Wine might be your stress-reliever of choice, but that comes with drawbacks. First one being that you can’t — or shouldn’t — indulge in a glass of Cabernet before a morning meeting.
That limitation plus the potential for hangover got me researching safe, effective supplements that will support a calmer, chiller me. And while this might sound like a weird journey to go on, I’ll share a personal tangent that makes it slightly less weird.
Here goes. I own a show horse who gets very anxious in competition. If his anxiety level gets too high, bad things happen. So, I have some processes to manage this. One is extra exercise. Another is an equine calming supplement that’s aptly named Total Calm & Focus.
It’s been a long-running joke between my husband and me that if there were a Total Calm & Focus for people, I would take it.
The thing is, there are supplements for people that promote calmness. Quite a few of them, actually. And whether you show horses or care for triplets or work a high-powered job, you could likely use some peace just existing in this hyper-connected world.
So, if you’re ready to turn down the volume on life’s chaos symphony, read on to meet a few game-changing formulas that combat stress and nervous tension. From personal experience laced with a dash of science magic, these are my go-to elixirs for managing stress.
Before we dive in, here’s a request: Please talk with your doctor before taking any of these. What works for me may not be suitable, or even safe, for you.
Let’s start with Ashwagandha, the ancient herb some people call stress-killer. Ashwagandha has been around for centuries, getting thumbs-ups from weary warriors and overworked parents alike. Here’s my take: Incorporating ashwagandha into my daily routine was akin to giving nervous energy a major cold shoulder.
I did try ashwagandha in gummy form, which I enjoyed. Chewing a slightly sweet calming gummy takes a moment, which I used as a tiny time-out amid life’s madness.
Here’s a combo straight out of stress-free utopia: Kava dark chocolate laced with THC. It’s pretty much dessert with benefits, and your taste buds get to partake on the bliss train.
I first came across kava while on a bucket-list trip to the South Pacific. That method of consumption involved a wooden bowl passed amongst a circle of friends I’d just met. The stuff is relaxing, but I’d happily skip the ceremony and the shared bowl of brown liquid.
You can imagine I was thrilled to learn kava comes in more palatable forms. Plus, kava mixed with THC works like a tag team for tranquility. But you do need to watch dosage on this one, so you don’t turn your unwind session into a next-day regret festival.
Magnesium is my current stress-buster of choice. For me, this mineral calms nerves and muscles without any side effects. But that’s me. You should know that WebMd says magnesium can cause stomach upset as well as low blood pressure and other bad things.
This wonder element does play like the unsung hero in relaxation stories. I’ve had many “Why didn’t I try this sooner?” evenings since introducing it into my night routine. It makes for an easy, dreamy night’s sleep and days that are manageable no matter what happens.
I’ll say it again here. Talk to your doc to find out if any of the above supplements might work for you. While you’re there, ask about a few more over-the-counter magic makers:
- L-Theanine: Green tea’s chill-out buddy without the buzz
- Valerian Root: Mother Nature’s lullaby in a bottle
- Omega-3s: Brain food that smooths out mental wrinkles
- Probiotics: Because happy gut vibes can lead to happier mind vibes
Full disclosure, I’ve not tried these four. But they’ve come up in my research and are on my list.
That adds up to seven tools in your stress arsenal. Here’s hoping at least one safely lights up your path to serenity.