According to The New York Times article, “Prozac Nation Is Now the United States of Xanax,” anxiety has taken the lead from depression as the most prevalent mental health concern on college campuses, and web searches for “anxiety” have nearly doubled. But you probably don’t need a major news source telling you that lots of us are looking for ways to reduce anxiety.

If you are looking for ways to reduce your anxiety, there are many routes you can take. Some people prefer prescription medications. Others use exercise to combat anxiety. Some use meditation practices or breathing exercises. And others use mental therapies like growth mindset, counseling, or reframing to help them not feel so anxious. All of these tactics are supported by research as effective ways to help reduce anxiety. Most often, it’s just a matter of finding what works best for you.

Another approach to combating anxiety backed by science is to use your diet to fight your body’s nervous responses. If you have a big presentation coming up, these tips might help you decrease your nervousness.

1. Increase Magnesium

Magnesium is an overlooked but important mineral in the human body. It has an important role to play in the communication that happens between your brain and your body. Which means it helps determine how you process stressful situations, like giving a presentation. Magnesium can actually block or reduce your body’s fight or flight response. This can work to reduce your anxiety.

And studies show that Western-based diets are low in magnesium. In fact, 68% of Americans don’t get the recommended daily intake which is 400-420 mg for men and 310-320 mg for women. To increase your RDI of magnesium, consider taking a supplement. Or, you can increase the amount of magnesium in your diet by eating some of the following magnesium-rich foods.

2. Eat a Banana

Bananas are a great pre-presentation snack because they are natural beta-blockers. Beta-blockers are medications that “block epinephrine and norepinephrine from attaching to the beta receptors on the nerves of your blood vessels and heart.” What does all that mean? Well, it means bananas can help lessen anxiety.

Bananas contain three things that mimic prescribed beta-blockers. The first is potassium. Potassium helps to reduce stress and anxiety levels by reducing the sodium in the blood stream. This, in turn, reduces blood pressure which can soar in moments of nervousness. Like before that big speech. In addition, bananas have tryptophan which can help relax you and vitamin B which calms the nervous system.

3. Make Speaker’s Trail Mix

Use this information about natural ways to reduce anxiety to create your own speaker’s trail mix. You might not be taking a mountainous hike, but presenting in front of an audience can be just as scary and strenuous. To create a snack with anxiety-busting minerals and nutrients, simply mix together the following ingredients:

  • pumpkin seeds
  • almonds
  • cashews
  • dried banana chips
  • dark chocolate

Because the shelf life of these items is lengthy, you can prepackage them so they are ready to grab any time you have a presentation to give. And these powerful speaker’s snacks are easily prepared, transported, and consumed. It’s a simple and delicious solution to help reduce anxiety.

At Ethos3, we love sharing tips and tricks to help you master the art of presenting. Check out our full line of presentation design and training resources now.


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