There are many forms of stress: emotional, environmental, nutritional, mental and others that can tax our bodies and minds – sometimes to the limit. While there are thousands of articles online listing the best nootropics for stress, we want this one to be different.

Instead of creating more fear around stress and prescribing “magic” pills, we would rather inform you about the neurochemical effects of stress and explain some root causes. In addition to that, we’d also like to put a different spin on stress: that it can be used as an opportunity to get stronger. The best stress-relief strategy we have learned does not involve taking pills to solve problems but instead using mindset and supplements (like nootropics) to support us through tough times and minimize any damage. We believe this is the best long-term solution for our customers, so let’s get started!

Change your beliefs to change your mind

Many people think stress is bad, full stop. But is all stress bad?

Consider the example where a bodybuilder lifts weights. Weightlifting places a major stress on the body but it is considered “good” because the mindset is different. The same amount of weight might make a labourer hurt his back, but the bodybuilder builds muscles instead. Big difference!

The same goes for emotional stress. Have you ever met some people that had it rough in life, surviving war or hunger, and seem to be happier and more grateful compared to others that pop a fit when WiFi goes down? It just seems like these people are mentally stronger having survived some very tough experiences.

The mindset seems to be everything, and we think it’s important to drive this point home because most pills that are prescribed for stress will actually dull the mind by promoting relaxation. This is not the goal for anyone wanting increased focus and attention at work. On top of that, taking nootropics strictly for stress relief doesn’t address the root causes of stress.

3 Root Causes of Stress

Everyone has different reasons to stress out, and we think each type of stress can teach us valuable lessons and make us stronger. It’s important to get to the root of the problem, otherwise, it will always resurface. Here are 3 very common root causes of stress:

Fear and Anxiety

Fear, anxiety, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are super-common these days. While we aren’t psychologists, we think it’s obvious that the super-connectivity of the internet is bringing us more reasons to get stressed out these days.

In the past, people watched the news once a day and worried mostly about the people around them. Today we have a 24-hour news cycle that feeds on fear and gives us reasons to worry about billions of people all over the world, in addition to all our local responsibilities.

The stress induced by all those graphic images is sending damaging cortisol through the body. And the truth is that there’s never been a time when the world was entirely peaceful. Perhaps if we just accept the fact that there has always been turbulence, it may give us the opportunity to become stronger and more resilient.

Having said that, it seems like trying to avoid stress is not possible, and that perhaps strengthening the body and mind is a better strategy. Supplements can support that, and we’ll get to that at the end.

Nutritional Stress

Digestion is an intensive activity that requires a lot of energy, and a lot of what is called “food” is not really nutritious or beneficial. Rather than providing any essential elements, much of this stuff just rob the body of energy while taxing the organs and creating toxicity.

Consider the issue of blood sugar. Type 2 diabetes is a modern disease mostly caused by lifestyle issues stemming from a poor diet and lack of movement. It causes the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood to rise rapidly and taxes the pancreas into producing insulin so the body can stabilize. Besides causing symptoms like excessive thirst, vision problems and heart issues, it also causes tiredness.

Having said that, shouldn’t the tired person address lifestyle first and take a nootropic to boost that process? We’ll get to that in the final section.

Physical Stress

Poor sleep, excess exercise and elevated stress hormones are among the many factors that can make the body feel tired and weak.

Sleep is a time for rest, repair and regeneration. Cheating on sleep just cheats on the person in the end and something called sleep debt will eventually come to collect. While some people work well at night, most do the best work in the daylight hours as humans have for millennia prior to the invention of the light bulb. This is called the “circadian rhythm” – and our bodies were designed to work with this element of nature.

Excess exercise is another factor that can really stress a person physically. While it definitely feels great at the time – due to increased “feel-good” hormones like serotonin – problems will occur if the person does not have adequate rest and recovery.

Nootropics for Stress: What to Do

Pumping stimulants into a sick or tired body is like whipping a dead horse. It will work for a while until the horse just drops. Don’t be like that horse!

Visit our store, and you will see that much of what is available is supplemental to a healthy lifestyle. So before we get into some recommendations, here are a few short quick tips that will help:

  • Eat “real” food, and learn the best meal timing and frequency for your metabolism
  • Sleep when it’s dark, and do your work when (and where) there is natural light
  • Skip the “marathon” workouts when you’re tired – try working “in” by doing Tai Chi or Hatha Yoga to build energy
  • Give your brain a rest and limit the news

We understand that not everyone can do the above. Some of you are news reporters, others work in hospitals, and some of you might be fitness trainers, and so on. Everyone is getting stressed in some unique way!

This is where nootropics for stress come in. After covering the basics of a healthy lifestyle, these supplements will give you much better results:

L-theanine for focus and alertness

Some people like to use L-theanine with coffee or substitute it completely.

L-theanine has been shown to have various neuroprotective and cognitive-enhancement properties, resulting in various positive effects on the brain and throughout the body. As the key ingredient in tea, it has been used for thousands of years to promote alertness without the jittery effects of coffee and some recent studies have shown that it can help with stress.

Click here for more information on L-theanine.

Rhodiola Rosea for fatigue and exhaustion

Rhodiola Rosea is a herb used in traditional medicine to reduce fatigue and exhaustion and cope with stress. Adaptogens are non-toxic plants that some people believe help the body resist physical, chemical or biological stressors.

Click here for more information on Rhodiola Rosea.

Ashwagandha to balance blood sugar

Ashwagandha has been part of traditional Indian medicine for thousands of years and is prescribed widely to treat stress and anxiety. In addition to that, modern research has shown that it can help balance blood sugar by reducing inflammation and improving insulin sensitivity.

Click here for more information on ashwagandha.

A Final Word

This article addressed the use of nootropics for stress, but their correct use involves more than just popping pills. Proper nutrition, rest and sleep are the first steps to activating your body’s defence mechanisms.

Looking at stress as an opportunity to get stronger – the same way a bodybuilder views lifting weights – is a proactive way to address stress. Together with the use of the right nootropics, you can build a strong body and healthy mind for unlocking your potential and building resilience during tough times.