Natural Ways to Help Manage Your Stress
Stress. We’ve all felt it.
That nagging anxiety. That feeling that you just want to shut the door to the outside world and curl up into a ball until it all blows over. It’s something that gets us all down from time to time.
But although stress is something we all have in common, there’s no doubt that we all feel it in different ways and find that it’s triggered by a range of different things.
Maybe you’re dealing with a heavy workload, going through a difficult time in your personal life, or struggling to make some big decisions. Whatever the cause, dealing effectively with your stress is the difference between remaining paralysed and taking that next positive step forward.
Here at Maitri our approach to health is holistic. That means that we look beyond symptoms and try to solve the root of the health problem. Often this is embedded in your lifestyle, so we work with our customers to develop interventions and strategies to improve physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.
Stress has been proven in many studies to have an adverse effect on health, and many stress-related problems can manifest themselves in physical, dangerous ways. Stress can almost always be traced back to your lifestyle, which means that in order to live a more fulfilling life with less anxiety, you’re going to need to make some changes.
You might have to work less, or choose projects that are less intense. You might need to make more time for relaxation, or prioritise your time differently. In the long term, you might have to look closely at your coping strategies and devise better ways to handle stress when it occurs.
The problem is, because stress is often deeply rooted in the way we live our lives, it can be difficult to get out of that cycle without taking the time to make major changes.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help stave off stress in the short term. As well as being experts in holistic health, we’ve also got a team of qualified herbalists that can devise all-natural ways to keep you feeling positive and wash away the stress.
Here are a few natural products that we recommend to help you deal with stress when it arrives.
Chamomile has long been used in soothing teas that lower stress levels. This natural sedative has a calming effect that can also relax muscles, ease nerves and help you get a better night’s sleep.
We recommend chamomile tea on a daily basis – up to 4 cups per day can help you fight stress. And it’s easy too. Just add a couple of teaspoons of dried chamomile to hot water and leave it to brew for around ten minutes.
Then, all you have to do is strain the drink before adding some honey to taste.
Alternatively, why not add some fresh chamomile flowers to your bath?
Ashwagandha goes by many names. You might have seen it under the label of Indian ginseng or Withania somnifera. Either way, it’s been proven to be an effective adaptogen and great for stress relief.
In fact, a 2012 study in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine discovered some pretty spectacular results about Ashwagandha – although they weren’t anything surprising to the cultures that have been using it knowingly for hundreds of years.
The study found that Ashwagandha root extract “safely and effectively improves an individual’s resistance towards stress and thereby improves self-assessed quality of life.”
As well as keeping cortisol levels low, ashwagandha has a positive impact on the nervous system and can help to reduce fatigue and boost the quality of sleep.
Ashwagandha is readily available from our dispensary. Get in touch to find out more!
Holy Basil a powerful Ayurvedic herb that enhances your natural stress response and helps you deal more easily with environmental and emotional stressors.
We recommend taking it as part of a soothing tea. All you need is a tablespoon of the herb and a cup of boiling water. Just like with chamomile, you can add honey to taste before sipping slowly.
Alternatively, we also sell Holy Basil as a food supplement in natural capsules: (available here).
Did you know that Green Tea contains L-Theanine? In case you weren’t aware, that’s an amino acid vital in the production of alpha brain waves. These waves can help to reduce stress, ease anxiety and generally boost your mental abilities.
For the perfect Green Tea we recommend adding two teaspoons of green tea leaves to a mug of boiling water. Leave it to brew for a few minutes and it’s ready to go – feel free to add some honey, lemon or ginger to spice things up a bit.
You can have a few cups every day for a stress-relieving addition to your daily routine.
Green Tea has also been linked to weight loss and a reduction in cholesterol.
For once, the clue isn’t actually in the name! Instead of being some kind of aphrodisiac, passionflower can be used to make teas that ease anxiety and improve the quality of sleep. This is because passionflower can increase GABA levels in the brain.
We’d recommend drinking a cup of passionflower tea to reduce stress. It’s easy to make, too. add 1 tablespoon of the dried herb to 1 cup of hot water. Cover and steep for about 10 minutes. Strain and drink this tea while it is still warm.
Just add a single tablespoon of dried passionflower to a cup of hot water – leave it for ten minutes or so and strain. As with many herbal teas, you can add honey or other fruits to make it a little more tasty.
According to Healthline, there are over 500 different species of passionflower. Purple passionflower, in particular, has been noted for its ability to aid sleep. Check out this study in Phytotherapy Research for more information.
Studies also suggest that passionflower can ease anxiety, such as this from the journal Anesthesia and Analgesia. Patients about to go into surgery reported less stress when given passionflower.
Did you know that several B Vitamins are thought to be key our stress response and general mood?
Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12 are all thought to promote brain and nervous system function, which in turn are vital for that physical sense of relaxation and our mental ability to deal with stress and fatigue.
Try Terra Nova’s B Vitamin Complex today!
B Vitamins are so important to our mood that a deficiency can cause irritability, depression and apathy.
We have several food supplements packed with B Vitamins, helping you to stay cool and positive in the face of adversity.
A couple of other things you can do to help you handle stress
As we said at the top of this article, here at Maitri we like to take a holistic view of things. With that in mind, you should also take a wider view at dealing with stress. A few simple changes to your lifestyle could help ease your anxiety and put things in a different perspective.
Have you tried exercising more?
Exercise has been proven to release endorphins, which are effectively the body’s natural painkiller and relaxant.
As well as literally making you feel good, regular exercise also helps your ability to sleep. This in turn means that you’re generally less tired, and more able to deal with the problems that cause your stress.
But high levels of stress are also a signpost of where your mental health is at. Why not consider meditation, mindfulness or massage therapy? Did you know that deep breathing has also been shown to produce endorphins?
Only you know the root cause of your stress. The key to dealing with all those negative emotions is to develop small but powerful coping strategies, from herbal remedies to better sleep and regular exercise.