Stress is an inevitable part of our busy modern lives. I don’t think anyone, male or female, can honestly say that they lead completely stress free lives. While some amount of day-to-day stress is inevitable and we can deal with it, long-term chronic stress can lead to serious mental, emotional and physical complaints. You should not take stress lightly. Your body mentally and physically needs to relax. It is important to understand how the body reacts to stress and how to deal with it.

When you experience stress, your body produces cortisol. To put it very simply, cortisol is a steroid hormone that is released during stressful experiences, whether physical, mental or emotional. It can be called the stress hormone and too much or too little of this hormone can cause a wide range of health problems:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Weight gain, especially around the stomach area
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Muscle loss
  • Dry and sallow skin
  • Auto-immune diseases
  • Irregular menstrual cycles
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Digestive disorders
  • Water retention
  • Blood pressure issues either low or high

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms for a long time then I would say it is time to check your cortisol levels. A simple blood test will detect if you have high or low levels of cortisol.

While your doctors will obviously put you on medication to deal with the imbalance in cortisol, the problem will never really go away if you don’t address the issue of stress. No one can really advise anyone else on eliminating stress from their lives completely, but I can provide some suggestions and recommendations on natural ways to deal with stress and balance your cortisol levels.

Meditation can relax your entire body. Deep breathing is another excellent remedy. 45 minutes to an hour of exercise in a day is an excellent way to de stress. Do take care not to over exercise as that too can be very harmful for your body. Walking, spending time outdoors, gentle massages with oils blended with essential oils lavender, peppermint, frankincense are also good stress busters. Don’t forget, adequate sleep is of utmost importance in the stress management efforts. There are also some excellent herbal supplements for dealing with stress:

ASHWAGANDHA-BY ORGANIC INDIA-CERTIFIED ORGANIC

Ashwagandha is the king of herbs, our Indian ginseng if you like. This most powerful and potent herb has been used in India for over 4,000 years and it is still going strong. It helps our body cope with physical and emotional stress, anxiety. This is an over-all nerve tonic for both men and women that boosts the immune system, induces sleep, balances hormones, has anti-inflammatory properties, is good for cardiac health, reduces fatigue.

Photo credits: Organic India Shop

PUKKA-WHOLISTIC HOLY BASIL (TULSI)

Tulsi is our sacred herb for the mind body and soul. You can take it in tea form, powder form and even fresh leaves grown at home. It helps to reduce the chronic stress hormone in the body, is a natural pain killer, an excellent nerve tonic and has anti-cancerous properties. Tea made of tulsi helps in preventing seasonal allergies, coughs and colds and even ENT bacterial infections, and this humble herb is excellent for heart health.

MAGNESIUM WITH B6-SOLGAR

This combination helps to reduce tiredness and fatigue, calm the nervous system, reduce anxiety, balances electrolytes and regulates hormonal activity. This is extremely important supplement for both men and women and I take this dietary supplement every single day.

HIMALAYA HERBAL – STRESSCARE FOR ENERGY AND ADRENAL SUPPORT

This one has it all – calming, anti-stress, anti-fatigue properties, more than 70 different kinds of herbs and spices including the ones I’ve mentioned above. It really takes care of the cortisol levels in your system, relaxes your mind and body, and gives you more energy and mental clarity. Himalaya products are FDA approved and available in Europe and America, too.

Photo credits: iHerb.com

Try some of these herbal supplements and let me know if they help to reduce your stress levels. Write to me below or using #stayrealstayyou on Instagram @shagunkhanna