This post is written in partnership with Elixinol. We’re honored to work with them—they are dedicated to educating, inspiring, and empowering people throughout the world to live naturally healthy, happy lives—that includes helping us reduce our ambient stress. ~ ed.
There are times my brain has way too freaking many tabs open.
Okay, I’m kidding. There are not times as in plural; there is one time and that time is all the time.
Like a computer, when there are a crap ton of programs running in the background, I can feel the small bits of stress as they begin to jam up my brain. I know something’s amiss—that I’m kinda losin’ it—but keep pressing on…and on and on.
That background noise in our brains is what experts call ambient stress, and according to clinical psychologist Laurie Ferguson, it can be described as that feeling when “there’s something amiss, but we’re not registering it all the time. We’re always just a little bit off balance. We kind of function at a level like everything’s fine and things are normal, when in fact, they’re not.” (1)
So, basically, it’s your brain’s resident hellraiser making all the everyday doings harder to get done.
Now, I don’t know about you, but that ambient stress seems to have pumped up the volume since we’ve come in and out of the pandemic and into global turmoil.
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If you’re with me, we aren’t alone. Sixty-three percent of Americans say they feel their lives have been forever changed since the beginning of the pandemic, and according to recent polls, our stress has only gone up since the “end” of the pandemic and the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine (2).
Is the rise in prices of necessities like gas, energy, and groceries constantly hitching a ride in the back of your mind? You’re in the company of 87% of Americans.
Supply chain issues have you feeling shackled? Or, how about just an overall sense of broad global uncertainty? Join the 81% of us. Hell, since 2021, about half of us have even been legitimately struggling with making basic decisions (3). Damn!
But our friends at Elixinol, a wellness company that pairs CBD with other functional ingredients, have a few tips that can help us make friends with the mental menace that is ambient stress. And that’s what we’re here for, right? Solutions!
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3 Ways to Abandon your Ambient Stress—at least intermittently:
1. Supplements (the natural, plant-based type, of course).
Sometimes you just need a little outside support while working on the “inside job” of mental health, and Dr. Dave Gordon, Elixinol’s resident health expert, is a big fan of alternative medicine—plant-derived “medicine” specifically, in this case.
Elixinol’s Calm Stress Support is a supportive elixir in capsule form that, when taken regularly, can help keep us cool, calm and collected amidst the background blues of our brains.
It combines full-spectrum hemp extract with ashwagandha, a natural adaptogen that has been clinically tested to help stress response and support quality of life (4) so that we can focus on all the things that actually matter.
These 2 plant powerhouses can support our brains and bodies in turning the volume of our ambient stress way down:
CBD in itself has been found to have broad therapeutic properties. Skipping the super-technical medical jargon, basically CBD supports healthy function of our body’s processing system as a whole–which includes our mental health and brain function (5).
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, and adaptogens help our bodies normalize physiological responses to various reactions in our bodies. In this case, ashwagandha helps us better adapt to the cortisol released into our bodies via stress and effectively improves our resistance toward it. (6)
“Our bodies are built to handle big stressors [like] starvation, injury, and attack over relatively short periods of time,” Dr. Dave explains. “Currently, however, we’re bombarded by stressors every minute of every day. Food and environmental toxins, chronic technology stimulation, and financial concerns are just a snippet of what we continually encounter.”
Where the combination of CBD and ashwagandha come in as a mighty defensive duo is in lending support to the fight or flight response that is caused by those almost constant triggers.
Both CBD and ashwagandha, according to Dr. Dave, help balance stress-causing chemicals so that even in the moment, we feel calmer and are able to thrive during our day.
“We cannot necessarily stop the onslaught of stressors,” Dr. Dave explains,“But we can support our bodies’ ability to handle them by regular intake of balancing compounds like CBD and ashwagandha.”
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Know when you’re sitting at your computer all day how you can start to feel sluggish and foggy as your brain drifts off to the billions of other things at home that you could be doing instead?
Alternative medicine and supplements can help with the most interior things that are going on, but movement is, essentially, medicine in motion.
Getting up and moving our bodies gets us out of our brains and also strikes up feel-good endorphins that help to give us both a mental and physical boost (7). This means that we’re automatically a little more in the moment than we would be when numbly interacting with the 500th email exchange about that one single work thing.
And when we are in the moment, we’re less likely to be distracted by the background soundtrack of our stressful thoughts.
