Staying calm before and winding down after a busy day have never been trickier to master. All of us are beautifully unique and have different ways of managing this busy lifestyle but fortunately, to supplement these there is a natural remedy out there to help restore calm and balance to our bodies and minds.
Whilst some of us are still to learn of the benefits of ashwagandha in the UK, it has been used for hundreds of years in India to not only manage stress-related conditions but also help with chronic fatigue, insomnia and adrenal fatigue to name a few. Classed as a modern-day ‘adaptogen’, ashwagandha adapts to the needs of the body, helping to support it and reduce negative changes during times of emotional and physical stress.
Here are five ashwagandha benefits:
Stress is often at the root of our sleeping problems. When we’re troubled, our sleep is too. Ashwagandha nourishes and strengthens a weakened and over-anxious nervous system, helping the body respond better to stress. Thus helping us to relax enough to get a better night’s sleep. Ashwagandha acts as a depressant to the central nervous system, exchanging feelings of anxiety for feelings of calmness. Stress normally causes a surge in the adrenal hormones – adrenaline and cortisol – that increase alertness. Ashwagandha tackles the problem at the root as it acts directly on the trigger of stress by regulating the imbalanced cortisol level and nourishing the adrenal glands. A recent study found that ashwagandha safely and effectively improved chronic stress levels in adults taking it daily for 60 days (1).
To help create calm:
Eat to manage stress
Balance your blood sugar levels by focusing on whole foods, eating protein with every meal, and avoiding refined carbohydrates and sugary snacks. A steady blood sugar level will help you keep a calmer head.
Cut the caffeine
It’s tempting to keep refilling your coffee cup when you’re stressed and tired. But caffeine, especially in coffee, can off-set the release of yet more stress hormones, inducing anxiety and worsening the effects of stress. Gradually cut down on coffee and drink more herbal tea – Pukka Relax tea is a perfect option, of course.
Exercise – but don’t overdo it
Moderate exercise can help to lower stress hormones and triggers the production of endorphins, which make us feel healthy and happy. Exercise can also help to relieve stress by encouraging a clear head, open mind and positive thoughts. However, it is important to note that very intensive exercise or endurance exercise such as long-distance running can increase levels of stress hormones – so listen to your body and don’t overdo it.
Medical Herbalist and Ayurvedic Practitioner, Jo Webber has more advice on creating a happy mind:
A healthy gut, a happy mind
Yes, you read that right. Gut health is inextricably linked to your mood and emotions. That’s where the phrase ‘a gut feeling’ comes from. So, by improving your gut bacteria, your mental health can benefit greatly. In fact, serotonin, otherwise known as the ‘happy hormone’, is largely produced in the gut. As well as this, gut bacteria can help produce neurotransmitters that help us to feel relaxed. For example, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a common condition that affects digestive health, is often triggered by stress and anxiety.
Therefore, at the end of a busy day, take a moment to brew yourself up a nourishing cup of Relax tea from Pukka’s Relax 7 Day Kit. Blended with organic chamomile, fennel and marshmallow root, Pukka’s Relax tea helps to calm the nervous system, reduce inflammation and relax the smooth muscles in the digestive system to prevent cramps and relieve bloating.
Take time with nature
Our modern, busy and technology-lead lifestyle makes it easy to forget that we are of nature and need to connect with it – it is undeniably good for our mental health. Therefore, take time each day to unplug from technology and get some good old fashioned fresh air. As well as being physically present in nature, we can also harness the incredible power of plants to help us relax. Pukka’s new Relax 7 Day Kit contains Pukka herbal teas and food supplements that are blended with organic, medicinal-grade herbs to calm a busy mind, reduce anxiety and encourage a healthy sleep pattern to in turn restore energy and vitality when you need is most.
Stress is commonly linked to a bad night’s sleep, leading to an unwanted lack of energy and increased stress levels, initiating a vicious cycle of stress and fatigue.
As well as spending time outdoors, before you go to bed, get everything ready for the next day so you’re not worrying about the morning rush. Then, take some time to physically and mentally unwind by doing something that you find really relaxing, such as having a warm bath, self-massage, meditation or reading a book.
If practiced for even just ten minutes a day, meditation can significantly ease stress, reduce anxiety, improve sleep and even cardiovascular health.
For more tips on relaxation, visit pukkaherbs.com/feelwell