America has a stress problem.
Even before COVID-19 and the mass protests, Americans had been growing less happy and more stressed out.
And those numbers have spiked in recent months.
If you happen to turn on the news, it’s no wonder.
It’s hard to stay informed without being driven crazy by tragic headline after tragic headline, all broadcast at a breakneck pace.
Stress affects us both physiologically and psychologically.
It can cause headaches and muscle tension… fatigue and upset stomach.
Some react to stressful situations by becoming angry or sad. Stress can also cause a lack of focus and sleep problems.
And left unchecked, stress is a major contributor to serious health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.
So it’s absolutely vital that we manage stress. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools at your disposal. Here are three you may have never heard of.
Ancient Anxiety Relief
But there are also certain vitamins and supplements that work on the cellular level to help you reduce and better handle stress.
One of the best out there is an adaptogenic herb (a nontoxic plant that improves your body’s ability to handle stress) by the name of ashwagandha.
This herb has been used to relieve stress and improve concentration for more than 3,000 years.
In a concentrated form, ashwagandha has been shown to significantly reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
It also blocks stress pathways in the brain by regulating the response of the nervous system.
One small study published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry found that 88% of folks who took
ashwagandha felt less anxious and stressed.
Recommended levels range from 250 to 500 milligrams per day.
But a word of warning: Ashwagandha can interfere with thyroid, diabetes and blood pressure medications. So if you’re on any of those, be sure to check with your doctor before taking an ashwagandha supplement.
Hormone Help Another stress-busting go-to is Rhodiola rosea.
This is another versatile adaptogen that helps the body respond to and deal with stress.
Studies have shown that it increases the body’s resistance to stressors while also reducing stress hormone levels.
Rhodiola rosea is commonly found as a dried powder, as a liquid extract and in capsules in health food stores and vitamin shops.
The compound rosavin is the active ingredient found in Rhodiola rosea. So when looking into supplements, make sure that the ingredient label notes at least 3% rosavin.
Stress B Gone
Lastly, there are the B vitamins.
These are most commonly taken as energy enhancers, but B vitamins can also play a significant role as mood stabilizers.
B1, which is found in nuts, seeds and fish, is exceptionally good at this. It also keeps the nervous system healthy.
B2, which is in foods like eggs, salmon and dairy, also helps regulate mood.
Same goes for B3, B9 and B12.
Vitamin B6 helps with the production of neurotransmitters and increases mood-boosting serotonin levels. You can get this one from bananas and many legumes.
You can boost your B vitamin intake via your diet or a B-complex vitamin supplement.
And because B vitamins are all water-soluble and not stored in the body, it’s hard to overdo it with these.
Like what you’re reading? Let us know your thoughts here.