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5 ways to Reduce Anxiety Symptoms

By Rowena Jayne
from Rowena Jayne Health & Wellness

Recent studies uphold anxiety as a rapidly leading contributor to global health afflictions with up to 20% of adults affected yearly. (Salari et al 2020, Munir et al 2022)  In addition, studies during and post the Covid-19 global Pandemic demonstrated a further increase of anxiety disorders globally by 25·6%. (Lancet 2021).  The Impact on women is customarily twice as much as men. (Craske et al).  With statistics of this calibre, it is essential interventions for both prevention and maintenance of this condition be addressed and applied.

Anxiety is a mechanistic reaction on a neuro physiological level in response to an event that is either real or perceived. Anxiety presents as a future-adapted mood reaction in anticipation of circumstances that may or may not occur.  (Chand 2022). The amygdala, a part of the brain associated with the fight or flight response, plays a vital role in modulating anxiety. (Chand 2022) Therefore treatment regimes necessitate the focus on stress adaptation, which is shown to provoke or exacerbate chronic disease states via direct association with the central nervous system (CNS). (Yaribeygi et al 2017)

Anxiety may present in a singular or multitude of symptoms inclusive of agitation, distress, fatigued, loss of focus, irritability, muscle tension, sleep disturbances, shortness of breath, heart palpatations and sweaty palms. (Munir et al 2022, Iani et al 2019)

The causes of stress are variable and may include: Stress, comorbidities, environmental factors (childhood or other traumas) , or drug/ substance abuse and / or eating disorders. (Munir et al 2022)

Comorbidities (secondary conditions) alongside anxiety are common, and invariably anxiety goes hand in hand with depression. (Koyuncu 2019) Other studies demonstrate an interplay with mental health disorders and diabetes, migraines, alcohol use, dementia and other contributors of poor health. (Prince et al 2007)


What actions can you take to reduce your symptoms and alleviate triggers?

  1. Reduce Stress:

Stress Plays havoc on your life, mental health & ability to cope.

Firstly identify what stressors you have in your life and try to eliminate or reduce the stressors.  Stressors may include people events, lack of sleep, work environments, never taking time out or being in nature.

Ways to reduce stress include: Yoga, Meditation, breathwork, chanting, warm baths, massages, reflexology, journalling, having good emotional support from friends, family & community rest & good quality sleep  There is no one size fits all.  Researcher Lara Boyd (TEDx Vancouver 2015) demonstrated that “our brain is constantly being shaped by what we do, encounter and experience” and through consistent practice of some of the above we can change our conditioning.

  1. Improve Nutrient Density. Diet is the control switch for health, as well as the gut- brain connection. Make sure you have a whole foods diet with lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and good quality sources of lean protein. Eat more grounding foods like root vegetables, which from an Ayurvedic perspective will help to ground your energy. A Naturopathic Physician or Nutritionist will be able to construct a good plan to make sure you have the precise nutrients needed for stress reduction and to stimulate and produce the feel good hormones to support your mood.
  2. Improve Gut function  – Due to the Gut brain Axis we have afferent and efferent nerves extending from the gut to the brain and the brain to the gut.  Improving gut function is often a major step in improving mood.  A trained therapist can assist you in identifying any gut issues and working with you to improve digestion and absorption of nutrients which will lead to optimal health, reduced oxidative stress and improved mood and overall coping mechanisms.
  3. Engage in Neuro plasticity Interventions – including: Kinesiology, Neuro Emotional Technique (NET).  Western scientific research shows promise in understanding and accepting more that medical illnesses are linked to diet, exercise and lifestyle changes.  Physical interventions are often not enough to create a holistic recovery in any disease.  Both techniques (Kinesiology & NET) have shown to be effective in uncovering subconscious conditioned patterns (through muscle testing) that may lead to further anxiety or stress if left unresolved. The foundation of these interventions is the concept that latent, unresolved trauma / events (known as Neuro Emotional Complexes (NEC’s) – whether real or perceived) determine our physiology, conditioning and emotional reality.  By resolving these NEC’s compared to placebo, research shows notable clinical and statistical biomarkers, as well as an enhanced quality of life. (Bablis Et al 2022)
  4. Exercise Daily – Exercise is an applicable intervention for anxiety management. In particular, exercise programmes of high intensity were discovered to offer more substantial results. (Aylett et al 2018). Therefore consider hot yoga and other high impact regimes. Your therapist can help guide you when working out your treatment plan.


If you suffer from Anxiety or any of the associated symptomatic responses

It is recommended to work with a therapist who uses an integrative approach addressing the physical, physiological, mental and emotional components of health.  Importantly to note, it’s not having the knowledge of what to do that matters, its taking consistent daily action that creates sustainable change. Take action now and begin working towards the empowerment of propelling your life forward. It is your birthright!



  1. Salari, N., Hosseinian-Far, A., Jalali, R. et al. Prevalence of stress, anxiety, depression among the general population during the COVID-19 pandemic: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Global Health 16, 57 (2020).
  2. Munir S, Takov V. Generalized Anxiety Disorder. [Updated 2022 Jan 9]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from:
  3. Global prevalence and burden of depressive and anxiety disorders in 204 countries and territories in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Lancet, Vol 398 (2021). S0140-6736(21)02143-7
  4. Chand SP, Marwaha R. Anxiety. [Updated 2022 Feb 7]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from:
  5. Yaribeygi, H., Panahi, Y., Sahraei, H., Johnston, T. P., & Sahebkar, A. (2017). The impact of stress on body function: A review. EXCLI journal, 16, 1057–1072.
  6. Iani L, Quinto RM, Lauriola M, Crosta ML, Pozzi G (2019) Psychological well-being and distress in patients with generalized anxiety disorder: The roles of positive and negative functioning. PLoS ONE 14(11): e0225646.
  7. Koyuncu, A., İnce, E., Ertekin, E., & Tükel, R. (2019). Comorbidity in social anxiety disorder: diagnostic and therapeutic challenges. Drugs in context, 8, 212573.
  8. Boyd L. Neuroplasticity: Source TEDxVancouver, 2015, Dec 16.
  9. Bablis P, Pollard H, Rosner AL. Stress reduction via neuro-emotional technique to achieve the simultaneous resolution of chronic low back pain with multiple inflammatory and biobehavioural indicators: A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. J Integr Med. 2022 Mar;20(2):135-144. doi: 10.1016/j.joim.2021.12.001. Epub 2021 Dec 3. PMID: 34924332.
  10. Aylett, E., Small, N., & Bower, P. (2018). Exercise in the treatment of clinical anxiety in general practice – a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC health services research, 18(1), 559.

More about the author

Rowena Jayne
Rowena Jayne
– Rowena Jayne Health & Wellness

Rowena Jayne is a Bachelor degree Naturopath, Nutritionist & Neuro Emotional Technique Practitioner.

She specialises in Anxiety, Stress and PTSD, with a gut- brain health focus.  She has been in practice for 10 years and was an educator at Nature Care College on the Gut Brain Connection & Plant food Nutrition.

Rowena is the author of the International best selling book - The Joy of Real Food (Published 2015) where she shared her journey of recovery from an eating disorder, anxiety and rheumatoid arthritis.  Her book was featured on Hay House Radio & received a 5 star Kurkis Indie Review.  Rowena recently received a highly commended Finalist award at the 2021 Natural Therapist Awards.

She has a passion for helping women become Bold, Brave & Beautiful ®  and uses an integrative approach with 1:1 consultations, group workshops and retreats.

Rowena strongly believes in the power of natural therapies and interventions to enable her clients to reach their highest potential in life.