April is Stress Awareness Month, and wow, what a year for stress, right? After devoting several presentations and podcast episodes to the importance of stress management, I’ve learned that the topic never gets old…because as much as we can manage it, stress never goes away.
Your body experiences stress on a physiological level. Every thought you think is a chemical messenger to your body, so when you are in “fight or flight” mode in your brain, the rest of your body listens and acts accordingly. Digestion may shut down, reproductive function can be altered, your blood sugar response may be affected, and your blood pressure will send signals as well.
Learning to manage stress matters, and it’s not something we are taught growing up. In fact, we often get the opposite messaging. Culture tells us to push through, work harder, and there aren’t enough hours. We’re led to believe that poor sleep, afternoon fatigue, and relying on caffeine for energy is normal. It may be common, but it should never be normal.
I say this all the time, but if we don’t learn to manage stress, our stress WILL manage us. It will show up in our bodies and cause all kinds of health problems. Stress creates inflammation, and inflammation creates chronic disease.
This is why I’ve created a list of my favorite stress-supporting products. If we can decrease our response to stress, we can decrease the effect stress has on our bodies.
To be clear, I often get to to try out lots of cool new products, whether it’s for social media promotion or podcast sponsors or podcast guests’ companies or suggestions. I’ve sorted through what I’ve been trying lately, and what follows are my favorites. Do you have to try them all, like me? Of course not! There is no one size fits all to health, and our bodies will all respond to products differently. I believe many supplements should be rotated seasonally, and sometimes it will even depend on the time of month – or even what phase of your menstrual cycle you’re in.
Disclaimer – if you are taking other medication, you might wanna consult your physician before adding in certain supplements.
This herbal tincture contains a blend of an Eastern medicine formula that is scientifically proven to provide restorative sleep, promote relaxation, and help you fall asleep quicker and more soundly. One of the ingredients reduces stress and provides an anti-depressant effect, while the other improves sleep quality and efficiency. I notice I can get to sleep faster if (when) I’m awakened by a child, and it definitely helps my mind de-stress after a long day. I had the opportunity to speak to the Founder of Welleum for a podcast episode, which will be airing next month. Stay tuned! Find this tincture and other herbal tinctures, along with the scientific studies supporting use, here.
It’s the only patented neuroscience technology clinically proven to “resolve stress and improve sleep quality without drugs.” This technology is used by the US military and FBI, 49 professional sports teams, and regular people with stressed out brains – like me! All I do is put the bio signal processing disc on my wrist, the sleep mask over my eyes, and connect my headphones to the app. In as little as 20 minutes, I can lower my brain waves to a more relaxed state. Again, this is backed by science, so it’s not “woo woo” stuff. It’s also one of the therapies being offered at Living Well Tyler, so if you’re in East Texas, better check it out! No side effects, no risk of addiction, just peace and calming.
Amp Human D+ Lotion
Vitamin D continues to pop up in all my research on immune health, virus prevention, and of course, mood health! When we have sufficient Vitamin D, we are less depressed and anxious. We sleep better. We feel less fatigued during the day. Many of us (myself included) struggle to absorb Vitamin D due to genetic factors. During periods of intense stress, our Vitamin D levels can get depleted. So think about it, if you have a hard time absorbing D AND you’re under major stress, your body needs to be replenished. I love this lotion because it is clinically proven to triple Vitamin D levels. You put two pumps on your forearm and that’s it! No more pills. You can get 15% off your first order of D+ Lotion when you click here. Use the code wholeness15 to get 15% off.
Source Naturals Gabacalm
Oh, GABA how I love you! GABA stands for gamma-aminobutyric acid. It is an amino acid as well as an inhibitory neurotransmitter. It is inhibitory because it turns of the production of excitatory chemicals that rev your brain up and contribute to stress and overwhelm. The problem is, too much stress depletes your body of available GABA stores. In supplement form, GABA turns down those strong stress responses and prevents your brain and body from reacting so strongly to stress. Fun fact – women over 35 definitely can benefit from GABA because we need progesterone to activate GABA. As we age and progesterone levels decline, so does our availability of GABA. This is great for the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, especially if you struggle with PMS or you’re noticing more symptoms as you age. When I let the lozenge dissolve sublingually, I feel more relaxed in minutes. I sleep better, too. Some days I take 2 or 3 throughout the day, but mostly I just take at night before bed because that’s when my brain tends to get fired up all over again, and this helps me shut things down. There are tons of formulas available, but this one is my favorite.
So, technically this product is designed to improve energy and focus and mental clarity. What I love about it for stress reasons is that when we are overwhelmed, it is difficult to concentrate on one task. For me, I get so scattered trying to multitask, I ended up getting a whole lot of nothing done. This drink, a flavored powder that is mixed with water, offers me a quick little boost when I need it. It contains B vitamins in the most bioavailable form, which get depleted under stress. It has been studied to increase nitric oxide levels through a blend of plant-based ingredients. This decreases stress, because where there is an abundance of nitric oxide, there is improved blood flow. Where there is improved blood flow, there is a clear brain. It also contains l-theanine, which is an ingredient in green tea that reduces anxiety and promotes a sense of focus and calm. Because it contains green tea leaf extract and yerba mate, there is a bit of a caffeine content, so if caffeine amps you up or you metabolize it slowly, I don’t recommend it. There are a few other awesome ingredients I won’t get into, so feel free to check out the full list of ingredients here.
I’m sure I will be finding more and more stress-reducing solutions to share as time goes by. While products are helpful, please remember that there are FREE ways to manage stress as well. A little time in sunshine away from your screen and notifications, a daily practice of silence and gratitude, journaling, walking, eating an anti-inflammatory diet (*cough cough* cutting back on that sugar) – all those are proven to reduce your allostatic overload.
I hope you can use this information and find the tools that work best for YOUR unique body. It does so much to keep you alive every day, so it’s nice to be able to give it a little something in return.