As yesterday was National Stress Awareness Day on November 2nd, we want to highlight how stress is a modern epidemic now affecting us all. The cost-of-living crisis and the impact of rising food and energy prices means that more of us are feeling stressed about making ends meet.
New research from Which? suggests that many people are skipping meals or struggling to put healthy foods on the table while many more sadly have to decide between eating or heating as the cold months set in.
The negative media coverage around this issue is fueling people’s general stress levels, which can also impact health.
The Impact Of Stress On Your Health
Stress is caused by increased cortisol levels, otherwise known as the stress hormone. Cortisol is necessary for regulating a wide range of vital processes in the body, including metabolism and immune response.
Most importantly, Cortisol works with certain parts of your brain to control your mood, motivation, and fear. In particular, it can keep inflammation down, regulate your blood pressure, increase your blood sugar, control your sleep/wake cycle and boost energy levels so you can handle stress, restoring balance afterward.
Chronic stress can trigger your body to produce too much cortisol. This can result in raised blood sugar levels, along with heightened anxiety. Over time, elevated cortisol levels can lead to health problems.
Relaxing is essential for lowering cortisol levels and reducing stress levels.
While turning off the news is the first solution to consider, there are health and lifestyle factors that can help reduce stress.
At Naturally Healthy News, our team of expert nutritionists have extensively researched the best nutrients and lifestyle solutions to support stress relief. Here are their top recommendations…
Follow Our Lifestyle Tips For Stress Relief:
- Practice deep breathing exercises throughout the day to help calm the nervous system
- Go for a walk outside
- Practice some gentle stretching exercises for 5-10 minutes
- Cut back on drinking caffeine and try a herbal tea such as Chamomile instead
- Try acupressure to relieve tension (we recommend the electro-acupressure kit known as ‘My HealthPoint’ from our sponsor Good Health Naturally). The HealthPoint Kit™ can quickly and accurately locate and stimulate the body’s acupressure points, providing relief. In particular, the ear clips are suitable for stress relief if kept on the ears for around 10-20 minutes of treatment.
Supplement essential nutrients that have been cited to reduce anxiety
Here are our top nutrition recommendations for staying calm and stress-free…
As an essential amino acid, L-Tryptophan has been shown in studies to create positive changes in people’s moods and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. A small study of 25 healthy young adults who consumed high levels of Tryptophan found that participants’ moods indicated significant improvements compared to those on a low tryptophan diet. It was also found that consuming more dietary Tryptophan resulted in less depressive symptoms and decreased anxiety. 
As a naturally occurring non-protein amino acid commonly found in tea, L-Theanine has been found to promote relaxation by reducing stress and anxiety levels. Five randomised controlled trials found that L-Theanine was associated with reduced stress and anxiety in people experiencing stressful situations.  In one study, thirty healthy adults were given either L-Theanine (200mg/a day) or a placebo for four weeks.
Stress-related symptoms and anxiety decreased significantly in those taking L-Theanine, compared to the placebo. These findings show that L-Theanine may help promote relaxation, especially in those experiencing high-stress levels.
Vitamin B3 and B6
Research shows that when you’re chronically stressed, this depletes levels of Vitamin B6 in the body.  Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) helps to make neurotransmitters such as mood-boosting serotonin. It can also support your immune system during times of anxiety, along with providing adrenal function support.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) also plays a powerful role in stabilising your mood. When Vitamin B3 levels are low, this can lead to stress, irritability, low mood, and depression. Vitamin B3 can support your nerve health and control blood sugar levels and digestive processes.
Over 18 different studies show that Magnesium is effective as a natural treatment for reducing anxiety. One review found that Magnesium may help reduce anxiety and improve brain function. It’s believed to affect a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, which helps regulate the pituitary and adrenal glands responsible for your stress response.  Transdermal Magnesium is recommended as opposed to oral magnesium, as it can provide fast-acting absorption to improve cellular magnesium levels in the body.
As a hormone produced by the brain’s pineal gland, melatonin helps to control sleep cycles. As sleep and mood are closely connected, taking a Melatonin supplement has been found to help alleviate stress. Research shows that melatonin effectively reduces anxiety symptoms and may also help promote a state of serenity ideal for sleep.
In a double-blind and placebo-controlled study, 10mg of Melatonin was given to healthy females for five consecutive days during the menstrual cycle’s late follicular and early luteal phases and compared against a placebo group. Stress reduction was found in the melatonin group and consistently demonstrated scores indicative of less stress compared with the placebo. 
As the research above supports, taking these nutrients as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle can make you feel calmer and more centred.
Recommended Nutrients from our sponsor,
Good Health Naturally:
A unique formula of L-Tryptophan, L-Theanine, Vitamin B3 and B6 to help with stress relief, along with supporting a better night’s sleep and general relaxation. Suitable for vegetarians and vegans. 90 capsules.
Ancient Magnesium Lotion with Melatonin
Ancient Magnesium Lotion provides all the benefits of Magnesium with OptiMSM for enhanced skin cell absorption. Magnesium Oil combined with shea butter, sweet almond oil, and other organic ingredients makes this the only daily moisturiser you need. The addition of Melatonin can promote relaxation and improve sleep. Suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
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Healthpoint Kit, and FREE Vitamin D3 4,000IU pouch
My HealthPoint™ and a FREE Vitamin D3 4000IU Pouch
The HealthPoint device allows you to locate and stimulate acupressure points – without needles accurately. Helps with over 160 health conditions, including stress and anxiety relief. Stimulates the body’s healing system. The HealthPoint Complete Kit comes with a HealthPoint machine, 1x carry pouch, 1x gold probe, 1x cotton bud probe, 1x ear clips, 1x Quick start guide, and 1 x Mastering Acupuncture Manual covering over 160 health conditions.