I have to give a presentation next week and public speaking is one of my biggest fears.
Q. Dear Terry, “I have to give a presentation next week and public speaking is one of my biggest fears. I don’t want to take a prescription because they make me feel strange. Are there natural options I can try?” — Moses T., Livonia, MI
A. Dear Moses, Public speaking is one of the most anxiety-inducing situations that most people experience. The symptoms that you described are very common of anxiety, but you should also consider discussing this with your healthcare practitioner.
Whether you suffer from occasional or frequent anxiety, I would recommend adding narrow-leaved coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia) to your daily regimen. Researchers have discovered that compounds in this unique type of coneflower can help reduce anxiety as effectively as certain prescription medications, without the side effects. These compounds have been shown to work with our endocannabinoid system, which helps to instill a sense of calm and relaxation.
I would take the coneflower extract once or twice per day on the day of, or several days before you have a presentation. You can also take this echinacea daily to help prevent anxiety as well. Make sure you look for a clinically studied, narrow-leaved coneflower root extract that is standardized for echinacosides.
Other techniques like breathing exercises, meditation, and visualization can also be very helpful for calming anxiety.
Terry . . . Naturally