How to prevent mild anxiety from developing into a full anxiety disorder

Do you often feel worried or stressed? Find out why we’re experiencing an anxiety epidemic now, and get tools to help prevent developing anxiety disorder.

The UK has seen a marked rise in generalised anxiety over the past decade, especially among younger people and women. Over 8 million people (around 1 in 10) are living with a diagnosable anxiety disorder at any one time, but this may not paint the full picture.

A new survey from Lanes Health, brand owners of Kalms, has revealed that 48% of adults living in the UK often feel anxious, which affects their day-to-day life.

It is perhaps not surprising then that there has also been an increase in the prescribing of most anti-anxiety medications. However, not all symptoms and experiences of anxiety warrant this type of medication.

Current National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines encourage healthcare professionals to rethink prescribing potentially addictive medications, such as benzodiazepines and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), for mild anxiety. But what’s the alternative?

To help prevent anxiety from progressing and improve the quality of people’s lives sooner, the expert panel has developed a ‘mild anxiety toolbox’ – a series of powerful, evidence-based tools, tips and tricks that can be employed into everyday life.

Commenting on the ‘toolbox,’ general practitioner and clinical consultant, and expert panellist Dr Sarah Jarvis explains that, when it comes to dealing with anxiety, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Everyone’s mental health journey is different, and as such, different techniques will work better for different people.

So it’s important we offer a range of treatment and support options, including talking and complementary therapies, and other non-pharmacological options, such as pharmaceutical-quality lavender oil, to help empower Brits and give them the tools to take back control.

Your mild anxiety toolbox

Commenting in a new Empowerment in the Epidemic of Anxiety Report, a panel of community and industry health experts have outlined a range of self-help tools to help manage mild anxiety in a healthy and productive way.

Here are the five things inside their ‘mild anxiety toolbox’.

1) Self-help therapies

Talking therapies are a mainstay for many mental health concerns, including anxiety. However, not all symptoms are severe enough for formal referrals, and even with a referral,iv prolonged waiting times can cause symptoms to worsen.

Several of the methods used in formal talking therapies can be adapted and learned as a form of self-help therapy without the assistance of a professional. For example, CBT-inspired self-help strategies and techniques such as reframing helpful thoughts, tackling worries and facing fears can be practiced at home.

2) Complementary therapies and practices

There are a large range of complementary therapies or practices that can be integrated into everyday life to either help ease mild anxiety symptoms or help prevent anxiety altogether. Mindfulness can work well alongside yoga and hypnotherapy.

Developing an awareness of your thoughts, feelings and behaviours can help to break negative habits and improve self-esteem.

3) Self-help

Lifestyle changes such as getting more sleep, eating a balanced diet, limiting caffeine and alcohol, and exercising may go a long way toward easing anxiety. For example, just 30 minutes or more of exercise a day for three to five days a week can significantly improve anxiety symptoms.

4) Mental health apps and support groups

In the era of smartphones, it’s only natural to turn to screens for help. While apps alone can’t meet all your mental health needs, some may be able to help you relax, de-stress and boost your mood. A great place to start is the ‘Hub of Hope’ app.

This is the UK’s leading mental health support database, which brings local, national, peer, community, charity, private and NHS mental health services together in one place. Some mild anxiety sufferers may also benefit from group discussions. Many organisations offer a range of resources outside of the NHS service provision, for example Anxiety UK, SANE and Mind.

5) Natural remedies

Many people rely on herbs to help with mild to moderate mental health conditions, such as anxiety, to avoid the unwanted and negative side effects of medications. For example, studies have shown reductions in cortisol levels and anxiety following the use of ashwagandha.

Lavender oil contains terpenes, such as linalool and linalyl acetate, which may have a calming effect on chemical receptors in the brain.

In fact, studies have shown that a daily capsule of pharmaceutical-quality lavender oil is as effective as commonly prescribed anti-anxiety medications such as lorazepam and paroxetine. CBD gummies, like NextEVo’s Ashwagandha are also found by many people to be helpful in managing anxiety.

Read more advice on anxiety

You can read more advice on anxiety in these articles:

Kalms Lavender One-A-Day capsules are available to buy from Boots and Superdrug as well as supermarkets and pharmacies nationwide. You can also purchase the product online at and at Amazon.