How To Combat Stress Effectively

magnolia

Modern-day lifestyles often dictate a more hectic and faster-paced way of living, which can often result in raised stress levels; but what is the definition of stress? The classic definition of stress is ‘any real or imagined threat, and your body’s response to it’. Stress is often considered a mind-altering state and the causes of stress produce a physical reaction in the body.

When a person feels overwhelmed by a situation, they throw their bodies into a ‘fight or flight’ response. This response physically increases the heart rate, increasing blood pressure, and blood is moved from your mid-section of the body to the legs, arms and head, for quick thinking and for fighting or fleeing.

Some stress is unavoidable and can actually be of benefit such as the adrenaline rush for needing to meet deadlines, however stress becomes a problem under the following circumstances:

  • If you are continuously in an overwhelming mode.
  • When your response to that mode is negative.
  • When your emotions and reactions are inappropriate to the stressor.

Prolonged stress can be linked to heart disease, muscle pain, chronic headaches, insomnia, weight loss and some digestive disorders; it is also considered to be the single biggest killer of the 21st century.

How stress effects your health and digestion

When your body is under stress, the digestive system shuts down completely. Since large numbers of the adult population are under some kind of stress on a daily basis, this often creates a problem. You may be eating the healthiest food, yet your body will not be able to digest food efficiently and subsequently will be unable to burn food for energy.

Detrimental effects of stress include:

  • Reduced digestive enzyme production leading to improper breakdown of food and bloating.
  • Greatly reduced nutrient absorption.
  • Reduced oxygenation of the gut.
  • Reduced metabolism since blood flow is greatly reduced.

Additionally, many nutrients are excreted or utilised heavily at times of stress and include water soluble vitamins especially B vitamins, minerals, and in particular calcium. In most cases cholesterol and triglyceride levels go up, levels of the beneficial bacteria in your gut diminish and some may experience heartburn, reflux or sensitivities to food.

To make matters worse, when your body is under stress, cortisol and insulin levels increase. These two hormones work in synergy and increased cortisol levels, due to stress, can result in increased insulin production. Insulin is the fat depositing hormone and therefore under stressful conditions it is difficult to lose weight. Scientists have acknowledged that visceral fat, the fat around your midriff, is a contributory factor to developing diabetes as well as other health concerns.

When you are under stress the body is unable to digest efficiently, absorb vital nutrients or burn calories. Stress may also contribute to reduced immunity, elevated blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, elevated blood sugar levels, hormonal disturbances and the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Whilst you cannot eliminate stress entirely, you can take control by managing it effectively.

How to manage your stress

I have outlined some of the strategies that could be of benefit to make you feel better when stressed:

Calm down – Before anything else, calm down. Close your eyes and take a deep breath.

Be positive – Remember the good things in life. When you are stressed, it is easy to fall into a cycle of negative thoughts.

Look at the big picture – If you are affected by a single stressor, put that into context.

Take action – Think of what you can do to solve the problem and try to action it.

Exercise – Numerous studies indicate that exercise releases endorphins, the relaxing chemicals, which may help to relieve the symptoms of anxiety.

Sleep – A good night’s sleep is absolutely essential to health.

Meditate – Whether you meditate daily or just spend the odd hour in the week, you may find this a useful tool.

Consider the use of a supplement – There are many good supplements that can help to lower stress hormones.

The best supplements to help reduce stress

There are many vitamin and herbal remedies available that are marketed for stress and anxiety; notable examples include St John’s Wort, 5-Hydroxy-tryptophan and B vitamins, however some of these take a long time to work and some contra-indicate with prescribed medication.

If you are suffering from stress and would like to try something natural, I always recommend Magnolia Rhodiola Complex, which has helped many people to cope with the symptoms of stress.

Magnolia Rhodiola Complex contains:

Magnolia and Phellodendron – Magnolia bark extracts have been extensively studied and found to help physically relax muscles and nerves as well as helping to reduce excess levels of stress hormones, notably cortisol. Phellodendron is one of the 50 most important herbs in Chinese medicine. It contains numerous compounds with a variety of benefits including some phytonutrients that have natural mood elevating properties helping to support emotional well being.  This combination of herbal extracts may be invaluable to help control stress-related symptoms such as irritability, emotional ups and downs, restlessness, tense muscles, poor sleep and concentration difficulties.

Rhodiola Rosea – Also known as Golden Root, this plant thrives in the cold climates. It is termed an ‘adaptogen‘, which means that it helps to achieve balance within the body. Rhodiola contains active compounds that enhance the transport of serotonin precursors, notably tryptophan and 5-HTP, into the brain and additionally it helps reduce the degradation of mood boosting neurotransmitters. Additional benefits include energy production and immunity support, both of which may be compromised under stress.

L-Theanine – The benefits of green tea are well documented and many people drink green tea for its relaxation effect. This relaxing property can be directly traced to a unique amino acid called ‘L-theanine’, found almost exclusively in tea plants. Research has demonstrated that L-theanine can create a sense of relaxation within 30 minutes of ingestion. It does so by enhancing the formation of another amino acid, which influences levels of dopamine and serotonin. Additionally, this amino acid stimulates the production of alpha waves in the brain which helps create a deep state of relaxation and conversely can aid concentration.

Stress can absolutely devastate your health. If you are dedicated to relieving your stress, improving life, and living longer without stress-related diseases, I believe a ‘big picture approach’ should be taken. Try to address the removal of the stressors if you can, and slowly integrate some of the strategies mentioned above; finally consider the use of Magnolia Rhodiola Complex, a supplement that works to physically relax the body, reduce tension, elevate mood, aid concentration and counter sleep disturbances without any drowsiness.

Caution: Magnolia Rhodiola Complex should not be taken with any mood modifying drugs and is not suitable for use during pregnancy or whilst breast feeding.

