You may have circled a couple of red-letter days on your calendar–days you know are going to be stressful. Maybe you’ve got a deadline approaching at work, a dental appointment or a wedding to attend. During these times, at least we’re able to plan ahead, implementing coping techniques and relying on support from family and friends.
But the truth is, stress can–and does–show up every day, sneaking into all corners of our lives. How can we best protect ourselves from the effects? Fortunately, there are many natural solutions for alleviating physical and mental stress. Here’s a sampling:
1. B Vitamins. A supplement containing an array of B vitamins is an easy way to get B benefits when busy days keep you from eating healthy meals. Typically included in B-complex supplements are B1 (thiamin), which supports proper functioning of the nervous system, and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), which supports the nervous and immune systems. Inositol supports mental health and stable, even moods.*
2. Magnesium. Magnesium, which has a hand in more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, is important for the contraction and relaxation of muscles, energy transport and the support of normal nerve function.* Because many people generally do not obtain adequate amounts of magnesium in their diets, a supplement can help ensure you’re getting enough of this mineral.
Magnesium, in a highly absorbable form, is also available in a powder which, when added to water, makes a refreshing drink. Some of these powdered forms are fruit-flavored, which makes them easy to add to other beverages.
3. Herbal extracts. What better way to “adapt” to internal and external pressures and anxiety than by reaching for an adaptogen which can help you do exactly that? Rhodiola rosea helps maintain balance in the body during a variety of physical stresses, and promotes mental clarity and well-being.* It may also help fight fatigue and provide energy.*
Astragalus, an adaptogenic herb which has been used in its native China for centuries, contains flavonoids, polysaccharides, saponins and amino acids. It may help rebalance metabolism, support a healthy immune system and return the body to a sense of general well-being.*
4. Relaxing baths. Sometimes escaping to a warm, hot tub is all one needs to feel rejuvenated. A few drops of essential oil of lavender, known for its soothing and calming effects, can be spa-like in its effects. An essential oil blend–Aura Cacia has one called “Tranquility,” which includes lavender, balsam fir needle, patchouli, palmarosa, geranium and Roman chamomile–may also provide an aromatic getaway.
Do you have a favorite way to beat stress? Share it with us in the comments below.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Laurie Steelsmith, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic physician and licensed acupuncturist who specializes in women’s health. She is the co-author of Great Sex, Naturally: Every Woman’s Guide to Enhancing Her Sexuality Through the Secrets of Natural Medicine and co-author of Natural Choices for Women’s Health: How the Secrets of Natural and Chinese Medicine Can Create a Lifetime of Wellness.