It’s how we react to stress that makes all the difference in our health and well-being. Immune health, brain health, joint health, and more are all affected by our stress response.
However, the stress response is there for a reason. It helps us react to danger, helps us think quick on our feet, and helps us maneuver when there’s a threat. This is great! We need our stress response for survival.
But when these stress triggers happen too often, or if they become chronic, health challenges may arise. Getting a handle on our stress response, and bringing it into balance will go a long way in supporting overall health and well-being.
Calming practices help. Everyone has their go-to things in this category. For some it’s meditation. Others it may be prayer, a walk in the park, or gardening. You know what your thing is. Taking time to do at least five minutes of a calming practice every, or most, days can really help.
Nutrition is key. You know as well as us that when we’re eating lots of junk foods, or lots of sugary foods, our emotional response can be off. Or our stress response can be unhinged. Let’s make sure we’re eating a balanced diet to help maintain a balanced stress response.
Movement. It’s no joke. Movement helps everything! Again, find your lane. Find the type of movement you like to do. Golf? Go for it! Surfing? Kowabunga! Running, jumping, gardening….all types of movement count.
Botanicals can be a part of a healthy lifestyle. Here are some of our favorites to help support a healthy stress response.
Hops – Oh do we love hops! Traditionally it’s used for its calming and soothing properties. Of course it can be used to brew beer, but we especially love it in tea form. If you’re lucky enough to have a garden you might want to consider growing hops. The little florets, or strobiles, can be steeped in warm or even room-temperature water and drunk as a refreshing, and calming tea.
Lavender – Who doesn’t love lavender?! Like hops, it can be brewed into tea but we love lavender, especially for its essential oil and fragrance, renowned for its calming effects. Simply having a small vile of the essential oil handy, to open and inhale, when needed may be really helpful.
Kava – Kava comes from an area called Oceana which encompasses the beautiful isles of Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia. Kava can be extracted in water and traditionally is used in ceremony, with community and as a calmative. Today we can find it in many health food stores and supermarkets. One of our favorites comes from Herb Pharm.
Ashwagandha – Ashwagandha is a renowned botanical from the Ayurvedic tradition. This revered plant is known as an adaptogen. Adaptogens are herbs that help us adapt to stress in a variety of ways. Unlike some botanicals, adaptogens are best taken over time. They don’t provide a quick source of energy but rather they help nurture and rejuvenate our energy reserves. One of our favorites is from Bold Botanica.
We hope our brief, but potent, list of botanicals helps you regain a balanced stress response.
Here’s to Your Health!