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The body’s natural defense against life-threatening situations is a hormone called adrenaline. The brain triggers the adrenal glands to secrete this "red-alert" hormone, which activates the body to pump the necessary energy to cope with conflicts, accident, problems, and other life-threatening situations and perceived danger. Heartbeat increases, blood pressure rises, and muscles tense, priming the body ready for action.

Unfortunately, the body can only deal with normal and sporadic amounts of stress. If there is no recuperation or relaxation period, and the body remains in a constant state of stress, disorders and illnesses begin to manifest themselves.

Distress manifestations include feelings of anxiety and moodiness, trouble concentrating and sleeping, muscle pain and headaches, depression, panic attacks, and nervous breakdown.
Relaxation, therefore, is the best remedy for stress and tension.

Exercise

Stress is often the result of boredom, excessive worrying, and job burnout. Exercise loosens tense muscles, takes the mind away from worries, and releases pain-suppressing endorphins that promote the feeling of calmness and well-being. It also improves circulation that is otherwise abnormally hampered by stress. Sports is a good form of exercise.

Relaxing Oils

Lavender and lemon-balm oils are known to release aromatic relaxants. They can be added to the bath water or diluted and rubbed gently over the body after a shower. Widely used in aromatherapy, these oils are effective in relieving nervous tension.

Medicinal Plants and Teas

Ginseng is an ancient remedy used to relieve nervous instability and promote calmness and relaxation. Kava kava is like a sedative that contains muscle relaxants and anti-anxiety compounds. Also, the soothing effects of herbal teas have been tapped for ages -- taken alone or in combination, linden flowers, thyme, lemon-balm, sage, St. John's Wort, valerian root, hawthorn blossoms, lavender flowers, and hibiscus blossoms, are all known to relax and relieve nervous tension. Always discuss herbal supplements with your doctor before you start using them.

Vitamin Supplements

The acclaimed calming and anxiety-busting vitamins are: calcium (at least 1000 milligrams/day), magnesium (500 milligrams/day), folic acid (600 milligrams/day), B6 (2 milligrams/day) and B12 (100 milligrams/day). Deficiencies in these vitamins can lead to a weakened stress tolerance.