What is the Difference Between Stress and Mild Anxiety?

Published May 6, 2021

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All of us have to deal with stress. It occurs when we are faced with adverse or demanding
circumstances and is a natural response to anything that disrupts our life and regular routine.
Stress can also trigger some anxiety when we feel out of our depth or are placed in a
challenging situation such as a job interview or speaking in front of a roomful of people. A little
anxiety can be helpful in these circumstances serving to improve our performance, but for some
people, these anxious feelings don’t seem to happen for any apparent reason or continue long
after a stressful event has passed.

What is stress?

Stress can be caused by a whole range of circumstances, from an everyday event such as
running late to work or a tiff with your spouse, to more significant stresses like money and
finances, difficult life decisions or a traumatic event like the passing of a loved one. No matter the severity, these circumstances can all be challenging and overwhelming; our bodies and brains process them as such. This is known as the ‘fight or flight’ response and triggers a cascade of stress hormones, including epinephrine (also known as adrenaline) and cortisol to produce well-orchestrated bodily changes. Stress evolved as a survival mechanism, enabling
quicker reaction time in dangerous situations.

What are the symptoms of stress?

The physical signs of stress include an increase in our heart rate, heavy breathing, and a spike
in blood pressure. During periods of stress, our non-essential bodily functions like our digestive system and immune system slow down and no longer function at their peak.

What is mild anxiety?

Mild anxiety is the feeling of fear, unease or worry. Like stress, anxiety developed as an
evolutionary trait to help us avoid dangerous situations and is an important part of our risk
analysis. The situations in which mild anxiety can be helpful extend beyond just physically
dangerous situations — like coming face to face with a bear — but also more common
circumstances; essentially anything that can affect health, relationships, property, reputation,
and skill can trigger mild anxiety.

On average, 1 in 4 Australians (1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men) will experience mild anxiety at
some stage in their life.

What are the symptoms of mild anxiety?

Mild anxiety is often accompanied by a range of physical sensations such as heart palpitations,
cold and clammy hands, shortness of breath and nervousness. Some common symptoms of
mild anxiety include:

Psychological symptoms of mild anxiety — obsessive thinking and catastrophizing,
difficulty controlling feelings of worry.

Physical symptoms of mild anxiety — increase in heart rate, muscle tension, rapid
breathing or shortness of breath, panic attacks, hot and cold flushes, fatigue, irritability,
trembling, sweating.

What can happen when we are too stressed and anxious

Sleeping difficulties

Stress and mild anxiety are associated with sleep problems. It can be a case of the ‘chicken
and the egg’. Are you having trouble sleeping because you’re anxious, or are you anxious
because you can’t sleep?

Fatigue and lack of concentration

Mental and physical fatigue is a common symptom of both stress and mild anxiety. This could
be because a stressed or anxious body is in a high alert state and uses a lot of energy or it
could be related to a lack of sleep.

When we feel overwhelmed, it can make it difficult to concentrate on even the simplest tasks.
Meanwhile, not being able to think clearly can often make the problems causing our stress or
mild anxiety worse.

Digestive complaints

Stress and mild anxiety may start in the mind, but will often manifest in the body. Our digestive
function is partly controlled by our nervous system, and stress and mild anxiety may cause
problems with bowel movement, motility and sensation.

How Nature’s Own can help

If you are feeling mildly anxious Nature’s Own EQ Control may help relieve the symptoms of
mild anxiety. It includes active ingredients such as Sensoril an Ashwaganda extract that
relieves the symptoms of mild anxiety. It also includes magnesium to support muscle relaxation
when dietary intake is inadequate and vitamin B6 to support the function of the nervous
system.

Because some amount of stress and mild anxiety in life is unavoidable, it is good to know that
there are many natural supplements available to help our bodies cope with stressful
situations and some of the associated and often uncomfortable symptoms. These mild anxiety
and stress relief supplements may include herbal remedies, vitamins, minerals and other natural
ingredients.

Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) — is considered an
“adaptogen”, or in other words, it helps the body adapt to stress. The herbal remedy
Siberian ginseng may help maintain mental and physical performance, strengthen the body’s immune response and support normal energy levels during times of
stress.

B complex vitamins — are essential for various bodily functions. Most of the B
vitamins are involved in the production of energy as well as the healthy functioning
of our nervous system, which may be beneficial during times of stress. Several B
vitamins are involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters (or chemical
messengers) and thus play a role in the regulation of mental processes.

Lactium — is a hydrolysed milk protein enriched with a bioactive peptide that may
help to alleviate stress in adults. Lactium has relaxing properties and might be a
beneficial stress relief supplement to help you cope with day to day stress.

St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) — is a herbal remedy popularly used for
its calming action. St John’s Wort may help relieve nervous unrest and irritability
and support emotional balance for those periods of despondency or nervousness
that we all experience from time to time.

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) — has been used as a herbal remedy for
thousands of years. Chamomile has a calming effect on the nervous system and
may help to reduce the effects of mild anxiety. Chamomile may also assist with
sleeplessness, a common symptom associated with stress and mild anxiety.

Magnesium — is often included in stress relief supplements because of its
important role in normal nerve and muscle function. Magnesium is required for
muscle contraction and relaxation. Adequate levels may help relieve muscle
cramps and spasms. Plus, stress increases our dietary requirements for
magnesium.

Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) — is also considered to be an adaptogen and may
help the body cope during times of stress. Rhodiola is a valuable stress relief
supplement because it helps reduce mental fatigue, may assist in the maintenance
of short‐term memory function in healthy individuals and may help improve attention
when fatigued from stress.

Learn about which Nature's Own product may be appropriate for you.

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