There is a lot to be stressed about – the economy, a global pandemic, global warming, not to mention the individual things we face like job security, student debt, marriage problems, etc. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), 67% of adults report higher levels of stress since the start of the pandemic.
While we can’t avoid many of life’s stressors, how we handle, limit, and reduce stress can greatly impact our quality of life. If you are facing serious, chronic stress and find it unmanageable, you might consider visiting your doctor or seeking out a mental health professional. For more manageable stress, there are thankfully many natural and easy ways to address the issue.
At Eric’s Health Food Shoppe we aim to support our customer’s with holistic health options – from organic foods to natural stress relief supplements. Here are some of our top suggestions for natural stress relief.
A Healthy Diet
Your mind runs on the fuel (ie food) you give it. It is not a surprise that studies show people who eat fast food are more prone to stress, anxiety, and even depression. Thankfully, a healthy diet doesn’t have to be complicated.
The first step is to reduce unhealthy foods like excess sugar, gluten, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, etc. These types of foods and ingredients have been shown to cause inflammation in the brain which can affect how you handle and deal with stress in your life.
Instead add in a few of these brain superfoods for a calmer mind –
- Leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and fermented foods (all high in Vitamin B)
- Fish, bone broth, or chia seeds (all high in omega 3)
- Bananas and oranges (both high in potassium)
At Eric’s you can find many of these foods. Opt for organic to boost the nutritional benefits.
Supplements for Stress Relief
If you find you aren’t getting enough vitamins and nutrients from the foods you eat to tackle your levels of stress, you might also consider supplements.
Commonly recommended stress relief supplements include –
- Zinc – helps reduce excess adrenaline which can be triggered by stress
- Magnesium – helps relax the muscles and the mind
- Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) – neuroprotective and has been shown to reduce stress and depression
There are also many supplement blends specifically formulated to address stress. At Eric’s Health Food Shoppe we’d be happy to help you find the right supplement option for you.
Meditation and/or Breathing Techniques
Meditation has been used for thousands of years to calm the mind. It has been studied extensively and has been shown to improve a huge range of both mental and physical conditions, including excess stress.
While it can seem intimidating if you haven’t tried it before, the truth is that meditation is only as hard as you make it. Look for guided meditations online for a bit of direction as you begin your practice. And it should be a practice! The benefits of meditation on stress levels is most impactful when it becomes a daily or at least regular habit.
For some people, meditation is just not the right fit. Others have a hard time fitting meditation into a busy day. If that is you, you might benefit from breathwork.
This is a practice of controlling your breath and it can be used anytime, anywhere. Feel a wave of stress coming? Just start focusing on your breath. Breathing techniques such as belly breathing or the “4-7-8” technique trigger the parasympathetic nervous system which signals to the body to relax.
Improving your sleep is vital to stress relief. The world can throw a lot of stress triggers your way but with good sleep, your body can truly turn off, relax, recover, and repair.
Whether you are a night owl, suffer from insomnia, toss and turn, or manage to get relatively good sleep, there is always room for improvement.
Start with a sleep schedule. Going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day is a great way to train your mind and body to anticipate and prepare for sleep. Also make sure you are creating a good sleep environment. Turn off electronics when in bed, consider blackout curtains, and make sure the room isn’t noisy.
If you still find you aren’t getting good sleep you might consider a sleep supplement. Sleep is vital for stress relief and if a supplement can help provide a good night’s rest, it’s worth it.
Popular natural sleep supplements include –
- Valerian root
Natural Stress Relief Options at Eric’s
If you are suffering from excess stress and ready to find a solution, we welcome you to stop by Eric’s Health Food Shoppe. In addition to healthy, organic food, we also carry a wide selection of top quality natural stress, anxiety, and sleep supplements.