Stressed? Calming Solutions For Your Mind & Body
Stress has become a dominant player in our health these days. We’re all familiar with the immediate effects stress can have on our lives including headache, muscle tension, fatigue, and stomach upset. Chronic stress can have even larger effects on the body like a higher risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system. How we manage our stress is important to the quality of our health and the health of those around us.
With the holiday season soon upon us, I thought we might want to get ahead of the curve and discuss ways to prevent and deal with stress.
Easy Tips for Reducing Everyday Stress
Get your thoughts down on paper – If you’re like most of us, unwinding before bedtime can be a challenge and huge obstacle for sound sleep. If worrying about everything you need to do the next day keeps you up at night, try writing everything down before you go to bed. The act of writing these things down allows you to clear your mind, reduce your stress and allow for better, sound sleep.
Exercise – Research has long shown the connection between physical activity and improved sleep. Something as simple as taking a walk will work wonders in reducing your stress load. In fact, walking is quickly becoming a preferred method of meditation.
Ditch your tech - Crazy, right! Easier said than done but putting your phone aside for as little as 15 minutes at a time can be helpful. Particularly before sleep.
Supplements That Help Without the Side Effects Found with RX
Ashwagandha – Best known as a calming agent, Ashwagandha is an ancient Ayurvedic herb used to support the body stress response, reduce stress and anxiety, assist the immune system, and support cognition as well as help to regulate thyroid function, especially in women. Ashwagandah has been a studied and proven benefit in our diet for over 4,000 years.
Vitamin B12 - Taking in adequate amounts of vitamin B-12 can help reduce stress by promoting healthy nervous system function. When the nervous system is functioning properly, the adrenal glands do not secrete as much cortisol—the hormone produced during times of stress that causes "fight or flight" response.
Feed Your Microbiome – Recent medical breakthroughs indicate a direct link between our gut microbiome and mental/brain health. This is known as the gut-brain axis. The importance of the gut-brain axis in maintaining homeostasis has long been appreciated. However, the past 15 years has seen the emergence of the microbiota (the trillions of microorganisms within and on our digestive system) as one of the key regulators of gut-brain function. Keeping our gut microbiome in balance is the key. This is achieved through diet (less sugar, more fiber), limited alcohol, and limited antibiotics among other things. Adding a probiotic/prebiotic supplement to your daily regimen is a great way to support the health of your gut microbiome.
The Bottom Line
Although stress may arise in your life, whether at your workplace or in your personal life, there are many simple ways to reduce the pressure you feel. These tips often involve getting your mind away from the source of stress. Exercise, mindfulness, and diet can all work to manage and relieve your stress. Key, proven supplements can provide that added level of support we all need to get our bodies and minds in peaceful balance.
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