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9 Effective Supplements For Stress and Anxiety

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No one is immune from the stress of life that can cause anxiety. These 9 supplements for stress and anxiety can be helpful tools to help you manage your stress naturally.

Recently I had the opportunity to share an article titled, The Importance of Men Embracing Self-Care.

After writing the article I have had some soul stretching conversations with men, and women regarding the all too real effects of stress on some very good people. Without a doubt stress levels are at an all-time high and causing a flood of issues across our society. Even as I write this there are current news stories revealing the struggle of high profile NBA athletes attempting to manage the debilitating effects of stress-related anxiety.

I share this to underline the point that no person, particularly men, no matter their status, career, age or health practices are perfectly immune from the crushing weight of stress. The stress of this terribly chaotic and uncertain world has made the need for self-care practices essential. Men absolutely need self-care so they can be at their best creating, contributing and loving their families. I strongly recommend men mindfully create a daily self-care practice. Like it or not, stress is the leading factor in 6 of the major health issues men of all ages face: heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, accidents, suicide.

To call stress a ‘killer’ is not an exaggeration. The good news is that with awareness and consistent practices the emotional and physical toll stress can take on our lives can be significantly reduced. To add to that good news, adding supplements increases the probability of reducing stress-related issues even further. Supplements are not a magic potion. Supplements can, however, lessen deficiencies, closing the gap between our current condition and the peak performance we want to experience.

For most men, the idea of taking supplements is not a new idea. Men wanting to have greater strength, for example, readily gobble supplements. Because they want their bodies to “peak and pop”, they gladly accept the idea of adding a few supplements. But when it comes to reducing stress men balk at the idea of admitting that they have to take anything to deal with life. For most men, the idea of taking something to deal with stress is like putting a pacifier into the mouth of a baby.

Men abhor the idea of admitting that ‘life’ is getting to them. Perhaps the reason for this comes from a psychological trait passed down from our caveman forefathers. Men seem born with this desire to appear tough, macho, badass, to be impervious to things of this world that go “boo”. Boys who are told that “boys don’t cry”, will grow into men who don’t flinch in the face of fear. They will see themselves as superheroes who keep a secret cape handy in case things get really bad.

In sum, men think that to feel fear is to be weak. When standing on the edge of life’s challenges, to feel the heartbeat wildly or to hear your buddy whimper, is unacceptable. Fear is hardly to be felt and certainly not to be shown. It is to be ignored or laughed off as you nonchalantly fling yourself into danger. Too many men hold these half-truths too tight. The truth is, feeling fear is perfectly natural. Fear can serve the useful purpose of warning us to think and stay safe. This “stress” is what we know as the “fight or flight” response.

Fear becomes less of a warning system and more of a problem when there is little to no let-up of the stress response. Every day millions of men live in a constant state of stress as a consequence of the modern, fast-paced lives we lead. This leads to the fight and flight response being triggered, again and again, meaning stress is no longer an occasional occurrence but an irritating alarm constantly ringing.

The amount of pressure that has been applied and for how long is in part determining the manifestation of symptoms, like anxiety and depression. Anxiety and depression are serious symptoms that tell us that if we don’t address the problems, our system will suffer in a really bad way; it is not a sign of mental and emotional weakness. To further clear up misconceptions here are some useful definitions –

A traditional definition of fear – A primitive alarm-triggered response to a present danger. In other words, fear is an intense feeling that rises up in response to an immediate danger.

Anxiety – the state or condition of hyper-vigilance directed toward the future, a threat, real or imagined, to your well-being that may happen in the future.

The distinction that fear is a heightened awareness of danger and that anxiety is a feeling state evoked when fear is stimulated is helpful in understanding that fear and anxiety both result from a natural innate bodily process and are not a sign that a person is “weak”.

The ideas men have regarding fear and the need to appear “tough” is more of a subject than can be covered in this short introduction so I have included a few links below to help you explore those ideas.

For now, let’s hope that men can set down the erroneous thinking that supplementing for stress is only for the sissy who can’t handle life. And instead begin to implement habits that can bring relief, peace of mind and more energy and focus to their lives.

Before sharing 9 supplements that can support the body in reducing symptoms of stress are a few things to remember.

