Managing Stress & Anxiety Holistically
By living a holistic life, we subscribe to the belief that our mind, body and spirit need to be in balance to achieve optimal health. We also understand that when our body exhibits physical symptoms, we must get to the root of the problem and not only focus on repression of the symptoms.
It is no secret that we all (especially us Millennials) live fast paced, tech-driven high stress lives. We live in a social media driven world with expectations set for the perfect life that just isn't attainable. This puts us all constantly feeling like we are falling behind, or that we just don’t measure up. Knowing all of this, it shouldn’t catch anyone off guard to know anxiety levels are on the incline worldwide.
As practitioners of holism we know that often times this anxiety can cause a whole new variety of symptoms we wouldn’t often associate with stress. Stress takes a toll on your immune system making you susceptible to illness. You may be familiar with the effects stress and anxiety have on your sleep patterns, but in addition to making you feel tired this can also lower your immune system and mental function. These are just a couple of the wide array of physical manifestations of stress and anxiety you may experience.
There are many easily accessible herbs that can be added to your routine to help manage the anxiety by nourishing your nervous system. These can be taken in a variety of ways such as teas, tinctures, or capsules. While my list of herbs is considered to be well tolerated by most people, it is always best to check with your doctor or herbalist in conjunction with your medical provider to ensure these are safe for you.
Chamomile- known to gently ease nervous symptoms
Valerian Root- common sleep aid, also used to calm anxiety symptoms
Lemon Balm- bright citrus-y scented herb used to calm nerves
Kava Kava-commonly found in tea form, used to treat anxiety.
(Some discrepancy on if this is safe to use long term due to the possibility of liver issues. Verify with a provider if this is safe for you.)
Lavender-known to promote relaxation when taken internally, applied topically or used aromatically
Passionflower- studies show when taken as a capsule or tincture this time-honored folk remedy is as effective as certain prescription medications.
Science has taught us that in some cases, anxiety is brought on or made worse by vitamin deficiency. In an effort to give yourself the best foot forward on healthy living, adding a multivitamin to your diet is always a good idea.
In the true spirit of holistic living you should also address your mind and spirit on the journey for anxiety management. You can add a wonderful and effective blend of herbs and vitamins to your life, but if you don’t address the source of stressors (and stop “doing it for the gram”) then you won’t make it far along your journey. Incorporate peaceful and healthy activities like boundaries, yoga and meditation and let yourself blossom into a healthier and happier version of you!