Stress gives you more than just a headache. From high blood pressure to weight gain, the accumulated stresses of everyday life can damage your health in a number of serious ways. And with the endless demands of modern living making us busier than ever before, things aren’t likely to get any easier.
So before you reach for the Valium, why not check out these natural treatments for stress? Used alongside other stress management techniques, supplements really can leave you feeling calmer, stronger, and most importantly, ready to deal with whatever life throws at you.
Feeling stressed? Stock up on ashwagandha. By reducing the effect that cortisol has on the body, adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha help to restore balance, making it easier for you to psychologically and physiologically handle stressful situations.
In one of the most complete human studies to date, researchers studied the effect of ashwagandha on stress levels. The results were impressive. They found that participants who took a daily dose of the supplement reported reduced fatigue, more energy, and an improved sense of wellbeing. On top of that, their cortisol levels decreased by up to 26 percent.
Considering the long-term damage of sky-high cortisol levels, these results are huge. They suggest that ashwagandha can both ease the symptoms of stress in the short term, as well as lay the groundwork for long term health benefits.
Known by some as “nature’s Valium”, magnesium plays an important role in tackling stress and anxiety. By stimulating GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) receptors in the brain, this vital mineral can help relieve a whole load of stress-related problems, including generalized anxiety disorder, IBS and panic attacks.
But that’s not the only way magnesium leaves you feeling calm. Researchers have also found that it restricts the release of stress hormones, acting as a filter in preventing them from entering the brain. The link between magnesium and stress is clear, yet with up to 75 percent of the population deficient in the mineral, it’s obvious that we’re not getting enough. So try boosting your intake with a daily supplement, as well as an extra helping of magnesium-rich leafy greens and whole grains.
When you start to feel stressed, it may be a good idea to boost your intake of B Vitamins. Recent research has found that these water-soluble vitamins are vital in helping the body deal with the stresses and strains of life. In fact, a study from Melbourne University found that participants taking a Vitamin B-Complex supplement reported a 20 percent reduction in work related stress. This is in contrast to the control group in the study, who were given a placebo and reported no significant change in stress levels.
Made up of thiamine, niacin, pyridoxine, and folic acid among others, a Vitamin B complex supplement has been proven to zap stress, boost energy, and even improve memory.
Melatonin has long been known as an all-natural sleep aid. But this hormone doesn’t just help you nod off – it can also help alleviate stress. Research suggests that melatonin not only helps promote healthy sleep patterns, but it can also improve a whole range of anxiety disorders, including depression, behavioral disorders and stress.
While more research needs to be done, many people have reported a noticeable decrease in stress levels with melatonin. But as with any natural supplement, it’s best to listen to your body.
This remedy has been used for centuries. And for good reason: valerian root has been proven to help ease the symptoms of stress. Early research indicates that this all-natural supplement could be helpful in reducing blood pressure, heart rate, and feelings of pressure brought on by stressful situations.
You may even have tried valerian before without realizing it. A popular ingredient in sleep-promoting teas, this is a supplement that’s guaranteed to leave you feeling calm, relaxed, and ready to face the world.