The main benefit of these supplements is to help reduce the effects of stress that grow out of the chaos of a typical day. These supplements coupled with solid lifestyle choices give men enough ‘space’ to make calm reasoned choices and begin restoring order to their lives. Without a break from the constant pounding of our everyday world, we become reactive, making rash choices that then bring about unwanted consequences. Under unrelenting stress, poor choices can range from rushing into a bad loan, shouting at our kindergartener over lost shoes, flipping out and flipping off  “other drivers”, eating crap for lunch or skipping on sleep and exercise because there ‘is no time’! In sum, high stress leads to poor choices that ignite a negative cycle that can be difficult to break.

To re-emphasize, supplements are most effective when they are additions to a healthy lifestyle. For example; you will lose weight much faster eating whole foods, drinking plenty of water and exercising daily than by simply eating fistfuls of fat burners.

Be mindful when choosing to use these 9 supplements to reduce the effects of stress and if you use any type of medications for anxiety etc, it is strongly recommended that you get an opinion from your doctor to discuss potential drug interactions. A final note – only buy supplements from reputable manufacturers whom you trust and carefully follow dosage information.

No matter what anyone thinks, you do not have to live a prisoner to stress. You deserve to feel good. Look over these 9 supplements for stress and anxiety, see which feels right for you and get started today, feeling more calm, centered and enjoying a greater sense of well-being.

1. Vitamin B Complex : Low energy and fatigue can contribute to feeling agitated, irritability and high-stress levels. This is why the B vitamins, which are well-known for keeping energy levels high and improving cognitive performance, can have a positive effect. Clinical data suggests that supplementing with a vitamin B complex can help to keep your energy up and your stress level down. Clinical trials have also shown that supplementing with a vitamin B complex can help support a feeling of calm. When you want to be more relaxed and have increased focus while under strain and pressure, a B complex is a great supplement to reach for. 

2. Fish oil: Fish oil is high in omega fatty acids which are antioxidants. Omega-3 supplements like EPA and DHA have had a number of studies done to show they reduce the effects of anxiety

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3. GABA: Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GAMMA) is an amino acid and neurotransmitter in the brain. When there’s not enough GABA, anxiety can worsen. Getting the right amount of GABA into your body is a big help in relieving the effects of anxiety.

4. L-theanine: L-theanine is an amino acid and is credited for contributing to the soothing property found in green tea. A series of studies point to L-theanine having positive, anti-anxiety benefits from the calming and sleep-enhancing benefits it supports. 

5. Magnesium:  Magnesium is an essential mineral for our health. When we aren’t getting enough, a deficiency may lead to sleeplessness which has been shown to compound anxiety issues. The importance of deep restful sleep cannot be emphasized enough. Getting the body the rest it needs is a super way to lessen overall stress and anxiety. When you find yourself tossing and turning all night magnesium is worth considering.

6. 5-HTP: 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a neurotransmitter and a precursor to serotonin. As 5-HTP works with the central nervous system and the brain to produce serotonin, there is a boost to feelings of well-being and calm, as well as aiding in deep restful sleep all of which lessens the effects of anxiety

7. Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha has a storied history in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. The entire plant, from root to seeds, has beneficial properties, especially when it comes to stress reduction. Ashwagandha truly is a superstar supplement when it comes to getting people to feel less stressed. A study in 2017 found a 44% reduction in stress levels after taking Ashwagandha.

8.CBD. In short, CBD does not produce the strong psychoactive effects that THC has been known to cause. Without the psychoactive effects and because of the many research-proven medical benefits; CBD is increasingly sought after for its positive restorative properties. Research has shown it to be effective in supporting the body through a range of afflictions, from reducing inflammation to lessening the severity of anxiety. Setting aside lame pot jokes and poorly thought out anti-marijuana reasoning, CBD should be seriously considered as a choice to support the body as it works to manage the overall symptoms of stress.

9. Copaiba   Another supplement that may help with anxiety is Copaiba. This beneficial supplement is extracted thru steam distillation from balsam resin tapped from the Copaifera tree in Brazil. The main component in Copaiba is the cannabinoid beta-caryophyllene and like CBD it does not have the same strong psychoactive effects as THC. But Copaiba has been shown to have the ability to help unwind the emotions and release and manage stress-related anxiety.

 

Explore These Resources to Learn More about Supplements For Stress and Anxiety :

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