Feeling stressed out is one of the most common complaints of modern times. Although being fired up and ready to act can be useful, and even life-saving, being continually “on” can have negative, long-term consequences.


When the body is in active stress mode, tissues are broken down for energy, and digestion and immunity become suppressed. Therefore, in order to allow other important processes such as nutrient assimilation and body regeneration to take place, it is important to find ways to manage the stress response.  Getting regular breaks from this high alert mode of functioning will go a long way to prevent other illnesses down the road.

Here are some stress-reducing suggestions:

  1. Finding the right supplements can help. Adaptogenic herbs assist the body in coping, making it more resilient to stress. Herbs such as Siberian ginseng, rhodiola, holy basil (tulsi), ashwaganda and licorice are often part of common, stress support formulas.
  2. Use Herbs. If you find it difficult to relax on your own, calming and nervine herbs can help take the edge off so you can relax and get the rest you need. Skullcap, lemon balm, valerian and passionflower are common herbs included in nervine supportive teas or supplements. L-theanine, found in green tea, for example, helps to create calm brain waves that translate into mental clarity.
  3. Exercise!Your body is wired to jump into action as extra energy is released during stressful situations. So use up the fuel to prevent it from turning to fat around your mid-line.
  4. Take a Break. Take regular breaks throughout the day to read, meditate or daydream.
  5. Use your imagination. Imagine creative solutions and positive outcomes for problems at hand. Research has shown that thoughts such as “I can do this!” can lowercortisol substantially.
  6. Slow down. Literally…sloooowwww down.  Get a massage, take a bath, do yoga, breathe deeply.
  7. Avoid stimulants that contain caffeine or similar substances especially inthe afternoon.
  8. Sleep! Less than 5 or 6 does not allow enough time for regeneration

Kristina’s pick:

Spoonk Mat

Kristina staff pick 2014 spoonk-web

I love the Spoonk acupressure mat. Although it takes some time to get used to the sensation of prickles on your back, it is well worth it. A little pain with a lot of gain…A 20 minute rest on the Spoonk mat increases circulation to tight muscles and releases endorphins. I can literally feel the tension draining away at the end of a busy day. At night, it can often relax me to the point where I even find myself falling asleep on it.