New year, new you? That’s the conceptual driving force behind most resolutions, and it’s an admirable one. But the reality is that any promises you make to yourself during that post-festive glow are going to be put to the test.
Our proposition? The most effective defence against the challenges of 2023 is to strive to be the best version of yourself. That means making sure you are happy and healthy, and in our experience, those two things are almost always intertwined.
Below we go into a few of the things that, if left unchecked, could spell early doom for your New Year declarations. But don't worry – we've got potential solutions, too, including a selection of 5 herbal formulations that we're expecting to lean hard on during 2023...
How stress can make it harder to achieve your New Year’s resolutions
Stress won’t just make it harder to achieve your New Year’s resolutions; it will make it harder to achieve anything.
Stress can have a profoundly negative effect on health and wellbeing. One study highlights the link between stress and actual structural changes in the brain; such changes can lead to impaired memory, reduced learning capabilities, and inflammation.
These adverse effects aren't just limited to cognition – the same study noted that stress can also impact cardiovascular and immune system functions. It's clear that if you want the best chance of sticking to the goals you set yourself for this year, keeping those stress levels down is a must.
How can I reduce my stress levels?
Luckily, many effective stress management tools are accessible to most people. The effect of physical activity on stress levels has been extensively researched, but beneficial exercise doesn't have to involve gruelling, sweat-soaked sessions.
One study found that a 60-minute walk led to a reduction of activity in brain regions associated with stress processing. Meditation and mindfulness have been linked to a calmer mind and increased sense of wellbeing.
But those aren't your only options. Below are a couple of formulas custom-built to target a reduction in stress levels, 100% naturally...
Te Xiao An Mian Pian is a vegan herbal formulation with a 5:1 concentration ratio. It’s up to 9 times stronger than other brands, utilising natural ingredients only, and also comes in a 100% recyclable bottle. The main components are Silktree Bark, Red Sage and Polygonum Vine. The blend targets overall mood improvement, more restful sleep, and a general increase in positivity.
Long Dan Xie Gan Tang has an abundance of powerful Eastern herbs that combine to create a formulation which could target multiple issues. Its targeting of headache and migraine problems specifically can go a long way to reducing stress levels – anyone that has suffered chronically or even sporadically can attest to how debilitating such ailments can be.
Understanding the gut-brain axis
A funny stomach has the power to scupper even the best-laid plans, and recent research suggests that there may be a lot more to the bidirectional link between the stomach and brain than we previously thought. Scientists investigating the so-called ‘Gut-Brain Axis’ found evidence that dysbiosis (an imbalance in the gut microbe) could result in the development of anxiety and depressive disorders.
There are multiple causes of dysbiosis, and two of the main culprits are stress and diet. We've discussed the importance of stress management above, and ensuring your diet is healthy and nutritionally balanced is imperative.
We think better digestive health overall might help alleviate the issues associated with dysbiosis, and so here are two formulas that could help with just that...
Entering through the Spleen meridian, this 100% natural herbal blend is engineered to alleviate stomach issues and internal discomfort in general. By attempting to tonify and strengthen middle qi, Bu Zhong Yi Qi Wan may treat irritable bowel syndrome, and could even balance blood sugar levels.
With its blend of White Peony and Liquorice Root, Shao Yao Gan Cao Tang aims to improve strength, targeting the digestive system and inflammation in the stomach. Happy tummy, happy mind – neglect it at your peril!
Why is good sleep so important?
Good sleep is crucial. How crucial? A persistent lack of sleep is linked with an increased mortality risk, cardiovascular disease, cancer and a multitude of other undesirable diseases.
Sleep therapy is a complicated field that lacks any one prominent treatment. Many of the things we've already discussed – good nutrition, regular activity, and mindfulness – have all been proven to have an impact on getting your fourty winks.
In addition to the above, we offer a few different formulations that could help boost sleep. But our favourite right now is...
Keeping a New Year's Resolution is tough; keeping it when dealing with some of the issues outlined above is nearly impossible. It's important to try and manage your physical and mental health for obvious reasons.
But in our eyes, doing so allows you to build foundations that are invaluable when it comes to maintaining resolve. We can't control the world around us, this year or any year. All we can do is try to affect what goes on within us, and that's how we'll be approaching 2023.
For our full collection of resolution-complementing supplements, click here.