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This content is not intended to replace conventional medical treatment. Any suggestions made and all herbs listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or symptom. Personal directions and use should be provided by a clinical herbalist or other qualified healthcare practitioner.

Mood, Shabir Daya | , , , , , , ,
  • Jackie

    Hi Shabir love your site staff are so helpful and products are the best. Could you help please I take Magnesium and Magnolia Rodiola I am 63 and do not sleep well at all
    I worry a lot and am very anxious. Should I consider Sage Complex and can I take 2 Magnolia at bedtime with my Magnesium to help me sleep and relax. Thank you so much regards Jackie

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Jackie, thank you for your kind words. You can most definitely use a magnesium supplement alongside Magnolia Rhodiola Complex and one of my favourite magnesium supplements is Neuro-Mag by Life Extension which has been shown to be taken up by the nervous system. If the anxiety is associated with female hormonal imbalance then please introduce Sage Complex into your regimen too.
    Best wishes Shabir

  • Jackie

    Thank you Shabir Can I take the Magnolia close to bedtime to aid sleep and help me to relax……..?

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Jackie, many choose to take two capsules at night together which helps. Best wishes Shabir

  • Jackie

    Thank you so much Shabir do you feel it could be a hormonal imbalance at 63 …..?

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Jackie, cortisol levels generally increase with age as our other hormones decline so yes this is a good possibility. Shabir

  • Jackie

    Thank you Shabir best regards Jackie

  • Vivien Lash

    Is a sleeping pill a “mood modifying drug”?

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Vivien, many sleeping pills work on the same receptors in the brain as mood modifying drugs.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Vivien Lash

    So if I take a short half-life diazepam at bedtime and sleep for 14 hours it’s ok to pop a magnolia rhod next day if needed?

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Theoretically this should not be a problem but best to check with your GP just in case.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Vivien Lash

    Thanks. You are my doctor’s God.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Dear Claire, Unfortunately you cannot take Magnolia Rhodiola Complex alongside fluoxetine however there is an excellent probiotic which works to reduce stress hormone levels and thus elevate mood called Florassist Mood. You can read more about this in the link below
    https://www.victoriahealth.com/editorial/a-probiotic-supplement-to-relieve-anxiety-1
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Claire Oliphant

    Thank you that’s great, I’ll try this instead.
    Kind regards
    Claire

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    You are welcome Claire and please keep us informed if you can.
    Shabir

  • Sarah Wing Hing

    HI,
    Great artical, very helpful. For sleep disorders and stress, can I take magnolia rhodiola alongside cherry night ? Or should I take 5-htp with magnolia instead?
    Many thanks in advance,

    Sarah

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Sarah, You can most definitely take either of the supplements though I would be inclined to take Cherry Night alongside Magnolia Rhodiola Complex.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Sarah Wing Hing

    Thank you. For now I have the ‘relax on’ 5-htp tablets from VH website. Are these ok to take together? Thank you,
    Sarah x

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Yes the Relaxon 5HTP are perfectly safe.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Tessa Torkington Rayment

    Can you take Lamberts 5-HTP alongside this?

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Tessa, you can definitely take 5-HTP alongside Magnolia Rhodiola Complex.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Ludo, please increase the dose to one capsule three times a day.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Kim

    Hi! I am taking Dhea and ADR by Pure Essentials. I am also taking SAM-e is all of that compatible with the Magnolia Rhodiola?

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Kim, Magnolia Rhodiola Complex would be deemed to be safe with the supplements mentioned.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • eylem

    hi

    My doctor prescribed me with propranolol tablets can i take magnolia rhodiola complex?

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Eylem, Magnolia Rhodiola Complex is recognised as safe alongside propranolol tablets.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • eylem

    Thank you for your prompt response,i hope this helps me to keep calm as i feel anxious at times kind regards.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    I am sure you will notice the benefits. Please keep us posted if you can.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Kate Duggleby

    Hi , I need help with anxiety and was considering magnolia and rhodiola, but I presently take stemetil but would like to slowly come off this, which I have done before, would it be ok to take the two together, or would you say stemetil is classed as a mood modifying drug as it is used for anxiety…? Many thanks.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Kate, Stemetil is a powerful anti-psychotic drug with mood modifying benefits so it would not be advisable to take Magnolia Rhodiola alongside this. You can most definitely take a very specific probiotic called Florassist Mood which works to enhance mood by its impact on reducing stress hormone levels. Please click on the link below to read my editorial piece on this supplement.
    https://www.victoriahealth.com/editorial/a-probiotic-supplement-to-relieve-anxiety-1
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Kate Duggleby

    Thank you for your reply. I’m only a very low dose of stemetil for vertigo, and it does help. Once i’m off it i would like to try the magnolia rhodiola, as i’m already taking a high strength probiotic. Many thanks again. Kate.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Kate, completely understand and I know that I am being ultra cautious but best to start after the stemetil.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Kate Duggleby

    Thank you, better to be ultra cautious….????

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Always best to.
    Shabir

  • Simon Hale

    Hi

    I just purchased Magnolia Rhodiola Complex, I am suffering with Anxiety due to a bad case of dermographism/urticaria which I have had for a few years.

    Is it wise to take them with dermographism/urticaria ?

    It it isn’t can you recommend anything for my anxiety other than prescription pills ?

    Thanks very much

    Simon

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Simon, there is no doubt that Magnolia Rhodiola is a powerful natural anti-anxiety supplement and to this extent it will help to tackle the symptoms. The nerve relaxing properties of magnolia extracts might also benefit in desensitising the nerves that trigger histamine production however it might also be prudent to take Stinging Nettle supplement which works all types of allergies as well as for prickly heat by inhibiting histamine which is responsible for the hives.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir