Stress is a normal part of life, but when it becomes chronic, it can have a negative impact on mental and physical health. Stress can manifest in various symptoms, including anxiety, depression, irritability, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping. Chronic stress can also lead to more serious health problems such as psycho-somatic diseases and other mental disorders. In this blog post, we’ll explore how certain supplements can help with stress management and promote mental wellness.
Before delving into the supplements that can help with stress management, it’s important to understand the different types of stress.
Acute Stress: Acute stress is a normal response to a specific event or situation. The “fight or flight” response helps us react quickly to danger or a challenging situation. This type of stress is usually short-lived and the body’s response returns to normal once the event is over.
Chronic Stress: Chronic stress is the result of long-term exposure to stressors such as a demanding job, a difficult relationship, or a serious illness. The body’s response to stress becomes chronic, and the symptoms can last for weeks, months, or even years. Chronic stress can lead to a host of mental and physical health problems.
Trauma-related Stress: Trauma-related stress is the result of a traumatic event such as a car accident, sexual assault, or natural disaster. The trauma can be overwhelming, and it can lead to PTSD, a severe and long-lasting mental disorder.
Supplements for Stress Management
Brahmi, Shankupushpi, and Ashwagandha
Three Ayurvedic herbs that have been traditionally used to promote stress management and mental wellness are Brahmi, Shankupushpi, and Ashwagandha. Brahmi, also known as Bacopa monnieri, is known to improve cognitive function and reduce anxiety. It has been shown to improve memory and attention in clinical studies. Shankupushpi, also known as Evolvulus alsinoides, is believed to have a calming effect on the mind and promote mental clarity. It is traditionally used to improve concentration and memory. Ashwagandha, also known as Withania somnifera, is known to reduce stress and anxiety levels. It has been shown to lower cortisol levels, a hormone associated with stress, in clinical studies.
These herbs can be taken in the form of supplements or as an ingredient in Ayurvedic preparations. It is important to note that while these herbs have been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine and have been shown to have potential benefits, they should be used under the guidance of a qualified practitioner. They may interact with other medications or have side effects for some individuals. It is also important to ensure that the supplements are of good quality and free from contamination.
Anti-oxidants play an important role in stress management as they help to neutralize the effects of free radicals, which are molecules that can damage cells and contribute to stress-related illnesses. Two of the most well-known antioxidants are Vitamin C and Vitamin E.
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that helps to reduce the effects of stress by supporting the immune system and neutralizing free radicals. It also helps to reduce cortisol levels, which are associated with stress. Vitamin E, on the other hand, is a fat-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant by neutralizing free radicals and protecting cells from damage. It also helps to reduce inflammation and improve overall health.
It’s important to keep in mind that antioxidant levels can be affected by stress, so it may be beneficial to increase your intake of Vitamin C and Vitamin E-rich foods such as oranges, kiwi, strawberries, and almonds, or to take supplements under the guidance of a healthcare professional. They can help to neutralize the effects of free radicals and reduce the risk of stress-related illnesses.
Magnesium plays a role in regulating the nervous system, which can become overactive during times of stress. It also helps to improve sleep, which can be disrupted by stress. A lack of magnesium can lead to insomnia, restlessness, and anxiety. Magnesium supplementation can help to reduce symptoms of anxiety, improve sleep quality and reduce stress.
The gut-brain connection is becoming increasingly well-understood in the field of mental health. Research suggests that a healthy gut microbiome may help to reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety. Certain supplements, such as probiotics and prebiotics, can help to promote a healthy gut microbiome and support the gut-brain connection. Probiotics are live microorganisms that help to balance the gut microbiome, while prebiotics is non-digestible carbohydrates that feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut.
Probiotics have been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and improve mood. They can be found in foods such as onions, garlic, and leeks, as well as in supplements. Prebiotics has been shown to improve gut health and reduce symptoms of anxiety. Synbiotics are a combination of probiotics and prebiotics. They have been shown to be more effective in promoting a healthy gut microbiome than probiotics or prebiotics alone.
It’s important to note that while gut-brain synergizers can help to promote mental wellness and stress management, they should not be used to replace other stress management techniques. They are best used as a complement to other healthy habits such as regular exercise, good sleep, and healthy eating.
In addition to supplements, there are other things you can do to help manage stress and promote mental wellness. These include regular exercise, getting enough sleep, practicing relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation, and seeking support from friends, family, or a therapist. Some people tend to use drugs, alcohol, and tobacco to relieve stress. But, those habits can have highly damaging effects on your brain, body, and mind, causing you more stress in the long term. The same applies to emotional eating, gambling, and other self-destroying habits people involve in to bust their stress.
Stress, when it becomes chronic, can have a negative impact on mental and physical health. The good news is that there are many supplements that can help with stress management and promote mental wellness. These include Magnesium, Gut-brain synergizers, and many others such as L-Theanine, Melatonin, Rhoadiola, Lemon Balm, valerian, etc. It’s important to note that supplements should not be used to replace other stress-management techniques, but they can be used as a complement to other healthy habits. If you are experiencing severe or persistent stress, it is always best to seek the advice of a healthcare professional.