Living With Anxiety, and How to Manage It

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve had anxiety and it wasn’t always easy for me to open up about. Anxiety is more than just worrying about things, anxiety effects you both mind and body. Being in such a transitional stage in life is difficult at times. At this age it feels like the people around you are either barely hanging on by a thread, or have the perfect balance and everything figured out.

What makes it even harder is that no one wants to be transparent about their struggles. People feel like dealing with every day struggles isn’t a normal part of life, so everyone ignore it and pretends it’s not happening until they can’t anymore and just lose it. In addition to that, many of us college age 20 somethings are going through huge transitions. First real job or internship, living on our own, being alone more often, balancing all the things that have to be done, taking care of ourselves, the list goes on. The fact that we have to get thrown into this all at once is extremely overwhelming, and can bring out a lot of anxiety that feels like it’s consuming us.

Although I know medicine is necessary in some cases, and can be extremely effective, I have found in my case that there’s plenty of natural remedies that help me better than medicine. I am in no way a doctor, but I’ve found these things to be the most effective for me. Check it out below!

Healthy Diet 

When we love our body, it loves us back. If you want to feel good, you need to nourish your body. Foods with dyes, artificial sugars, and high fructose corn syrups have been shown to increase anxiety. Now look, I get it. Nearly everything has at least one of these things in it, but you don’t need to cut these things out completely just practice them in moderation. Lessening my consumption of foods with these things in them not only helped my anxiety, but also helped my overall health. I didn’t feel so exhausted after eating, my acne cleared up more, and you could tell my body was reacting positively to eliminating these toxins. Instead of picking up foods with those ingredients, grab something like blueberries, bananas, or cashews which have all been shown to decrease anxiety.

Exercise 

I am not a gym girl, I’ve never been one to enjoy a morning run or going on the elliptical for hours. That doesn’t mean I can’t be active though! It’s all about finding what exercise is right for you. For me, I love hiking. Being outdoors has been shown to decrease anxiety, and it’s definitely my biggest stress reliever. Even if it’s just going on a 30 minute walk each day, staying active is extremely important. When we exercise, our brain releases chemicals that help make us feel happy and relaxed.

Meditation

This is a huge one for me. Taking time to reflect and be honest with yourself about your struggles can do wonders for you. Many people thing meditation needs to be some full on session with a gong and a monk leading you, but it doesn’t have to be like that AT ALL. Finding a quiet place each day to be alone and mindful about your thoughts can be amazing. I love to light some candles, hit the lights, and meditate while I’m in the bath each night. Meditation is as simple as closing your eyes, focusing on your breathing, and allowing your mind to wander. I try to do this for at least 30 minutes a day because I’ve found it really clears my mind and especially makes the physical symptoms of anxiety go away.

Let things go 

We are only in charge of ourselves and our emotions. We can’t change how people feel, or think, or react. Anxiety tells us to hyper-focus on everything, and constantly replay how things could’ve gone differently over and over. However, we must learn to let things go, not for other people but for ourselves. We are all still growing and learning, and at some level we have to let things go and forgive ourselves for the mistakes we have made.

These are just a few things, but I would love to hear about what everyone else does to manage their anxiety and stress. Having an open conversation about this is key to helping ourselves and helping our eachother. Have a great day!

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