The Best Nootropics for Anxiety, Stress and Depression

Find out how nootropic supplements can help lower stress and anxiety.

8 Minute ReadFeature by Jess Lacey

28.08.21 (Updated 22.09.23)

The power of the mind is real. Have you ever worried yourself to a state of feeling physically sick? Or felt shaky and nauseous but no idea why? Never is the mind-body connection more direct than with stress and anxiety.

In fact, so all-powerful is anxiety, that it can be wholly overwhelming but the experience is far from unique. According to recent studies, anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health issues. One study found that 19% of Americans suffer from some kind of anxiety, and the NHS found out that 5% of British citizens are affected by a generalised anxiety disorder (GAD).

This journal will cover:

What's the difference between anxiety, stress & depression?

Anxiety is characterised by intense, excessive and persistent worry, sometimes without a clear cause. Stress often feels akin to panic, anger and overwhelm usually originating from work or lifestyle factors and depression is commonly a lack of motivation, low mood and feelings of hopelessness that can be completely debilitating in severe cases.

Dating all these emotional bad guys at once is a common, but not a unilateral experience. Nonetheless, they remain intrinsically linked because sustained levels of emotional stress increase the likelihood of anxietal episodes and the circulation of these two on repeat can build to feelings of low mood and depression, especially during the stages of perimenopause and menopause.

How does anxiety affect our body?

Biologically speaking, what happens within the body when we experience anxiety? Prolonged anxiety and/or depression affects adrenal glands and the amygdala, which is the emotional epicentre of the brain. As a result, higher amounts of stress hormones are released into the body. Cortisol, the most common stress hormone, increases sugar levels in the blood, while adrenaline increases the heart rate and elevates blood pressure.

Anxiety weakens the connections between the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex (PFC), which may hinder the brain from thinking rationally. Anxiety disorders also attack the amygdala, which becomes larger and hyperactive, sending stress messages to the PFC more regularly. The PFC ensures you respond to dangerous situations rationally, so if it is not alerted efficiently by the amygdala, it may lead to further irrational thoughts and erratic behaviour.

Symptoms of anxiety:

Emotional symptoms:

  • Feelings of apprehension or dread
  • Feeling tense or jumpy
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Anticipating the worst and being hyper watchful for signs of danger

Physical symptoms:

  • Pounding or racing heart and shortness of breath
  • Sweating, shakes and involuntary twitches
  • Headaches, fatigue and insomnia
  • Upset stomach, frequent urination or diarrhoea

Can nootropics really help to relieve anxiety?

Evidence shows that nootropics, often referred to as ‘smart drugs’, are scientifically proven to support a healthy brain function when taken consistently over a length of time.

These are natural compounds generally taken in supplement form, that can improve cognitive function and brain health in otherwise healthy people. Nootropics are growing in popularity as our world becomes ever more competitive and everyone is looking for an edge.

However, nootropics can increase cognitive agility from any start point and improve the entire spectrum of mental wellbeing, including memory, mood, focus, creativity, motivation and concentration. What’s more, nootropics can be combined together for even better results; the LYMA Supplement contains multiple powerful, proven and safe nootropics to support a healthy brain and relieve the symptoms associated with anxiety.

Nootropics really come into their own in reducing stress and anxiety. If you sense that stress, anxiety or depression are getting the better of you, then consider taking nootropics for anxiety management and stress relief.

According to the latest studies, the top nootropics, that contribute to supporting healthy mental and psychological functions, include:

  1. Cognizin
  2. Ashwagandha
  3. Affron
  4. Lemon Balm
  5. Gotu Kola
  6. Bacopa Monnieri
  7. Ginseng
  8. Sage
  9. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs)
  10. L-Theanine

Although there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence supporting all of these ingredients, only the top 3 have been proven in dozens of peer-reviewed clinical trials and therefore patented and formulated into the LYMA Supplement.


Which nootropic supplements work?

Here's our shortlist of nootropics backed by science to treat symptoms of anxiety, depression and other mental disorders.

Cognizin®: the leading nootropic and brain health nutrient

Citicoline is found naturally in every cell of the human body and makes up an essential component of the brain. It also has the same molecule structure as CDP-choline, a nucleotide essential to the central nervous system. This molecule supports mental energy by activating the biosynthesis of structural phospholipids in the neuronal membranes, thereby increasing cerebral metabolism and acting on the levels of various neurotransmitters.

Considering how fundamental it is, a US study has shown that only 8% of Americans manage to get the right amount of choline through nutrition alone, and the body is unable to produce it naturally.

