As we reach deeper into the second decade of the 21st century we are faced with a world that is increasingly demanding. We have to process enormous amounts of information, during both our personal and professional lives. At the same time levels of stress caused by environmental factors can make coping with the ever-growing complexity of modern life ever more challenging. The result is often increased levels of stress and anxiety.
For many people, this stress can negatively impact on their lives – leading to performance issues and in severe cases mental issues. However, for increased numbers of consumers making use of Nootropics can prove extremely helpful in managing the challenges of modern life – and dealing with anxiety and stress.
Nootropics are also known as ‘cognitive enhancers’ or smart drugs. The classification now includes three different classes – dietary supplements, prescription medication and synthetic compounds. The jury is still out as to the effectiveness of some of the compounds and research is ongoing, however, limited clinical studies seem to indicate that many of these compounds do have a positive effect when it comes to increasing focus, mental acuity and coping with stress and anxiety.
Most researchers are in agreement that the best way to increase cognitive function is to focus on optimizing lifestyle choices. this means getting a balanced, nutrient-rich diet, getting enough rest and using tried and proven methods to cope with stress (such as ensuring a work/life balance, getting sufficient exercise and engaging in practices such as meditation). At the same time, an increasing number of researchers are of the opinion that Nootropics can allow users to think more clearly and with more focus, help stave off anxiety and also help combat the cognitive decline that can be a result of the normal aging process.
Many Nootropics are today available as over-the-counter medication or supplements – at least in the United States. Other countries require that they are prescribed by a physician. However, for the moment consumers in the U.S.are able to choose from a large selection of Nootropics.
These can include CDP-choline, Bacopa monnieri, L-theanine, creatine monohydrate, huperzine A, and vinpocetine. These classes of Nootropics can increase the production and effectiveness of neurotransmitters in the brain. That, in turn can help users thank more clearly and quickly – as well as optimizing critical thinking, which is essential in coping with stress and anxiety. Nootropics such as Racetams act on neurotransmitters (including acetylcholine) and have been shown to slow or even arrest the effects of cognitive decline in aging patients.
There are also Nootropics that have shown great potential in the treatment of conditions such as ADHD where the sufferer may have issues when it comes to tasks that require focus. It is true that many students are turning to these classes of Nootropics in order to increase their ability to focus during study and other academic tasks. Once again there is evidence to suggest that these prescription Nootropics can be of value – at least in the short term. However, it should be noted that as with many prescription medications unsupervised use can lead to severe health issues. In the case of these Nootropics elevated blood pressure and other conditions such as blurred vision, increased heart rate and addiction can have an extremely negative effect on those using the Nootropics without the input and supervision of a qualified physician.
Modafinil (Provigil) is another prescription Nootropic that is used to treat sleep disorders – but has shown promise in helping users to focus and to treat some symptoms associated with anxiety and stress, as well as improving memory.
There are also a number of Nootropics sourced from plants (and other sources) that show great promise in helping to cope with stress. these are available as supplements that can contain vitamins and extracts such as Ginkgo Biloba, Cat’s Claw, amino acids such as L-Tyrosine and L-Theanine, extracts of Lion’s Mane Mushroom and many others.
As with any supplement or prescription medication, it is strongly recommended that those intending to take advantage of Nootropics first consult with a qualified physician and ensure that they are sourcing the products from a reputable manufacturer. There have been reports of minor side effects when using the over-the-counter versions of Nootropics. It is far better to be safe than sorry – especially if the Nootropics are going to be taken by those already on other medication.