Natural Ways to Manage Stress

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Filed Under: General Health, Stress Management
Last Reviewed 03/28/2014

Natural Ways to Manage Stress

Since it can have a variety of harmful effects on your body, reducing stress is one of the primary therapeutic lifestyle changes I recommend for optimal health and well-being.

Many people attempt to manage stress by overeating, smoking, drinking or spending money. In the short term, these behaviors may take the edge off stress, but in the long run, they actually increase it. That’s why I want to tell you about better ways to manage stress.

Lifestyle Therapies for Managing Stress

Safer, more natural ways to manage stress include exercise, prayer, meditation, yoga, deep breathing and aromatherapy. All of these methods decrease stress and anxiety and, as a result, improve your overall health. Just find something that works for you and do it regularly.

L-theanine and GABA Also Help Relieve Stress

If you need a little extra help reducing stress, try L-theanine, an amino acid found almost exclusively in green tea. L-theanine is widely known for its relaxing properties. It increases alpha brain waves, producing a state of calm alertness. L-theanine also boosts production of gamma amino butyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that tones down your brain’s response to stressful situations.

I recommend 200–400 mg of L-theanine per day, in divided doses. L-theanine is nontoxic and will not cause drowsiness. You can also take GABA in supplement form.

The One Conventional Way to Manage Stress I Recommend

The conventional medical approach to reducing stress is to simply treat the symptoms. That often means prescribing antacids for stomachaches, medications for high blood pressure, and aspirin and NSAIDs for headaches. But these so-called remedies won’t do anything to change your body’s reaction to stress. They also have considerable side effects.

That said, there is one conventional-based therapy I do recommend. It’s a prescription drug called Dilantin. Though I’m typically not a fan of prescription drugs, my clinical experience at Whitaker Wellness has shown that this drug is not only safe, but very effective.

Dilantin helps your body better deal with the anxiety, anger, restlessness, sadness and other emotional swings caused by the ups and downs of everyday life. After starting on Dilantin, patients tell us they are far more capable of handling difficult coworkers, overburdened schedules and other work-related stress, as well as problems that crop up at home and in personal relationships. The stress hasn’t changed, but with Dilantin, the negative overreaction is blunted.

When it comes to ways to manage stress, the important thing to realize is while you can’t always eliminate stressors from your life, you can alter your reaction to them. Using the methods I just described, your body will begin to develop healthy responses and you will be better able to cope with everyday stressors.

More Dr. Whitaker Advice on Optimal Health

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