Natural medicine for dealing with stress and taking initial steps can also help prevent and alleviate stress pain. With age, the body becomes more vulnerable to emotional and physical stress. The spine endures the effects of stress and can lead to back and/or neck pain. Chronic stress can also lead to chemical imbalances in the brain and overreaction/s. This produces a Hyperarousal or anxious state of mind. If frequent bouts of anxiety or stress are occurring the body is signaling that balance needs to be restored.
Steps to Control Stress
Take frequent physical and mental breaks
Throughout a day, there can be several and various stressful situations. Not letting the stress build-up is a skill that needs to be practiced. Every 50 minutes of work, take a 10-minute break to reduce any stress. This will increase productivity. In the middle or last break, practice deep breathing.
- Inhale slowly until the air reaches the bottom of the stomach.
- Exhale slowly like a balloon slowly releasing the air.
- To achieve the full potential of deep breathing, every exhalation should last twice as long as each inhalation.
Caffeine can be medicinal in small doses. It increases bile flow. This stimulates the gall bladder and reduces cholesterol. However, too much can interfere with the body’s systems that are responsible for stress response. Try to limit to one to two caffeinated drinks a week.
Regular physical activity
Physical activity is what helps remove waste products, specifically lactic and uric acids, from the muscles and nervous system. An excess of these acids makes the body edgy. Moderate activity prevents and reduces anxiety.
Try to get in at least 10 to 15 minutes of activity in the morning and afternoon. A quick walk combined with deep breathing is perfect.
Plenty of sleep
Hard work and playing hard help the body to sleep to the fullest. An irregular sleep pattern or poor-quality sleep confuses the body. The body reacts abnormally. Examples like confusion, tension, an adrenaline rush kicks in when it is not needed. Chronic poor sleep makes the body more vulnerable to disease and chronic conditions.
Natural Medicine Supplements
Natural medicine supplements have been shown to reduce mild to moderate stress and anxiety.
- Before trying any vitamins, minerals, or herbal therapies check with a doctor. This is to ensure safety with any medical conditions like pregnancy, that could prevent an individual from taking certain supplements.
- Also, make sure if taking any medications that could cause natural medicine supplements ineffective or create a dangerous situation.
- The reason for this is if an individual takes several supplements and develops side effects, it becomes a challenge to figure out which is responsible.
- Quality herbs and supplements can be purchased from a licensed naturopath physician, nutritionist, health coach, or from a health store.
Herbal supplements listed below can be taken for three months and then a two-week break should be implemented. This minimizes the potential for negative effects.
The B vitamins, especially B6 and B12 help regulate the body’s response to stress and keeps the nervous system healthy.
- Vitamin B complex formula that has at least 25 mg of B6 and also 1 mg of B12 can be taken twice a day.
- These vitamins are optimized when used in combination with other nutrients like a multivitamin-mineral supplement also twice a day.
- B12 in the form of hydroxocobalamin or methylcobalamin is better absorbed than the more common cyanocobalamin.
This is herbal supplement helps with anxiety and insomnia. It can help relieve acute and chronic anxiety without causing drowsiness or brain fog. Kava is effective for settling anxiety with no dependence potential.
Kava should be avoided if there is regular alcohol consumption or if taking Valium, Xanax, sleeping pills, like Seconal or Halcion, or anti-depressants, like Prozac or Zoloft.
This is a natural sedative. It is used for relieving anxiety because it helps with sleep. The ingredients are similar to Valium. It is not addictive and does not cause grogginess the next day like sleeping pills. Recommended intake is one 150mg capsule twice a day. However, low doses can cause drowsiness. Therefore it is best used for sleep, one 300mg capsule one hour before sleeping is recommended. Do not use if taking sedatives, like phenobarbital or benzodiazepines.
The Body’s Composition
Stress Can Throw Off Diet and Sleep
Achieving healthy body composition is more than just building muscle and losing fat. Proper diet and getting enough sleep are necessary to make meaningful progress. With chronic stress or poor sleep, this cannot be achieved. Depressive symptoms can be associated with obesity, and anxiety and depression can trigger emotional eating and weight gain. Proper stress management means making sure there are positive strategies, techniques that can be turned to in time of need. Without a plan, stress will cause health problems and will be a significant barrier when trying to achieve fitness and health goals.
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Boyle, Neil Bernard et al. “The Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Subjective Anxiety and Stress-A Systematic Review.” Nutrients vol. 9,5 429. 26 Apr. 2017, doi:10.3390/nu9050429