I am excited to present this guest post from Danielle Grilli from rvita.com .
Americans are stressed out! In fact, according to statistics released by the American Psychological Association (APA) in 2007, more than fifty percent of Americans claim that stress has a negative impact on their personal and professional lives. As explained by the APA’s executive director for professional practice, psychologist Russ Newman, “Stress in America continues to escalate and is affecting every aspect of people's lives — from work to personal relationships to sleep patterns and eating habits, as well as their health.”
So what are Americans to do? Should we all pop a Xanax and call it a day? For many, that’s a little too Brave New World for their taste (one can just imagine an entire nation of sedated, slow-moving, semi-zombies shuffling our feet from one sleepy mini-mall to the next all stupid grins and half-conscious communications), and anyways, we did that already. Remember the 50’s when “hysterical” housewives were doomed to ride the tide of one sleepy valium to the next? In the end, that didn’t really shake out so well.
Thankfully, there are other, more attractive options. Throughout the years, various clinical trials have proved the efficacy of alternative treatments for the reduction of stress. For example, in a trial performed by researchers at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Germany and published in the journal Phytomedicine, it was found that Kava-Kava is just as effective as the anti-anxiety medications Buspirone and Opipramol in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder. Several other trials have supported this finding. Of course, Kava-Kava is just a single instance of the various alternative treatments that have proved to be effective for stress. Other clinically supported options include progressive relaxation, lavender, and yoga among others.
It’s good to hear that although our stress levels are at an all time high, we are not necessarily doomed to a fate of “sedation or sickness”. From herbal supplementation to mind-body practices, there are many natural options that promise to calm our minds and protect us from the harmful physical and mental effects of chronic stress.
In majority cases the stress comes from the disbalanced ANS. Medications does not help much in terms of curing the core of the stress but rather its consequences. Biofeedback stress reduction machines like
Heart Tracker do great job there.