It’s not uncommon to feel anxious or worried every now and then. Worry is a normal healthy response when you feel threatened in any way; it helps to make you more alert and ready for action. Excessive or prolonged anxiety however, is detrimental to both your physical, mental and emotional health. Happily, most of the things you worry about never happen.
What is anxiety?Anxiety is classified as a psychological condition, embedded in fear or dread of something either known or unknown and broadly encompasses:
- general anxiety disorder
- panic attacks
- obsessive compulsive disorder and
- posttraumatic stress disorder
What are the contributing factors?Contributing factors or possible causes of anxiety are many and varied:
- an imbalance in your ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitters (serotonin, GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) or dopamine)
- long term stress
- hormonal imbalances including menopause
- excessive caffeine
- illicit drugs
- certain medications and health conditions
- social situations
- genetic disposition
- nutritional deficiencies and
- heavy metal toxicity
Physical symptoms of anxietyEven though anxiety is considered a psychological condition, constant nervous system hyperactivity drives a number of disturbing physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, sweaty palms, shallow breathing, nervousness, chest pain, headache, dizziness, diarrhoea, dry mouth or hyperventilation. Long term anxiety can lead to problems with your health including poor immune, cardiovascular and respiratory function, digestive issues, metabolic changes and sleep and mood disturbances.
Anxiety needs actionNothing diminishes anxiety faster than taking action. Anxiety usually has some form of stress or mood disturbance aspect to it, especially when your normal coping mechanisms are depleted. You can take action by adopting positive lifestyle choices that incorporate regular exercise, a healthy varied diet, reducing stress levels and taking time out to relax. For added support try:
- Kava: clinically trialled for anxiety + muscle tensionKava root is well supported by clinical research for the treatment of anxiety with an antianxiety effect comparable to that of benzodiazepine medications. A 6-week double-blind trial using a water extract of Kava ‘Noble’ cultivar root (standardised for kavalactones) versus placebo found a significant reduction in anxiety compared with the placebo group based on the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAMA). The antianxiety effect for the Kava group was associated with the therapeutic effect of kavalactones, which increased GABA levels, producing relaxation and antianxiety effects.
- Withania KSM-66®: clinically trialled for anxiety + stressWithania, in a full-spectrum extract known as KSM-66®, provides the most extensive set of clinical trials documented to reduce anxiety and stress. KSM-66®,at 3.75g twice daily, has been clinically trialled (randomised double-blind placebo-controlled) to significantly reduce anxiety and stress and improve general wellbeing in adults. Cortisol (your main stress hormone) levels were also significantly reduced in the KSM-66®group. Withania is a traditional adaptogenic herb that helps you ‘adapt’ while under stress and increases your body’s resistance to mental and physical stress, promoting relaxation.
- B vitamins: anxiety + nervous system supportB vitamins as a group, support nervous system health and energy production so help to relieve anxiety, low mood, fatigue and exhaustion. In particular, B3 has a calming effect on the nervous system, B5 supports adrenal health and your stress response and B6 is essential for the production of GABA and the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin, your feel good neurotransmitters.
- Anxiety Ease
- Kava 4200
- B Complete Sustained Release