The stress response is the brain’s way of reacting to perceived danger, and it happens to all of us at one time or another. Some stress is healthy, but when it takes over your life, it starts interfering with your mental and physical well-being. Long-term stress can lead to depression, anxiety, headaches, sleep disturbances, mental fog, weight gain, and even heart disease. So, if you’re feeling stressed, it’s important to understand how to manage it so you can preserve your health.
Learn how to reduce and relieve stress by understanding the common causes and how to manage them with these lifestyle tips and natural ingredients.
Six Common Causes of Stress and Anxiety
No two people have the exact same personality, family history, marriage, or career. That’s why there are no two people with the exact same causes behind their stress and anxiety. But even though the specifics may be different, everyone’s stressors likely fall into one of these six main categories:
- Work: Whether you work at a desk or in a factory, there are always going to be things in your professional life capable of causing you stress. It may be specific to your day-to-day tasks, like a tight deadline, strict quality-control standards, or a demanding boss — or perhaps your stress pertains more to the big picture, like discontentment with your job or hoping for a promotion.
- Family: You love your family, but they can really pile on the stress. It could be a problem with your partner, finding out your child is struggling in school, or more intense family issues, like a spouse’s loss of employment or even a divorce.
- Finances: Few things have the ability to make us anxious and sleepless like unpaid bills, credit card balances, or a lack of money in our bank account. Money (or a lack thereof) causes 30% of Americans to be constantly stressed.
- Health Concerns: Those with chronic conditions like diabetes or back pain tend to experience higher-than-average stress levels, which in turn cause more health issues. For others, taking care of someone with a chronic condition may be the source of their stress. Caregiver stress from being responsible for the health of an aging partner or close family member can also be an emotional burden.
- Big Changes: Moving to a new city or getting married are exciting milestones, but they are also usually stressful. It can be anxiety-inducing to get used to a new environment or routine. (The good news is that once you do settle in, the stress dissolves!)
- The State of the World: Whether it’s stress about politics or anxiety surrounding issues like domestic terrorism or COVID-19, there’s a lot in the news that can trigger negative emotions. Two-thirds of Americans have said that they get stressed or anxious thinking about the future of the country.
Natural Ways to Relax Your Body and Mind
When you get stressed out, your body’s natural response is to release hormones that trigger the fight or flight response, which raises your heart rate and blood pressure. By finding time to breathe, meditate, take a nap, or do whatever else relaxes you, you bring your blood pressure and heart rate back down. Even if you’re crunched for time or spend a lot of time away from home, you can meditate wherever you are. Simply put your phone on silent, set it down, close your eyes, and focus your attention on slowing your breath for three to five minutes.
In response to physical activity, the body releases endorphins — chemicals that naturally elevate mood, improve sleep, and alleviate pain, helping reduce stress levels. That’s why, if you regularly experience stress, you should exercise for 30 minutes per day, five days per week (it’s wise to do this even if you aren’t stressed). You don’t always have to go to the gym; you can also go for a hike, take a walk around the neighborhood, or do an at-home workout — whatever way you prefer to move!
Bad habits can compound existing stress, and one of the easiest ways to alleviate it is to change those habits. Avoid smoking, get enough sleep, drink plenty of water, try not to overeat, and opt for whole foods over processed ones.
Prescription anxiety drugs tend to provide temporary relief — but not without side-effects and health concerns. These drugs can also make your condition worse than it was before by creating an addiction to the drug and subsequent withdrawals when you try to go off them. Natural supplements like Anxie-T, on the other hand, offer some of the same relief but without the side-effects or withdrawal symptoms. Anxie-T contains ingredients from nature that calm the body and mind in many ways. Read about some of them below.
Ashwagandha is an evergreen shrub from the nightshade family cultivated in India, Africa, and regions of the Middle East. This plant is made into medicine and stress support supplements (like Anxie-T) because of its abilities to reduce inflammation, support the immune system, reduce blood pressure, and calm the brain.
Low levels of Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) have been linked to anxiety and stress. GABA is a natural neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for inhibiting nerve excitability in the brain and nervous system, which is why this substance is included in stress support supplements like Anxie-T.
L-theanine is said to help you relax and decrease your heart rate without making you drowsy. This is an amino-acid like compound found primarily in tea leaves that has become a popular additive in many foods for its ability to boost mood and cognitive performance.
This is a bitter alkaloid that comes from the Cacao plant. It’s found in chocolate and is similar to caffeine. As a part of the alkaloid family, it may have positive effects on mood and states of alertness.
This plant is found in the Pacific Islands. It is traditionally used as part of political, social, and religious ceremonies as a drink and is believed to have sedative effects.