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What is Stress?

What is Stress?

It's perfectly natural to feel stressed now and then. It's entirely appropriate to be stressed in certain circumstances. Your "stress response" can actually be a life-saving resource. However, chronic stress -- being stressed all the time -- can be physically and mentally harmful.

Stress can be sub-categorized as:

  • Routine stress, which is usually related to work, family and other daily pressures.
  • Stress brought about by a sudden negative change. Included in this might be stress you would feel from losing a job, a divorce, or serious illness.
  • Traumatic stress, which you would feel in a life-threatening circumstance like a car accident, war, a bodily crime or natural disaster. Traumatic stress is often identified as a cause of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Different people may feel stress in different ways. Some may have trouble with digestion, sleep, depression, anger or headaches, as well as greater frequency and severity of viral infections, like flu or colds. Vaccines seem to have a minimal effect on them.

How people cope with stress varies. That's why it's important to know your limits when you're stressed out. This may help you from contracting serious health effects.

Strategies

You can take some practical steps to prevent, combat and cope with stress, as well as maintain physical and mental health. Here are some tips:

  • When you feel overwhelmed, unable to cope, think about suicide or are turning to substance abuse to cope, seek out a licensed mental health practitioner.
  • Have any current health problems addressed.
  • Stay close to your support base, like friends, family, work or church associates.
  • Know when your body is responding to stress, like insomnia, substance use, anger, depression or low energy.
  • Prioritize your life; know what needs to get done and what can wait. Learn to say no to new tasks, especially if you feel overwhelmed.
  • Be fair to yourself; remember what you've accomplished, not what you failed to do.
  • Don't dwell on problems. If you feel a problem is insurmountable, get assistance from a mental health professional who will advise you.
  • Exercise. Even 30 minutes a day of gentle walking can elevate your mood and reduce stress.
  • Ensure you have regular times when you can engage in healthy, relaxing activities.
  • Investigate various stress coping regimens like meditation, yoga, tai chi, or prayer.

EMPowerplus Advanced™, combined with other healthy lifestyle changes, can also help. Learn more about how EMPowerplus Advanced can help by clicking here.

How EMPowerplus Helped Earthquake Survivors Cope With Stress

On February 22, 2011 a 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit Christchurch, New Zealand. It took 185 lives, making it the second-largest natural disaster in that country. Just four months later, an aftershock with a 6.3 magnitude hit New Zealand again, injuring 46 and killing one.

Many affected residents of New Zealand sought mental health counseling, even medication for the fallout and stress associated with living through not only the first quake, but the aftershock which caused many significant fires, widespread flooding, gas leaks and soil liquefaction.

To fully understand the impact of natural disasters on mental stability, a 2011 research study was done by the University of Christchurch in New Zealand, studying a group of adults with ADHD affected by the 6.3 quake.

Half the participating survivors took a high-quality micronutrient supplement designed to negate the effects of stress and PTSD. The other half did not.

"Disaster survivors improve psychologically over time regardless of receiving intervention; however, those taking micronutrients during the acute phase following a disaster show better outcomes,” reported Dr. Julia Ruckledge, University of Canturbury researcher.

The micronutrient the participants took was none other than Truehope’s EMPowerplus.

A university follow up study a year later showed that not only were those taking EMPowerplus more stable, but those who participated in the study and later started taking psychtropic meds in place of EMPowerplus actually fared worse than those who stayed away from medications.

How EMPowerplus Helps

The original formula that evolved into today's Truehope EMPowerplus Advanced was first formulated in 1996 as a natural medicine to help people experiencing stress caused by depression or other mood disorders.

The success was so great that over 1,000,000 bottles have now been sold for use in treating non clinical symptoms like stress. The EMPowerplus Advanced formulation is groundbreaking: the 36 clinically proven vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants give the brain and body the nutrients they need to function at their very best.

The physical manifestations of stress like sleeplessness, pain, headaches, weight gain and others can also be accompanied anxiety, racing thoughts, worry, and frustration. When the brain is able to draw from the 36 clinically proven ingredients found in EMPowerplus Advanced, the body is able to relax so you can focus on life instead of worry.

Clinical Research

Psychological functioning 1 year after a brief intervention using micronutrients to treat stress and anxiety related to the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes: a naturalistic follow-up
Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, Volume 29, Issue 3, pages 230–243, May 2014
Full Text Summary

"Disaster survivors improve psychologically over time regardless of receiving intervention; however, those taking micronutrients during the acute phase following a disaster show better outcomes."

