One of the healthiest and most sustainable ways to manage stress is to nourish your body so that it’s ready to handle it. Stress is an inevitable part of life and we’re very capable of dealing with it. However, when life gets too overwhelming and we’re in a constant state of stress, that’s when it becomes harmful.
A normal level of stress is part of our daily lives, the tension it brings helps us to function by raising specific body responses, such as a rise in cortisol, which gives us the energy and focus to get things done. However too much of a constant flow of cortisol can be harmful to our bodies, which is why it’s important to relax our bodies and bring it back to balance.
Next time you’re feeling stressed out, reach for these ingredients to help you feel calm, centered, and to give your body a much needed break.
1. Ashwagandha – the stress fighting adaptogen
Ashwagandha has been used for centuries in Ayurveda and for good reason. This wonderful apoptogenic root helps our bodies combat the ill effects of stress and regulates cortisol. This means that however stress manifests in your body, Ashwagandha helps to bring your body back into equilibrium.
For example, if stress is giving you insomnia, Ashwagandha helps you sleep. If stress is making you feel anxious, Ashwagandha helps you to feel calm. If stress is causing you to be more prone to infections, Ashwagandha strengthens your immunity.
2. Lemon Balm – the mood-boosting antioxidant-rich herb
A popular herb from the mint family, Lemon Balm is an aromatic ingredient that is often used in teas and tinctures to increase calmness and alertness all while relieving mental stress.
Lemon balm also has the added benefit of being rich in antioxidants, helping to keep our bodies protected from free radicals, which our bodies are more exposed to when we’re stressed.
3. Passion Flower – nature’s valium
Passion Flower, a beautiful purple and white wild flower, has been used in traditional and modern natural medicine alike, as a solution to calm nerves, treat anxiety and depression, and cure insomnia.
Usually taken in the form of teas, tinctures, infusions, and extracts, Passionflower promotes relaxation and helps the body to prepare for a good nights sleep thanks to its gentle sedative effect.
If you’re dealing with insomnia induced stress, consider incorporating passion flower into your wellness routine.
4. L-Theanine – meditation in a tea cup
An elusive amino acid, the only well-known source of L-Theanine is found in tea leaves, particularly green tea. What a wonder it must have been to discover the calming yet focusing effects of green tea. With further study, it’s been shown that consuming L-Theanine promotes alpha waves; the same kind of waves brain activity shows when you’re in deep meditation. This means drinking green tea and getting L-Theanine is literally drinking your way to a calm, centered, and focused state.
L Theanine not only helps to keep you calm it helps to keep your body balanced when responding to stress such as preventing the abrupt rise in blood pressure, promoting feelings of calm focus, improves mood, and helps us to sleep better.
5. 5-HTP – the happiness and sleep promoter
5-Hydroxytryptophan, more commonly known as 5-HTP, is a compound that our bodies make naturally after consuming food sources with 5-HTP’s precursor, tryptophan.
It’s an effective compound to help keep us calm because 5-HTP helps our bodies make serotonin, a hormone commonly known as the ‘happy’ hormone, but also important for regulating our sleep cycles. As we all know, sleep is essential in managing stress, and often even just a good nights rest from quality sleep can be all we need to recover from the ill effects of stress.