Dr. Dave gives the example of a runner’s high to describe what happens in our bodies with movement, and how CBD enhances those effects:
“After about 20 minutes of running or other continuous exercise, you feel relaxed, and even a little euphoric. Any pain you might have lessens, and you just feel good, like you could keep moving forever,” he says. “That’s your endocannabinoid system kicking in and keeping you happy, stress-free, and moving,”
CBD and the other cannabinoids that are in Elixinol’s Calm Stress Support not surprisingly stimulate and support your endocannabinoid system. And there’s even more to Ashwagandha’s benefits in the movement department.
“Ashwagandha adds even more stress-relieving benefits by ensuring stress producing chemicals in the body like cortisol and adrenaline don’t spike too high during or after exercise,” Dr. Dave says. “Additionally, it’s been shown repeatedly to improve fitness performance, making it easier to maximize the stress-relieving eﬀects, and all the other benefits of regular exercise.”
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If you think about the times that your mental background noise really ramps up and takes center stage, it’s probably the times that you’re trying to make an important decision or take timely action—the times when everything feels slow-motion and you really need or want to be efficient.
When that happens, it’s probably pretty hard to be positive and find the bright side. But here’s a trick:
According to researchers and experts, when people experience positive emotions by reminiscing about past memories, their stress response decreases. Cortisol levels lower, and brain activity increases in areas responsible for emotional regulation—especially when our memories involve connectedness (3).
We can give that natural process a little boost with Elixinol’s Calm Stress Support capsules. How, you ask?
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The ingredients in Elixinol’s Calm Stress Support help us better adapt to cortisol. So, when we take steps to better handle cortisol through natural, plant-based supplements while also striving to make conscious mental shifts, we create more space for serenity and solid decision-making to move in where stress once sat in command.
In Dr. Dave’s words, it’s all about balance, and Elixinol’s Calm Stress Support’s powerful ingredients help spread that throughout our whole body because they work directly on the nerves in the brain to regulate mood, occasional stress, and optimize performance.
“Ashwagandha, a bonus ingredient, has been used for thousands of years to help individuals have a healthy stress response, which leads to enhanced productivity and brain performance,” Dr. Dave says. And multiple clinical trials have even shown ashwagandha to help anxiety, while supporting mood and optimal sleep.
The combination of CBD, the minor cannabinoids, and ashwagandha in Elixinol’s Calm Stress Support, as Dr. Dave says, “lend a hand to our endocannabinoid system, help us balance hormones and inflammation after exercise, and support our nervous system—all of which lead to a healthy stress response, and improve brain performance like better focus and reduced decision fatigue.”
Another tip? Simply having a sense of control can also help us reduce feelings of stress and allow us to make better, more efficient decisions. But then, that isn’t always so simple, is it? Especially when we’re so overwhelmed we don’t know where to start and can’t seem to make the decision to do so in the first place (3).
Here’s a teeny tiny break-time routine to help when the ambient stress static gets loud:
1. Pop a couple of Elixinol’s Calm Stress Support capsules.
Get that balance flowing on a regular basis as you build this new habit up into a daily routine.
2. Get up from your desk and go for a little walk—outside if you can.
Give yourself the gift of kinetic “medicine”. Take a look at the things around you and really notice the small and large details in your surroundings as you get your endorphins flowing. And then, midway through your therapeutic motion sesh…
3. Take a few moments to reminisce.
Think about a really connected moment with a friend or family member. Maybe a favorite holiday or vacation moment. If you need inspiration, scroll through the memories that are often so sweetly served up to you daily on your iPhone.
4. Return to your desk and decide you’re the boss.
Take control, and map out a few of the smaller, most manageable steps you can take toward the completion of the larger, more overwhelming task at hand.
And Tah-dah! You’re on your way! And aren’t you feeling better already?
While misery does love company, and we might all be so glad to know that the constant state of low-to moderate-level stress in our lives is pretty common right now, there’s another thing that we should probably take from our peers:
Although we’re dealing with persistent stress levels and feeling their impacts on decision-making, about 70% of United States adults are optimistic about the future and are confident that things’ll work out once the pandemic (and political turmoil) ends (2).
And with a few helpful hints and the help of the medicinal magic-makers over at Elixinol, it sure looks like we can all tap into that little bit of hope and move toward a more stable equilibrium—one capsule, one step, one subtle mental shift at a time.
Let’s CBD what else Elixinol can do for ya, shall we?
1. Everyday Balance Tincture
Pick your Personal Entourage.
2. Everyday Extra Strength Gummies
For the Days that Feel a bit Extra.
3. Sleep Gummies THC Free*
Move Over, CBD. CBZzzz is Here!
4. Calm Stress Support
Last Chance to Give Yourself Relief!