Posted tagged ‘Reduce Stress’

L-Theanine – Natural Anxiety Reducer and Mood Enhancer

February 8, 2010

Stress and anxiety have become standard in our daily existence. Chronic stress and anxiety can lower your immune system, diminish your quality of life and even lead to depression. Mental health problems have grown to an epidemic level. Most people know at least one person who takes medication to relieve anxiety. But, along with the benefits of prescription drugs comes a long list of potentially unpleasant, even dangerous, side effects.

Xanax was once considered the best drug for anti-anxiety, but it’s side effects include fatigue, tiredness, coordination and memory problems, irritability, and increased appetite. Valium, Klonopin, and Ativan are also commonly prescribed anti-anxiety drugs, long term use of these medications called benzodiazepines, can lead to psychological and physical dependence, and like all medications, have the potential to damage the liver with extended use.

As more people search for safe, effective alternatives to prescription anti-anxiety drugs, herbs like Kava Kava, Chamomile and Valerian Root come to light. Although many herbs are effective to calm nerves, they’re not all without risk. Kava Kava with extended use and if combined with certain medications or alcohol can cause serious liver damage, and while herbal teas offer a safe and pleasant way to ease mild anxiety, they still contain active ingredients that may be contraindicated with certain medications.

Green tea offers numerous health benefits, it’s added to supplements, foods, and beverages. Green tea contains a rich source of polyphenols known as catechins, potent antioxidants that may help prevent cancer, retard atherosclerosis, improve mood, and inhibit the growth of bacteria and other pathogens.

Green tea also has another naturally occurring compound that is just as benificial, the amino acid L-theanine.

L-theanine‘s Benefits Include, but are not limited to:

  • Produces a calming effect
  • Protects and restores the brain
  • Stimulates the immune system, and even makes cancer chemotherapy more effective with fewer side effects.
  • Induces deep states of relaxation without sedation
  • Relieves some PMS and menopausal symptoms
  • Increases mental clarity, focus, attention span and improves learning
  • Relieves nicotine addiction
  • Prevents jitters caused by caffeine
  • Promotes sleep

 

L-theanine has several advantages over prescription medications and herbs that contain side effects. It helps calm you without causing drowsiness. It keeps you mentally alert without feeling jittery, and although research to date has been limited, L-theanine has few if any side effects.

L-theanine stimulates the production of alpha brain waves, creating a state of deep relaxation and mental alertness similar to what is achieved through meditation. L-theanine is involved in the formation of the inhibitory neurotransmitter, gamma amino butyric acid (GABA). GABA influences the levels of two other neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin, producing the key relaxation effect.”

Most green teas sold in America contain less than 10mg of L-theanine per serving, the recommended dose is between 50-200mg per day. Most people don’t drink enough green tea to feel the beneficial effects of L-theanine and would benefit from L-Theanine supplementation. Although the maximum safe dosage hasn’t been determined, as with every supplement, start with the lowest amount reccomended and gradually increase as needed. In doses of more than 400mg, some people do experience sedation effects.

Even though there are little known side effects to L-theanine, it may be due to the fact that only a few clinical studies have been conducted. Talk to your doctor before trying L-theanine If you have kidney or liver disease, other chronic or serious health conditions, allergies, allergies to food, dyes or preservatives, and as with all supplements, be sure to tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding before taking L-theanine.

Click Here for More information on L-Theanine.

DEAL OF THE WEEK: NRx Aniracetam – 750mg 60caps

October 26, 2009
  • Enhances Cognitive Functions & perception
  • Reduces Memory Loss
  • Improves Mental focus & Concentration

Aniracetam is a nootropic drug of the racetam family. It is lipid soluble and has possible cognition enhancing effects. Aniracetam is an analogue of piracetam, it can improve memory recall, reaction and detail. One of the primary differences between nootropics and other ‘memory enhancers’ is that nootropics improve communication across the brain’s Corpus Callosum, the area of the brain that joins the left and right hemispheres. This cross-brain communication links the logical side of the brain with the creative side of the brain, allowing the user to draw on a greater potential of their mental ability. Aniracetam also modulates Serotonin 5-HT2A and dopamine D2 receptors in the brain. This helps to reduce anxiety and feelings of panic. In Europe Aniracetam is used as a prescription for Alzheimer’s disease.

Click here to learn more about Aniracetam and its’ benefits.

