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Stress Less, Live More: Adaptogens for Managing Stress and Anxiety during Recovery 

Apr 6, 2024 | Health Management

Recovery journeys are filled with ups and downs, triumphs, and challenges. For people in recovery, managing stress and anxiety is often more challenging. Amidst this chaos, a promising natural solution has emerged for stress management through adaptogens. In this blog article, we’ll delve into the role of adaptogens in managing stress and anxiety, which are often present during the recovery journey. 

Managing Stress and Anxiety during Recovery 

The path to recovery not only involves abstaining from substance use but also simultaneously attempting to rebuild your life. The pressure to do these tasks, along with the fear of withdrawal symptoms, peer pressure, and failure, may inevitably cause stress. Experiencing stress and anxiety during recovery can result in physical, mental, and emotional issues, making achieving sobriety even more challenging. 

The Magic of Adaptogens 

Adaptogens have long been used in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese medicine systems. This group of natural substances is known for relieving nervous tension and helping the body adapt to stressors. Bear in mind, though, that not all herbs are adaptogens, and they should be nontoxic, maintain the body’s homeostasis, and assist the body’s ability to cope with stress. 

Benefits of Adaptogens  

Adaptogens can help the body in many ways. These are some of their benefits: 

  • Regulate cortisol levels. Research shows that adaptogens can help mitigate the effects of stress by regulating cortisol levels, which makes them efficient in stabilizing mood, promoting relaxation, and reducing anxiety levels. 
  • Support resilience. Adaptogens reduce feelings of stress, improve the immune system, and, in turn, bolster resilience to adapt well in times of adversity, trauma, or illness during recovery. It strengthens the body and improves mental and emotional stability. 
  • Enhance mood and overall health. Adaptogens enhance the mood during recovery as they act like a thermostat for calmness and energy. They also improve sleep, appetite, and heart activity. 
  • Improve cognitive performance. With their neuroprotective properties, adaptogens can enhance cognitive function, energy levels, and physical endurance, thereby, improving one’s ability to manage stressful situations effectively. 

Common Adaptogens 

Now that we have discussed what adaptogens are, their benefits, and whether you should be taking them, let’s delve into the most common adaptogens: 

  • Ashwagandha. Known for its ability to reduce stress without causing drowsiness, Ashwagandha helps regulate cortisol levels and anxiety and possesses antioxidant properties, protecting the body against cellular damage caused by chronic stress. 
  • Rhodiola rosea. Rhodiola rosea, valued for its benefits in managing symptoms of burnout, promotes increased energy, stamina, strength, and mental capacity. 
  • Reishi Mushroom. Commonly used in Chinese medicine for its protection against multiple stressors, it has mood-enhancing properties that can potentially reduce symptoms of depression by modulating neurotransmitters involved in mood regulation. 
  • Cordyceps. This fungus has anti-inflammatory and immune-modulatory properties. It is also used to increase oxygen uptake and boost cellular energy, which makes it beneficial for improving physical health and endurance during recovery. 

Incorporating Adaptogens into Your Daily Routine 

Here are some ways to seamlessly improve your lifestyle by incorporating adaptogens into your daily routine: 

  • Tea. Many adaptogenic herbs can be consumed through tea. Brewing a cup of ashwagandha to start off the day can be a calming ritual that supports stress relief and balance. 
  • Foods. Adaptogens can be used as powders, which can then be incorporated into smoothies, oatmeal, or other foods. This can be an innovative way to consume adaptogens for a nutritional boost. 
  • Supplements. For some people, ahswagandha supplements may be a more convenient way of acquiring their benefits. Just make sure to choose high-quality products from reputable brands to ensure safety. 

When taking supplements, start with low doses and gradually increase as necessary based on your body’s response. Seeking guidance from a healthcare professional before incorporating adaptogens is also advisable to tailor a specified approach based on your needs. 

Navigating the path to recovery is a difficult journey. Whether by exploring new wellness practices like taking adaptogens or reaching out to a therapist, remember that it’s okay to seek support on managing stress and anxiety. By prioritizing self-care and learning stress management techniques, one can lead a life filled with balance, reduced stress, and joy and embrace a healthier, more resilient path to recovery. 

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