Struggling With Anxiety and Ways to Reduce It

 

Everyone experiences anxiety. It’s a natural way for your body to cope during high stress times in your life, when experiencing a fear, and even just from your own thought process. However, some people experience extreme bouts of anxiety accompanied with panic attacks, physical symptoms, and an overwhelming feeling that you are going to lose it at any moment. I was shaking so bad during an attack once, that I couldn’t even hold a bag of apples and had to leave the grocery store. Anxiety is quite a funny topic; many people think it is all in your head or that you should be able to just “shut it off”. Unfortunately, you can’t just make it go away if you have a serious anxiety disorder.

I have been on and off medications since I was 15, struggled with depression as a result of feeling alone and afraid that I would never feel normal again. I barely left my house when I was teenager for a period of 3 months and was in an extreme state of paranoia about having more panic attacks that I couldn’t control. I had symptoms such as; racing heartbeat, feeling out of my body, trembling, sweating, nausea, vertigo, and many more. This would last from 15 minutes to a few hours until I started deep breathing and then I would wait for the next one, constantly in a state of worry. So yeah, if I could have just flipped the off switch, that would have been great!

I’ve been coping with an anxiety disorder for 12 years and have experienced very low anxiety for years at a time. Here are 10 powerful ways to reduce your anxiety.

  • Deep breathing. In through your nose as long and as deep as you can, out through your mouth emptying your lungs and your mind. Many people struggling with anxiety do not breathe correctly, resulting in lightheadedness and can lead to a panic attack. Deep breathing can release tension, slow heartbeat, and bring a feeling of relaxation over your body and mind.
  • Exercise. I used to be afraid of working out, it would increase my heart rate (obviously) which I felt I already had enough of. I was wrong and exercising regularly can help reduce stress, help you sleep better at night, and is important for physical health. Doing quick workouts every day and slowly increasing the amount and time, I found most effective. I like dancing a lot, doing that for 5 minutes before a quick workout helps to get me in the zone and makes me feel happier in general.
  • Yoga. I put yoga separately from exercise only because it is more a lifestyle and spiritual practice than a vigorous workout. There are many types of yoga and I personally enjoy hatha, vinyasa, and kundalini yoga classes. More of a slow flow these types focus on breathing correctly while holding poses for long periods of time. Like I mentioned above learning to breathe correctly is key for anxiety sufferers.
  • Essential Oils. Scents can alter your state of mind in a matter of seconds. Surrounding yourself with comforting scents and anxiety reducing scents is key in stress relief. I light candles in my bedroom, wear essential oil as perfume, and do deep breathing with my new oil diffuser (it’s so awesome!). I recommend everyone own a diffuser and purchase your favorite essential oils, it’s a cool experience. Scents that work for me are; chamomile and vanilla, sweet orange, and bergamot.
  • Do some research. If you’re wondering why you feel uneasy in certain situations, all the time, or for no particular reason at all researching can really help. You may see how many people in the world struggle with the same symptoms you have, realize you are holding on to something from your past, or are too worried about the future. Don’t go all crazy on Web MD and freak out, but do learn about the symptoms you are having.
  • Journal. If there is one major symptom of anxiety I would say everyone has, it’s racing thoughts. Thoughts of fear, uncomfortable situations, and the future are just a few I experience all the time. Writing these thoughts down and realizing how irrational and ridiculous they are helps me a lot. It also helps when you just don’t feel like talking to anyone about it!
  • Talk to someone. Open up to someone who cares about you whether this be a therapist, family member, or a significant other. Sometimes just getting your frustrations and worry out into actual words is a relief. It’s been a long time since I have opened up about my anxieties and fear-based thoughts to anyone. The last time I recall doing so, I sobbed and got angry about struggling with anxiety, but I felt much better afterwards.
  • Stay away from stressful environments. I fully believe that stressful and negative environments relate to anxiety and elevate feelings of anxiety. This can be anywhere from a negative working environment to an uncomfortable home life. I know sometimes you can’t change these things right away, but if it is affecting your ability to be happy or you dread going there you should set a goal to change it. Change can be super scary but once you find the courage to positively change your circumstances, the outcome can be pretty sweet.
  • The sun will come out tomorrow. Just like Annie said, it’s only a day away. If your day is that terrible and your anxiety is driving you nuts, pray for a better day tomorrow. Thanks Annie!
  • Practice self-care every day. Try lighting candles and having a meditation/prayer hour. Being the girly girl that I am, I love long and hot baths with Lush Cosmetics Bath Bombs or a few drops of my favorite essential oils with flower petals. Treat yourself like a Goddess or a King and you will start to feel like one. For the men out there; Epsom salt baths work wonders on your muscles and relax your body with soothing, but manly, scents. Whatever it is that makes you relaxed and happy, do it.