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10 Healthy Ways to Reduce Stress Naturally

October 26, 2009
  1. Identify the Sources of Stress in Your Life
    However minor or major, the sources of stress can effect your appetite, mood, sleep patterns, immune functions, cognitive functions, mental perception and even sexual health can be affected. Recognizing the sources of stress can help you to mentally and physically prepare for or cope with daily stressors.
  2. Balance Stress Sources
    After identifying your sources of stress you need to find a way to balance them. Your top sources of stress are really weighing on you both physically and mentally. Try to divide them up evenly and devote the same amount of time and energy to each source. This will help you to focus on rectifying the cause of that particular stress but not necessarily worry and ‘stress’ over it.
  3. Exercise
    Physically activity can help work out the negative effects of stress on your body. Releasing endorphins is a great way to release built up anxiety. When your body is relaxed it also helps your mind to relax.
  4. Get Enough Sleep
    Lack of sleep makes you vulnerable to anxiety and feelings of worry or panic. It can be difficult to sleep especially when you have a stressful event going on in your life that keeps you awake at night. Take an extra 15min to 30min to calm yourself down before bed. Don’t drink caffeine just before bed. Clear your mind and focus on breathing deeply and letting any unsettled matters or worry leave your body for the moment. Think of a short sequence of calming words and let them invoke you as you cuddle up in your bed. CALM – PEACE – RELAX – WARM. You can even think of a flavor or a persons face that brings you a lot of comfort.
  5. Practice Deep Breathing Exercises Daily
    Breathing exercises can help to reduce the EXTRA built up tension that is caused by stress. They can help you unload the added weight caused by stressful situations and help your mind re-focus it’s efforts. Doing these daily can help your body to naturally respond and release or exhale added stress in immediate / unexpected stressful situations.
  6. Take a Day off
    Everyone needs a little “ME” Time and we all look forward to days off. Stress can come from various sources and sometimes we just need to get away from it all. A vacation is not always in the cards right when we need it. So we suggest taking an extra day off when you’re at a boiling point. If you can’t take one off during the week due to work, then take one weekend day and devote it to extra sleep, taking a walk in the park, shopping, or whatever you LIKE to do that brings you enjoyment. This will help you mentally give yourself the extra attention you may need or the sense of happy and wellbeing you deserve. You will feel calmer and more relaxed after enjoying a day off and the rest of the week won’t seem as stressful.
  7. Pursue a Hobby
    Keeping your mind busy is important to your sense of wellbeing. Work, deadlines and personal responsibilities are constantly filling your mind with stress, nervousness and feelings of worry. Take a load off by entertaining your mind with a hobby. Reading, writing, painting, fishing, collecting, knitting, and sports are all great hobbies. They let your mind take a vacation in the middle of the day or after work. You are in control of your hobby and there is no deadline on a hobby. This will keep your mind busy with healthy aspirations and personal achievements while allowing you to physically release some of your bottled up feelings and built up anxiety.
  8. Avoid Junk Food
    Eliminate foods that create stress on your body. Processed foods such as artificial sweeteners, carbonated soft drinks, chocolate, eggs, fried foods, candy, pork, red meat, sugar, white flour products, foods heavy in preservatives and or heavy spices, chips and other snack foods. These can bring you down and make you feel sluggish.
  9. Aromatherapy
    You know the old saying, “Take time to stop and smell the roses” well it’s true. If you stop to smell the aromas of nature you can have a day filled with less stress. Relaxing can be as simple as smelling! Chamomile, bergamot, sandalwood, vanilla and sweet marjoram are all natural aromas that stimulate the brain and  promote a sense of relaxation. Nature produces beauty and aroma meant for us to enjoy, you can use essential oils or incense.*Put a drop on a tissue and carry it with you, if you start to get stressed just pull it out and breathe in a calming aroma.

    *You can also burn incense in your home when you come back from work.
    This will comfort you and help you develop your calm happy place; you will actually forward to it after a long day.

  10. Learn to Relax.
    We are all in demand in some way in our daily lives. Some of us need more encouragement to let loose than others. Teach yourself that relaxation is important to your overall physical and mental wellbeing. You can live a longer, healthier life if you are not always stressed out. Calm down, breathe, let it go. Take a walk, get a massage, listen to soothing nature sounds, get an extra nap in, go out dancing, but just relax!