STRESS is a common problem for many , but fortunately with lifestyle changes and natural support, it is possible to bounce back to good health. Liz Chandler from Natures Corner, Newbury, explores the different types of stress, how it effects us and some possible solutions.
Stress can be caused by work pressure, financial worries, social isolation, poor relationships, illness, poor dietary habits, physical inactivity and alcohol, to name but a few.
The effects of chronic stress are often serious, relentless and very common. Stress can re-wire our brain chemistry leading to a hyperactive nervous system, resulting in feelings of irritability, agitation, anxiety, panic, poor sleep, increased appetite and vulnerability to addiction.
This is known as ‘strung out’. Chronic stress can also progress to chronic fatigue, despair, depression and the feeling of being ‘burnt out’.
‘Strung out’. A number of studies have shown that certain natural supplements can ease symptoms and improve mental focus.
In particular, L-Theanine, which naturally occurs in green tea and Lemon balm, a culinary herb, can aid relaxation and calm down an agitated mind and nervous system.
‘Burnt out’. Some of the most prized natural remedies for dealing with chronic stress and building resilience are known as ‘adaptogens’, and these simply help our bodies adapt to stress.
Amongst the most effective are Ashwaganda, and Rhodiola. Ashwaganda is known as a tonic and can promote physical and mental health, rejuvenate the body in debilitated conditions and increase longevity. It is a safe and effective way to reduce anxiety and stress.
Rhodiola is a tough little plant that has some remarkable anti-stress, anti-fatigue and mood enhancing effects.
It works fast, so just a few weeks of taking this herb, will result in a relaxed frame of mind and alleviate the symptoms of stress.
Lack of exercise, unhealthy food and not taking time out to relax can lead to increased stress, poor coping and serious illness; so regular physical activity, eating a diet rich in minimally processed plant based foods, and slow breathing at six breaths per minute for 15 minutes will all help to make us happier and calmer.