According to the American Psychological Assn., the number of people who suffer from stress and anxiety has increased by 44% over the last five years. General anxiety disorders affect over 6 million people with women complaining of stress twice as much as men. Stress can be brought on by so many reasons, from rushed deadlines, social fears, childhood trauma, traumatic events to illness.
Natural approaches to stress may be tried before drugs. Starting with supporting the brain, good nutrition is essential including foods such as fish, hemp, avocados, coconut and nuts. Since the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline are responsible for creating equilibrium we need to realize that chronic stress can negatively affect the thyroid, blood sugar, bone density, belly fat production and cognitive performance.
In addition to relaxation techniques that include meditation, yoga, exercise, guided imagery and self hypnosis, you may consider taking holy basil which will have a calming effect which acts as a mild nervine due to it’s action that reduces histamine responses in the blood . Ashwaganda is another herb that helps in reducing cortisol levels. Rhodiola rosea is especially effective at curbing depression, decreasing fatigue and enhancing mental sharpness by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is considered the happy hormone. You have to be careful with rhodiola as it needs to be harvested at its peak and not past peak growing. Many cheaper supplements don’t care about that and you won’t get the effectiveness.
Astragalus is an adaptogenic herb that helps protect the body from prolonged stress. When processed correctly, it helps inhibit chromosomal instability by creating a healthy telomere microenvironment. This impacts telomere length (caps at the end of the DNA strand that prevents the DNA from unraveling or breaking) reducing cellular death and slows the aging process. L-Theanine is an amino acid (a building block for proteins) found in green tea. Evidence from human electroencephalograph (EEG) studies show that it has a direct effect on the brain. L-theanine significantly increases activity in the alpha frequency band which indicates that it relaxes the mind without inducing drowsiness. It increases serotonin and stimulates the brain’s alpha waves which induces relaxation. These two are a good combination and when I take a supplement that has them in it, I feel happy and my stress levels reduce. I call this MY HAPPY PILL. If you want to read more about it go to the website www.LongLifeNews.com and click on Cell Metrix. I’ve tried lots of supplements for stress and this one seems to get me smiling and let me cope much better with daily stresses, road rage and the computer !
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