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Feeling stressed at work? Here is what you can do
It’s no secret that life today is incredibly stressful for most people. Too much of the population are not sleeping well, are not happy, and may even be suffering from nervous system issues. Feeling this way is slowly becoming the norm, leading to many cases being left untreated. But, it is important not to ignore these situations as severe stress is damaging to your gut, brain, heart and so on. It’s not just the physical body that is affected, but, one’s emotional state can also worsen.
This can be to the point that it affects one’s education, career, and relationships. Many of the issues that result in stress are often treated with pharmaceutical medications or even narcotic substances. In the struggle to be okay, we tend to jump towards what we are familiar with or what brings the quickest relief, no matter how short-lived or toxic it is. There are alternatives.
There is a growing pool of research suggesting that regular CBD use is a credible solution for stress. And, unlike alcohol, narcotics, and pharmaceutical drugs, CBD has little to no side effects and numerous therapeutic benefits. So, what does science say about CBD?
The effects of CBD on trauma-related stress
Cannabinoids have been proven to activate certain receptors in our bodies, producing pharmacologic effects, especially in our immune system and central nervous system. Our endocannabinoid system has been said to impact many body processes, including appetite, pain centers, energy balance, and memory. Now research revealed that cannabinoids may even affect our emotional response to trauma.
A study done at the University of Haifa in 2013 found that cannabinoid treatment decreased the stress receptors in the hippocampus (the part of the brain associated with emotion) and the basolateral complex (the nuclei that receive most sensory information). The study went on to reveal that this interaction between cannabinoids and the brain may regulate our emotional response to trauma. In the process, it may further prevent stress-induced impairment.
Studies have shown that military veterans with trauma-related stress have increased motivation to use cannabis as a way of coping. When using cannabis treatment they reported reduced insomnia and anxiety, and better coping ability. However, using CBD instead of cannabis is recommended as CBD produces calming and therapeutic effects without the inebriated feeling caused by the THC in cannabis.
The effects of CBD on insomnia-related stress
The calming effects of the oil allow for a peaceful sleep in individuals, by relieving restlessness and anxiety. Restful sleep is vital to managing stress. Sleep deprivation or poor sleep can affect judgment, memory, mood, and our everyday functioning. CBD influences the sleep cycle by increasing the third phase (of deep sleep) and reducing REM sleep (light sleep). CBD oil also influences the body’s serotonin, which is responsible for the feeling of being refreshed after waking up.
Studies of blood tests have also shown that CBD influences the dopamine levels during sleep, leading to more relaxed sleep. However, the interaction between stress and sleep is that of a cycle. Stress itself can cause restlessness and poor sleep, which increases stress. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association, 76% of adults with moderate to high-stress levels, report feeling more stressed after not getting enough sleep. But, CBD’s therapeutic effects also stretch to roots of insomnia, like anxiety.
The effects of CBD on anxiety
Several studies of animal models have clearly demonstrated that CBD’s activation of the brain’s cannabinoid receptors lowers heart rate, blood pressure responses to stress and reduces anxiety and panicky behavior. CBD intake appears to lessen the “fight or flight” response to mental and physical stressors. It does this by decreasing conditioned responses to punishment or pain and fear-avoidant behavior.
There was a study done in Brazil back in 2006 where they simulated public speaking test to cause stress. There, a 300 mg dose of CBD was shown to reduce the symptoms of self-rated anxiety.
Other alternative treatments for Stress
Although the use of CBD has been shown to be a potential solution to stress, there’s no harm in combining CBD use with other stress-relieving activities. Exercise, for example, is one of the best ways to reduce stress. When you exercise your body, it will release hormones called endorphins that fight stress. Exercise also provides a healthy distraction from day-to-day pressures and helps clear the mind. One exercise that provides stress relief is yoga, which combines deep breathing with a series of stationary and moving poses.
Yoga is known to strengthen the body’s natural relaxation response. Gentle yoga for beginners will be enough if your main goal is to ease stress. Tai Chi is another exercise that has a significant reduction effect on stress. Similar to yoga, Tai chi involves a series of breathing techniques and self-paced body movements.
The movements, which have roots in martial arts, boost the immune system and calm the mind. Another exercise to try is kickboxing, a powerful stress buster. The activity provides a useful outlet for frustrations, and the high intensity of it encourages the flow of endorphins. Consider combining these exercises with your CBD administration for incredible stress-relief results.
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