2020 has been the craziest year in recent memory. From a worldwide pandemic to a heated Presidential Election, we have experienced too much tension for one year. No matter where you sit physically or financially due to the lockdowns and stalemates in Congress, one thing is for sure, we are all stressed out. We know stress isn't a good thing thanks to our articles "Signs of Stress..." and "Relax & Recover..." The good news is, mother nature provides us with natural methods and organic superfoods to help alleviate some of that stress.
Many studies have shown the benefits of various breathing methods for relieving stress. For instance, slow breathing techniques activate the tranquility center of the brain. Researchers from this study identified a handful of nerve cells in the brainstem that connect breathing to states of mind. Check out our article on "The Power of The Breath" for more information on the benefits of breathing exercises and how they can help relieve stress.
Breathing exercises are not the only physical activities that help with stress. Simple activities like a walk outside can help to reduce stress levels. For those who like to kick things up a notch, running seems to take this stress relief to a whole new level! Many experts believe that exercise is the closest thing to a miracle drug, so that makes the runners high the side-effect of that drug. Our article on "Eco-Friendly Exercise" covers this in-depth and connects the ability of exercise to lift the mood of someone suffering from major depressive disorders.
We have all heard, "You are what you eat." and it turns out that we are more likely to be stressed when we eat less of what we need. What do we need? Among the many vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and bacteria we need to survive, probiotics may be the most important. These "good bacteria" are essential for a healthy gut microbiome. Why is the gut microbiome important when it comes to stress? Well, the gut is known as the second brain, and no wonder it is with studies showing the link between gut-bacteria and emotion by way of the gut-brain-axis. This gut-brain link also plays a role in the ability of probiotics to help people with anxiety and alleviate stress. If you would like to know more about this gut-brain connection and the benefits of probiotics, read our article "Probiotics: Bacteria That Effect The Way We Think & Feel."
Unfortunately, we need to eat more than probiotics if we want to try our best to alleviate and fight off stress. Ancient Ayurvedic medicine of India has used adaptogen superfoods to relieve and prevent stress for thousands of years. The leader of the pack among these superfood standouts is ashwagandha. This powerful herb can help your body manage stress, fight anxiety, and reduce depression.
The ancient people of India were not unique in their use of adaptogen superfoods. The Traditional Chinese Medicine system was not too far behind in using the adaptogen known as the maitake mushroom. This mushroom superfood assists the body in fighting mental and physical difficulties. These adaptogens work to regulate the systems of the body that become unbalanced by stress and relieve its symptoms. If you would like to know more about the ancient use of supplements, check out our article "The History of Supplementation."
The Traditional Chinese Medicine system brings even more natural stress relief to the table in the form of Rhodiola Rosea. Often used to promote well-being and healthy brain function, Rhodiola is also used to relieve anxiety and depression symptoms related to stress. In clinical studies, Rhodiola enhanced the ability to cope with stress and provided improvements in stress symptoms, quality of life, mood, and concentration.
That's an awful lot of stressful information to take in at once, so sit back, take some deep breaths, go for a walk, and eat your probiotics with superfoods. 2020 has made it clear that a lot of things are out of our control, but our bodies and our minds still can be. Hopefully, you can use these tips to help yourself stay stress-free as you navigate through the rest of the fog that 2020 has become.