Let’s just say it: these are not easy times.
Stress is part of the human condition. Your stressors can vary; maybe it’s sitting in traffic or a frustrating session helping a kid with homework. Maybe it’s a pressing work deadline or family politics. Throw in a global pandemic, economic uncertainty, and intense social change. It’s normal to feel stressed, and it’s appropriate given the anxious times we live in. But it’s exhausting, and extended exposure to stress is harmful to our immune systems and our mental health.
Managing stress is essential to maintaining good health. Regular exercise, meditation, moderating your diet, even petting the dog can help lower your stress levels. Everyone can benefit from stress reducing activities.
CBD supplements can help, too.
The what and how of CBD
CBD is short for cannabidiol, a chemical found in cannabis and many other plants, such as flaxseeds, cloves, and black pepper. CBD is non-intoxicating, unlike its cousin THC, but it has many other benefits -- including the reduction of stress.
Cannabinoids, like CBD, don’t just come from plants. They are naturally occurring chemicals found in the body, part of the endocannabinoid (ECS) system. Endocannabinoids act as messengers, sending signals to the brain, guts and other areas to regulate basic body functions.
There are two endocannabinoid receptors -- the places in your nervous system that receive these messages -- CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are found mostly in the brain and central nervous system. CB2 receptors are found primarily in your immune system but can also be found in many peripheral organs.
Enzymes break down the endocannabinoids once they’ve done their job. It’s like a phone call. Endocannabinoids are the message, the receptors are the phone, and the enzymes hang up the phone once the call is done. Research shows this “phone call” plays a significant role in the immune system, stress and pain responses.
CBD behaves like the endocannabinoids your body makes, delivering messages to the CB1 receptors in your brain and central nervous system. That message? You can relax. When you’ve been exposed to extended or extreme stress, your brain isn’t as good at telling your body to relax. Again, exercise, meditation, and hearing your cat purr when you rub that fuzzy belly can help. And regular CBD supplements can remind the less self-aware parts of your brain what it feels like to let go. Learn more about the endocannabinoid system.
Products and practices for de-stressing
Managing stress is a conscious activity. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and mindful actions go a long way towards lowering your stress levels. Partner these activities with CBD products and you’ll build a stress management routine that supports you while you navigate life’s stressful moments.
End your day on the right note. Most people benefit from a predictable evening routine, and with our always-on-the-go society, it can help to have a clear pre-bed game plan to help you wind down.
As you are unwinding from your day, choose quiet activities that minimize stimulation, preferably those that avoid screens. If you can, avoid screens (phones, computers, your TV) at least two hours before bed. Read a book, color, play a game with your family, or do a puzzle instead.
A cup of tea is also a great way to wind down. Add a half dropper of our Daily Balance CBD Oil for an extra calming effect. Make it part of a routine so it starts to trigger that wind-down response quickly.
Clear your mind. Carrying your daytime worries into the evening can make it difficult to fall asleep -- or to sleep through the night. It’s hard to drift off to sleep, after all, if you can’t turn off your brain.
CBD can make it easier to gain control of your thoughts, helping you relax enough to sleep well. Add a little yoga or meditation to calm your mind further and get you ready for a solid night’s rest. New to meditation? Try our guided practice. Music can quiet your mind too; here’s a Spotify playlist to help you chill.
Relax your body. If you’re physically uncomfortable, it’s hard to get proper rest. It’s never fun trying to sleep when it hurts to roll over in bed.
Relax your muscles with a quick massage using our topical CBD Hemp Balm, soothing discomfort. Apply the balm directly to the affected areas. CBD capsules, which provide relief that will last long enough to let you get the full 7-8 hours of sleep you need.
If you regularly experience middle-of-the-night leg cramps that wake you, consider adding more potassium-rich foods in your diet, which can reduce cramping. Foods like bananas, gold potatoes, and spinach are all good choices.
There are plenty of easy ways to minimize stress in your daily life. You cannot change the things that cause stress, but you can change the way you react to life's stressors. By incorporating CBD into your daily routine, along with other lifestyle changes, you can take back control of the chaos so you can get back to the good stuff.