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Stress Management and Relaxation Techniques 

[Stress management | Nighttime relaxation techniques  | Healthy mood]

Stress can take a serious toll on your health, your mood, even your sleep patterns. A number of illnesses are made worse when the body is under stress. Stress management can help you to stay healthy, energized, get a good night's sleep and maintain a healthy, balanced mood.

Stress Management
Causes of stress are everywhere. Some stress is good; it makes you perform at your peak levels. But most stress takes a toll on your body. If stress is an everyday occurrence, adrenal exhaustion can occur, taking a toll on your immune system and your energy levels. If you can't avoid stress, be sure to replace the vitamins that nourish your central nervous system every day, to help you combat fatigue and tension.

A balanced, complete B-complex vitamin supplement may be your most critical nutritional defense against the effects of stress. B-complex vitamins are required for healthy nervous system function and can help your body manage fatigue and tension. Because B vitamins are water soluble, they are quickly excreted from your body and should be replenished regularly. B-complex vitamins compete for absorption when taken individually in high doses, so take them as a complex for maximum absorption.

Stress can also cause some people to over eat.  Normalize cortisol levels and minimize this stress-induced eating with Relora

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Nighttime Relaxation
Researchers estimate that at least 50% of the time we can't sleep, it's due to tension and stress. One herb that has received a lot of attention for its relaxation effect is valerian root, which herbalists have used for years. Valerian root extract may slow the central nervous system activity. Valerian has traditionally been used to provide nutrients that may help support restful sleep. There are a myriad of benefits of valerian root.

  • Valerian root decreases sleep latency (the length of time it takes to get to sleep) and the number of nighttime awakenings
  • Valerian root improves overall sleep quality
  • Valerian root may improve well-being by decreasing nervousness and anxiety
  • Valerian root does not cause side effects that are common with sedative drugs, including addiction and morning "hangovers"

Another herb that has received a lot of attention for its relaxation effect is kava kava. For centuries, Southern Pacific societies have used kava root for its calming qualities. In small amounts, kava's active phytochemicals, known as kavalactones, help ease muscles and calm and relax the body.

Another important sleep nutrient is melatonin, which tells the body to prepare for sleep. Unfortunately, melatonin production steadily declines with age, but sleep patterns can improve by restoring melatonin levels.

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Healthy Mood
Researchers have discovered that stress can also trigger depression. We know that certain brain chemicals, like serotonin are responsible for regulating alertness and mood. Scientific testing shows that people with low moods often have unusually low levels of these important brain chemicals.

Enhancing a positive outlook on life is possible. Scientific studies are now confirming that St. John's Wort works with brain chemistry to ensure a healthy attitude. For a healthy mood, there isn't a more gentle, proven herb than St. John's Wort. Studies comparing the effects of St. John's Wort to anti-depressant prescription drugs such as Prozac are discussed in the St. John's Wort section.

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