Managing Stress – Products That Will Help You Control Your Stress
More and more people are using supplements to help them get some relief from stress and anxiety. Modern living has made it difficult to avoid stress. Aside from diet, relaxation and exercise, people are taking helpful vitamins and supplements to help them ease tension and become calmer. If you are looking for some relief, you can try using supplements to help fight the ill-effects of stress.
In today’s world, there isn’t much in the average person’s life that doesn’t produce some level of stress for them. Work deadlines, love-life woes, and financial problems are all great examples of common stressors that many people face on a daily basis. Even for those that don’t usually fall victim to stress, it’s likely that they will experience some form of it during the holidays and seasonal rush.
When a stressor becomes overwhelming, a person’s body undergoes many changes that can make life harder than normal to deal with. Levels of cortisol, the “stress hormone” in the body, will likely sky rocket, and this will affect hormone levels, causing them to take a turn for the worst as they become extremely hard to predict. According to HelpGuide.org, these effects on the body will more than likely result in poor judgment, trouble sleeping at night, increased irritation, irregular or rapid heartbeat, and even aches and pains felt all over the body.
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In the face of stress, many people turn to stress management rituals such as gripping stress balls or taking daily walks in an attempt to clear their minds. However, basic remedies like these simply aren’t enough in some cases. This is primarily due to these strategies being more practical fixes for low stress situations. In situations where stress is undoubtedly crippling and seemingly impossible to function under, something more is needed to quite literally level out the kinks in physiology that are taking place in the body.
When stress becomes too much for a person to handle by using simple, minimal strategies, it’s often a wise choice to move on to using stress reducing supplements. Stress-reducing supplements are ideal for pinpointing the various negative effects of stress, such as loss of sleep or heightened levels of anxiety. By using safe supplements, stress can be easily controlled and mitigated.
With that said, battling stress symptoms shouldn’t be another headache to tack onto the list of already existing stressors. This is a top 10 list of the best stress-reducing supplements with descriptions of what they are, how they can help, and how exactly they should be taken.
10 Best Supplements to Reduce Stress
Melatonin is a natural hormone found in the body, and it is primarily associated with regulation of the sleep/wake cycle. When stressors begin taking a toll on the body, this hormone’s production can be altered in a significant way, making it incredibly hard for a person to get a restful night of sleep. In some cases, altered melatonin production can keep a person from falling asleep at all. In this case, melatonin should be restored in the body to continue a normal cycle of rest. This can be achieved with melatonin supplements.
Dr. Tasneem Bhatia of the official Dr. Oz website recommends taking a dosage of melatonin one hour before bed in a slow-release form. For increased efficiency, it is also recommended that patients take it along with magnesium. When this supplement is started, it’s recommended that users start off with a 1mg dosage and move up from there if symptoms persist.
9.) Vitamin B-complex
The vitamin B complex is a group of 8 different vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12), and they are essential for keeping many of the biological processes in the body running smoothly. Specifically, the B1, B5, and B6 vitamins all have a hand in keeping stress levels neutral and under control. The vitamin B complex comes packed with a slew of health advantages, so it’s likely that other additional health benefits will be noticed alongside the reduction in stress.
Generally, the recommended dosage level of the vitamin B complex is generally one serving, or pill, per day. Some brands contain vitamin C along with the vitamin B complex, and these should be taken along with a full glass of water, according to WebMD.com. Those with a vitamin B-12 deficiency (otherwise known as pernicious anemia) should alert their doctors before beginning a regimen with this supplement.
8.) Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are popular for helping with lowering blood pressure levels and even battling rheumatoid arthritis. However, they are also becoming more popular with those that seek help with their stress. Omega 3 fatty acids do a wonderful job of keeping cortisol levels and other hormones under control, and they are also useful for regulating adrenaline.
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Omega 3 fatty acids can be derived from a number of supplements. The most popular are flax seed and fish oils. In general, it’s best to stick with 300mg per day of omega 3 fatty acids. According to the labels for supplements, this might provide an idea of how many capsules or pills to take from a bottle of flax seed oil, fish oil, etc. However, because omega 3 fatty acids come in different amounts according to the type of supplement being used, it’s best to talk with a doctor about dosage information before starting an omega 3 fatty acid regimen.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Kava is a popular ceremonial brew often served in places such as Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia, and its effects have been closely compared to that of an alcoholic beverage. It is made primarily from Piper methysticum by grounding its roots to a puree-like consistency and adding them to cold water. It is medicinally used to treat anxiety and insomnia, both popular symptoms of stress.
There are many ways to take kava, and it even comes in multiple forms. It is commonly either chewed, taken in powder form, or consumed via liquid extract. Some have even used it to make a tea by simmering the plant’s roots in water. To ensure that the proper dosage is being taken, refer to the documentation that comes along with the specific form. It’s always recommended that people alert their doctors before beginning a kava regimen due to its track record with producing liver problems.
