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Natural remedies for stress relief

If you're consumed with stress, consider these natural remedies to find relief.

Just when you think you're free of the yearly holiday stress, it's January and you're now anxious about keeping those new year's resolutions, setting goals for your career, and assessing family needs. No wonder you're tense, cranky, and fighting off a daily sense of urgency to go-go-go and do-do-do. We feel your pain! So, we turned to Dr. Donald Brown, ND, one of the leading authorities on the safety of dietary supplements and evidence-based herbal medicine. He shares five homeopathic ways to kick stress to the curb.
Just when you think you're free of the yearly holiday stress, it's January and you're now anxious about keeping those new year's resolutions, setting goals for your career, and assessing family needs. No wonder you're tense, cranky, and fighting off a daily sense of urgency to go-go-go and do-do-do. We feel your pain! So, we turned to Dr. Donald Brown, ND, one of the leading authorities on the safety of dietary supplements and evidence-based herbal medicine. He shares five homeopathic ways to kick stress to the curb.

De-stress with lifestyle changes

Sleep and sleep some more

Just because you have a to-do list that can't be done in a normal day doesn't mean you get a free pass to neglect your sleep. Lack of sleep not only sends your good mood into a tailspin, it also hurts your health. Dr. Brown puts adequate sleep high on the to-do list, meaning some of those other things need to be reprioritized and rescheduled. "You cannot bank sleep," the natural health expert says. "Running on just a few hours during the work week, and trying to catch up on weekends, may jeopardize your immune system. Many of us need seven to eight hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep each and every night." He suggests keeping your room cool and dark and ditching the electronics as bedmates.

Harness the power of lavender

Dr. Brown is an advocate of using the relaxing power of lavender to tame tension and anxiety. You may already know that taking a deep breath of lavender essential oil can help soothe raw nerves, but lavender oil can also be taken orally in supplement form. "An oral lavender oil supplement is a great tool to have in your health arsenal as it has been shown to relieve infrequent symptoms of tension, stress and anxiety including occasional restlessness, nervousness and sleeplessness," he says. "The clinical studies on CalmAid, an oral lavender supplement, show it’s a great tool to keep you feeling more relaxed during the day leading to improved sleep at night."

Move your body

Even if you do drag your heels at the thought of working out, admit it: You feel better once you're into your workout or, at the very least, when you're done with it. Dr. Brown recommends daily exercise to ease stress. "Exercise raises the feel-good endorphins in your brain and helps get your mind focused on your body movements instead of what’s bothering you."

Escape to a peaceful place

Even though a trip to the tropics to escape from stress isn't a feasible option every day, you can steal away to your closet or close the office door or even sit in your car to spend time alone without distractions. Dr. Brown recommends even just a few minutes alone to meditate and relax.

Boost your B vitamins

Take a multi-vitamin with the recommended daily amount of B vitamins, says Dr. Brown. "Increasing your levels of vitamin B12 and other B vitamins may help to improve your mood."

About Dr. Donald Brown

Dr. Donald Brown is one of the leading authorities in the USA on the safety and efficacy of dietary supplements, evidence-based herbal medicine, and probiotics. He is a naturopathic physician and received his degree from Bastyr University in 1988. Dr. Brown currently serves as the director of Natural Product Research Consultants (NPRC) in Seattle, Washington. Founded in 1990, NPRC has provided consulting for companies in the natural products and pharmaceutical industries, as well as education for healthcare professionals, the natural products industry, and consumers. He is currently serving on the Advisory Board of the American Botanical Council (ABC) and the Editorial Board of The Integrative Medicine Alert. He has also previously served as an advisor to the Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institutes of Health.
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