7 Ideas To Help Reduce Stress

Dec 01, 2022 Stress

7 Ideas To Help Reduce Stress

Quick Health Scoop

  • 75% of U.S. adults experience moderate to high stress levels1
  • Stress can be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term)
  • Stress management tips include getting more exercise, practicing mindfulness and eating foods with beneficial nutrients
  • Some nutritional supplements have been shown to help reduce stress

Stress Affects Most Of Us

In a recent poll, 75% of U.S. adults reported having moderate to high levels of stress.1 That means a majority of us are stressed! How do we find some stress relief? No need to worry, as Dr. Susan Hazels Mitmesser, Head of Scientific Research at Nature Made®, has some suggestions you can easily implement to help relieve stress today.

 

 

#1: Identify your type of stress.

First, did you know that there are different types of stress and not all are negative? Stress can motivate us to prepare for a big presentation or prepare to be filmed on camera, for example.

While some stress can be useful, some stress can turn negative. When looking for ways to manage stress, you need to determine what type of stress it is. How do we do that? Here are some useful terms:

  • Acute Stress: happening here and now. Like preparing for that big presentation, acute stress is of short duration and is not always negative.
  • Chronic Stress: happening over time. Chronic stress, because it is ongoing, can negatively affect your body, whether it’s irritability, an inability to focus, headaches, or disrupted sleep.

 If you’ve identified your stress as chronic stress, then it’s a good idea to take action to mitigate it.

#2: Know the difference between stress & anxiety.

 Stress and anxiety are not the same, even though sometimes these words are used interchangeably. So, what’s the difference? Dr. Susan breaks it down:

  • What is stress? Stress is external. Think of it as events that are happening to us. We feel stressed when we react to a stressor, whether that’s from work, family, or a barking dog disrupting our focus.
  • What is anxiety? Anxiety is the anticipation of something happening, whether or not we know for sure it will happen. It is the act of worrying that affects our body from the inside out.

Both stress and anxiety can have a physical effect on our minds and body. But how we manage stress and anxiety may be different.

#3: Supplements may help with stress.

Some dietary supplements may help reduce stress. Here are Dr. Susan’s recommendations:

  • Ashwagandha is an herb that has been clinically studied to help reduce stress. The root and leaves of the Ashwagandha plant have long been used in Ayurvedic medicine as an herb that supports stress resilience. For Ashwagandha benefits, check out Nature Made® Ashwagandha supplements in either daily capsules or tasty gummies.
  • L-Theanine is a non-protein amino acid that has been shown to help relax your mind. L Theanine is naturally found in some green and black teas as well as the bay bolete mushroom. Nature Made® uses L-Theanine in some stress supplements and sleep supplements as it helps support relaxation.
  • Magnesium is a mineral that helps with muscle relaxation. But that’s not all! This essential mineral assists in hundreds of metabolic functions in the body, and Magnesium benefits also include supporting muscle and heart function. Nature Made® Magnesium supplements can help with stress management because Magnesium helps relax the body.

#4: Avoid certain foods.

Some foods should be avoided if you’re looking to lessen your mental and physical reaction to stress. These include high sugar foods (ice cream, donuts), highly processed foods (pizza, chips), caffeine and excessive alcohol.

#5: Increase certain foods.

On the other hand, some foods are beneficial during times of stress. These include foods high in Magnesium, such as avocados, bananas and dark chocolate. In addition, look to increase your fiber with foods such as beans, lentils, and whole grains, and aim to eat fatty fish like salmon and tuna as they contain Omega-3 fatty acids.

#6: Exercise.

Exercise is great for your mind and body as it increases endorphins. Dubbed the happy hormone, endorphins decrease the communication of pain signals, which can help reduce stress. Remember that with exercise, a little can go a long way! You don’t need to do a two-hour run. Instead, a 15-minute walk outside is enough to raise those endorphins to help you find some stress relief.

#7: Work on cognitive training.

Don’t forget about your brain! Part of how we react to stress happens internally, in our brain. How to calm your mind? Try practicing mindfulness and meditation as these activities help train your brain to focus and relax, thus helping to decrease your stress level.

There you have it! Seven ideas on how to relieve stress courtesy of Dr. Susan. Remember to consult with your healthcare provider if you’re considering buying ashwagandha capsules or other stress support supplements.

Learn More About Stress Management:


† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


References

American Psychological Association. Stress in America: Coping with Change, Part 1. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association; 2017. https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2016/coping-with-change.pdf

 

Authors

Susan Hazels Mitmesser, PhD

VP, Science and Technology

Dr. Mitmesser provides scientific leadership at Pharmavite to advance innovation and new product development strategies, and to ensure the scientific integrity of all products made under its brand portfolio. She has a passion for nutrition and wellness and leverages her ability to communicate scientific findings to consumers and the marketplace. She brings extensive experience in research and nutritional biochemistry across various industries and sectors, including food, dietary supplements, academia and clinical settings. She serves on the Editorial Board of four peer-reviewed journals: Advance Journal of Food Science and Technology, Journal of Pediatric Intensive Care, World Journal of Clinical Pediatrics, and Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. In addition, she has published in many peer-reviewed journals and is a contributing author for book chapters relating to nutrition in adult and pediatric populations. Dr. Mitmesser is an active member of the American Society of Nutrition, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the New York Academy of Sciences. She also serves on the Senior Scientific Advisory Council for the Council for Responsible Nutrition. Currently, Dr. Mitmesser is an adjunct professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences at the University of Connecticut and in the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. She holds a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of Nebraska and a Master’s degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

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Amy Mills Klipstine

NatureMade Sr. Copywriter

Amy has an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University in Los Angeles and is a credentialed English teacher, though she left the classroom to write full time. She especially enjoys creating educational content about health, wellness, and nutrition. Her happy place is in the kitchen, and when not writing, you can find her trying out “kid-friendly recipes” and “healthy desserts for chocolate lovers” from her Pinterest board.

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