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5 Natural Ways to Reduce Anxiety This Holiday Season


Holiday preparations I make the same mistake every year: I spend the entire year thinking I have more time than I actually do, which inevitably lends to a stressful holiday season.

Add to this a tendency to over commit, and three to five days filled with long car rides, lack of sleep and weight gain, and I’m one of millions with a common holiday recipe for stress and sheer exhaustion.

Luckily, there are many all natural ways to support emotional and mental health, increase feelings of positivity, decrease anxiety and help the body better adapt to stressful situations.

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In addition to regular exercise and a balanced diet, these 5 supplements can help you deal with the woes of the holiday season.

1. 5-HTP: This amino acid is considered the “stepping stone” from tryptophan, an amino acid found in turkey and milk, to serotonin. The supplement 5-HTP has been used as a therapy for appetite control and insomnia, and is also known to revitalize mood and support general well-being.[1]

2. Ashwagandha: Due to its ability to help combat stress, this powerful adaptogen has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to balance mood and reduce anxiety. It has also been shown to promote acetylcholine receptor activity, which can help improve mental clarity.[2]

3. Ginger Root: Ginger is a must-have before a long car ride. It reduces nausea associated with motion sickness. It also helps calm an upset stomach and promotes healthy digestion, something we all need before the large holiday meals.

4. Sceletium Tortuosum: This plant, commonly known by it’s patented brand name Zambrin, has been shown in multiple clinical trials to provide a wide range of cognitive benefits. It’s been proven to enhance mood, improve cognitive function and reduce both stress and anxiety. A perfect way to stay balanced this holiday season.

5. GABA: This amino acid is known to ease tension and to have a profound calming effect on the mind. GABA acts as an inhibitor in the synapses of the brain, balancing the excitatory regions and reducing feelings of being “scatter brained.”

While I know I can’t escape holiday blunders entirely, it helps to know that I can take advantage of some of nature’s most effective compounds to make things a little easier.

If you’ve used any of these products before, or have had success using any other supplement for the holiday season, please share your experience below!


1. Med Hypotheses. 2005;65(1):138-44. 5-Hydroxytryptophan plus SSRIs for interferon-induced depression: synergistic mechanisms for normalizing synaptic serotonin.

2. PLoS One. 2009 Aug 31;4(8):e6628. Naturopathic care for anxiety: a randomized controlled trial ISRCTN78958974.

3. Int J of Med Sci. 2007Jan 24;4(1):45-52.

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4 responses to “5 Natural Ways to Reduce Anxiety This Holiday Season”

  1. Thanks for this post. I also know how often the holidays seem to creep up as if just hiding around the corner. These supplement and herbal choices are great especially since Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year coming up back to back is enough to make anyone stressed and anxiety ridden. One more herb I’d like to add to the list that I’ve found great benefit from in relieving stress and helping me better deal with it is Rhodiola.

  2. MaryJane says:

    Having to drive 4 hours to go home for the holidays has put alot of stress on my body and mind over the years. I found that drinking ginger tea calms my stomach while eating oatmeal (i found Oats is a GABA friendly food) keeps me full and doesn’t cause me stop at the next rest stop. Im sure taking those supplements will help me cut down on prep time for long road trips. Thanks for the tips!

  3. Sally says:

    Wow, I need all the help I can get during the holidays. It’s great to have some natural alternativesnto help de-stress.

  4. […] While Thanksgiving certainly is a holiday about eating, food is just part of the celebration. It’s a time to acknowledge all that we have to be thankful for, and to appreciate the people we care about. Studies have shown that social connections are essential for health and longevity. So do your best to put your petty quarrels aside, relax and set the stage for a joy-filled, low-stress holiday season. […]