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Well and Good: Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety are a part of everyday life in today’s culture. In times of extraordinary stress, though, it can seem impossible to deal with all of life’s demands. Even though it can seem like a mental or emotional problem, extreme stress and anxiety can have serious physical effects as well.

Lack of sleep and lost clarity of mind are the main problems reported during times of stress. Because sleep is the body’s time to rest and rejuvenate, prolonged lack of sleep can be the cause of many other health problems. If you find yourself in the midst of extreme stress and anxiety, here are some supplements you might want to consider:

  • B Vitamins. Known for their involvement in the body’s neurological response to stress, B vitamins are usually deficient in people who are experiencing a prolonged stressful situation. If you find yourself in a particularly stressful time, a B-complex vitamin is your best option, as each B vitamin plays a role in helping your body adapt to stress.
  • L-Theanine. This amino acid is known for its calming properties. Because of its ability to cross the blood brain barrier, L-Theanine is a particularly effective solution for reducing stress. It is also known to increase production of GABA, another compound that works within the nervous system to reduce stress. L-Theanine is a good option if you are experiencing lack or loss of sleep.
  • Calcium and Magnesium. The stress response causes the body to excrete calcium and magnesium, resulting in deficiency. Increasing your intake of calcium and magnesium-rich foods (like tofu, dairy and sardines) can help restore levels to normal. If you can’t stand the thought of tofu, a supplement might be a better option for you. If a supplement is more your speed, it’s a good idea to take these at night before bed.

Supplements aside, a stress management plan is essential for success in society today. Consider adding yoga or another relaxing activity to your routine, and, as always, consult your physician before beginning a new supplement regimen.