Stress Management… What’s New?

Stress Management… What’s New?

Author -  Good Health

You’re angry, stressed, work’s been a nightmare, you’re stuck in traffic, the phone won’t stop ringing, the kids are fighting… You notice your heart starts to pound, breathing quickens and your palms become sweaty - in other words, your ‘fight or flight’ response kicks in and your mind and body are ready to spring into action.

The fight or flight response is one of the most primitive reactions to perceived threat or danger. The adrenal glands release adrenaline (epinephrine) and other stress related hormones, to increase a heightened awareness in response to danger.

While the effects of adrenal hormones are necessary when the body is faced with danger, prolongation of the resistance reaction, or continued stress, increases the risk of significant problems and can result in adrenal exhaustion.

When the adrenals become exhausted the immune system often becomes depressed, making it much easier to catch the common cold or viral infections such as the flu. Irritation, nervousness, agitation and emotional mood-swings may also be a symptom of increased stress levels.

There are a few options to reduce the stress response and help the body adapt to the stress response, both physically, mentally and emotionally.
Exercise from sports, aerobics, weights, walking and swimming and/or relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises and yoga are beneficial, coupled with some adrenal and immune system support.

  • Siberian Ginseng and Ashwagandha are both from the ginseng family, which can help regenerate the adrenal system and improve a person’s ability to withstand stress.

  • Siberian Ginseng has been used for centuries as a tonic in times of stress to increase vitality, energy and stamina. It increases tolerance to mental, physical and environmental stressors, therefore helping to normalise the way in which the body responds to stress triggers, regulating the production and secretion of adrenal hormones and strengthening the adrenal glands. Siberian ginseng also supports the immune system, which can be suppressed during times of stress.

  • Ashwagandha (also called Withania) has been extensively used in Ayurevedic medicine for thousands of years as a strengthening tonic for the nervous system. It has an anti-anxiety effect and calms and rejuvenates the nervous system, making it great for those that are tired but wired and are suffering from insomnia and nervous exhaustion. It also helps to improve memory and mood and is beneficial for the immune system.

  • Rhodiola dates back thousands of years and was used by the Vikings to increase endurance, stamina and strength during their journeys. It is a powerful adaptogen, helping the body adapt to physically and mentally stressful conditions, improving work performance, concentration, short term memory function and immune function. It reduces the effects of stress whilst increasing energy levels.

  • Tyrosine is an amino acid needed to make stress hormones such as adrenaline and noradrenaline, which are depleted during times of stress and with aging.

  • Olive Leaf Extract boosts the immune system and helps to eliminate viruses and bacterial infections.

  • Astragalus can enhance both the adrenals and immune system and is often used in remedies to prevent the effects of prolonged stress especially when the immune system is low or has been depleted and needs rebuilding and strengthening.

  • B vitamins such as B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, Biotin, Choline, Inositol and Folic Acid are necessary nutrients for healthy adrenal glands. The need for B complex vitamins increases during times of stress and infection. Vitamin B5 is a remarkable B group vitamin, which stimulates the adrenal glands and increases production of adrenal hormones to improve the body’s ability to withstand stressful conditions.

  • Lemon Balm has a very calming effect on mood and is also helpful in improving quality of sleep, easing anxiety related conditions.

  • Liquorice is a great tonic for the adrenal glands, which helps to normalise lowered adrenal function, so helps with fatigue and other disorders associated with low cortisol levels.

  • Passion Flower soothes and calms the nervous system making it beneficial for nervous irritability and is also indicated for muscle spasms and tension.

  • Vitamin C and Vitamin E are antioxidants, which help protect the body against damaging stressors called free radicals. In situations of stress, there is a greater need for Vitamin C. For instance if supplies are deficient, Vitamin C stores in the adrenal glands and white blood cells will be rapidly drained and depleted.
As potassium can be depleted during adrenal exhaustion a diet rich in potassium is critical to maintain potassium levels within the body. Foods rich in potassium include: fresh vegetables such as asparagus, avocado, raw carrots, corn, cooked lima beans, spinach, potatoes and raw tomatoes. Fresh fruits like apples, dried apricots, banana, oranges, peaches, plums and strawberries. Unprocessed cooked fish & meats such as salmon, chicken, lean lamb and beef.

Naturopaths often recommend reducing the use of stimulants such as coffee, alcohol and tobacco, or at least try to cut down if you notice they make symptoms worse.

To summarise, the basic approach to stress management is to eat 5 - 6 times per day to keep metabolism and sugar levels balanced. Eat good wholesome foods including potassium-rich foods, have regular exercise to suit you (vigorous and/or relaxing) and if needed, use relaxation techniques and finally, the use of nutritional supplements to aid the adrenal glands and immune system.

GOOD HEALTH’S Supplement Recommendations: Stress & Vitality Support, Women’s care, Men’s Care, B Stress Free, Viralex, Opti C.


Not all products recommended may be available in South Africa at this time.

Post New Comment

Not all products recommended may be available in South Africa at this time