Stress has become more rampant in today’s ever-changing world. It comes in all shapes and forms, springing up when we least expect it. Whether it be the struggle of a career, a family, or even the mere fact that we’re always connected, it leads to many problems along the way.
It’s also something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. In the United States alone, 77 percent regularly experience physical symptoms that are caused by stress. And if you don’t believe that times are changing we can infer you to the fact that 48 percent of those asked reported that their stress levels have increased over the past five years.
Stress can also lead to a number of physical ailments such as heart disease, skin conditions, and reproductive issues. Although some stress can be positive, being in a constant state of stress is bad for you.
What Causes Stress?
Stress kicks when your body feels like it needs to respond to a demand or threat. Basically, your body is trying to protect you. However, given our demanding lifestyles, there are times where we are almost in a continuous state of stress.
Symptoms of Stress
There are many cognitive, physical and emotional stress symptoms that can result such as problems with memory, mental health concerns, aches, nausea, and even behavioral problems.
However, we can always turn to nature to properly de-stress and to take a break from everything distressing us.
Here are 8 Powerful Herbal Remedies for Immediate Stress Relief
1. Valerian Root
Valerian root is an effective natural sedative and it is usually used as a sleep aid for sleepless nights. However, it also soothes aches and muscles, and aids in the reduction of mental and physical tension. It gives relief to uterine cramps and even coughing, it’s definitely an all-rounder.
There is significant evidence that lavender can be used to reduce anxiety, it is also the most studied essential oil. It can be administered orally or through aromatherapy. It has relaxing anti-stress qualities and a study even found that it worked as well as prescription tranquilizers to relieve general anxiety disorder. There is something wonderful about the mere scent of lavender that can put your mind at ease.
3. Passion Flower
Passionflower helps calm the nerves when you feel agitated. It helps with anxiety, reduces muscle tension and can even assist with treating insomnia. It is said to work by increasing levels of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) in the brain. Native Americans have used this vine to help with insomnia.
It might be one of the main ingredients in beer (which some sources say can also calm you down – or get you drunk) but it has natural properties that have been historically used to treat various ailments. Hops help with stress, treats insomnia and even headaches. It also gives you the added benefit of reducing nervousness and providing relief from fever and rheumatism.
5. Arctic Root
Arctic root is an adaptogen meaning that it can provide you with great resistance to stress, whether it be physical or emotional. It also works by increasing neurotransmitter activity. This is an essential root if you have problems concentrating and battling with anxiety.
Almost everyone is familiar with ginseng, being one of the most popular and studied herbs, it’s certainly developed a reputation. It’s been renowned to promote wellbeing for more than five millennia.
The effects of ginseng are truly amazing, it boosts energy levels creating a state of alertness coupled with relaxation. It helps with improving sleep, reducing stress, relieving fatigue and helping with depression. It’s not called the “elixir of life” for nothing.
Like Ginseng, Ginkgo has been a staple of Chinese herbal medicine for a very long time. It’s also one of the oldest plants; with claims that Gingko trees have been around when the dinosaurs still existed.
Gingko works by reducing the release of cortisol, which is a stress hormone. It also raises serotonin and dopamine levels for improved moods and aids in improving memory and stress control.
8. Kava Kava
Kava Kava or just Kava has been researched for its great effects on stress and anxiety. In the South Pacific, where it originates, it is made into tea. It is also available in tinctures and capsule form. It’s so effective that it not only treats symptoms of anxiety but also shows its effectiveness with anxious thoughts as well. However, Kava Kava comes with a caveat as there have been a few health scares associated with it. It is advisable to consult with your doctor before using Kava as a stress reliever.
Other Great Tips for Combatting Stress
- Make sure that you’re giving your body the hours of sleep that it deserves. Recent studies still point to 8 hours of recommended sleep time each day. Sleep helps you stay emotionally balanced and improves productivity for the next day.
- Practice breathing exercises and meditation.
- Never underestimate the power of a good diet. Food affects your mood and boosts your physical well being. Avoid processed food and opt for nature’s goodness.
- Exercise helps boost mood, improve sleep quality and your overall health and vitality. It also provides you with an avenue to “blow off some steam” after a hard day’s work.
- Connect with others, share your feelings, and have fun with your friends and family. Sometimes just chatting with a person helps trigger “feel good” hormones and human interaction can be soothing.
- Reward yourself every now and then, whether it be a short vacation or even small breaks during the day. It allows your mind and body to detach from the pressures and demands of life.
Stress might be good in small amounts to help you accomplish what you need to do. However, it is evident that a lot of stress can be extremely detrimental to your health. Sometimes we have to take a break from it all and allow our bodies to fully recuperate. Take good care of your body, you only have one.