A healthy dose of stress can keep you motivated when you’re on a deadline or managing a massive to-do list, but when life’s daily grind leaves your body on constant high alert, chronic stress can take a toll on your physical and emotional well-being. While exercise and meditation can help you cope, daily supplements can also help improve your body’s response to stress so you feel less wound up. Let’s dive into the science behind the stress response, its effects on your body, and how some of the ingredients in Libby can help.
The Science Behind Stress
To deal with a stressful situation, your nervous system goes into something you’ve probably heard of: fight-or-flight mode. Your brain floods your bloodstream with adrenaline and cortisol, stress hormones that prime your body to act quickly: they increase your heart rate, tighten your muscles, and quicken your breath so that physically you’re ready for anything.
These stress hormones are the reason why you might actually feel more alert when you have to give a presentation, go on a first date, or power through back-to-back conference calls. Once the stressor is gone, your body returns to its normal resting state. Or at least that’s how it’s supposed to go. When you’re under constant pressure and your body continues to get flooded with stress hormones over and over again, stress can take its toll.
Inflammation & Weakened Immunity
When cortisol floods your system over a long period of time, it can suppress your immune system and send your inflammatory response into overdrive— making skin conditions like eczema or acne worse and making it harder to fight off a cold.
Certain natural ingredients are particularly good at helping your body regulate its stress response, especially ginseng: this adaptogenic root has been used for centuries to help support immune function and increase resiliency so the body can respond better to stress. Vitamin C also plays a key role in managing stress—this powerful antioxidant helps support immunity and regulates the production of feel-good neurotransmitters in the brain. You can find both of these ingredients in your daily Libby capsules.
Body Aches & Muscle Pain
Stress constricts your blood vessels; when your muscles don’t get the blood flow they need, they begin feeling stiff and tight. Short-term, this helps your body avoid pain or injury if you’re facing a physical threat, but when you’re dealing with long-term stress, strained muscles can give you chronic headaches, neck, shoulder and back pain.
Low Sex Drive
Stress hormones actually dampen the production of sex hormones like testosterone.During the fight-or-flight reponse, your body shuts down your need for sex so that you can better deal with the stressful task at hand.
Luckily, natural herbal supplements can help you get back in the mood. One of our favorites is damiana, a plant native to the American southwest that has been shown to restore desire in women by supporting blood flow and lubrication so that sex is more enjoyable.
Poor Sleep and Brain Fog
Cortisol increases activity in the brain’s fear center, keeping your body on edge and making it harder to get a good night’s rest. High levels of cortisol over long periods of time also weaken the prefrontal cortex, the part of your brain that helps you learn new things and retain information, which can leave you feeling forgetful and foggy.
We designed Libby to help. The saffron we use has been shown to help you get restful sleep: this precious spice calms an overactive mind, and helps support sleep quality by balancing levels of dopamine and serotonin. The theacrine in Libby can also help. This tea extractsupports mental clarity and a long-lasting supply of steady energy so your brain feels less foggy.