additional ingredients play an important role in nourishing, regulating and moderating the central nervous system to allow one to manage stress before it causes permanent damage.
Rhodiola –helps to cope with daily stress and promotes mental performance. It helps the body adapt to stress by moderating the levels and activity of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain.
Lemon Balm Extract – increases the availability of GABA in the brain. Studies show a 72% reduction in stress-related symptoms.
5-HTP – works well with theanine to help regulate mood. 5-HTP is naturally occurring and is involved in the biosynthesis of the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin that are derived from tryptophan.
Choline & Inositol – these are often referred to as brain food because they help ensure proper brain function and stress response.
Black pepper - helps the absorption of other nutrients
Cloves, cinnamon and allspice – these act as antioxidants and reduce inflammation in tissues, protecting brain cells from damage caused by stress, anxiety and mood swings.
Other recommended lifestyle tips to manage stress and anxiety include:
- Eating well
- Exercising regularly
- Surrounding yourself with love and support
- Making meaningful connections with others
- Getting sufficient sleep
- Taking time for yourself
- Going outside and enjoying nature
- Recognizing and avoiding stress triggers
- Exploring holistic approaches
- Keep things in perspective
Did you know? Omega 3’s found in fish and fish oils help promote healthy mood balance and support cognitive health and brain function.
For more information on differentiating between stress and anxiety or questions regarding natural ingredients and formulas, ask a natural health product advisor or health professional.
This column is sponsored by Good ‘n’ Natural in Steinbach.