A Natural Approach to Stress and Anxiety

 

With so much uncertainty in the world, it’s no wonder that even the most upbeat of us might be feeling a bit down. We can’t work like we once could, we can’t spend our time off the way we want, and we’re isolated from our communities. For those of us who struggle with depression and anxiety on a regular basis, feeling a bit down might be a major understatement. That’s why it’s more important than ever to have some tools under our belts to help us manage stress.   

According to Mary Biles at Project CBD, “Chronic stress is known to impair the endocannabinoid system (ECS), making us more vulnerable to illness, both mental and physical.” 

This means stress management can improve our mental wellbeing and potentially decrease our risk against the Coronavirus, among other physical illnesses. Stress management can be achieved many different ways. CBD can help, but it isn’t the only option. And what works for me, may not work for you. So let’s look at 3 different strategies we can try to help ease our stress, boost our mood, and lighten the weight of anxiety and depression.

Can CBD help with anxiety? 

CBD affects our body in many different and complicated ways. One of these ways is that it interacts with our serotonin receptors. Research suggests that CBD mimics serotonin and activates the 5-HT1A receptors. This theory supports the 2014 and 2018 animal studies that found that CBD has antidepressant and antianxiety qualities. (Medical News Today, 2019)

Another 2011 study demonstrates that CBD has a positive effect on people who suffer from generalized social anxiety disorder (SAD). According to the study, “These preliminary results indicate that a single dose of CBD can reduce the anxiety-enhancing effect provoked by SPST in SAD patients, indicating that this cannabinoid inhibits the fear of speaking in public, one of the main symptoms of the disorder.” (Neuropsychopharmacology, 2011) This study utilized a simulation public speaking test, or SPST, and tracked heart rate, blood pressure, and more while testing the subjects. Although public speaking might not be a situation most of us face too often, the correlating effect on social anxiety could be beneficial to a lot of us. 


Overall, CBD helps our body maintain a state of homeostasis, or balance. This balance can be achieved with the help of our body’s natural endocannabinoids like anandamide (AKA the bliss molecule). However, when out of balance, supplementing with high quality CBD can help tip the scales back in our favor.  

Ease your mind with exercise and meditation

Another way we can manage stress, anxiety, and depression is by treating our body and mind with exercise and meditation on a regular basis. According to 47 studies analyzed in JAMA Internal Medicine, meditation does help manage anxiety, depression and pain. (NPR, 2014) Meditation, coupled with mild exercise, can make a big difference in our daily experience. Exercise also leads to better sleep, which in return makes us better able to manage stress.

Follow your bliss - reduce anxiety your own way

Another concept Mary Biles wrote about for Project CBD’s article, “Feeling Corona-Crazy?” is the idea that we can all follow our bliss to help reduce stress and anxiety. This idea is backed by a UK study that involved women either singing, dancing, cycling on an exercise bike, or reading dishwasher manuals. The results of the study suggest that our endocannabinoid levels increase when we do things we enjoy. This is such a beautiful option for those of us who don’t like following strict routines. SImply find something you love and make time to do it. 

For more information about CBD, browse our blog posts or contact us. In the meantime, try exercise, meditation, or whatever brings you joy to battle the blues and strengthen your mental and physical wellbeing. 

 

Sources:

https://www.projectcbd.org/wellness/feeling-corona-crazy

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324846#what-the-research-says

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3079847/

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2014/01/07/260470831/mindfulness-meditation-can-help-relieve-anxiety-and-depression