Manage stress

No matter how much we try to avoid it, stress is a natural part of life and we all experience it in some way or another. All you can do is try to manage your stress, which is where stress support supplements can help.

Stress is a factor for everyone due to numerous factors, whether its our modern, fast-paced lifestyles, work pressure, family or relationship challenges, and tougher economic times.

The fight or flight response

A stressful situation, whether it is a real threat, unexpected news, a fright, intense training, or just a bad night’s sleep, triggers a cascade of physiological responses in the body. 

These responses include the release of catecholamine hormones like adrenalin and noradrenalin, as well as the stress hormone cortisol, which aim to prepare us to fight or flight (escape).  

These hormones work together to increase your heart rate, dilate your pupils and the blood vessels in the muscles, and release energy. 

Dysregulated stress response

In normal circumstances, this stress response turns off once the threat or stress has passed as the body is able to self-regulate. 

It would, therefore, automatically decrease hormone levels and return your body to a normal resting state (homeostasis) once the real or perceived threat had passed. In this scenario, stress can actually have a positive effect on your body by making you more alert, aware and ready for action.

However, modern life can often amplify and prolong the stress response, to the point where people develop physiological symptoms and conditions due to the chronic stress we generally experience. 

Without relief from this stress, we can become over-stressed. In this dysregulated state, levels of cortisol and the other stress hormones remain elevated, which results in overexposure. 

Eventually, this state can overwhelm our mind and body, wreaking havoc on our nervous and hormonal systems, which can impact our general well-being and overall health. 

Totally stressed out

When we cannot turn off the stress response, the sustained impact our body and mind often manifests as various symptoms. 

These can include headaches, chest pain, skin conditions, hair loss, respiratory problems, ulcers, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, obesity, tooth and gum disease and psychological issues such as fatigue, anxiety, OCD and depression. Stress sufferers also tend to experience sleeping problems, which further exacerbates the problem. 

Don’t suffer in silence

If you are experiencing mental health issues, including feelings of depression or anxiety, contact the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) for support and information. SADAG manages a 16 counselling and referral call centres, and is the voice of patient advocacy, working in urban, peri-urban, and the most rural communities across South Africa.

Additional helplines include:

  • LifeLine South Africa 0861 322 322
  • Adcock Ingram Depression and Anxiety Helpline 0800 70 80 90
  • Government Mental Health Information Line 0800 567 567
  • Suicide Crisis Line 0800 567 567

Chronic stress also directly affects your body in numerous ways, impacting various important systems:

  • Cardiovascular system: Chronic stress can cause high blood pressure (hypertension) and an elevated resting heart (tachycardia).
  • Immune system: Chronic stress can impair immune system function, which may make us more susceptible to illness and infection, with illnesses that are more frequent and severe, and potentially last longer. A compromised immune response can also negatively impact your recovery from exercise.
  • Digestive system: Due to the restricted blood flow to nonessential organs caused by vasoconstriction, chronic stress can impact your digestive system and cause various issues.
  • Reproductive system: Sustained stress can decrease the likelihood of ovulation, as well as your libido.

Manage stress with supplements

With so many negative consequences, managing stress in our modern lives is vital if you want to live a healthy and balanced lifestyle. 

While you can never completely eliminate stress from your life, you can manage it through regular exercise, a balanced and wholesome diet, and the right supplements.

READ MORE: Don’t ignore the signs of rising stress levels.

Biogen produces a range of supplements specifically formulated to support your body’s natural stress response. 

For example, Biogen Stress Relief is a proprietary formula of selected botanicals that may support stress management by acting as a mild tranquilliser indicated for nervous tension, nervous irritability, nervousness, restlessness and mild anxiety.

A nootropic product like Biogen Mental Reset can calm the body and mind and promote restful and restorative sleep with its combination of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and herbs. This formulation may support sleep in cases of restlessness or insomnia due to mental stress, and also contributes to normal immune system function and protects cells from oxidative stress.

A product like Biogen Adrenal Assist can help to support adrenal gland function, which tends to take strain during prolonged or intense periods of stress as these organs produce the stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol. 

Following changes to local legislation, you can also use compliant cannabidiol (CBD) products to better manage stress. 

CBD can positively impact our overall mental wellbeing through its effect on CB1 receptors in the brain, which are associated with emotions, mood and pain. When CBD binds with these receptors, it can calm the mind, promote better sleep, and reduce anxiety. 

In addition, CBD can increase serotonin, a neurotransmitter that controls mood, while also promoting neural regeneration, which creates new cells and tissue to repair a damaged nervous system. As such, CBD products like Biogen CBD Sleep may assist with the relief of restlessness and sleeplessness that often occurs during periods of heightened stress.

An adaptogen is generally defined as a substance that increases the body’s ability to resist and adapt to mental and physical stress.

Most adaptogens are made from plant extracts or herbs that help to restore balance in the cardiovascular, immune and nervous and endocrine systems, usually without an physiological disturbance, side effects or toxicity.

Common ingredients available as standalone products or in adaptogenic formulations include Rhodiola Rosea, Gingko Biloba. Panax Ginseng and Ashwagandha, among others.

Biogen Mental Lift is a nootropic supplement that combines vitamins, minerals and adaptogenic herbs like Panax Ginseng, Rhodiola Rosea and Gingko Biloba to increase energy and resistance to stress, help reduce exhaustion and fatigue, and enhance cognitive function and memory.

And a product like Biogen Ashwagandha Root is a great source of this popular adaptogenic compound, which helps increase energy and resistance to stress.