Stress is a biological reaction to potentially dangerous stimuli – when you perceive a threat or challenge – that causes chemicals and hormones to surge throughout your body.
While stress can be helpful – especially in life or death situations – prolonged stress can have disastrous effects on our physical and mental wellbeing.
Long-term stress causes a wide variety of health issues, so what’s the best way to destress, and what stress relief supplements are best for your needs?
Whether you blame negative news coverage, the ongoing fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic or concerns over the future of our nation, it’s safe to say that a significant portion of Americans are stressed. However, most people don’t realize how these everyday stress factors can affect their health, meaning that a lot of people are contributing to serious health issues without even realizing it.
Often, we think of stress in strong, dramatic terms – like yelling at the McDonalds workers who messed up your order for the last time or fearing for your life after a BMW driver nearly crashes into you – but stress is usually less obvious. Anything from minor inconveniences (like spilling soup on your clean shirt) to big problems like health issues can cause stress, so stress relief supplements could be more of a help than you realize.
In the short term, your body’s stress response is an incredible adaptation that can help you fight off attackers, run to safety or otherwise deal with immediate threats. But in the long-term, stress hormones do more harm than good, as they contribute to a wide range of health issues and can be difficult to get rid of, even with the help of stress relief supplements.
The two main stress hormones – adrenaline and cortisol – are highly effective at their main goal, but frequent surges or sustained levels (as in chronic stress cases) can put you at risk of serious health conditions, including:
While many people are aware of the negative effects of stress – primarily increased risks of chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, etc. – there is less awareness of how stress can make existing conditions worse. Sometimes, a cascade of stressful events can cause a chronic illness to flare up or cause an underlying health condition to rear its ugly head, but it’s not always obvious that stress was responsible or stress relief supplements could help.
While managing your stress is essential for overall health, individuals with existing health conditions should take extra care because stress has been known to exacerbate various health issues like:
Many people who suffer from episodic or chronic stress say that their stress is out of their control. It can often seem like something unavoidable, especially if you suffer from a stressful lifestyle. Fortunately, there are many ways to avoid sources of stress and calm yourself down, from stress relief supplements to mindfulness techniques.
To help you lead a healthier, more mindful life, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 ways to manage your stress based on flexibility and practicality. While these techniques won’t magically relieve your anxiety or tackle the root causes of your stress, they can help you get through the day:
Everyone suffers from stress at some point in their lives, so you should never feel like a failure if you get overwhelmed at times – just try to work through it as best you can. While good nutrition, regular exercise and plenty of sleep are the best ways to help your body deal with stress, certain vitamins and minerals can help boost your body’s stress response, acting as stress relief supplements.
If you’re worried about your stress levels or interested in improving your overall health in an increasingly stressful world, here are our picks for the best stress-relieving supplements on the market:
These softgel supplements are easy to swallow and packed full of nutrients designed to relieve stress, including GABA, L-Theanine and Ashwaganda, promising quick results (in 30-60 mins). Unfortunately, the OLLY softgels use gelatin from bovine sources, so our Halal, Kosher, vegetarian and vegan staff had to sit this one out.
We recommend these stress relief supplements for people looking for a quick, easy way to relieve stress, as we did see results within 60 minutes and the gelatin capsules are very easy to swallow.
Packed full of 1300mg of ashwaganda (an Indian herb thought to increase your body’s resilience to physical and mental stress) and 10mg of black pepper per serving, these vegetarian supplements are intended to lower stress levels and improve your sleep. While the NutriRise supplements weren’t particularly fast-acting, our testers were impressed at how they improved quality of sleep, and everyone appreciated the non-GMO and vegan guarantees.
Our testers found that these supplements improved quality of sleep (and bedroom performance, apparently), mood and productivity, making these an excellent vegan, holistic option.
These homeopathic stress relief supplements come in quick-dissolving tablets, are completely safe, non-addictive and use all-natural active ingredients, so the risk of side effects and drug interactions is incredibly low. Furthermore, the active ingredients are all diluted to 1/1000 and certified by the official Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States, so this product gets full points for homeopathic credentials.
While most of our testers reported calming sensations after popping a tablet under their tongues, we would only recommend this for committed homeopaths and people worried about drug interactions due to the incredibly low dosages.
Containing a proprietary blend of rhodiola rosea, Ashwaganda, GABA, lemon balm and numerous other herbal extracts, these vegan, GMO-free multivitamins have tons of plant-based vitamins to relieve your stress. With the largest number of ingredients on this list, these Daily Stress & Mood Support supplements claim to have a wide array of mental benefits.
Our testers found the large capsules a little harder to swallow than the others, but did report beneficial effects on their stress levels, focus and memory, like with some of the nootropics we tested a while ago.
These plant-based stress relief supplements are GMO free, made in the USA and 3rd party tested, making them a reputable, vegan-friendly way to relieve some stress. We loved that these supplements are sugar and gelatin free so you get more of the good stuff – Ashwaganda and a B-Vitamin blends, to be precise.
Some of our testers struggled to swallow these supplements, but the results spoke for themselves, and the fact that they are 3rd party certified is a major plus.
While stress is a normal part of life, it can cause serious harm to your physical and mental health if left unchecked. Therefore, you should be mindful about how much stress you suffer on a daily basis and use coping techniques – like the ones we listed – when it gets overwhelming, or consider making lifestyle changes like changing jobs to reduce your stress levels.
We hope that our tips and stress relief supplements recommendations help you manage your stress, but if you suffer from chronic or episodic stress, we recommend seeking therapy before it becomes too much.
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