 

 

There are so many coping tools I use to lower my anxiety levels and I could go on and on explaining my daily search for peace. These are some things that help me and are most important to me in reducing my anxiety. What are some of your own ways for reducing anxiety?

 

 

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5 Things To Remember About Toxic Family Members

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Family ties. Is it time to cut the cord that binds you together? One of the most important things to remember about toxic relationships in general is you always have a choice. You can choose to stay in it, try to change it or simply walk away from it. The problem with toxic family members is there is a stronger bond, an invisible emotional tie that only you can feel. Over time, dealing with toxic relationships can hurt your emotional well-being and deplete your self worth. If it starts to affect your mind and soul on a daily basis you should reevaluate how involved with this family member you should be and when to slowly start disengaging.

Struggling with mental illness, I choose my friends and relationships very carefully. In the past, I didn’t think about the effect certain people had on my illness and it was very hard for me to cut ties in relationships without feeling utter guilt. After a few heartbreaking experiences, I realized how much I loved myself and that I deserved to be treated as I treat other people. Searching for a new way of life spiritually and mentally I started to snip the strings binding me to toxic people.

Not everyone has a super close and healthy family. Unfortunately sometimes the word “family” is just that, a word. Ceasing communication with people who cause you more harm then happiness is sometimes the last resort but most effective to your well-being. Here are 5 things to remember about toxic family members.

1.) They are bullies.  Unhappy with their own lives or maybe dealing with past resentments, they want everyone around them to feel just as awful as they do. Instead of digging deep to the root of their problems, they try to drag you into the dirt with them. They try to tear down your self-worth and destroy your confidence so they can feel better about themselves. Sometimes, recognizing this behavior and standing up for yourself can dramatically change the situation. Saying something like “I have done nothing wrong and I will not allow you to let me feel like that anymore,” can be very empowering.

2.) They are passive-aggressive. Communication is key to having a healthy relationship, passive-aggressive behavior is probably the worst way someone can act to get your attention. They may try to point out your flaws randomly when you are talking about your dreams or just ignore you completely if they are upset about something. The easiest way to solve this is communicate, if they don’t take the communication bait then you may have no choice but to detach yourself from the situation as much as you can.

3.) They may not necessarily be terrible people. Even so, you should not be spending time with them on a regular basis. Everyone has bad and negative days, but it’s the people who have a bad and negative day everyday you should stay away from. At this point, I’m sure you have tried uplifting them and maybe feeling guilty about not being able to do so. Frankly, it wears on your emotional well-being and their happiness is not your responsibility. Anyone who does not make you feel good and lift you up more so than not, shouldn’t be a part of your daily routine. You are the company you keep.

4.) If anything, learn from their mistakes. Do you ever watch how someone acts or listen to their words and think to yourself…”God, I hope I don’t sound/act like that person EVER in my life!” Well, take your own advice and be the opposite. Practice compassion, mindfulness, and and self love every day. If you love yourself, there isn’t really anything anyone can say to you to make you feel bad about who you are!

