A Natural and Nutritional Approach to Stress Relief
Stress is a growing problem in the United States. Our fast paced society has created an environment where stress thrives. If you are feeling overwhelmed and stress is monopolizing your life, try using the following natural stress management techniques to find your peace of mind.
Give Yourself a Break
To relieve stress I have found the best way is to stand back from what you are doing and take a look at the big picture. If you run a business stand back and look at the business in its entirety. Then stand back a bit further, look at your life in entirety. Then stand back and look at your community, then another step back look at the human race, then another step back until you realise your a speck in the universe and what ever you’re stressed about really isn’t that important in the big scheme of things.
With these fresh eyes I go back to the problems at hand and tend to solve them quickly and easily. In the end its all about perspective. What is stressful to one will be an exciting challenge to another. Making the concious effort to have more exciting challenges and less stress is healthy.
Nutritional Approach to Stress Management
Certain foods and stimulants can trigger increased sense of anxiety, making us more prone to stress. Others have the effect of soothing the nervous system, or help increase our body’s ability to adjust to stressful situations.
Here are a few tips to use nutrition and herbs to manage stress:
1. Use “nervine” herbs, which are soothing to the nervous system to encourage calm and relaxation. Examples are chamomile, valerian, lemon balm and oats.
2. Use “adaptogens”, which condition the nervous system to deal with a broad range of stressors and quickly return to a state of balance once the stressor goes away, without robbing the body of vital energy. These include ashwagandha, tulsi (Holy Basil), shisandra Berry, eleuthero/Siberian Ginseng, rhodiola and passionflower.
3. Amino acids L-Theanine and GABA can help relive stress. Supplementation in therapeutic amount should be done under the supervision of a qualified health and wellness professional.
4. Calcium has a soothing effect on the nervous system. Increase intake of calcium-rich food (e.g. leafy greens, bone broth) – especially during dinner to help you wind down.
5. Reduce the use of stimulants such as caffeine. Explore coffee alternatives such as Yerba Mate, green tea, black tea, or Rooibos (African Red Bush) to avoid the caffeine jitter.
6. Reduce the intake of sugar and other processed and refined foods. Those can cause blood sugar fluctuations, increasing the chances of developing mood swings and anxiety, making you more prone to stress.