Scientists agree that supplementing with citicoline has resoundingly beneficial effects on long-term health. Cognizin® is considered to be the best nootropic form of psychostimulant citicoline, based on its being peer-reviewed, patented and proven by independent research to have powerful effects on our brain health.

According to several studies, a daily oral dose of 250 mg of the dietary supplement is optimal to support the brain’s health which is what LYMA have selected for our cutting-edge all-in-one Supplement.

Sensoril® Ashwagandha: a powerful mood lifting adaptogen

Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic adaptogen with recognised anti-stress and anti-anxiety properties. As a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, it provides both brain protection and cellular repair. The root extract has been used in Eastern medicinal practices for millennia, and is gaining ground in the West as a go-to for curing and preventing mood disorders and sleep problems.

When it comes to anxiety, stress and depression, Ashwagandha has GABA-mimicking effects on the brain, calming nervous activity and helping the brain to slow down and relax when necessary. Ashwagandha also regulates the body’s stress hormone cortisol, and research shows it can help with several subsets of mental health including depression, anxiety, and insomnia as well as somatic and social dysfunction. It’s also a potent ingredient that effectively treats insomnia and supports better sleep.

Further reaching benefits of daily supplementation have been linked with reduced blood adrenaline levels, slower heart rate, fewer instances of stress-related illness, and a reduced likelihood of suffering adrenal fatigue or burnout. 88% of people who supplemented with a clinical daily dose of 250mg of Ashwagandha reported a reduction in anxiety over a six week period.

LYMA’s formula contains a patented and highly bioavailable form of ashwagandha, Sensoril® Ashwagandha. The world’s number one adaptogen with nootropic properties for mood, stress and anxiety (such as performance anxiety or social anxiety), KSM-66® Ashwagandha is a full-spectrum root extract and retains all the natural constituents of the herb in their original balance. Routine supplementation has been clinically proven to enhance cognition and elevate mood when taken consistently over time.
3 capsules on pier near water

affron®: the ancient nootropic to ease modern anxiety

Saffron has been celebrated in the ayurvedic and Persian medical traditions for millennia as effective for both mood and sleep quality. Whilst you can of course eat saffron, and there are generic saffron extract supplements available on the market, none of these modes of consuming saffron have the pre-clinical studies to support their efficacy and bioavailability as affron® does.
The LYMA Supplement contains 28mg of affron®; the only standardised and unique extract of saffron, also backed by peer-reviewed and clinical evidence. In studies carried out on people taking affron®, it's been shown to positively affect sleep and mood, just as the doctors of antiquity suggested. It has also been suggested as an effective counter for the side effects of antidepressants, including the suppression of libido.

Can the nootropic L-theanine help the brain with anxiety?

L-theanine is an amino acid that can actually be found in tea leaves. L-theanine can also be found in some varieties of mushrooms and in savoury umami foods such as Japanese broths. L-theanine promotes relaxation and facilitates stress relief by altering the make-up of the brain.

It gets to work in a couple of ways. Similarly to ashwagandha, L-theanine elevates levels of GABA (a neurotransmitter responsible for reducing neuronal excitability), as well as the emotion-regulating neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.

L-theanine also enhances alpha brain waves, the electromagnetic brain waves that are associated with experiencing a feeling of ‘wakeful relaxation.’ Alpha brain waves kick in when you’re meditating, doing something creative, or allowing yourself to indulge in the magic of daydreaming.

If you suffer with insomnia, L-theanine could help you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer. Research has shown that L-theanine can help to promote the relaxation necessary for a good night’s sleep.

However, there are some common side effects in ingesting L-theanine through nutrition (tea essentially) such as nausea, mood swings and irritability or stomach pain. Make sure you speak to your doctor before considering buying supplements.


Whether taken preventatively or as a cure, nootropics are a great addition to your supplement regime at any age, but certainly become all the more vital with age. Nootropics are beneficial to both men and women but play a particularly integral role in reducing symptoms associated with the menopause and perimenopause.

Here are some incredible testimonials from real LYMA customers who’ve experienced first hand, the mind-changing benefits of the LYMA Supplement:

Clare’s story of how LYMA helped her overcome acute anxiety and panic attacks

Jules' story and how she got her pre-menopause mood back

James reaches balance of body and mind

Pari’s perimenopausal anxiety was solved by one supplement

Ivana's story and how she battled brain fog and anxiety

LYMA got author Emma Skeates through early menopause

LYMA’s formula contains patented ingredients that are clinically-proven to support the brain and body during times of stress. Supplementing daily with LYMA can lead to improved mood, a more positive outlook and a sense of thriving - not merely surviving - through business and uncertainty. We understand that times are anxious and stress is rife, and we believe that you deserve nothing better than to feel your best. That’s where LYMA comes in.




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