We live in a fast-paced world where stress and anxiety are nearly unavoidable. Our jobs, personal lives, finances, and relationships can all be sources of stress, and learning to manage this stress can help us achieve better physical and mental health. While there are lots of ways to manage stress and anxiety, daily supplements are a quick and easy way to get your life back into balance. Here are a few of the best supplements for managing anxiety and stress.
Why Take Supplements For Stress And Anxiety?
Everyone has felt stress at some point in their lives. Short-term stress can be beneficial, like when you’re under tight deadlines at work, or when you have to quickly react to a car slamming on its brakes. However, long-term stress can lead to high levels of a hormone called cortisol. Over time, elevated cortisol levels can cause heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and mental illnesses like depression and anxiety.
Some people turn to drugs or alcohol for stress relief, and people who are diagnosed with anxiety may be prescribed anti-anxiety medication. Many times, drugs and prescription medications have unwanted side effects, which is why some people turn to supplements as a more natural alternative. Supplements can be used on their own, or in conjunction with other stress-relieving practices like meditation.
Though science has come a long way, we are still far from understanding exactly how the brain works. While there have been lots of studies and research regarding the effects certain supplements have on stress and anxiety, we still aren’t sure why they work in the way they do. It’s important to understand that everyone’s body is different, and will respond to these supplements in different ways, so it might take a little experimenting to find a supplement and dosage that works for you.
The Best Supplements For Stress And Anxiety
There are plenty of supplements for managing stress and anxiety available. If you’re just getting started with supplements, here are a few of the most popular options to try.
- L-Theanine – If you’ve ever enjoyed a cup of tea and felt your stress melt away, l-theanine was likely at work. L-theanine is a compound that’s naturally found in both green and black tea leaves and it’s long been used for its ability to promote relaxation and ease anxiety. While you can certainly consume l-theanine by drinking tea, for some people, the caffeine found in tea is undesirable. Luckily, l-theanine is available in capsule form. Studies show that l-theanine causes relaxation and reduces resting heart rate without making users feel drowsy, which is perfect for people who want to stay calm and focused throughout the day.
- CBD – CBD (cannabidiol), a compound found in hemp plants, has been booming in popularity in recent years and is touted to positive effects on mood, while decreasing anxiety, promoting healthy sleep, and relieving pain. CBD is available in a wide variety of formats (i.e. gummies, drops, capsules, etc.) and in different strengths so it’s easy to find one that works for you.
- Rhodiola Rosea – Rhodiola is an herb whose roots are used as an adaptogen. Adaptogens are substances found in nature that increase your body’s stress resistance. Rhodiola has been used for centuries in Russia and throughout Scandinavia as a treatment for anxiety. Research has shown that this adaptogen is great at reducing feelings of stress, fatigue, and depression while increasing brain function.
- Melatonin – when you’re stressed out and anxious, getting a good night’s sleep can be hard. And when your body isn’t well-rested, it’s more prone to the negative effects of stress. This can create a spiral of sleepless nights, mounting stress, and ultimately, poor physical and mental health. Many people turn to drugs like Xanax or Ambien to help them sleep, but these drugs can be addictive and dangerous. Instead, a melatonin supplement before bed can ease your body into restful sleep. Melatonin is the hormone that your body creates to regulate your sleep cycle, but this hormone can easily get out of whack if you’re stressed. Taking a melatonin supplement can ensure that you get the proper amount of sleep each night to help your body and mind stay healthy.
- Ashwagandha – another stress-relieving adaptogen, Ashwagandha has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine. Ashwagandha can reduce elevated cortisol levels and help people diagnosed with anxiety manage their symptoms. Ashwagandha is safe to take as a supplement and has also been studied for its potential anticancer properties.
- Chamomile – a hot cup of chamomile tea before bed has long been used as a way to relax and de-stress at the end of a busy day, and for good reason. The chamomile flower has been used medicinally since the time of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. The ritual of drinking tea is a relaxing habit for some, but you can also purchase chamomile in supplement form. Chamomile seems to have positive effects on both anxiety and depression.
How To Work Supplements Into Your Daily Routine
Before you simply go out and buy every supplement on this list, you should try starting small. Pick one adaptogen that seems to target your symptoms, and start with a low dosage. Work your way up into you start feeling positive effects. Be sure to buy your supplements from a trustworthy and transparent source that offers plenty of information about how they make their product, so you know you’re getting the highest quality.
Once you’ve decided what supplement to try and where to buy it, make careful note of your symptoms before and after starting the supplement. It may be helpful to keep a stress and anxiety journal so you can easily compare how you’re feeling. Take them as often as directed, and give them at least a few days to start working. If you have limited success, trying increasing your dosage, or choose another supplement.
In addition to taking supplements, it’s important to eat healthily, get plenty of exercise, stay hydrated, and work on avoiding stress triggers, if possible. Managing stress is essential to both your mental and physical health and should always take priority in your life!