Feeling anxious or worried from time to time is a normal healthy response when you’re feeling vulnerable or threatened in any way; it helps to make you more alert and ready for action. Excessive or chronic stress however, can be detrimental to your physical, mental and emotional health.
What is mild anxiety?
Mild anxiety can last for a few moments or over several years and can feel different for different people. Mild anxiety is a psychological issue deeply-rooted in fear or worry over something either known or unknown, often accompanied by a number of real physiological symptoms including nervous tension, restlessness, irritability, sweaty palms, shallow breathing, dry mouth and sleeplessness. Overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system mediates many of the symptoms associated with mild anxiety.
Contributing factors or possible causes of mild anxiety are many and varied, including thyroid and sugar metabolism disturbances, brain chemical (neurotransmitter) and hormonal imbalances, excessive caffeine, illicit drugs, certain medications, social situations, genetic predisposition, nutritional deficiencies and heavy metal toxicity.
Mild anxiety, stress and sleeplessness
Mild anxiety, stress and sleeplessness often go hand in hand. A good example of this could be the thought of public speaking. The thought of getting up in front of an audience can fill many people with dread, leading to symptoms of mild anxiety, stress and sleepless nights. When you experience mild anxiety, your body’s stress response kicks in, ready to help you deal with any threat and this constant stress response can lead to problems with sleep. Over a period of time this can leave you feeling more anxious, stressed and tired.
Herbs that help to relieve the symptoms of mild anxiety
There are a few key herbs that can help to relieve feelings of mild anxiety, stress and sleeplessness:
Withania: mild anxiety + stress
Withania is traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to help the body adapt to stress and helps to relieve the symptoms of mild anxiety. Withania has adaptogenic properties, helping to support adrenal function during periods of stress and helping the body to adapt during times of physical and mental stress. A special extract of Withania known as KSM-66®, provides a unique, full spectrum extract of Withania standardised to >5% withanolides, the main active component of Withania. See Anxiety Ease.
St John’s wort: mild anxiety + nervous tension
St John’s wort may assist in the management of mild anxiety, nervous tension, restlessness and irritability. St John's wort may improve the architecture and quality of sleep and help relieve sleeplessness. See Extra Strength St John’s Wort 3600.
Magnolia: mild anxiety + sleeplessness
Magnolia bark is used in traditional Chinese medicine for the symptomatic relief of mild anxiety. See Sleep Ease.