Lifestyle, Nutrition, Supplements

Everything about stress: causes and types of stress and how to handle it – techniques and supplements

Everyone is stressed sometimes. It is normal, but problems can occur if a person is stressed often, or for prolonged periods of time. Stress is a very subjective feeling, something that can be perceived as a stressor for one person, is not stressing other person at all. There are techniques that can be aplicated, lifestyle changes that can be made, and supplements that can be used, to get the stress under control.

Eustress vs. Distress : What is the difference?

  Eustress is the type of positive stress. It can be mental, physical, and biochemical.  Eustress is the type of stress that triggers our CNS (central nervous system) and pushes us towards our goals.

Physical eustress is usually represented by sports performance. Every sport is a stressor for the body, and body needs to adapt itself. Both cardio and weightlifting are positive stressors, which are improving body abilities in different ways ( strengthening cardiovascular system, improving power output etc.)

 

 

When it comes to mental eustress, we can push ourselves towards it. How? By stepping out of our comfort  zone, setting new goals, learning new skill which we were procrastinating on. There is a reqirement which has to be fulfilled if we talk about eustress: the new goal has to be really challenging, but attainable at the same time.

Distress is a negative stress which can include a loss of a job, death of a family member, breakup, severe disease and so on. It can also be in a form of long-lasting exposure to external stressors., in work, or in family life.

 

In this article, we will take a look at distres- how can we eliminate distress by using techniques as well as balancing lifestyle , nutrition and suplements.

 

 

What causes distress?

Distress can be caused by pressure in the workplace, death of a close person, financial insecurity, social pressure , by improper work/life balance, lack of sleep and there are many more possible reasons.

We usually cannot change  many of these circumstances. What we can do , is to transform our reactions to them, and I dont mean it only on mental level. There are many biochemical reactions in our bodies, that we dont know about. Many processes that control how we will react to stressful situations. Each individual is different, and can cope with stress more or less effectively.

So what can we do in order to improve our reactions to distress?

There are ways to improve our reactions to distress. We can divide these options into categories : mental techniques, physical adaptation, nutrition  and suplements.

Mental techniques

   Meditation is a technique that works for many people, but it takes time to conquer it. There are many types of meditations, you can even try the app that will help you with it – for example https://www.headspace.com .So what exactly does meditation help you with? 

Meditation in general can help you optimize your brain energy , and put you in a relaxed state. Meditation will help you release more GABA in the brain. GABA is the neurotransmitter that helps you relax. Based on a 2010 Boston University study, psychiatrists found that meditation exercices helped to raise GABA up by 27 percent.

Red light and smell therapy is another way how to lower the amounts of stress long-term. There is many essentila oils on the market, that are used to reduce stress levels and can work perfectly with meditation. Herbs like lavender, Valerian, Holy Basil, Chamomile, are all used to calm down central nevous system.

Red light therapy is believed to help with long term stress, depression, and many other psychological disorders.

 

Stress-reduction diet

   If you know you will be having stressful day, you can make big difference of how you will react to it, by the food you will eat. Many people dont know that food can have impact on brain neurotransmitters , as well as stress resilience.

Which foods are good for stress-handling?

Food high in Omega 3 fatty acids

  Foods like salmon, mackerel, herring , oysters, walnuts, flax seeds and chia seeds are high in Omega 3s . How are omega 3 fatty acids helping us with stress? Omega 3s have been used as  alternative depression treatment for years. Omega 3s can cross brain cell membranes and impact our mood.

 

Foods high in fiber

                           Fiber plays a role of prebiotic in human body. That mean it serves as a food for our gut-bacteria. Carbohydrates can temporarily increase brain serotonin levels. You can try to mix high-tryptophan foods with carbohydrates, and raise your serotonin levels. High tryptophan foods include chicken, eggs, cheese, fish and peanuts.

Consuming specific types of food before sleep

    High-quality night sleep impact our stress reactions as well. So when it comes to sleep , in addition to implementing proper sleep habits, we should be focusing on right types of food before bed. These re the foods that contain magnesium, tryptophan, and other substances that are helping out with sleep.

Banana is a fruit packed with magnesium, carbohydrates, vitamin B6 and L-tryptophan. So banana is a good choice for sure.

Tart cherry juice is a special juice that contain melatonin , a sleep hormone. Specifically, Montmorency cherry contain circa 13 nanograms of melatonin per gram of cherries. Based on a 2012 study, people that have been drinking cherry juice for 7 days, had significantly elevated melatonin , which caused increase in sleep time and sleep efficiency (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22038497) .

Almonds and walnuts contain melatonin as well.

And one more advice : before sleep, drink approximately 2 tablespoons of Apple cider vinegar, diluted in water. Apple Cider Vinegar reduces blood sugar , and that may be the possible reason why it is so effective before sleep.

 

Foods high in B vitamins

  Foods that contain the highest amount of vitamins B6 and B12 are beef , liver, salmon, eggs, and oysters.

The last, and very importnt part of the stress management regime are natural supplements.

Supplements for stress control

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is the king herb for a stress reduction. Ashwagandha is lowering stress hormone cortisol. It can ower cortisol up to 30 percent. It is also believed to improve athletic performance, and boost testosterone. The dosage is around 300 miligrams, but you can start with lower dose and slowly raise it.  and  You can read more about ashwagandha here.

 

 

Bonoobo Zen Coffee 

 Bonoobo Zen coffee is designed to reduce stress. It contains 200 grams of Ashwagadha per serving, while there is no caffeine content. You can safely drink 2-3 cups per day, to maintain relaxed state of mind. You can check Zen coffee here. 

 

 

L-theanine

L theanine is an amino acid  extracted usually from green tea that is very calming. Based on a study, L-theanine reduced stress-related symptoms, such as depression, anxiety, and poor sleep, and improved cognitive function and sleep after 4 weeks of use compared to placebo (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6836118/) .

You can read more about L-theanine here.

 

 

 

 

Valeriana

  Valeriana is a plant that is known for anti-anxiety but also sedative properties. We recommend to try Valeriana in the afternoon to wind down. Valeriana is increasing neurotransmitter GABA in the brain, responsible for making you relaxed. It is improving sleep quality.

Phosphatidylserine

  Phosphatydilserine is an amino acid that lowers cortisol as well. It is mostly derived from soy. Phosphatidylserine is boosting mood and regulating heart rate, when we are stressed.

Bacopa Monnieri

   Bacopa is an ayurvedic herb that can reverse the long –term effects of stress on the brain. Effects of Bacopa can be felt approximately after 4 weeks of its usage.

 

DISCLAIMER: The information included in this article is intended for entertainment and informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Prior to buying anything, check that it is compliant where you live with your current government laws.

 

 

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