5.) Let it go. Expecting someone to change will just leave you let down and discouraged. We can all hope people will change and our positive vibes will effect everyone we come into contact with. That is just not the case sometimes and to be completely honest, positive people annoy the hell out of negative people. When you are not on the same wavelength as people, it’s very hard to see to eye to eye and that creates friction. Ultimately, you have to do what is best for you and what feels right in your heart.

Personally, I have always had a very small “group” in which I confide in and spend serious time with. Trusting people for me is key and paying attention to how people surrounding me treat other people is exactly how they are going to treat you. What do you guys think? Any tips on dealing with toxic family members?

(h/t)

If You Meet Someone Equally As Weird As You, Never Let Go.

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“We’re all mad here…” – Alice In Wonderland

Let’s face it, there are some people out there who have a little extra oomph to their weirdness and man are they awesome. Everyone has a weird side but sometimes it takes an extra weird person to bring that out in you. If you are quite weird yourself and you found someone just as or even more weird than you, do not let them go.

These people are eccentric, real, and childlike. Some may think of them as immature or just too strange to even deal with, but if you can handle it… you’re in for a whimsical ride straight into a dream of a  relationship that a lot of normies won’t understand, but will secretly admire. They are irreplaceable and uniquely your own perfect match of weird.

You have to be willing to let your guard down when you’re with your odd one.  They are going to explore emotional parts of you that you never knew were there. They are going to say whatever is on their mind, ask you whatever they want to ask, and make you feel the sweetest kind of uncomfortable you’ve ever felt.

Being with a strange bird is like a breath of fresh air, a playful experience where you find yourself spinning around like a ballerina while on walks together or skipping to the beat of your own weird drum. Everyone and everything else disappears, giving you a chance to be carefree and unafraid of what other people think of you. You create your own little weird world together and you should cherish it.

They will scare the sh*t out of you. They will push your limits, piss you off and make you try new things. You’re going to argue with this person, there is no doubt, but it’s the best kind of arguing. Everyone loves a bit of drama once in a while and your odd one will definitely bring it with them. They are extreme and they will most likely push your buttons.

They will force you to be creative or continue your strange hobbies. Whatever it is that that lights a fire inside your heart, whatever it is that makes you feel wide eyed and childlike, they are going to push you to keep doing it. Your weirdo is going to love that about you and make you feel confident to be unique and do things that spark your happiness.

You don’t have to be embarrassed to show your own weird side. They are gonna love you and feel closer to you for it.  So exude your weirdness and own it.

The sex on the other hand will not be weird, it will be mind blowing.  Open and wild outside the bedroom and inside. Again, pushing your limits like weirdos like to do and bringing you out of your comfort zone. This time, you won’t be complaining!

It’s an odd kind of love, maybe a roller coaster at times and just when you think you can’t keep up with your peculiar person they surprise you and make you realize why you fell for them in the first place. They are refreshing, a bit overwhelming, and an amazing lover. Making you roar with laughter and your heart feel all kinds of full when you are with them. Hold onto them, don’t ever let them go.

 

(h/t Elite Daily)

 

 

 

 

10 Tips When Falling For An Old Soul

 

