How to manage mild anxiety

Published October 12, 2022

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Mild anxiety is characterised by feelings of fear and worry, but it’s much more than that. While feeling stressed is a common response to situations of heightened pressure or expectation, anxious feelings don’t necessarily go away once the situation is resolved. Anxiety is very common, with data indicating that over 25% of Australians will experience anxiety during their lives. While anxiety can be helpful in some situations, it can also negatively affect your everyday life. It’s important to try to separate real risks from irrational ones, take control of the aspects of your life that you can change, and accept those that you can’t.

There are many kinds of anxiety which can be triggered by a plethora of varied circumstances, and the way anxiety presents itself can be completely different from person to person (although there are some common signs and symptoms). Anxiety can be managed through a wide array of strategies and techniques. Learning how to manage your anxiety is all about finding what works for you.

Signs and symptoms of mild anxiety

People with mild anxiety can present with many different emotional and physical signs and symptoms. Many of us have experienced some of these symptoms before a job interview, speaking in front of a roomful of strangers or doing something we have never done before, but for others, this may be a daily struggle. Anxiety may be accompanied by these symptoms:

  1. Physical reactions —Trembling, sweating, rapid heartbeat, hot and cold flushes, cold and clammy hands, stomach upset and shortness of breath are common symptoms of anxiety. Other lesser-known physical symptoms of anxiety include restlessness, avoidance behaviour or irritability.
  2. Sleeping difficulties —Stress and anxiety can often contribute to sleeping difficulties, as a racing mind is not conducive to a restful sleep. Worrying about something that has happened or fearing what will happen, may affect our ability to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night.
  3. Fatigue —Fatigue is a common symptom of anxiety and may leave sufferers with very little energy to go about their day. With anxiety, our body is in a high‐alert state and uses up a lot of energy, so it is no surprise that it may leave us feeling both physically and mentally drained. The negative effects anxiety may have on our sleeping patterns can also contribute to low energy levels.
  4. Inability to concentrate —Anxiety can often affect our concentration because our mind is preoccupied with whatever is causing our symptoms, making it difficult to focus on everyday tasks.
  5. Digestive complaints —Our digestive system and our brain share many of the same network pathways and communication signals, and stress and anxiety may cause problems with bowel movement, motility and sensation.

Types of Anxiety

Anxiety can take many different forms, and commonly, someone can experience more than one type of anxiety.

  • Performance anxiety — You may have heard the Seinfeld joke that most people would rather be in the coffin than read a eulogy at a funeral. While this may be an exaggeration, many of us would agree. Performance anxiety, also known as ‘stage fright’, refers to the fear and apprehension of public speaking, performing in front of people or a situation where we are the centre of attention.
  • Workplace anxiety — Stress at work may be caused by feeling under pressure if the demands of our job are greater than we can comfortably manage or due to conflict with co‐workers or bosses, constant change or threats to job security.
  • Parenting anxiety — It‘s not uncommon for parents to experience a little anxiety, especially first-time parents with a new baby at home. After the excitement of birth, first-time mothers and fathers may start to feel physically uncomfortable, exhausted, worried about feeding and feeling overwhelmed with all they need to do for the baby. Just about any parenting problem can become a source of parenting anxiety, even as children get older — bedwetting, fussy eaters or bullying at school.
  • Family anxiety — There are many sources of stress and anxiety within the family system including financial woes, divorce, conflict or loss, and these can impact on all family members. Children will often sense the anxiety or tension in the adults around them and they may experience the same feelings of helplessness. Unlike adults, children have little experience to help them place the current situation into perspective. It’s important to tackle family anxiety early on before it affects relationships and family dynamics or takes over your life.

Social anxiety

Most of us feel nervous or apprehensive in new social situations, however, for others, social or performance situations trigger an extreme fear of being scrutinised, judged or ridiculed by others. This condition is believed to develop during adolescence with the majority of cases appearing before age 20. In many cases, social anxiety begins with shyness in childhood and progresses during adolescence and into adulthood.

A person with social anxiety usually fears and avoids a range of situations such as crowds and parties, public speaking, starting or having a conversation, talking to a large group, voicing opinions, dating, using public toilets, eating in public, talking on the phone in front of other people or even when having to speak to authority figures.

Separation anxiety

Separation anxiety occurs in people who have an intense fear of being separated from loved ones; whether it be parents, siblings, children, friends or your spouse. This can simply be fear of the unknown if you are separated or it can be due to excessive worry about them getting hurt and not being around to help. While separation anxiety is most common in children aged 14–18 months, it can also occur in adults.

Effects of anxiety

Ongoing anxiety can have long-term effects on your health. When you are anxious, levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, increase dramatically in your brain. Cortisol raises your blood pressure which can contribute to cardiac conditions. People struggling with anxiety may also have increased levels of inflammation throughout the body, which is linked to many different conditions.

How to reduce anxiety

Many strategies can help to reduce your anxiety, regardless of how it manifests of what symptoms you might be experiencing. If your anxiety becomes so overwhelming that it starts to interfere with your ability to work, maintain relationships and enjoy life, it’s important to seek the help of a healthcare professional. Lifestyle changes can also help to reduce some of your symptoms of anxiety:

  • Learn how to relaxRelaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, and yoga might help you cope more effectively with the stressors that contribute to your anxiety, which may help to lessen some of the anxiety symptoms. This could be attending a yoga class, listening to your favourite album, or engrossing yourself in a good book.
  • Make time for fun It’s important to engage in non-work-related activities regularly. Take time for your hobbies and schedule in catch-ups with your friends. Also, ensure you use up your holiday leave and take time off to relax and unwind.
  • Exercise Just five minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects and one vigorous exercise session can help relieve symptoms for hours. Go for a walk around the block at lunchtime, jog, walk, cycle, dance, join a group class or play team sports — what’s important is that you find a form of exercise you enjoy.
  • Reduce caffeine intake Caffeine may pep you up and help get you through the working day but it can also exacerbate anxiety in some people. If you’re experiencing mild anxiety, limit your intake of coffee, tea, chocolate and caffeinated soft drinks; try green tea instead. Green tea still has a small amount of caffeine but also contains theanine, an amino acid with calming effects that may reduce mild anxiety symptoms.
  • Establish boundaries In today’s digital world, it can be difficult to switch off and you may feel the need to be available 24-hours a day, but it’s important to establish some boundaries for yourself. This could mean not checking your work emails at home or turning your phone off after dinner. If you’re inundated with deadlines and obligations, determine which activities are important and deserve your focus and attention, delegate where necessary and say no to new commitments that would only add to your stress. Importantly, don’t feel guilty about it.
  • Reach out If you’re feeling anxious at work, chat to your supervisor or human resources department. Additionally, reach out to a professional psychologist or psychiatrist for counselling and to assist you with managing your symptoms.

How Nature’s Own can help

Some herbal remedies have calming properties and may help to relieve mild anxiety. For instance, Sensoril may help alleviate symptoms of mild anxiety. You may also consider other products in our Stress and Anxiety range that may help to relieve some of the symptoms of mild anxiety that you are experiencing.


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

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