What Are the Best Natural Remedies for Stress?

Hello everyone. This is Dr. Bill Rawls here
with some ideas for the best natural remedies for stress. We all have it. Stress has become
really a pervasive part of the modern world. When you look at solutions to stress, I think
you have to ask the question: Well, what is stress? Stress is an over-activation of our sympathetic nervous system — that fight or flight response. If you look back at past human history, we
needed that fight or flight response when we had a threat, like a tiger chasing us or
some other kind of emergency; you need to have that in place. And what it’s doing is
it’s preparing your body for conflict or dealing with a threat: It elevates your pulse. It
quickens your reflexes. It gets your mind clicking, so everything in your body can deal
with whatever stress is at hand. The hormone that fuels that is adrenaline. That’s your
fight or flight response hormone. What’s happening in the modern world, though,
is we’re getting hit from all angles. We always have this perception of threat with deadlines
and all the things that come at us in a day, and then when something isn’t coming at us,
we go after it because we like that feeling of being stimulated. We watch stimulating
movies. We’re constantly activating our fight or flight response. And it can get to the
point where it’s just overactive. Just at the drop of a pin, you’ve activated your fight
or flight response, and your body stays keyed up. How do we get rid of that? Well, one of the
first things that I always put out there as far as natural relief for stress, is following
through with what you would do with a fight or flight response. You move. Like if a tiger
was chasing you, you’d be running. Well, turns out that just getting out and
walking is one of the best ways to diffuse stress. Any kind of movement is really good
for that. Whenever you start feeling tense — you know that feeling — that feels like
energy is just piling up in the upper part of your body. You tense your muscles up. You
tense your neck up. You start tightening up. You breathe faster. And that’s that fight
or flight response coming on. That’s your adrenaline levels coming up. Just getting
out and walking is a nice way to diffuse that. But, of course, it’s not always practical
to have to get out and walk because you’re sitting at work and you’ve got responsibilities
and things to do. There are some natural herbal therapies that you can use that are really
nice. There are many different herbs that have calming or sedative properties. Some of my personal favorites: One combination
that I use is an adaptogen called ashwagandha, which has the effect of balancing our stress
hormones. It’s actually just very mildly stimulating, so you can couple that with some calming herbs.
I typically use a magnolia and philodendron species and a substance called L-theanine. L-theanine is an amino acid, which you find
in green tea. And what it does is it competes in your brain with glutamate, one of your
exciting neurotransmitters, so it has this nice calming effect. That’s a nice combination
that is calming without being sedative. In other words, it won’t make you sleepy. It
won’t make you feel tired or drugged. It just makes you feel more stress-resistant, which
is a really nice way to feel when you’ve got that busy day ongoing all the time. Now when you need something a little bit stronger,
there are things out there, the step-up above that for getting a more sedative level.
I use a combination of bacopa, passion flower, and motherwort. Now, I like these herbs because
they don’t have drug-like effects. It’s not like taking a drug where you go, “Oh, yeah. I can
feel that immediately.” It’s more just calming and just kind of makes you feel normal again.
No habituation. Low risk of tolerance. So these herbs don’t really have any potential for side effects, or their potential is very low. Then, the step-up from there is an acute situation:
My boss got angry at me, and I’m really stressed out, and I know I’m not going to sleep tonight.
That’s when you start thinking about some of the more potent herbs like kava, valerian,
and there’s a whole list of others that have more potent calming properties. And you would only want to use those just occasionally or intermittently. Not something that you want
to use every day. The more potent you get, the more chance there is of habituation and
tolerance if you use this thing continually. At the baseline level, that ashwagandha combination
is really nice. Next level, bacopa and those kinds of herbs. Bacopa is really well-known
for helping your brain work better, as is ashwagandha. And then, for that occasion where
you just need something to really knock it out, that’s when you look at kava and some
of those kinds of combinations of herbs. That’s some short tips for managing daily
stress. If you would like to know more of this kind of information, check out my website, RawlsMD.com. Lots of great information there. Sign up for our newsletter — you won’t be disappointed. Lots of great information for just coping in our modern world today. Thank you very much. Take care! Thanks for watching this video. Please take the time to leave a comment below. Ask me any questions, or if you have any topics that you’d like to hear about, pass those along. And please subscribe to my channel, so you’ll have these videos coming your way regularly. Thank you!

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