Sometimes we just need to chill out. There are times when I come home from a busy day at work when I know my normal routine just isn't going to get those calming neurotransmitters going in abundance. So I've created this list of go-to, at-home, stress busting foods, habits and supplements that you can use in an instant to de-stress and calm and nourish your over active nervous system.
1. Warm Broth.
Hydrating, warm, calming homemade (or store bought) free range broth. Hydrating the body and encouraging good circulation and digestion, broth can be calming and warming. Perfect for to wind down with after a stressful day. Make sure you add a good dash of himalayan or celtic salt to support the adrenals and hydrate well.
2. Write down what's on your mind.
Get a pen and download a "To Do" list on good ol' fashioned paper. Releasing all that built up info from your brain can create enough relief to get the serotonin going. Writing things down helps you to remember tasks for the next day, and relieves you of the stress of trying to always remember every little detail.
3. Nourishing Nervines
One of my personal favourite ways to help the body cope with stressful times is to use a daily dose of the herb WIthania. Withania is known as a calming adaptogen, meaning it helps your organs cope with non-specific stress, whilst calming anxiety or that "wired" feeling. Emotional or physical stress? Withania has got your back! Not to mention it's hormone balancing, fatigue busting and libido boosting effects, this herb is sure to calm your nervous system and get you a better night's sleep too.
Try starting with a dose of good quality capsules like Nature's Sunshine WIthania. Use between 3 - 6 capsules in one dose when you need calming or just before bed for a deep sleep.
4. Sweat It Out
Help your body deal with stress and anxiety by utilising those stimulating hormones in the gym, or get outdoors for your favourite exercise. Exercise helps your body deal with the "flight or fight" response by giving your muscles an effective action to do. The way our caveman biology would respond to stressors would be to take action and fight or run away. Recreate that environment by having a workout and getting the sweat going! The bonus is a release of happy endorphins at the end , and hopefully a good night's sleep.
5. Set the morning up right: Protein = Calm and Focus
Avoid high carbohydrate breakfasts like cereal or plain toast. These carbs, although they give you an immediate boost of energy, will leave you feeling lethargic and prone to reactive low blood glucose by mid morning. Imbalances in blood sugars can trigger anxiety and high stress states.
Include a high protein food in your breakfast instead, like eggs, homemade pancakes, grilled meat or fish, a protein smoothie or leftover dinner. The protein gives your body an abundance of amino acids to create calming neurotransmitters that help you focus and concentrate throughout the day. You'll also find you are less likely to be subject to mid afternoon cravings for sugary, processed foods. Bonus!