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Is Stress Ruining Your Lazy Summer?

Often summer is associated with relaxation and calmness, however stress can show itself during the summer months too.  Stress can cause unwanted symptoms, including fatigue, headache, sleep issues, stomach pain, depression, lack of motivation or focus, anxiety, and muscle pain. When we are stressed, our adrenal glands produce the stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline.  Chronic stress can cause the body to produce too much cortisol, causing adrenal exhaustion.  Managing stress is important for overall health.  Regular exercise and a balanced diet are helpful, along with relaxation techniques and herbal remedies, such as astragulus, ashwaghanda and rhodiola can support normal adrenal function. 

Exercise can boost feel-good endorphins and is an excellent stress reducer.  In addition, exercise increase overall health and improves mood.  Meditation is a wonderful way to take a moment to relax and re-focus energies away from a stressful lifestyle.  Make sure to get enough sleep every night (at least seven to nine hours) to give your mind proper rest.  A healthy diet with proper nutrition is important to keeping our bodies running smoothly, supplements are a good choice to fill any gaps. Certain foods have shown to provide stress relief, such as avocados, green tea, swiss chard, salmon or omega-3 rich fish, carrots, and nuts. 

Herbs which support normal adrenal function may be beneficial if cortisol levels are too high.  Astragalus root, used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries as a restorative tonic can improve energy, support normal immune and adrenal function.  Ashwaghanda is an Indian herb and has been used in ayurvedic medicine.  Ashwaghanda has powerful antioxidant properties and can provide excellent stress relief and reduce anxiety.  This herb supports normal nervous system functions, improves sleep, and balance normal cortisol levels. 

Another herb shown to reduce the effects of stress and fatigue is rhodiola rosea, used around the world for its ability to increase physical and mental performance.  Rhodiola is an adaptogenic herb which supports normal adrenal function and balancing the body’s stress response system.  Excessive stress can often affect memory function, cognitive function, focus, concentration, and spatial perception; rhodiola can provide a boost to normal mental functions, in addition to emotional calming.  Physically, this herb has shown to increase energy, strengthen the body, and fight fatigue.