In today’s day and age, we stress about everything — our finances, our jobs or even an impending social gathering. While most of us only worry about these things from time to time and deal with it in our own ways, there are many who become truly overwhelmed by feelings of stress and anxiety. Left unmanaged, these feelings can affect our daily lives and hamper productivity and good health. Fortunately, there are several ways to effectively manage stress and anxiety, the first of which is to understand it in its entirety.
Understanding stress & anxiety
While anxiety is an emotion that can linger, stress is usually a short-term emotion that may occur in response to a specific situation. It can arise when we’re overworked, emotional or simply having a bad day. When we’re stressed, we tend to experience a faster heartbeat, nausea, general unhappiness and also a certain sense of being overwhelmed.
Anxiety on the other hand, is defined by the American Psychological Association as ‘an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure’. An anxiety disroder can cause feelings of restlessness, an inability to concentrate, sleep difficulties and increased irritability.
What causes stress and anxiety?
While we are still trying to fully understand what goes on in an anxious mind, we do know that it could be the result of one or many factors. Here are a few possible causes, to help you understand where stress and anxiety could stem for:-
Your gene pool may play a role here. People with anxiety disorders may or may not pass it down to their family members. Some people may also be pre-disposed to higher stress levels, on account of their genes.
Living in a stressful environment may lead to higher stress levels, too. For instance, a deeply stressful job, relationship troubles or even witnessing a traumatic event may cause feelings of stress and/or anxiety.
3. Medical factors:
Stress and/or anxiety may also occur due to alternate health conditions or diseases, an illness, surgery or the after-effects of some medication.
4. Drugs/ Alcohol:
Being cut off access to an addictive, illicit substance or misusing it may lead to higher stress levels.
How it affects the body
When you begin to feel stressed, the brain sends a ‘fight or flight’ alert to other parts of your body. In turn, the body releases stress hormones. This can have adverse effects on the body, going on to impact both physical and mental health. In the long run, this may also lead to chronic physical conditions. Think increased blood pressure, hyperventilation, poor cardiovascular health, poor immunity, impaired digestion, insomnia and even depression. And so, it’s absolutely imperative to learn how to manage stress and anxiety.
How to manage stress & anxiety
Feeling constantly stressed or anxious can be overwhelming and distressing. On the bright side, this can be effectively managed. With the many tools we have at hand today, it’s possible to recover and re-focus with appropriate activities geared towards relaxing and training the mind. Here are a few to get you started:-
Spending a few minutes with yourself, while focusing on nothing but your breathing patterns, may help restore calm. Guided meditation practices are also available online, to help you breathe through the stress.
Establishing a mind-body connection through yoga, is also a viable option. Yoga involves the practice of various asanas and breathing techniques that may help release stress and tension from the body.
3. Regular exercise
Staying physically active may keep the mind from straying toward unwanted thoughts. So, regular exercise may even help you work off some of that stress. Better still, exercise leads to the release of endorphins that trigger feelings of positivity and happiness. From brisk jogs to dance workouts, take your pick.
How Ayurvedic herbs can ease stress
The trusted healing system of Ayurveda is rich in the knowledge and powers of natural herbs. There are several Ayurvedic herbs that can calm the mind and enable the body to relax. Each herb comes with its own properties that may enable you to stay calmer, sleep better and feel more focused. At Panchamrit, we’ve incorporated some of these Ayurvedic herbs into our wellness products, to help you manage stress and anxiety:-
1. Valerian Root
This herb is most well-known for its ability to induce calmness. It is also known to improve sleep quality, making it an excellent Ayurvedic herb to treat stress. Of our range of Ayurvedic health products, our Anti-Stress gummies contain a prescribed dosage of Valerian root, crafted to help you feel calmer. Our Melatonin Strip also contains this potent herb, which may foster better sleep.
This Ayurvedic herb acts as an effective sedative that may calm the nerves and soothe the body. Our Anti-Stress gummies, which are plant-based supplements, are rich in chamomile, which may help relax the body and mind while improving sleep patterns.
An important herb, Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic adaptogen. This means that it can help the body cope with stress. So, it becomes an excellent remedy to reduce stress and anxiety. Our organic Anti-Stress gummies are also filled with the calming benefits of Ashwagandha, which may help you focus and maintain a more balanced, composed mind.
Simply put, the journey towards stress management may be a long one. But, it’s definitely not an impossible one! With small steps, it’s possible — now more than ever — to heal, restore balance and be calmer and better everyday.