Are there natural supplements that I can use to help me manage stress?

Are there natural supplements that I can use to help me manage stress?
Stress can be a terrible and destructive state of mind. There are many ways of alleviating stress and, of course, it's normal to seek a quick and easy solution. There are natural supplements which purport to be able to help with stress. Some are more effective than others and all ought to be used as part of a more wide-ranging and deeper approach to stress management.
These supplements may help alongside other techniques discussed in a moment:

Chamomile is a very mild sedative and is often found to help calm nerves. A study by University of Pennsylvania Medical School found that chamomile extracts helped more with the alleviation of symptoms than placebos. Tea, tinctures and capsules are available.

This is often used to treat tension, anxiety and stress. Many individuals report good results but scientific evidence in favour of it is quite thin on the ground. One study found that St. John's Wort combined with Valerian Root was more effective than diazepam. At the same time, it's been noted that taken at higher doses it can cause changes in heart rhythm and blurred vision, according to research by University of Maryland Medical Centre.

Championed by herbalist Laurel Vukovic, this herb has calming properties. It can reduce anxiety and promote sleep. Thomas Lenz, of Creighton University in Nebraska, found that 45 drops of liquid passionflower was as effective as oxazepam in promoting sleep but more research is needed to assure the safety and efficacy of this natural supplement.

Several studies have shown that kava natural supplements work to alleviate stress and can also be beneficial for people suffering depression. 250mg tinctures taken five times daily have been noted as effective, although there have been a few cases in which kava has been implicated in liver problems.

Whichever natural supplement is taken to help with stress management is best implemented in conjunction with lifestyle changes. Exercise can help a lot with stress, anxiety and depression. Also, lifestyle factors such as being on the computer or watching TV until one goes to sleep can encourage stress and sleeplessness as the mind is not prepared to rest and therefore occupies itself with repetitive thought. The causes of stress can be varied: work, family life, location, almost anything can prove stressful and it's important to realize that some stressors can be dealt with at the root.

Furthermore, since stress is a mental state, activities which focus on long-term management of your mental state can be really useful. For example, practicing yoga, tai chi or meditation can help calm the mind and can be a source of long-lasting peace throughout one's life. Many people use natural supplements if the stressful period is only short-term or for a period while more long-term habits are being formed.

Stress is more than just an unhappy feeling, it can impact physical health and be an aggravator in medical conditions. It's important therefore to look at the causes of stress and try out solutions, both short and long term, to bring your feeling back under control.
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