Anxiety: What it's taught me and how I'm learning to overcome it!
Real Talk: How many wonderful readers out there suffer from anxiety like I do? I believe there are two types of people in the world...people with depression and people with anxiety. If you're lucky enough to not be part of the demographic, I sincerely applaud you. I have suffered from anxiety throughout my entire life and up until recently, it has reared it's ugly head much more frequently. So how did it start and how do we overcome it? This question has played over and over in my mind like a broken record and it is only now that I have been able to harness it, become more aware of it, and tackle it head on.
WONDERING: HOW DID IT START?
I live in Los Angeles...a city filled with people that value beauty, youth, and above all: Fame. I'm not saying everyone believes in this theory but the majority of us are always finding a cosmetic surgeon, the hottest gym, or the hippest club where celebrities hang out. It's a love/hate relationship with this city-for some it holds the key to your dreams and for others, it will eat you alive. I, too, moved to LA years ago in search for a better future but sometimes I feel the pressures of the culture here can be too much to take. Hello Anxiety! Every woman has insecurities and you're kidding yourself if you think you don't. Anxiety ran deep for me in my 20s with the pressures of fitting in, looking my best, and being a curvy girl. Questions like "Am I smart enough?" "Am I pretty enough?" "Am I skinny enough?" convoluted my mind and I turned to unhealthy solutions to deal with the issues. Now in my 30s, I've taken a deeper look at anxiety and how it's affected my life, taking baby steps to learn how to prevent panic attacks.
WONDERING: HOW I AM LEARNING TO STOP IT!
Throughout history, many women and men have suffered from anxiety and everyone has their own truth and story about how they overcame it. The ways in which I have helped overcome it include the following:
MEDITATION IN THE MORNINGS: Learning to just breathe- I have to give props to my friends for this one because they have all encouraged me to do meditation in the mornings before starting my day. I think this is super beneficial because it will drown out the noise and stress and will allow you to "just be" with your thoughts. A great app that I recently downloaded on my phone is called "THE CALM APP". It's incredible. It offers ways in how to sleep better by listening to stories and sounds, reduce stress with meditative advice, and my personal favorite, "The Daily Calm" which offers great advice daily on how to deal with different issues.
LOSE THE BOOZE- This one is the toughest one of all because many of us like to consume alcohol during the week and or/ weekends. (I love wine!) I have come to understand, however, that alcohol is an instigator for my anxiety attacks. When I started to lay off the booze for a bit, I noticed that my panic attacks went away. I'm not saying you can't enjoy a glass of wine with dinner but bar hopping on the weekends is becoming a thing of the past for me.
WERK IT OUT- Exercising daily has helped a ton in the struggle to overcome anxiety. I usually work out 5 days a week and it helps improve my mind, body, and spirit. It is a proven fact that exercise helps reduce stress and anxiety so that you can live your happiest life.
LET'S TALK THERAPY- I used to be a firm believer in just relying on friends and family to talk out my problems. That didn't get me anywhere and even worse, I was burdening them with all of my issues. I'm the type of person that usually sees the glass half full on life but sometimes, I need a little help. I have been in therapy now for two years and honestly it has helped a ton with my anxiety. There's a great article on Anxiety and understanding how to control it in the magazine, Pyschology Today. You can read it here. I've become a better person in understanding who I am and therapy has given me a new outlook on life. It can be a bit pricey (unless you're lucky enough to have insurance) but it's worth spending the extra money to invest in a greater future for yourself.