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  1. Simplicity. It’s the simple things in life that capture us. Simple living and simple pleasures in life ground us and make us feel all warm and cozy inside. Extravagant dinners, jewelry, and sparkly gifts may be the key to some people’s hearts but not an old soul. Impressing us is so simple, it’s scary. An intimate conversation on the beach with a candle or a night of camping under the stars is like heaven on earth. Give us experiences and most of all, give us your time.
  2. Alone time. Old souls are pretty intense, spiritual people. It’s not a facade or front we put up, but a lifestyle we live to stay connected to ourselves and to our spiritual path. Time to decompress, detach and meditate are crucial to our well being. So if we turn down an invite to a bar once in awhile, don’t take it personal. Instead, understand our need to be with ourselves because there is probably a reason we are needing some alone time.
  3. Dreamer. As most people only dream when they sleep, we dream constantly. Daydream that is. Sometimes we need a partner to snap us back into reality, but also one who understands our dreaming is what excites us, dreaming inspires us.
  4. Romantics. –ahh, sigh– We love romance and everything that comes with it. Sometimes, expecting a little too much from people trying to win our affections. This can cause some let downs and learning experiences for both partners. Old souls need someone that can pull them out from the clouds when needed and bring them back to a beautiful reality.
  5. Comfort. I’ve always felt like the “grandma” of my friend group. Throwing on a big comfy sweater, staying in to cook dinner, and snuggling up while someone reads to me would be like, so amazing. Going out is good here and there, but know for us, being comfy with our significant other takes the cake.
  6. Free bird. We want freedom. Freedom to chase whatever is worth chasing to us. Nothing holding us back or stopping us from pursuing our dreams and desires. Rather, someone who encourages us to chase and to succeed. Aside from longing for a stable and simple life, we want room to grow and follow whatever path our spirit is leading us on.
  7. An unusual approach to life. Not really conforming to the expected way of living, we view the world and our lives as a blank book and we want to write it. I definitely have very philosophical views and it deeply effects all of my relationships. Being with someone who likes that about us is key!
  8. Not-so material world.  Possessions and money are nice, but it is not number one for us. Intellectual conversations and meaningful experiences is what takes our breath away…
  9. Intuition. You may hear this a lot from an old soul, “I don’t know, I just have this feeling.” Following our hearts more than our minds makes us a bit more in touch with our intuitive side. You can either go with the flow or turn and run, intuitive people can be a bit intimidating. It can be very daunting to some, to have an intuitive partner…especially if the significant other is trying to be sly. Good luck!
  10. We’ve got dreams, big dreams. Idealistic dreams of painting the world like our very own canvas. Ending world hunger or starting a business that benefits people in some positive way is not far from an old souls list of lofty ideas. Helping mankind is on our dreamy To Do List!

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I’m sure a lot of you out there can relate to some of these traits or have come across an old soul yourself. Maybe you’re realizing you are one…what qualities do you have that make you or your partner an Old Soul?

( h/t )

 

Tips On Overcoming Anxiety, Naturally.

Overcoming anxiety is easier said than done and I definitely have a long way to go. At times, I felt I was an outsider. A modern day Alice living in my own version of Wonderland, questioning all that is real. Slowly, I began to realize I am not alone and I needed to take control of my life as everything felt as if spinning out of control. It has been 12 years since my journey began with anxiety and I am currently medication-free, hoping to live a natural and healthy lifestyle.  I wish I could go back in time to write this article for that young girl, hug her and tell her everything is going to be alright. I would probably also tell her to take out those piercings and ditch the cigarette. Oops. Here are some tips on overcoming your anxiety disorder!

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antimonocromatismo, portrait by agnes-cecile

 CRAZY THOUGHTS.

No, you are not crazy or ‘going insane’. You are sane and you are not alone. Having anxiety comes with irrational thoughts, unwanted images and always thinking the worst. If you were to literally go insane, you wouldn’t even know it and you would think everything is fine. Weird, right? Embrace those thoughts, allow them to pass through your amazing brain for a few moments and then watch them leave. Bye Felicia. Saying positive things to yourself such as “everything will be okay” and “I am strong” are simple and effective ways to start re-wiring that anxious mind of yours.

 HEALTH CONCERNS.

Anxiety causes many symptoms and side effects. One of my biggest worries was that I was going to pass out all the time. pass-out

 Yes, I have a slight obsession with Kristen Wiig. If there is one thing I can promise you, it is that you are not going to pass out from anxiety, panic, and worry.  In the many years of my constant struggle with anxiety, I have not passed out. For me, symptoms ranged from being lightheaded, shaky, feeling nauseous and being extremely tired. My symptoms become worse when I am not taking care of myself. In a way, anxiety has shaped me into a way healthier person. If you truly want to get better, you will fight for it and take the steps needed to beat it. Remember to tell yourself that anxiety is just that, anxiety. Not a million other health problems.