OBJECTIVES
We investigated whether micronutrients given acutely following the Christchurch earthquakes continued to confer benefit 1 year following the treatment.

METHOD
Sixty-four adults from the original 91 participants experiencing heightened anxiety or stress 2–3 months following the 22nd February 2011 earthquake and who had been randomized to receive three different doses of micronutrients completed on-line questionnaires assessing mood, anxiety, stress, and symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder 1 year after completing the initial study. Twenty-one out of 29 nonrandomized controls who did not receive the treatment also completed the questionnaires.

RESULTS
Both the treated and control groups experienced significant improvement in psychological functioning compared with end-of-trial. However, treated participants had better long-term outcomes on most measures compared with controls (ES = 0.69–1.31). Those who stayed on micronutrients through to follow-up or stopped all treatment reported better psychological functioning than those who switched to other treatments including medications. About 10% of the sample continued to have post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS
Disaster survivors improve psychologically over time regardless of receiving intervention; however, those taking micronutrients during the acute phase following a disaster show better outcomes, identifying micronutrients as a viable treatment for acute stress following a natural disaster with maintenance of benefits 1 year later. ACTRN 12611000460909 Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Shaken but unstirred? Effects of micronutrients on stress and trauma after an earthquake: RCT evidence comparing formulas and doses.
Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, Volume 27, Issue 5, pages 440–454, September 2012
Full Text Summary

"The CNE™ (EMPowerplus powder) group reported greater improvement in mood, anxiety, and energy with twice as many reporting being "much" to "very much" improved and five times more likely to continue taking [EMPowerplus] post-trial than Berocca™..."

OBJECTIVES
To compare two micronutrient (vitamins and minerals) formulas (Berocca and CNE) and assess their impact on emotions and stress related to the 6.3 earthquake on February 22nd 2011 in Christchurch, New Zealand.

METHODS
91 adults experiencing heightened anxiety or stress 2–3 months following the earthquake were randomized to Berocca, CNE low dose (CNE4), or CNE high dose (CNE8), for 28 days and monitored weekly via on-line questionnaires and followed 1 month post-trial. A nonrandomized control group (n = 25) completed questionnaires at baseline and 4 weeks.

RESULTS
All treatment groups experienced significant declines in psychological symptoms (p < .001). CNE groups experienced greater reduction in intrusive thoughts as compared with Berocca (p = .05), with no group differences on other measures of psychological symptoms. However, CNE8 group reported greater improvement in mood, anxiety, and energy (p < .05) with twice as many reporting being “much” to “very much” improved and five times more likely to continue taking CNE post-trial than Berocca group. Treated participants had better outcomes on most measures over 4 weeks as compared to controls.

CONCLUSIONS
This study supports micronutrients as an inexpensive and practical treatment for acute stress following a natural disaster with a slight advantage to higher doses ACTRN 12611000460909.

Micronutrients reduce stress and anxiety following a 7.1 earthquake in adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
Psychiatry Research, Volume 189, Issue 2 , Pages 281-287, 30 September 2011
Full Text Summary

"...Micronutrients may increase resilience to ongoing stress and anxiety associated with a highly stressful event in individuals with ADHD and are consistent with controlled studies showing benefit of micronutrients for mental health."

ABSTRACT
The role of good nutrition for resilience in the face of stress is a topic of interest, but difficult to study. A 7.1 earthquake took place in the midst of research on a micronutrient treatment for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), providing a unique opportunity to examine whether individuals with ADHD taking micronutrients demonstrated more emotional resilience post-earthquake than individuals with ADHD not taking micronutrients. Thirty-three adults with ADHD were assessed twice following the earthquake using a measure of depression, anxiety and stress also completed at some point pre-earthquake (baseline). Seventeen were not taking micronutrients at the time of the earthquake (control group), 16 were (micronutrient group). While there were no between-group differences one week post-quake (Time 1), at two weeks post-quake (Time 2), the micronutrient group reported significantly less anxiety and stress than the controls (effect size 0.69). These between group differences could not be explained by other variables, such as pre-earthquake measures of emotions, demographics, psychiatric status, and personal loss or damage following the earthquake. The results suggest that micronutrients may increase resilience to ongoing stress and anxiety associated with a highly stressful event in individuals with ADHD and are consistent with controlled studies showing benefit of micronutrients for mental health.

See More Research

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