You are not alone. Millions of people live in a state of constant stress, even before holiday season, so much so that for many it has become the new normal – but it really shouldn’t be. While it is inevitable that you will experience some stress from time to time, the stress defenses evolved from your natural “fight or flight” response suffer when they are constantly in overdrive. Frequent stress can lead to unwelcome health consequences, including migraines, sleep disorders and worse.
Unrelieved stress can also result in unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking or frequent alcohol or drug abuse, bringing about a vicious cycle that further depletes your ability to deal with chronic stress. It isn’t surprising that unresolved stress is a contributing factor in the six leading causes of death in America, including heart disease, cancer, and lung disease.
When the holidays amp up your daily volume of stress that is already unmanageable, it can be tough to deal with. But the good news is, healthy lifestyle choices can go a long way in learning to manage stress. First, remember the basics: eat a healthy diet, drink plenty of water, get regular exercise, and get enough sleep. Additionally, there are a couple of vitamin and mineral supplements that may help you mitigate your stress and achieve more balance, even in the bustling holiday season.
B complex vitamins are known for boosting energy levels and improving cognitive performance. Clinical data suggests that supplementing your diet with B complex vitamins can help keep your energy high and stress low.
Clinical trials have also shown that supplementing your diet with B complex vitamins can help reduce “personal strain,” and depressed or anxious feelings when in high stress situations. In essence, it supports a feeling of calm and stability. If you want to be more relaxed under strain and pressure, supplementing with B complex vitamins could help.
Magnesium is a mineral that is essential for muscle and nerve function. Multiple studies have shown that magnesium is especially crucial for sleep. A 2012 study published by the National Institutes of Health demonstrated that supplementing with magnesium improves sleep quality.
Sleeplessness and stress go hand-in-hand. We all know the struggle and frustration of tossing and turning in bed all night. But long-term, failing to get enough sleep or getting a poor quality of sleep can have serious health consequences. If that is something you struggle with, magnesium is worth consideration.
Before adding any supplements to your diet, talk to your doctor to be sure they will not interfere with underlying health conditions or other medications you are taking. Also, be sure to follow his or her advice about safe dosages. Taking more than the recommended dosage could do more harm than good.
The best way to get the vitamins and minerals you need is by eating healthy foods that contain them, but supplements often can provide a safe way to boost your intake. Taking supplements, along with making healthy lifestyle choices should be an ongoing strategy for maintaining and improving your level of health and fitness, not just during the holidays. When you take care of yourself every day (physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually) you’ll be better prepared to manage stress, even during the busiest time of the year!