 SLEEP. 

Trust me, I know it is hard to sleep when you are having racing thoughts. I put instrumental music or a calming station on my iTunes Radio, it helps me to get out of my head and relax.  Tea or supplements containing L-theanine (passion flower), Valerian root, and Chamomile are pretty awesome and help me to feel more calm and sleepy. Sleep deprivation can make anxiety symptoms a million times worse, so finding a natural supplement that works for you is so important! Sleeping pills can lead you down a dangerous path and I believe trying non-addictive sleep-aids is a smart and cheaper option.

 YOGA.

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When my anxiety level is turning up, I take my exercise down a notch. I do things that are stress relieving and easy on my body such as Yoga. The great thing is you can practice in or outside the comfort of your own home in a quiet and tranquil spot. Get a Yoga DVD or Google some stress-relieving moves and learn them…it’s better than sitting around and worrying! I recommend the Warrior I and Warrior II poses. These poses make me feel strong, confident and like I’m ready for anything that comes my way…even the Anxiety monster.

 ALCOHOL.

I love, love wine. Wine pairing, wine tastings and wine Netflix. Okay, I made that last one up. I had to cut almost 90% of the wine I used to drink out of my life, because it was a short term solution and made me worse the next day. If you are drinking to alleviate feelings of nervousness, sadness, or sleeplessness you should cut back. Drinking to rid these emotions will only leave you waking up to the same unresolved issues. I know everyone is different, but I also know a lot of people with mental illness self-medicate with alcohol and drugs. I have had my own experience with drinking and drugs when I was younger  to make my situation feel better, but in fact I was making myself feel worse. For me, only having a drink when I’m feeling happy and healthy is ideal. Besides, a glass or two of a good, full red wine is good for you once in awhile. Don’t forget the cheese!

 TOXIC PEOPLE.

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Get rid of them! This is your beautiful life and you get to choose which awesome people are allowed in it. Anywhere from a job to your closest circle of friends is your choice and only yours. If you are surrounded by negative and toxic people at work or at home, you need to fix it. It can slowly but surely, be very harmful to your well being. I am definitely an empath. I soak up a lot of emotions from other people and if you are reeking of negativity, I’m going to feel it. Ridding these toxic people is hard at first, but when they are gone a weight lifts and you’ll begin to heal.

 SEEKING HELP.

I can’t push this topic hard enough. Seeking out an educated individual to guide you along the way of your recovery is crucial. Talking to someone who understands your mind more than most is like a wave of relief. The great thing about a therapist is they WANT to help and they usually can relate to you. Why do you think an anxiety specialist chose to help people struggling? A very special person in my life was a therapist when I met her and if I wouldn’t have been introduced to the help a professional can provide back then, I don’t know where I would be today!

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I hope some of these tips help anyone struggling with anxiety. I wouldn’t wish mental illness on my worst enemy and I know the feeling of being in a prison of your own thoughts. It’s time to set yourself free. Remember to think positive even when you feel it’s impossible and most importantly, have faith that you can and will get through this. May anxiety never linger about you, my loves.

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Signs it is true love and also, maybe not.

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Sweet, sweet love. Here are some signs you may have found starry-eyed, soul altering, my face hurts from smiling so much, love. Not, “I met this gorgeous guy last night after having three margaritas…” love. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a little infatuation, but I hope you recognize the differences and protect your little heart. True love may start out as infatuation, perhaps it always does, but at some point it should feel different. How do you know your love is true? Here are some signs I believe make all the difference!

