There is an aisle at Whole Foods that has lots of natural remedies for stress, insomnia and anxiety. Clients often come to the mental health clinic where I work and ask about L-Trytophan or Calms Forte for sleep problems plus other items they see at the health food stores. Be aware that if you are taking a prescription antidepressant medication, it is important to ask your physician about any supplements you may wish to add. In addition, if you are taking medication for high blood pressure or a health condition, discuss any interactions with alternative approaches with your doctor. One thing also to be aware of with L-Tryptophan is that it’s an amino acid and if you have a tendency to get cold sores, it is a good idea to also increase L-Lysine when you take it to keep the amino acids balanced.(This is also a good idea in case you love peanut butter too as the L-Arginine content can cause an amino acids imbalance).
I recently found a very interesting article by Sara Chana, a homeopath and herbalist, that discusses various ways to help alleviate stress reactions. These include motherwort, skullcap and the bark of the mimosa tree. She says,
“Skullcap is for nervous tension with anxiety. Skullcap, like motherwort is an herb you will begin to feel working within twenty minutes of ingestion. It is best used before an intimidating experience, like a business meeting you have been anticipating for weeks, or right before it is time to put your children to bed. Skullcap can be taken over a long period of time or as needed in the moment.”
You can see the rest of the article here: Herbs for Stress Reduction
Unfortunately, in the schools we don’t teach kids simple breathing techniques, meditations and ways to change perspective with humor and mindfulness. This would be so helpful for anger management, bullying issues in school and depression from peer pressure. I see so many teenagers dreading school due to gossip, facebook rumors about them and other situations that increase self-consciousness. The humourous video by Brian Regan is a good way to get a different angle on the feeling of self-consciousness in school and the stress and anxiety that can build up. It shows how anxiety is present during spelling bees, science fair projects and many other circumstances related to school.
I find that people will reflect on the above quote and that it can change one’s day. The wisdom of others can be very powerful and can create a quick mood turnaround. Try to have some inspirational readings or quotes available to look at during the day.
Kids, teens and adults can learn breathing, meditation and yoga stretches to alleviate inner tensions with my booklet based on 30 years of being a psychotherapist by visting here. I hope that classes can be introduced into the skills at an early age so that some of the inner struggles we have can be caught at an early age.