According to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace 2021 report, some 57% of U.S. and Canadian workers reported feeling stress on a daily basis and that number has since risen. Anxiety disorders are in fact among the most common psychiatric conditions, affecting 40 million Americans. Everyone experiences some level of anxiety and stress but when ongoing, it can cause or worsen many serious health problems, including mental health problems, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and even heart attacks and strokes. Stress and anxiety keep us from enjoying everyday life.
How do our bodies react to stress?
When we are exposed to stress the hypothalamus, which is the tiny control tower in our brain, decides to send out the order to deploy stress hormones. These hormones are the same ones that trigger your body’s “fight or flight” response. This response is meant to protect our bodies in an emergency by allowing us to react quickly to outside surroundings but when the stress response keeps firing, day after day, it could put your health at serious risk.
According to the CDC, here are 5 simple ways to relief stress and anxiety:
- Be active—Take a dance break!
- Close your eyes, take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate.
- Write three things you are grateful for.
- Check in with yourself—take time to ask yourself how you are feeling.
Some other ways to reduce stress and anxiety in our lives include getting plenty of sleep and proper nutrition. Foods naturally rich in magnesium may, for example can help a person to feel calmer. These include leafy greens, such as spinach and Swiss chard. You may also consider also taking supplements.
Hops, which are the flowering parts of Humulus lupulus L. plant have been studied for its “nervine” properties, meaning that they support the nervous system. Several scientific studies suggest that hops do have sedative and calming effects and they can help brighten your mood. Hops are used for anxiety, inability to sleep (insomnia) and other sleep disorders, restlessness, tension, excitability, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), nervousness, and irritability.
What science says about HOPS extract:
A 2017 study focused on: Effects of a hops (Humulus lupulus L.) dry extract supplement on self-reported depression, anxiety and stress levels in apparently healthy young adults. The study concluded that In otherwise healthy young adults reporting at least mild depression, anxiety and stress symptoms, daily supplementation with a hops dry extract can significantly improve all these symptoms over a 4-week period. These beneficial effects agree with the indication of hops for anxiety/mood disorders and restlessness, as approved by the German Commission E.
Another study (2012) showed that hops extract effectively decreased nocturnal activity in the circadian activity rhythm. The sedative effects of hops have a significant positive effect on sleep and anxiety in human subjects. Additional studies have shown that hops help enhance GABA levels (gamma-aminobutyric acid) in the brain, which is naturally produced to help quiet the central nervous system, lower anxiety, and increase calmness.
Although no side effects derived from its use as a medicinal supplement have been reported, hops can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive people but as we always say: talk to your medical professional prior to adding any supplements to your diet.