6.) Vitamin C
When the body is exposed to significant amounts of stress, it releases the hormone, cortisol. Cortisol is directly linked to the release of insulin, immune processes, and other pertinent bodily functions. When there is an over-saturation of cortisol in the body, muscle tissue can decrease in mass, cognitive processes are hindered, and other important bodily processes take a toll. According to Livestrong.com, studies suggest that healthy vitamin C supplementation can neutralize the amount of cortisol being produced by the body.
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Generally, the recommended dosage of vitamin C is anywhere from 250 to 500 mg, taken twice per day. Amounts of anywhere over 1,000 mg should be discussed with a physician. A person that smokes will need to supplement even more vitamin C to the tune of an extra 35 mg per day due to the properties in the tobacco depleting the vitamin.
5.) Vitamin E
Because stress is hard on the body, it’s likely that a person’s immune system and physical muscle mass will take a hit when they’re dealing with a lot at one time. Many people, in this case, turn to vitamin E to help keep their immune systems and muscle structures in tact and functioning properly during periods of high anxiety. Don’t forget that vitamin E also has a wide span of other medicinal benefits as well!
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Vitamin E can safely be taken in 1,000 mg doses once per day. Although it can be found in many different foods such as walnuts, pistachios, and almonds, it can easily be taken in supplemental pill form for a quick and easy boost. It’s worth it to note that some supplements for vitamin E will be measured in IU (international units) rather than mg (milligrams). In this case, a 1,500 IU dosage of vitamin E would be needed once per day.
4.) Celery Seed
Celery seed isn’t as popular in the US as it is in other parts of the world, but it has been used for centuries to treat various health conditions. Increased levels of cortisol in the body have been linked to higher blood pressure levels, and celery seed does a great job at keeping stress hormones in the blood at a healthy level. When stress hormones are neutralized, blood vessels can expand and pass more blood throughout the body, relieving the overall increased pressure.
Celery seed comes in many different forms for consumption. These include the dried/fresh seeds themselves, tablet, celery seed oil capsules, and extracted celery seed in liquid form. Because there are multiple ways to take this particular supplement, the University of Maryland Medical Center advises that users adhere to the packaging or documentation that came with their products for dosage instructions.
3.) Lemon Balm
Because lemon balm is so effective, it has been included in Dr. Oz’s Over-35 Survival Kit. As people age, they become more vulnerable to conditions such as heart disease, obesity, insomnia, high blood pressure, and so on. All of these conditions are common symptoms and byproducts of high levels of stress. Lemon balm has been used for hundreds of years to treat these symptoms easily and effectively, and it is still one of the most popular options for stress reduction.
Lemon balm has various forms for consumption. It can be purchased in bulk in leaf form, or it can be contained in tea, oils, capsules, extracts, etc. Creams are arguably one of the most effective forms of the lemon balm supplement, but it cannot be purchased within the United States. If taking by capsule, stick to 300-500 mg three times daily. Teas should be prepared with 1 teaspoon of dry lemon balm herb, and they can be consumed up to four times on a daily basis. For other forms of lemon balm, consult the included packaging.
Niacin, or nacinamide, translates to vitamin B3, and it is extremely effective against both anxiety and depression. It directly helps to widen blood vessels to improve blood flow, reduce blood pressure, and help the body fall more easily into a restful sleep. Many people take niacin in an attempt to “flush” their systems out. A common side effect of this supplement is a warm, cozy feeling felt in the body.
This supplement is most often taken in tablet or capsule form. On average, it is recommended that an individual takes around 15 mg of niacin per day to help with the symptoms and effects of stress. It is commonly consumed just before or after a meal to avoid upset stomach. Try to avoid taking niacin for more than 4 to 6 weeks at a time.
Finally, the number one recommended supplement for stress is valerian. Valerian is most useful for treating stress symptoms such as general restlessness, anxiety, and insomnia, all commonly felt during periods of high tension and stress. Scientists have speculated that valerian works by increasing the “GABA” (gamma aminobutyric acid) chemical in the brain. This chemical can ease nerves and produce a sense of calm when anxiety is high.
Valerian is often found in fluid form, and it can be consumed via either extract or tincture form. It can be purchased in a powder form via tablet, tea, or capsule as well. It is advised that valerian not be consumed more than three times per day, and if it is being taken for insomnia, it should be around an hour before bedtime. Check the dosage information for the form purchased.
Overall, stress-reducing supplements should be the end answer if other strategies in the past have proven to fail. In some cases, these types of supplements are the only answer. This is typically when biological processes in the body are altered, hormones become erratic, and/or deficiencies become a problem.
When beginning a supplement plan, it’s always a good idea to use only supplements that target the existing stress symptoms at hand. This prevents an oversaturation of nutrients that the body doesn’t already need, and it also simply saves time and money.
In times when stress levels are high, it’s incredibly important to use supplements like these to manually restore nutrients in the body. This promotes an overall good bill of health, and it can keep stress from completely taking over a person’s life. If stress is becoming a problem, be sure to check into these supplements before wasting any more time.
About the Author:
Ryan Rivera used to suffer from anxiety attacks for seven years. He now dedicates his life writing articles about anxiety and panic attacks. You may reach Ryan Rivera through his Google+ and Twitter account.