From the minute we wake up, many of us enter go-mode.
We may shower, eat breakfast, check our inboxes for any pre-work emergencies, before commuting and dealing with deadlines and meetings. All before heading home, cooking dinner, cleaning up, and preparing for work the next day, lather, rinse, repeat.
When our bodies are on hyperdrive over a long period, it may seem difficult to unwind. Despite eating healthy, exercising, or practicing mindfulness, you may still feel exhausted and on edge. The health and wellness market is teeming with natural supplements that can help you manage your daily stress and improve your overall wellness. Our guide will walk you through some of their benefits.
What is stress––and is it necessary?
Stress is our body’s natural response to a perceived or actual threat. In the face of danger, we may respond physically, emotionally, or psychologically. Stress is a normal, not to mention, a necessary part of our survival.
The UK Mental Health Foundation defines stress as “the feeling of being overwhelmed or unable to cope with mental or emotional pressure.” When you experience stress, your body produces cortisol, which can increase your blood sugar and adrenaline levels, preparing you for “fight or flight.”
You’ll feel the effects of stress in several ways: rapid heartbeat, ringing in the ears, perspiration, sharper sense of hearing, and muscle tension or trembling.
Short-term stress (acute stress), may exist for a few minutes or a couple of hours.
It is inevitable and in many ways, unavoidable. For example, public speaking or a job interview may cause acute stress. The Mayo Clinic claims acute stress can actually be good for you because it can act as a motivator or energize you into action. Once the event is over, the symptoms of stress may also disappear.
Long-term stress can plague us for hours, days, weeks, or even longer. Sustained, elevated cortisol and adrenaline levels can leave us feeling fatigued, anxious, or depressed.
It may increase your likelihood of developing hypertension, cardiovascular disease, stroke, migraines, gastrointestinal issues, Alzheimer’s, or certain types of cancer.
The American Psychological Association (APA) reports chronic stress can also increase inflammation in the body, especially in the circulatory system, which is what may connect chronic stress to a heart attack.
The effects of stress on the body (and mind)
Mental health effects
Anxiety: Acute anxiety is common, but chronic anxiety can interfere with our quality of life. It can disrupt our sleep, cause panic attacks, migraines, fatigue, and unexplained aches and pains.
- Depression: Depression can leave us feeling sad, empty, or with thoughts of self-harm. Insomnia or fatigue can also occur. Your memory and decision-making process can be affected, and you’ll be at a higher risk of developing a heart attack.
Tips for managing stress
Healthy diet and exercise
A diet free of processed food and rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins can provide your body with the vitamins and nutrients it needs to function at its best.
Moderate exercise may also help us fight the effects of stress and may even leave us feeling better rested. Research also shows moderate aerobic exercise can decrease the stress hormones in your body.
Good sleep hygiene
Stress can wreak havoc on our sleep and ability to feel rested. It is essential to establish a healthy routine and stick to it as much as possible. Try to climb into bed at the same time each night, and set your alarm to wake up at the same time every day.
Set personal and professional boundaries
Sometimes it can be difficult to say “no” to our bosses or family members. Setting boundaries will allow you to prioritize your time and manage your workload, which may help you feel less overextended, tired, and stressed.
Practice yoga or meditation
Mindfulness is at the heart of yoga or meditation. It forces us to retreat into our core and focus on the present moment starting with our breathing or heartbeat. So, we may worry less and experience fewer symptoms of stress.
Focus on your social life
Stress can leave us feeling isolated, and sometimes the last thing we want when we’re feeling low is to be around other people. Sometimes, a good friend can provide a listening ear and a necessary shoulder to lean on.
Your internal dialogue is important, as it can influence your outlook and wellbeing. Give yourself the grace you deserve by practicing self-love.
You can do this in a whole range of ways, but you might want to consider: 1. Taking yourself on a lunch date; 2. Allocating one hour each day for leisurely reading; 3. Ordering food delivery or picking up a healthy takeaway once a week; 4. Speaking kindly to yourself on a daily basis.
How to manage stress using natural supplements
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)––also called Indian ginseng, poison gooseberry, and winter cherry–-is an adaptogenic herb used in Ayurvedic medicine as a stress-reducing tonic. It’s grown in India and is also found in Africa and the Middle East.
Its roots contain the purest and least toxic form of ashwagandha extract, but its leaves are also used in several supplements on the market. Clinically proven to lower your cortisol levels, ashwagandha can help us combat stress at its source. One of its purest forms, KSM-66, is sourced from the roots of the plant and can be found in products like Earths Secret Calm Complex.
Ashwagandha comes in capsules, gummies, powder, tinctures, liquid extract, and some retailers are even infusing it into energy bars and other products.
Some consumers may use the powder form in diverse ways. For example, you can mix it into a pre-workout smoothie or add it into a warm glass of milk before bedtime.
Ginseng root is a staple in Eastern medicine and is known for its anti-inflammatory benefits. The most popular include American Ginseng and Asian Ginseng.
Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is a plant-based herb used to treat anxiety and may have a calming effect on the mind.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that maintains the nervous system, regulates blood pressure, and supports the immune system. Chronic stress can significantly reduce our magnesium levels.
This herb is grown in Europe, Asia, and North America and is known as “Nature’s Valium.” Its roots seem to have a sedating effect on the brain and body, and it’s used as a relaxer.
Ready to get a handle on your stress?
Stress can leave us feeling low and drained. Sometimes, a healthy diet and exercise aren’t enough. Since the source(s) of our stress can seem impossible to pinpoint, and our symptoms even more complicated to find relief from, we may need a comprehensive and all-natural way to combat it.
A natural health regime like Earths Secret’s Ultimate consists of a trifecta of all-natural supplements designed to target multiple areas of the body. Made from Earths Secret’s Calm, Thrive, and Sleep Complexes, Ultimate will help you target stress in a comprehensive way.
Get a handle on your stress, and free yourself to redirect your energy towards the things that matter to you the most.