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Avoiding Stress May Be Impossible, But Managing It Doesn’t Have To Be

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  • 5 Feb, 2020  |
  • Views: 810  |
1 Avoiding Stress May Be Impossible, But Managing It Doesn’t Have To Be

In the fast-paced, busy world we live in, avoiding stress is almost impossible. In fact, 70% of adults in the United States say they feel stressed or anxious every single day. There’s work pressures, family pressures, kids, friends, and loved ones to make time for money,…the list of things we can worry about is endless. Is it any wonder so many of us feel stressed?

Stress itself may be unavoidable, but learning to manage it is incredibly important. Long-term exposure to stress can cause anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, and even diabetes. We need to make sure we deal with stressful situations, and that we do so in a healthy way. Bottling it up will only make things worse. So how to fix it?

Supplements for Stress

There are several prescription medications on the market that are designed to help us feel calmer and less stressed, but as with any prescription medication, it is possible that users will feel side effects. These side effects can be severe, and for many people, it’s simply not worth the risk. This is a key reason why alternative medicines are now so popular for managing stress. They are also cheaper and have less known side effects than prescription drugs, although their effectiveness can vary widely from person to person and supplement to supplement.

Let’s take a look at a few of the big names.

• Chamomile

Most often drunk in the form of tea, chamomile is a powerful stress buster that calms the nerves, relaxes the muscles, and reduces anxiety. It can also reduce headaches and boost the digestive system.

• Kava Root

Thought to be one of the most effective herbal supplements for stress and anxiety, kava has a powerful calming effect. It is used to relieve not only anxiety but muscle tension, restlessness, and sleeplessness. It is available in several forms, but beware – the liquid for is very much an ‘acquired’ taste!

• Theanine

A compound derived from green tea leaves, theanine is well-known for its stress-relieving abilities and ability to calm us down. It works quickly, too; theanine makes short work of the blood-brain barrier and reaches our cells faster than many other alternatives.

• Valerian Root

Used by millions around the world as a treatment for stress and sleeplessness, valerian root is one of the first names that comes to mind when we think of stress-busting supplements. Valerian can be drunk in tea form or taken orally as a capsule or pill. It provides a sense of overall tranquillity and calm.

• Lavender

Another readily available, popular choice, even a small amount of lavender can have a powerful impact. You can mix a few drops of lavender oil into your bath, use a diffuser, or breathe it in through steam. You can also keep a small amount of dried lavender in a cotton pouch and keep it in your purse or bag.

Get on your Feet

When we are extremely stressed, even the smallest tasks can seem insurmountable – it’s easy for things to pile up when we feel we have too much to do. Much research has shown that exercise is a fantastic way to let out all of our stresses and help us feel more able to go about our everyday lives. Thirty minutes a day is the recommended amount, but don’t worry if you can’t quite fit that in; every little helps! Just try to make sure you’re exercising regularly and making as much time to do so as you can. Try walking, running, yoga, swimming, or aerobics.
Exercise works by literally lowering the number of stress hormones, such as cortisol, in the blood. It helps to release endorphins, mood-boosting chemicals. Exercise also helps us to sleep better, which in turn reduces our overall stress levels and can lead us to feel more comfortable and confident in our bodies.

Food and Drink

Many American adults, especially ones that regularly feel tired or stressed, drink a lot of caffeine. Found in drinks such as tea, coffee, and hot chocolate, caffeine is a stimulant that, when consumed in high doses, can increase feelings of anxiety.

Reducing your intake of caffeine can help to reduce stress, especially for people who are particularly sensitive to its effects. If you are drinking a ton of coffee just to get through the day, but notice that it makes you feel even more anxious, cut back, and see if it helps.

Chewing gum is also used as a way to reduce stress. It is thought that the process of chewing gum boosts blood flow to the brain and that the more gum people chew, the more relaxed they feel. However, it is important to note that chewing large amounts of gum can cause a laxative effect, so gum should only be used in the short term and in moderation.

Just Say No

While not everything that causes us stress is in our power to change, some things are. If you find yourself completely overwhelmed, simply say ‘no’ to things that you don’t have the time or motivation to do and reduce the number of tasks and responsibilities that you have. This is a really easy way to handle stress and can help you feel more empowered and in control.

Don’t Procrastinate

Even if you manage to reduce your workload by saying ‘no’ more often, it’s inevitable that you will still have a busy life. Resist the temptation to procrastinate and get your tasks done in order of priority. Leaving everything until the last possible minute means you’re always trying to catch yourself up, which will only make you feel more stressed. Make a to-do list if it helps.

Understand Your Triggers

Keeping a diary of your thoughts and feeling can not only help with stress due to its natural therapeutic nature, but the written record of your stressors can help you identify situations, tasks, even people that make your anxiety worse. Understanding what triggers your stress is key to reducing it.
As well as writing down what makes you feel stressed, you could also try writing down the things that make you feel good. Recognizing these will help you understand what elements of your life are positive, and remind you to make time for them.

Breathe Deeply

When we are stressed, our bodies switch into ‘fight or flight’ mode. This causes physical symptoms such as rapid breathing and faster heartbeat, which can be terrifying and only compound the problem. This response also releases huge amounts of stress hormones into the bloodstream.
Fighting this automatic response and breathing deeply helps us feel more grounded, focus our awareness on one thing – our breath – and increase the amount of oxygen in our bloodstream. All of these things will help to slow down the heart rate and calm us down.


Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a compound found in cannabis. While cannabis contains well over 100 individual compounds, it is CBD and THC (tetrahydro cannabidiol) that are best-known.

Traditional narratives around cannabis use have declared it to be an anxiety-inducing substance, and some people do report this to be the case. However, it is only THC that has a psychoactive effect and creates the feeling of being ‘high.’ CBD is an entirely different proposition and may help to relieve stress. So what is CBD oil?

CBD, and all other cannabinoids, works by interacting with receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system. This intricate network is thought to help regulate functions such as mood, appetite, and pain response.

When we are stressed, our endocannabinoid system – like all our systems –can struggle to do its job properly. CBD helps to restore the balance of the endocannabinoid system as it boosts the body’s production of endocannabinoids and helps the system use them more effectively. CBD is now available in many formats, but oils tend to have the strongest concentration of the active compound. They are taken orally by placing a small amount under the tongue and waiting a few seconds before swallowing.

Mediate and be Mindful

Mindfulness is hugely popular these days, with tens of millions of Americans now practicing it regularly. It is different for each person, but mindfulness techniques are generally aimed at grounding us in the present, focusing us in on our breath or body, and help us to relax.
Get started with a simple five-minute meditation and work your way up; as mentioned, it’s important to build a routine that works for your specific needs and lifestyle. Yoga works well for mindfulness, too, as it lowers cortisol levels, blood pressure, and heart rate.

Hang Out

Spending time with friends and family boosts our self-esteem, gives us a sense of belonging, and generally makes us happier. Support from those loved ones can also help us to get through particularly stressful moments.
Chilled-out hang times with friends and family has been shown to boost production of oxytocin, a stress-reliever that is essentially the opposite of the ‘fight or flight’ response covered earlier. Laughing is also a fantastic stress buster, and what better way to get in a good laugh than hanging out with the ones we love most?

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