Congratulations! You made it through Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday in one piece! I don't know about you, but it always seems like this time of year just shows up without warning, and all of the sudden, I'm deep into shopping for gifts and writing out lists and planning meals and figuring out last minute holiday travel plans. Compound that with a lot of family time (in an election year... eeek) and the pressure to have your house decorated *just so* and it's no surprise that we can often feel a bit stressed out around the holiday season.
We always recommend natural solutions to stress before partaking in any supplementation. The best naturals ways to combat stress include meditation, exercise, and a healthy diet. However, if you are doing those things and still cannot relax, have no fear... we have several stress support products that can help!
Calcium may get all of the media attention, but its partner magnesium plays much more than a supporting role in your health. While the mineral is definitely crucial for helping calcium and other nutrients create strong bones, magnesium is required for more than 300 metabolic reactions, including normal muscle and nerve function as well as immune system health. It also is a key nutrient for promoting a robust cardiovascular system, helping to regulate blood pressure and heart rhythm. Less familiar is the important job magnesium has when it comes to mental health, stress relief and enjoying the health benefits of restorative sleep. Stress levels are at an all-time high, and are a factor in mood swings and feelings of anxiety.
You’ve had those times in your life: too many demands leave you feeling irritable, anxious or unfocused. Perhaps you’ve lost interest in sex. Maybe sudden sounds or movements send you jumping out of your chair. While life demands might trigger your symptoms, what’s going on in your body chemically involves the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). A calming brain chemical, GABA not only induces relaxation and reduces the effects of stress and anxiety, but it also helps to balance all of your other neurotransmitters. When GABA levels aren’t sufficient, you may feel unprepared to handle even the most mundane life situations.
Our adrenal glands (two triangular shaped glands located above the kidney) react to stress by releasing cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, into our bloodstream. Cortisol helps regulate blood pressure, cardiovascular functions, and metabolism. The adrenal glands are also responsible for manufacturing and releasing adrenaline, which gives us the “fight or flight” response.
The “fight or flight” response in humans is built into the oldest part of our brains. It is this survival capability that has allowed the human race to thrive against such fierce natural odds.
When faced with outside threats, the brain sends a warning to the hypothalamus, the pituitary and adrenal glands which respond by secreting hormones. The end product is cortisol, which is delivered to the vascular system by the adrenal glands. Cortisol is necessary for normal brain, immune, muscle and blood sugar function and blood circulation.
The net effect of constant stress is excess cortisol in the blood stream which can affect virtually every system in the body.