Published August 31, 2013
Anxiety is a complex combination of unpleasant emotions such as fear and worry often accompanied by physical sensations such as heart palpitations, nausea, shortness of breath and nervousness. 1 It’s normal to experience anxiety or fear at times such as before a job interview, exam or public speaking, bringing a new baby home or flying, and a little anxiety may sometimes be constructive and help us perform at our best. Anxiety becomes a problem when it’s ongoing, excessive or irrational and interferes with a person’s day to day life. Women are more at risk of developing anxiety than men, which is believed to be due to hormonal factors or cultural pressures to meet everyone else’s needs before their own.1
Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety
The main symptoms of anxiety are fear and worry however it’s usually accompanied by additional physical and emotional signs and symptoms.1
|Physical Symptoms1||Emotional Symptoms1|
|– Heart palpitations
– Hot flushes or chills
– Cold and clammy hands
– Stomach upset or queasiness (often described as ‘butterflies’)
– Frequent urination
– Shortness of breath
– Muscle tension
– Impaired or selective concentration
– Feeling restless or on edge
How to manage mild anxiety naturally
- Exercise regularly to give yourself valuable time out and increase the production of feel‐good chemicals called endorphins that improve mood and help us feel more positive.
- Try yoga, meditation or relaxation methods to cope with the stressors that contribute to anxiety as well as some of the physical symptoms of anxiety itself.
- Eat a balanced diet ‐ Nutritional deficiencies originating from a poor diet and/or digestion have been shown to contribute to anxiety.1 To ensure an adequate intake of essential nutrients, focus on fresh, whole foods such as fruit and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, legumes, nuts and seeds and avoid processed, packaged foods and stimulants such as caffeine. A good quality multivitamin could also be considered.
- Herbs and nutrients ‐ Specific herbs and nutrients may play a valuable role in the management of stress and mild anxiety and help to balance the body and mind.
- Sensoril is a special, standardized extract of Withania somnifera that may help reduce symptoms associated with stress and anxiety including fatigue, flushing, loss of appetite, headache and muscle pain, palpitations, dry mouth, sleeplessness, forgetfulness, irritability and inability to concentrate.
- Chamomile is a popular herb that has been used medicinally for thousands of years.2 Chamomile has a calming effect on the nervous system and helps reduce the effects of mild anxiety and nervous tension.
- Vitamin B6 and magnesium are key nutrients for healthy nervous system function. Vitamin B6 aids in the formation of several neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the brain) including serotonin, GABA and dopamine that assist in the regulation of mental processes and possibly mood. Magnesium is involved in muscle contraction and relaxation and helps to relieve muscle cramps, weakness and spasms.
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