Part of staying calm is learning how to deal with the big issues life gives you every day. The other part is learning how to support your body’s natural stress response.
Stressful situations will always be present, but conditioning your body to respond properly can help you maintain your mental health. It can even help you avoid some negative health implications of long-term stress.*
We’ll discuss how your body’s stress response works and what you can do to support it, as well as give you some tips on staying calm during the stressors you may encounter daily.
What is the Stress Response?
Stress is a natural and necessary part of life.* Stress can quicken your heart rate, send adrenaline coursing through your veins, and help you move quickly to avoid danger. However, stress also has a downside. REF#2037
Long term, stress isn’t healthy for the body.* If the body perceives something as stressful, the release of stress hormones (like cortisol) for extended periods of time can create negative health impacts.
These can include:
- Long-term feelings of sadness or worry REF#2037
- Increased risk of heart disease and stroke REF#2038
- Unhealthy blood pressure REF#2038
In addition, high-stress levels can lead to other problems, like sleeplessness and trouble with decision-making.REF#2039
Ideally, we want to be able to stay calm under pressure. We want to support the body’s natural stress response and help find ways to calm our nerves when something other than imminent danger elicits our fight-or-flight response.
Why Does Stress Become Chronic?
Stress becomes chronic and dangerous when the external stressor becomes long-term or when we can’t manage stress properly.REF#2044 External factors that could cause long-term stress include:
- Failed relationships and divorcesREF#2044
- Chronic illnessesREF#2044
- Poverty or extreme financial crisesREF#2044
In addition, you may find it more difficult to manage stress successfully when placed in these difficult circumstances.
How Can You Stay Calm During Stress?
Whether you’re a meditative guru or you’re just beginning to learn how to eliminate negative thoughts, you can always use a few insightful tips to help keep calm when life gets stressful. Here are our top five tips to help you regain your composure and give yourself some much-needed stress relief.
1. Use Your Breath
Breathing techniques are popular solutions that can help you keep your cool. This reason is why breathwork is at the center of meditative movements such as yoga and tai chi.REF#2040
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try some deep breathing. Start by moving to a quiet place or using earplugs to eliminate sound.
Next, take deep, slow breaths in through your nose and release them slowly from the mouth. If you have trouble focusing on your breath, try using a square breathing technique. With one finger, draw a square on your leg. With each side of the square, breathe in, then out as you draw the next side.
2. Add Meditation to Your Routine
Mindfulness meditation can help soothe feelings of stress and keep you in the present moment when you’re not meditating.* Meditating can help keep your mind calm and support emotional regulation.REF#2041
There are numerous different kinds of meditation techniques you can use, and if you are new to meditation, plenty of guided apps can help you learn how to use this self-care tool.
3. Walk Away
Sometimes, the stress of a particular situation escalates so quickly you don’t have time to process the events properly. Instead of making an emotionally charged response, break away from the situation to give your body the time to calm down.
Getting a little fresh air by sitting on your porch to taking a walk around the block may change your perspective of the situation and can help you feel less stressed.
4. Make Time for Yourself
It’s well-documented that self-care is important for your mental and physical health.REF#2042 If you aren’t taking care of yourself, you could be self-sabotaging and contributing to additional stress. Some of the lesser focused-on aspects of self-care include getting consistent sleep, eating a balanced diet, getting plenty of exercise, and asking for help when you need it.
Making time for yourself may look like working out more to release endorphins, waking up early to meditate or journal, or making time for yourself to process feelings properly and without limitations. No matter what your self-care routine looks like, make sure you are making time for it to support your well-being.
5. Try an Herbal Supplement
At Gaia Herbs, we gathered our favorite stress-relieving products into our Calm Kit. The Calm Kit contains products that can support a healthy stress response, nourish the adrenal glands, and give you tools to help manage your stress levels naturally.
Herbs for Keeping Calm
The Calm Kit contains four best-selling herbal blends designed to support your body’s ability to respond to stress with balance and resilience.
Adrenal Health® Daily Support
Adrenal Health® Daily Support contains a powerful blend of nervine and adaptogenic herbs designed to help provide stability and balance no matter where you find yourself on the stress meter. Made with Ashwagandha, Holy Basil, Oats, Rhodiola, and Schisandra, this nourishing blend can help you calm down when you feel stressed and overworked.
These herbs work together with your nervous system to help keep you pliable and adaptable during life’s most challenging times.REF#2043 For best results, take two capsules each morning. For additional support, you may take two additional capsules in the evening.
Our delicious Golden Milk is a soothing way to end your day or take a much-needed mental health break. Formulated with ayurvedic herbs such as Ashwagandha, Black Pepper, Cardamom, Date Palm, Turmeric, and Vanilla, this soothing drink can help calm the body and may quickly become your favorite go-to comfort drink.
You can mix Golden Milk with dairy or non-dairy liquid and drink it either warm or chilled. Enjoy one teaspoon daily.
Our Ashwagandha Gummies provide a delicious way to support your stress response and build your stress resistance. Made with Ashwagandha, Cinnamon, and Ginger and sweetened only with fruit juice, you can notice feelings of relaxation that get better the more you use them. Take three gummies per day for stress reduction.
Sometimes, you need rapid stress relief. For life’s most stressful moments, try our Calm A.S.A.P.®. Formulated with American skullcap, Chamomile, Holy Basil, Lavender, Passionflower, and Vervain, this blend can help you cope with circumstantial stress that threatens to throw you off-balance.
To use, take three capsules once a day on an as-needed basis.
What Else Should You Know About Stress?
Stress will always be a permanent fixture in our lives, but don’t worry — that doesn’t mean we don’t have ways to keep calm. Breathing, meditation, and allowing ourselves enough space to relax and process stressful situations are key to remaining calm and making better decisions.
If you feel overwhelmed, talk to someone. A trusted friend, therapist, or loved one can help you share your feelings, provide encouragement, and give you support when you need it.
Keep Calm and Carry On
Stress isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so learning to manage it properly is key to thriving. One way we can do this is by supporting our natural stress response with adaptogenic herbs that help keep us calm and balanced.
Taking time for ourselves is also important for keeping focused and ensuring we aren’t overwhelmed by the stress in our life but are instead continually fighting to make room for the things we love.