The reasons I’m stressed out are your reasons, too: too little time, and even less money. Deadlines. Relationships of all types. Aches and pains, insomnia. The general state of the world. It’s all a bit much, isn’t it?
I could use a drink. Not that kind of a drink. No, the drinks I’ve found myself chugging as if I were a college freshman on spring break don’t have any booze, but they do have adaptogenic mushroom powder. Or cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD. Or L-Theanine.
They might be called Neuro Bliss or Zenify, or have names that issue directives: Get Happy or Just Chill. (Funny, because typically, ordering someone to “Just chill” has the opposite effect.) There are candies and brownies, too, all marketed as calming or anxiety-alleviating, with detailed explanations of how the herbal supplements, amino acids or compounds within can put us at ease. In the era of functional foods — where we eat not just for pleasure, but also to balance our gut flora and reduce inflammation — we expect what we eat and drink to heal our bodies. Now, we want it to soothe our troubled minds, too.
You probably didn’t need a study to tell you Americans are stressed, but there are plenty. According to Gallup, about 8 in 10 of us are stressed out. The American Psychological Association’s 2018 annual stress study found millennials and Generation Z have the highest reported levels of stress. While work and money were top stressors, 69 percent of Americans said contemplating our nation’s future causes them stress, a significant increase from 2017. And stress takes its toll on our bodies: It can increase our risk of heart attacks, wreak havoc on our digestion, inhibit our sex drives and weaken our immune systems. No wonder stress-reducing food is a growing category. Mintel, the global research firm, included such foods in its 2018 trend predictions.