Herbal stress relief

Some of the most popular stress relief herbs are:

Ashwagandha Root is said to make you calm even as it makes you strong. The antioxidant effect of active principles of this herb may explain, at least in part, its reported anti-stress properties.

valerian

valerian

Valerian Root contains chemicals with sedative properties to help with an improvement in sleep without morning grogginess or other side effects which leads to a greater overall sense of well being.

Kava Kava which is a member of the pepper family. Kava is consumed as a drink or supplement. In small doses, its effects include muscle relaxation, sleepiness and feelings of well being but is to be taken only in the short-term.

Passion Flower is a popular anti-anxiety remedy, that makes you calm and may help relieve anxiety related stress. The fresh or dried leaves are used to make an infusion, a tea which has been found to contain beta-carboline harmala alkaloids.

St. Johns Wort has been used to treat nervous conditions since ancient Greek times. Clinical studies revealed that it can relieve anxiety and stress. This is probably the most popular plant used for herbal stress relief. Extracts are usually in tablet or capsule form, and also in teabags and tinctures.

chamomile

chamomile

Chamomile has a wonderfully soothing, sedative and absolutely harmless effect so it is the perfect herbal stress relief remedy. The Chamomile flower is brewed as a bitter herb tea infusion. It is also used for preventing nightmares.

Lemon Balm is used medicinally as a herbal tea, or in extract form. It is used as a mild sedative or calming agent. At least one study has found it to be effective for stress relief. Grow it yourself and chop it and spread over your salads.

Hops are more frequently combined with other herbs, like valerian. The relaxing effects of hops is largely due to a specific chemical component: dimethylvinyl carbinol.

Herbal stress relief is worthwhile in pursuing but when purchasing herbs (processed not fresh) try to find out the growing conditions of the herb, the plant parts that are used, time and method of harvest, extraction and other manufacturing processes, and storage. I understand that is not always possible so at least read the labels and I suggest you buy reputable brands so at least you can rely on their reputation for supplying you with a quality product.

I have found that the best one is the one that works best for YOU. Trial and error is the key to success with these herbs.

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Give a stress relief gift this Christmas

Do you suffer from stress or know someone close who does?  Are you looking for gifts for Christmas? Its the end of the year and buying for people who you know who can do with a bit of relaxation is easy with 8 ideas below.

MassageDr. Scholl’s DR6624 Toe-Touch Foot Spa with Bubbles and Massage.  A foot bubble bath and massage in one.

A book about a hobby or interest such as The Big-Ass Book of Crafts. I’m sure there is something in there for everyone.

Aromatherapy idea – Aroma Home Aromatherapy Microwaveable Hot Booties – Hot Sox.  How wonderful to have warm feet this winter and have the lovely aroma of pure essential oils.  I can feel the stress melt away at the thought. This would be my pick – family and friends please note 🙂

Music CD – The Ultimate Relaxation Christmas Album. It’s hard to believe the words  relaxation and Christmas can be used together but it does this time.

Comedy DVD – Mamma Mia! The Movie (Two Disc Special Edition).  Watch this lovely movie and sing along with them as this is a great stress reliever too.

Gift pack of relaxing teaYou’re My Cup of Tea Gourmet Food Gift Basket – a Great Gift For Her! Tea is so good for you so why not sit back and relax with a cup of tea,  and try some tea you may not have had before like the mango green tea.

Jigsaws and gamesPuzzle 3D Eiffel Tower. You can imagine you are in Paris while you do it.  Well I would as Ive been to Paris and would love to relive that memory.

Oh and if its YOU that is stressed, then just go buy a new pair of shoes or an  Oversized ”Ashlee” Tote – Brown, Red, Black or Purple handbag.  That works for me!  You cant have enough shoes or handbags can you?

These are a few of my ideas and maybe you can come up with some more.  Enjoy Christmas this year and make it as stress free as you can.   Relax and enjoy the season.

De-stressing in the Car

Looking south above :en:Interstate 80, the Eas...
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Driving to work or anywhere for that matter during peak periods can be a very stressful experience.  We seem to get all the red lights or they aren’t working, banked up traffic and construction zones.  There is also the noise and pollution associated with driving in the city.  The kids can get bored and restless and you arrive at your destination stressed.

Continue reading De-stressing in the Car

Cognitive Therapy for Anxiety

I am a big believer in cognitive therapy for anxiety as changing how you think will give long term benefits that masking the problem like taking medications cant do. I have tried both of course for anxiety help and slowly but surely the cognitive therapy has given me the results I wanted.

The following is my personal comparison with taking medications and cognitive therapy for helping me with panic attacks and reducing anxiety.

Medication
I was first referred to a Psychiatrist for my increasing anxiety and panic attacks and she prescribed medication (I wont disclose the specific drug) which unfortunately didn’t help me significantly but did gave me several side effects that were unpleasant with  one of them long lasting.

The doctor said it was unfortunate that I was one of the people who experience most of the side effects of this drug which included dizziness when bending down, creeping scalp (this persisted when I experienced anxious for many years), blurry vision.  It seems most people will only experience one or two side effects only.

Cognitive Therapy
I joined a group of people who also suffered from social anxiety and panic attacks and what surprised me when I started was how different we were and what made us suffer this way.  One person could never talk on the phone, another couldn’t return goods to a store, ordering a drink at the bar was someone else’s fear and I found it very difficult to eat in restaurants, just to name so we were so different but so similar in our reactions to their stressors.

With cognitive therapy for anxiety I learned to change my thinking and reactions to certain triggers.  I learned the tools to prevent my panic attacks and felt now confident that I could now take back control of my life.

Looking at the two now I have to say that there is no comparison in regard to the results.  Medication helped me for about a week but not to a great extent but cognitive therapy gave me back my life.

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