Don’t look now, but COVID-19 cases are rising slowly and steadily once again.
And if you’re absolutely exhausted by all of these ups and downs, you’re hardly alone. This rollercoaster ride is taking a toll on ALL of us.
Every time there’s a light at the end of the tunnel… and it seems we might finally be finding our way out of this nightmare… we get hit with another wave.
Honestly, it’s really no wonder that we’re all stressed out to the max.
Well, my friend, I’ll admit there’s not much we can do about the pandemic. But there is something we can do about that stress.
I’ll share my own favorite stress-busting tips in just a moment. I’ve been HEAVILY relying on these over the past few years.
But first, I want to share the details of some exciting new research. A study has uncovered what could be an unexpectedly powerful weapon in the battle against stress.
And it starts in your GUT of all places.
How BACTERIA can bust through STRESS
They call it the gut-brain axis. It’s the pathway your stomach uses to influence your mind. And it’s not just by making you “hangry” when you haven’t been fed.
It’s all about the bacteria. The same little buddies we rely on to help digest our food and sort out nutrients also play a critical role in producing and balancing the neurotransmitters your brain depends on.
And the new placebo-controlled study shows how they can be especially helpful when it comes to managing stress.
Researchers tested a blend on healthy young adults that contained three specific probiotic strains:
- Bifidobacterium longum R0175
- Lactobacillus helveticus R0052
- Lactiplantibacillus plantarum R1012
After a month, they put the volunteers through the wringer with an online math test deliberately designed to stress them out. The testing was judged in real-time by unseen examiners. Plus, the participants were forced to watch their scores compared to others.
And if that wasn’t enough to send their anxiety through the roof, the final twist surely did. The test was specifically designed so they’d eventually fail. Not fair for test-takers… but great for measuring stress.
The folks who had been taking the probiotics reporting feeling like they handled the stress better than they usually would. And scans of their brains backed up those feelings.
The volunteers who got the real-deal probiotics indeed blew off the stress far easier than the folks on the placebo.
Keeping calm with probiotics
The evidence for the many benefits of probiotics is overwhelming at this point.
It’s not just stress relief and better digestion that these good bugs excel at, of course. Probiotics can help with everything from boosting immune health to balancing cholesterol levels.
If you’re not already taking one, you should seriously consider it. Our guts are constantly attacked by gut-bug destroying elements in food, water, medications, and even the air we breathe. And a probiotic supplement can help deliver fresh reinforcements.
You don’t have to look for the specific strains used in the new study. Instead, look for a high-potency full-spectrum blend containing a wide range of proven bacteria. (I have some tips for choosing the right probiotic here.)
But when it comes to stress relief, don’t stop there. I’ve got three more natural choices that have helped me through some rough times the past few years.
These three herbal stress busters can help deliver calm when you’re feeling the strain too:
Rhodiola rosea: This herbal remedy, also known as golden root, can help fight physical and mental stress. In one study, 200 mg twice a day helped ease anxiety within just two weeks.
Turmeric extract: This form of the proven natural inflammation-fighter curcumin aced a major study earlier this year. It was linked to improvements in stress, anger, hostility, negative mood, and more.
Bacopa monnieri: Research published last year found this natural herbal remedy fights stress and can also help improve sleep.
And of course, always remember to take some time each day to unwind with a relaxing activity. That could be a walk through your local park or time spent engaged in a favorite hobby. What you do isn’t as important as committing to doing something that makes YOU feel less stressed.
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