For millions of people around the world, stress and anxiety are constant companions to daily life. In fact, mental health issues are accepted as normal to the extent that many people don’t realise the impact they have.
Living in a constant state of anxiety and stress does not have to be part of your life. While it’s healthy to experience times of stress in response to life events, it’s not to constantly feel high levels of stress.
Why do we need to beat stress and anxiety?
Stress and anxiety evolved to help us recognise the natural ‘fight or flight’ response we need to survive in a harsh world. But it shouldn’t be there every minute of every day. Of course, the first half of 2020 has brought with it unprecedented challenges for millions of people. The pandemic has resulted in rising anxiety and stress for just about everyone in one way or another.
Whether you’re worried about this virus itself, have lost a loved one, have experienced COVID-19 at first hand, or are concerned about schooling, childcare and finances, there is an endless array of extra stress connected with the global pandemic. And it’s all taking its toll on anxiety and stress levels.
How does stress and anxiety affect us?
Too much stress can cause health problems on its own. From weakening your immune system to causing nausea, migraines, insomnia and sometimes even cardiac problems. It’s all too easy to rely on all kinds of unhealthy habits to deal with stress. Whether it’s smoking, binge eating or drinking alcohol, these behaviours perpetuate a cycle that raises stress levels.
Chronic long-term stress affects everything, including mental and physical health. And it can take years off your life. Emotional stress in particular is extremely damaging to our immune systems and longevity. However, there are things we can all do to stave off the negative impact of stress.
As well as exercising regularly, eating well and taking the time to practice breathing techniques, we can also add vitamins and supplements to our daily diet. Look on herbal supplements and vitamins as nature’s way to help you lessen stress and anxiety. There are a number of vitamins and herbal supplements that are proven to lower stress levels and help with its symptoms.
Try these 6 supplements that help beat stress and anxiety
This plant is used a lot in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, and every one of its parts has useful properties to combat stress. There are many benefits to supplements containing Ashwagandha, but in particular studies say it helps to beat stress.
A study from 2017 shows that people taking Ashwagandha reported a 44% reduction in stress levels. The group treated with a placebo for stress only reported a 5.5% drop. This is significant enough to recommend Ashwagandha as a stress buster.
This plant comes from the northern areas of Europe and Asia. It’s been used medicinally since 77CE and is known as Golden Root. Rhodiola is used to boost energy and mood and to help lessen stress. A double-blind scientific study shows that Golden Root helps to increase alertness in people working nights and lessens stress.
Rhodiola’s specific properties are thought to deal specifically with fatigue and as this is a major cause of stress, it seems a good plan to try a supplement containing it.
Valerian root is known for encouraging high quality sleep, thanks to its calming effect. It’s been used to fight anxiety, insomnia and nerves since the 2nd Century AD, and there is plenty of scientific evidence to back up its efficacy. Keeping your stress levels in check means sleeping well, and supplementing with valerian root could help you do just that.
Another herb that has been proven to reduce stress is Bacopa Monnieri. It’s been used for centuries to boost memory, help people to focus, improve mood and reduce stress as part of Indian Ayurvedic medicine.
A study in 2011 showed that Bacopa lengthens the nerves in the brain, which could explain why it increases focus. It also has a significant ability to relieve stress by lowering cortisol levels.
5. Vitamin B complex
Stress levels, anxiety and general irritability are often caused by fatigue and low energy. And this can be caused by low levels of B vitamins, which are known to keep energy levels balanced and improve focus. Plenty of clinical data supports taking vitamin B complex to boost your energy and lessen stress levels.
Vitamin B is particularly thought to help people with the depression and anxiety felt when facing difficult situations. During this unprecedented time of global pandemic, there’s no doubt that taking a Vitamin B complex could help you deal with anxiety and stress.
This mineral is vital for your nerves and muscles to function properly. There is a lot of scientific evidence to show that magnesium levels are important for good sleep. Insomnia and stress go together, and by combating sleep issues you can significantly improve your stress levels. If this is a particular challenge for you, it’s worth trying a magnesium supplement.
Also live your best life with exercise and meditation
Vitamins and minerals should be part of an overall programme to live healthily. It’s not enough to add supplements to an unhealthy diet or one that contains a lot of alcohol. Under those circumstances, they won’t help you feel less stressed. Having a cup of herbal tea also can help to alleviate your anxiety and stress, Top 10 Supplement Reviews have listed out 5 herbal teas for you.
Include them as part of your healthy living and wellbeing plan, and as part of an active and healthy life. Always check with your doctor before adding supplements to your diet, particularly if you have underlying conditions or take other medications.