I don’t know about you, but things on my side are wild at the moment – to-do lists, goals, admin, expectations, deadlines, budgets, meetings, arrangements, and people. Life seems to have so many moving parts, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and lose perspective.

During times of elevated circumstantial stress, it’s so important we resource ourselves so we’re able to navigate the tumult with as little collateral damage to our health and mental well-being as possible.

Resourcing yourself means getting enough sleep, eating nutritious meals, hydrating, intelligent supplementation, movement, breathing and meditation. While this all seems like a lot to implement when life is chaotic, it’s your best chance for moving through feelings of anxiety, stress, and fear, and successfully getting you back to a state of ease and calm.

Health store shelves are heaving with ‘calming’ supplements, knowing which ones to choose can be a panic situation in itself. These are the top 3 that have worked for me when I need extra support during stressful situations.


If you’re looking to take the edge off your anxiety, this is an easily absorbed and fast-acting supplement that doesn’t make you drowsy. The combination of these two extensively researched ingredients have been a game-changer for me in critical moments of stress. 


L-theanine is a compound known for its calming effect on the mind, and is a non protein amino acid contained in green tea leaves. It has shown to lower ‘excitatory’ neurotransmitters in the body.

One of the ways L-theanine is thought to reduce anxiety is by elevating levels of certain chemicals in the brain, in particular, serotonin, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels, all of which are linked to stress and anxiety. 

L-theanine has also been proven to lower cortisol levels – studies have shown that L-theanine can significantly lower elevated cortisol to healthy levels within 20 minutes to an hour of ingestion.

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), is a perennial member of the mint family, and gets its name from the light lemon fragrance of its leaves. It’s  been used for centuries as a cure to soothe anxiety and reduce symptoms of stress. 

A study found that taking lemon balm eased the negative mood effects of laboratory-induced psychological stress. Participants who took lemon balm self-reported an increased sense of calm.

Further evidence suggests that it may be effective in improving anxiety and depressive symptoms in acute situations. Lemon balm is thought to contain compounds that interact with brain receptors, influencing neurotransmitters like gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which may have an anxiolytic effect (the ability of a drug to treat anxiety symptoms). It may also help improve sleep quality – adequate sleep is crucial for people who suffer from high anxiety levels.


Magnesium is a vital nutrient for regulating body processes, including muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure. For the purpose of this article, I want to focus on magnesium glycinate – I take this daily as part of my evening supplement ‘wind-down’ routine.

Magnesium glycinate is a supplement that combines magnesium and glycine, an amino acid that can have calming effects on the nervous system. 

Magnesium glycinate is formed by combining elemental magnesium with the amino acid glycine – this form of magnesium is highly bioavailable, meaning the magnesium is easily absorbed through your small intestine.

Many studies have explored the effect that magnesium has on reducing cortisol levels. It tackles excessive anxiety by diminishing or blocking the neuroendocrine pathways that send cortisol to your brain.

The benefits of taking magnesium will only present with consistent supplementation. Because magnesium glycinate is enhanced by the addition of glycine, the body uses more of the mineral, and results can be seen within a few days.


Sleep – without it, my anxiety levels are unmanageable. While I generally don’t have trouble sleeping, when life happens and my mind is racing, I do.

Gamma-Aminobutyric acid is an amino acid produced naturally in the brain and functions as a neurotransmitter, facilitating communication among brain cells. GABA reduces the activity of neurons in the brain and central nervous system, the results are increased relaxation, reduced stress, a more calm, balanced mood, alleviation of pain, and an effective sleep aid. Low GABA activity is linked to insomnia and disrupted sleep

A study revealed that participants who took 100mg of GABA 60 minutes before falling asleep demonstrated a significant increase in alpha wave activity (a medium-frequency pattern of brain activity associated with restful and meditative states), and a decrease in beta wave activity (high-frequency, low-amplitude brain waves that are commonly observed in an awaken state) It was also shown to shorten sleep latency significantly and increase non-REM sleep time.

I know if I’m consistent with supplements that support my stress levels, I meditate daily, even if it’s 15 minutes, and I hit a run, or spend an hour on my mat, I have a much better chance of moving through stress without dissociating or defaulting to flight mode (fear, rumination, perfectionism, rushing). This all sounds very serious – there’s nothing wrong with throwing in an hour of Netflix into your evening routine to keep things balanced!