We need to talk…

Communication is the key to your heart.  You should be able to talk to this other human being like you have known them for years, or lifetimes. Your soul is naked and there are no hidden secrets or embarrassments that you aren’t willing to share eventually. They should be able to express their own as well, no judgments. I’ve dated because someone was physically appealing to me and realized that was shallow and I longed for someone I could have great conversation with.  Even if you did not feel attracted to this person initially, you never know what a deep conversation could spark. It’s not always about image y’all.

Happy as a clam…

He wants you to be happy. Even if it means letting the relationship go for a while or forever. I have struggled with mental illness (generalized anxiety disorder) most of my adolescence and early adulthood. I was going through significant life changes and have recently sucked a lot of poison out of my life. Of course, I met someone very special during this time who ended up living 1,500 miles from me. We had a conversation about a month into our relationship and he said to me, “If being with me is detrimental to your well-being and happiness in any way I’ll let you go, but I will always be here for you.” As much as it broke my heart to hear that, it was so right on. Being happy with someone starts with you first. I know, I know. You hear it all the time, but it brings me to my next point.

I don’t need you… 

I do want you though, badly. Rawr. What you need is to be content alone. I have been in a few very unhealthy relationships and it took me so long to realize was part of the problem. I didn’t love myself and self-love is needed to attract true love. It takes years for change, at least for me, and patience. The sooner you get your mind, body, and soul into shape…the sooner your Ryan Gosling will come waltzing into your precious life.

Let’s talk about sex, baby…

Yeah, that’s right, SEX. Your sex life should be an open book. If you are with a mature, loving man he will want to talk about what you like in bed, what he likes and everything in between. Get it? For me, verbally communicating anything sexual makes me blush like a nerdy little school girl. When you meet the right one and get over your ‘sexual shyness’ you should be able to explain exactly what you want. Once I let my embarrassment about my female anatomy go, I felt like a new woman.

He kisses you on the forehead…

Need I write more? I didn’t think so.

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R.E.S.P.E.C.T …

Yes, it’s a great song. He respects you and your body and doesn’t look at you like you just turned into a minion when you talk about your period. Minions are cute though. You are female and that is a beautiful thing! Embrace it, love it, and nurture it because your “one” will love everything about your body and want to treat it just as sacred as it is. Aside from physical respect should be emotional respect. Manipulative tactics, lies, and snooping isn’t true love. That sisters is borderline obsession and selfishness. More people put up with emotional abuse in relationships than you think, if this is happening to you…run! Soul mates are always waiting around the corner anyway, just when you least expect it…

Music to my ears…

I don’t know about you but music is so, so important! It makes those scenes in films that much more heart wrenching, a perfect background for a solo dance in the kitchen, and therapy for the soul. Whether you like instrumental or straight up gangster rap, you and your person should connect musically. Getting a text from him with a link to a song that made him think of you, is utterly adorable.

Ew babe, I look gross…

Well, maybe we do, but for some reason the men don’t agree when they are in love. If you get a line like this, “Babe, you look so damn cute when you snore…” then it’s definitely love. When a guy starts thinking everything you do is “so damn cute” he’s fallen and can’t get up. When you’re lounging in his Tee with three-day old hair and he makes you feel as pretty as Scarlett Johansson, it’s amour.

Ummm, who the &%$* is that?!

“Babe, I don’t know, he just told me money was falling out of my pocket…” so technically the guy was staring at your booty for a second. Who cares! Your boyfriend should be flattered if anyone thinks his girlfriend is hot and trust that you respect him enough to be faithful. If he is constantly questioning what you’re doing, who you’re with, and making you feel bad about it… it’s not true love.

I am so in love with you…

If he’s in love with you, he’s going to tell you. If he’s secure, confident, and honest he’s going to let you know how he is feeling. My number one was communication and if he can communicate his love for you then it’s definitely real.

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In conclusion, these are signs from personal experience I think many people have experienced. Now go run around your city screaming “I’m in love!” I’m just kidding, please don’t.