KTH Flashback: Stress Isn’t Going Anywhere. So What to Do About It?
Posted on Wednesday, April 1st, 2020
Last week, we looked at the importance of self-care in weathering the extra stress brought on by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. As it shows no signs of abating anytime soon, we thought we’d repost this piece from last summer, which includes some additional info on supplements and homeopathics that may be helpful in easing stress and anxiety…
If you feel more stressed out than ever these days, you’re hardly alone.
Take our country’s current political climate and recurring episodes of mass violence, top it off with the more typical stress-inducers of money and work, and you’ve got a perfect recipe for feeling totally maxed out.
According to the American Psychological Association’s most recent Stress in America survey, younger adults appear to be feeling it most of all.
Slightly more than nine in 10 Gen Zs between ages 18 and 21 say they have experienced at least one physical or emotional symptom due to stress in the past month, compared to around three-quarters of adults overall who say they have experienced at least one symptom. Among Gen Z adults (ages 18 to 21), common symptoms of stress include feeling depressed or sad (58 percent), lack of interest, motivation or energy (55 percent) or feeling nervous or anxious (54 percent). During the prior month, adult Gen Zs also commonly reported laying awake at night due to stress (68 percent) or eating too much or eating unhealthy food (58 percent).
Only Millennials say they’re more stressed out, with their average reported stress level at 5.7 on a scale of 1 to 10.
Overall, “nearly three-quarters of adults (74 percent) say they have experienced at least one symptom of stress in the past month.” About half say the stress has disrupted their sleep. A little more than a third say it has a negative impact on diet.
Unfortunately, things like poor diet can actually make matters worse. So can other aspects of our modern way of life. While time in nature can lower stress, for instance,
Bright light or blue night exposure late in the evening from the use of LED screens can delay the release of melatonin, a hormone that has been shown to reduce anxiety. Low-intensity exercise reduces circulating levels of cortisol, yet the need for frequent movement is often redundant.
Urbanisation is increasing the consumption of processed food and an ultra-processed diet has been linked to the incidence of depressive symptoms in at least two large cohorts. Our dietary habits modify the micro-organisms living in the digestive tract and these micro-organisms, through cross-talk with immune cells and other routes, can influence how the mind reacts to stress.
There is some evidence that modulating gut microbiota with specific foods or taking probiotics can help reduce symptoms of anxiety. Early results suggest taking either a single strain or a combination of probiotics may reduce mental fatigue and improve cognitive performance during stress – but not in the absence of stress.
(Aside: The whole book excerpt the above quote comes from is fascinating, and we encourage you to take a few minutes to read the whole thing.)
Naturally, this raises the question of what to do about all this stress, for chronic stress has been well documented not just to impact the mind, but body, too, oral and systemic health alike.
But it’s not like we can just banish stress completely, nor should we want to. As Hans Selye, the doctor who first identified the stress response, once wrote, “No one can avoid stress. To eliminate stress completely would mean to destroy life itself. If you make no more demands upon your body, you are dead.”
What we can do is develop strategies for dealing with ongoing negative stress in healthy ways – and there are lots of great ones out there, such as the ones on this tip sheet. Some supplements may also be helpful. Vitamin D, valerian root, B complex, lavender, and lemon balm, for instance, have all been proven to help alleviate stress and anxiety.
Additionally, Dr. V recommends a trio of homeopathic-spagyric remedies by Pekana. These German-made medications are high-energy remedies that have been developed to successfully treat many individuals for mental strain and emotional exhaustion. Where the allopathic drugs, stimulants, and sedatives many often reach for place even greater demands upon an already worried and exhausted body, the combination of remedies below helps restore proper organ function and energetic balance to the performance of the body through gentle auto-regulation.
- Neu-regen syrup, for mental and physical exhaustion
- PSY-stabil drops, for anxiety, lack of concentration, restlessness, and nervous exhaustion
- coro-CALM drops, a sedative for circulatory function which frequently accompanies anxiety, worry, and psychic unrest
These medications are most commonly available through doctors – we keep a full range of Pekana remedies available here in our office – though there appear to be some online sellers now, as well. Feel free to reach out to us if you need help getting the three listed above – or if you want to learn more about the role these and other measures might help you in your quest towards optimum health.
Top image by Erik F. Brandsborg, via Flickr