We’ve all felt the taste of happiness and the pain of sufferings in our lives at one time or another. So, we’ve all come to agree with the terms of life and accept the ups and downs in them. However, coming to terms with the depressions and sadness isn’t as easy for some people as they are for the others. While some may be able to cope with the “downs” a little better, others are able to channel their happy thoughts from the “ups” to counter them.
But for some people, the small bits of the “downs” of the daily grind at work or from pressures coming from the different aspects of life start to accumulate. And over time, the build-up of these little frustrations begin to put the undue stress of their mind. This stress often leads to anxiety and reduces the general quality of life for most.
At times, these unfortunate victims of everyday stress can resort to external means of alleviating their pains, causing long-lasting damage to their health. These are the means such as cigarettes or drugs. In milder cases, people take supplements that are designed to ease stress and relax their mind. But how do the supplements do that? Are there any alternatives or vitamins for anxiety? What is the healthiest way to take care of these problems? Well, today, we’re going to address these questions and answer all your queries about the stress-relieving supplements.
The Underlying Causes
Our body is mostly comprised of different kinds of chemicals. But the ones that we’re going to focus on the most are the chemicals secreted by the brain which control different kinds of emotions and feelings. For example, increased secretion of Melatonin in the brain causes sleepiness and dopamine causes a feeling of pleasure.
Understanding The Brain
Usually, some of these chemicals work to oppose each other. For example, when Acetylcholine is secreted, a general reduction in Melatonin is seen and vice versa. This is because Acetylcholine is responsible for exciting the brain while Melatonin is meant to relax it. These two are somewhat opposing to each other and thus the brain regulates their secretions in a way so that the conflicting hormones as such don’t overwhelm each other.
However, in some cases, these chemical secretions are imbalanced due to some external changes. Some causes of imbalance could be lack of sleep, improper diet, drug abuse and so on. When there’s a chemical imbalance in the brain, the patient suffers from different conditions that disrupt their recognizable cognitive patterns and affect both their mental and physical health negatively.
Imbalance on the Neurotransmitter Levels
Some of these chemicals are known as Neurotransmitters. They work by connecting the neuron fibers to each other by creating communication channels in the brain. Some examples of notable neurotransmitters are Serotonin and Norepinephrine. Although the exact cause of stress and anxiety hasn’t yet been fully understood by the Neuroscience, it is still hypothesized that low levels of neurotransmitters can be linked to the main causes of stress-related depression and anxiety.
This theory coincides with the concept of action-based reward system in Psychology. Basically, what the concept talks about is that when a person tries out something new and succeeds in carrying out the task, he/she feels a certain level of satisfaction from the sense of achievement. This feeling of ecstasy is the reward for achievement.
Possible Causes of Stress and Anxiety
What this means is that every time a person gets something done, the brain releases a certain amount of Mesolimbic Dopamine which, in turn, gives him/her a feeling of pleasure. However, if the person is aware of the fact that they are able to keep on completing the same task over and over again without fail, that feeling of accomplishment fades with time.
Simply put, for that person, completing the task is “no big deal” anymore. This is usually a result of a tiring or a hectic lifestyle. When working on the same day job, grinding away at the days over and over again, the person loses the sense of accomplishment for completing the task. So, under such circumstances, there’s a significant drop in the Mesolimbic Dopamine secretions in the brain.
The same happens if one keeps trying on new and/or different things at different times, but manage to get little success in most of them. So many failures or “downs” in that person’s life means that they aren’t getting enough Mesolimbic Dopamine secreted by their brain.
With a drop in the Dopamine levels, which is a prominent neurotransmitter, a chemical imbalance occurs. This chemical imbalance in the dopamine level can lead to depression, anxiety, and stress.
How Can Supplements and Vitamins for Anxiety Help?
Dietary supplements, as the name suggests, work by providing dietary nutrition to the consumer that supplements any deficiencies in the nutrition they’re getting from an improper diet. For these specific cases of anxiety and stress, these supplements work in a similar way – they provide the necessary nutrition to the body that can help it synthesize the necessary cure for the problem. As such, some vitamins for anxiety as well as minerals used to calm the stressed mind that is contained in the supplement can actually help.
Vitamins and Minerals That Can Help Alleviate Stress
Usually, stress and anxiety supplements come with these necessary vitamins and nutrients that the brain needs for the production of the depleted neurotransmitters. However, it’s also possible for an individual to get these nutrients directly from food in order to avoid any side-effects that non-organic supplements might come with. Let’s take a look at the minerals and vitamins that help with anxiety.
Magnesium: This vital mineral can increase the level of gamma-aminobutyric acid that can reduce brain activity and relax the nervous system, thus having a calming effect on its user.
Vitamin B Complex: Vitamin B for anxiety and stress relief has been proven to be beneficial for anyone suffering from problems with stress and anxiety. Vitamin B Complex is comprised of different types of Vitamin B, such as Thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2) and Niacine (B3). Vitamin B complex has been tested as vitamin for anxiety and is known to improve the mood and thus promote the secretions of Dopamine, increasing the overall happiness of the users and balancing the lower levels of the neurotransmitter.
Amino Acids: Amino Acids are compounds that build up proteins. While some of these building blocks are produced in the body, others need to be acquired from the diet. Some of the latter amino acids, such as Theanine, L-Arginine and Lysine are known to have calming effects on the brain, reducing the user’s stress and anxiety. Although the evidence gathered by the scientific community isn’t enough to be conclusive, these amino acids have been found to be effective in several cases.
Nutrition as a Cure
Dietary supplements actually don’t do anything more than giving you some additional nutrients that your body might be missing. In most of the cases, you might even be able to get better results through a healthier lifestyle and diet. It’s all about the vitamins for anxiety and the natural cure through eliminating nutritional deficiencies in your body.
Apart from the nutritional and physical aspects of the problem, your mind also has a part to play in finding a solution to the problem. Remember, in most of the cases, an optimistic outlook on everything and a strong will can get you through your stressful days better than any supplement or vitamin can.