5 OF THE BEST ADAPTOGENS FOR STRESS RELIEF
Stress is something that affects us all and can take a massive toll on our life if not properly managed. From crazy long meetings at work, to juggling a social life, including friends and family, to keeping track of everything on your calendar and bills– well, it can be extremely taxing, to say the least.
Finding ways to cope with stress looks a little different for each person, and sometimes, these can include unhealthy habits that actually damage our bodies and add to our stress levels , even if it’s entirely unintentional. For example, we tend to consume copious amounts of caffeine or eat unhealthy comfort foods when we are starting to feel the effects of a stressful time period.
However, there is a better way to cope. Why consume junk at a detriment to our well-being when we can instead utilize an all-natural product? For a healthy alternative, look no further than adaptogens, which are designed to help us manage this sort of pressure.
Adaptogens are herbal aids that help us achieve homeostasis and restore a sense of balance to our bodies and minds. They are even capable of helping us recover from both short-term and long-term physical and mental stress. A few other benefits include boosting our immune systems, combatting fatigue, enhancing mental performance, easing depression and anxiety and just overall helping the body achieve a real sense of restoration and wellness.
HOW DO THEY WORK?
When we encounter a stressor of any type, our body immediately goes into general adaptation syndrome or ‘GAS’ for short. GAS is a three-stage response system that is made up of alarm, resistance and exhaustion.
To put it mildly, exhaustion is the phase we don’t want to end up in, as it is the worst on our health. With the aid of adaptogens, we can stay in the resistance phase longer, helping us combat exhaustion and keep trekking. Crashing in the middle of a stressful moment or task is not ideal under any circumstance, and can even add to our stress if we don’t feel motivated to keep moving. Using adaptogens is essential to help stabilize our equilibrium and allows us to power through even the most difficult of days.
STRESS DOWN FALLS
Cortisol is a stress hormone stored in our adrenal gland that is released upon coming into contact with a stressor. While its job is to help us stay energized and tackle a crisis, too much of it too often can be bad for our bodies, such as leading to weight gain, especially around the belly area. So when we rely on adaptogens to help curb stress instead of overworking our bodies, resulting in the overproduction of cortisol.
Stress can also be responsible for throwing off our circadian rhythm. This includes our immune function, hormone balance, cognitive function system and our internal alarm clock. When this is compromised, it is obviously a huge issue and is a detriment to our overall health and well-being.
Adaptogens can come in many forms, including capsules that can be taken orally. Or to make it tasty, add your supplemental powder to a smoothie or tea, or even include it into a broth or soup. There is no one way to consume these products, and choosing an option that works best for you is key. So whether it’s in a tasty smoothie or taken as a quick capsule, you can help combat your stress.
At Club Woodside, a Kansas City wellness center, they actually feature an expansive drink menu where these antigens can be added into a delicious smoothie, coffee or tea of your choice, opting for an adaptogen as an add-in.
These beverages can be made with quality Four Sigmatic products, a company that is renowned for its all-natural health products. If you are on the go and don’t have time to hang out at the world-class kitchen, you can order one online for pickup or curbside. Or for true convenience, get it delivered! This is the best option for someone stuck at work and in the middle of their stressful environment.
In The Spa at Woodside Boutique shop, you can also find Peak & Valley products that are available for purchase. This is a great option to utilize if their smoothie bar isn’t something you can always access or have time for. Take home a bit of wellness and access stress-relieving adaptogens anywhere you go, because after all, that’s where we probably need it the most!
TIMING IS ESSENTIAL
When it comes to using these products, getting the timing down is very important. Pay close attention to which herbs you are using so they flow naturally and work in tandem with your body’s pre-set system rather than fighting against it. For example, we are designed to be lively and energetic in the morning and to settle down and rest by early evening. Just like it’s not ideal to drink caffeine past a certain point of the day, the same logic applies to adaptogens.
Remember to use them as needed. These products might not be something you consume daily, but rather, is an aid that you call upon during times when your stress is nearing its peak or you are going through a particularly difficult patch. It is recommended to swap out and rotate the type of adaptogen you’re using about every six weeks so your body can receive a max benefit from varying herbs.
A TOOL FOR HEALTH – NOT A CURE-ALL
Just like proper diet and regular exercise, the regular use of adaptogens is meant to play a part in the larger overall picture of health but it cannot do it alone. It does not replace the fundamentals, such a good night’s sleep, eating a balanced diet or drinking sufficient water.
They are meant to be a tool to aid at some of the times where stress gets the best of us, such as the hectic holidays, cramming for finals, or during a particularly intense and taxing week at work.