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Finding Calm in the Chaos: Navigating Stress

Updated: Jun 28, 2023

Leila Scogin C.N.H.P.

What is Stress?

Stress is a normal part of life. It's how we react to stress that can cause problems. Stress is defined as a physical or emotional reaction to an event or situation that causes you to feel overwhelmed and unable to cope, which in turn can lead to anxiety and other feelings.

Stress affects us all differently depending on our personality type and other factors such as how we were raised, our environment, etc. Some people handle stress better than others because they have learned healthy ways of coping with it throughout their lives; others may not have had these opportunities available, and can be more likely to become overwhelmed when faced with stressful situations.

While some amount of stress can be beneficial in motivating us to take action, too much stress can lead to physical and mental health problems. It is important to be able to identify stressors and situations that can exacerbate our stress levels. Though these situations can’t always be avoided, there are fortunately many natural alternatives for stress that can help you manage your symptoms and improve your overall well-being. Our goal is to give your body the tools it needs to find balance and maximize wellness.

Tips and tools to help reduce stress and mediate the body’s “fight or flight” response:

  • Deep breathing exercises: Taking measured breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth, can help to mediate the body’s fight or flight response and regulate the nervous system.

  • Staying hydrated: When we are dehydrated, our bodies are more prone to inflammation, which can lead to muscular tension in the body.

  • Movement/Somatic release: Somatic release is a series of gentle movements intended to relieve excess tension which will help to calm your body and mind. These movements can be done sitting or standing, and don’t require any equipment. (Unclench your jaw, relax your shoulders, shake out your arms an hands to help release built up tension, take three deep breaths.)

  • Avoiding/minimizing sugar and stimulants such as coffee or energy drinks: Sugar and stimulants can lead to excess inflammation in the body, making it more difficult for us to relax as well as eliminate toxins.

  • Good Nutrition: getting a good balance of whole food vitamins and minerals helps give out body the tools it needs to support a better stress response. Pay attention to how you feel after eating certain foods. Do they improve your energy and wellbeing, or contribute to stress and inflammation?

  • Supporting the Adrenals: These are the glands that handle our body’s fight or flight response (how we respond to stress) and the production of adrenaline. Supporting the adrenals helps give our bodies the tools to find calm amidst the chaos. Some of our favorite botanical tools to support the adrenals and find your calm are ashwagandha, cordyceps mushroom, and holy basil/tulsi.

  • Supporting the Nervous System: Nervines are herbs that help to support, nourish, and calm the central nervous system. Some of our favorites include skullcap, chamomile, and valerian are some of our favorites.

Find these and more in our online apothecary

Disclaimer: These statements reference historical/traditional use and have not been evaluated by the FDA. You should always do your own research before adding any new herbs to your health regimen.

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