My Journey with Anxiety: 9 Ways To Deal With Anxiety
I am not a healthcare professional. If you are experiencing anxiety, please talk to your doctor about it!
I haven’t talked about this much on my blog and now I’m wondering why. The whole point to starting this space was to connect with and help other women. I know there’s a stigma around women and anxiety and I absolutely hate it. But since I haven’t talked about it, I feel like I’m also progressing that stigma. So here it goes: My name is Jessica Hughes and I have anxiety. That’s not so hard to write.
My Journey with Anxiety: 10 Ways to Deal With Anxiety
This is what I’ve learned from dealing with this dealing with anxiety for so long: it can be genetic. My mom and her side of the family have a history of it. It’s also hard to diagnose. When I experienced severe anxiety in high school it wasn’t often talked about. I didn’t know who to turn to or what to do. Thank goodness my parents were understanding and loving throughout. It’s debilitating: I dropped out of college for a semester because my anxiety attacks got so bad. I mean dropped all of my classes and moved back home kind of drop out. If you know me at all, you know that kind of surrender is so unlike me.
So here’e the gist of it: I have anxiety. I’ve had anxiety attacks since I was at least 11, maybe earlier. It’s especially bad when I’m hormonal (think period, pregnant or postpartum). I’ve been on medication for my anxiety attacks since I was 19 (when I dropped out of school). I’ve handled my attacks pretty well since then, give or take a couple of episodes. Just a couple of weeks ago I was in the throes of a particularly bad episode. The racing heart, the feeling of your stomach falling out of your butt, the constant adrenaline rush… It’s awful!!!! After talking to a therapist and taking medication (I’m on Pristiq, Lexapro made me gain 25 pounds and totally zone out) I’ve found these 9 ways to deal with anxiety help me the most:
- Exercise– Hahaha you knew I had to say it!! But really, working out helps SO much with my anxiety attacks. When I’m in the middle of one, I try to revert that energy into a workout and it helps calm me down. There have been so many studies done on the importance of exercise when dealing with anxiety and/or depression. Here’s one of my favorite articles on the subject.
- Let go and Let God– If you’re not religious that’s fine but praying and letting go really helps me.
- Acupuncture– I started doing this a couple months ago and it has helped tremendously! Both with my sleep and with my overall anxiety attacks.
- Good sleep– obviously something I’m not getting currently which has negatively affected me for sure. When I do get a good nights sleep the probability of an anxiety attack drops significantly. I also love to sleep, so that may have something to do with it.
- Limiting caffeine– I cut out coffee a long time ago and only drink it in dire circumstances. I do take a pre-workout, but normally the caffeine has worn off by the end of my workout.
- Giving back– donating my time and/or money has done wonders for my anxiety attacks. That feeling of helping others is such a relief! Try it, I promise you’ll feel better.
- Surrounding myself with supportive and positive people. This is of the utmost importance!! If I feel like someone is a negative impact on my life, I try to remove that person.
- Essential oils. No I’m not selling them, I jut honestly believe they work. Peace and Calm is my absolute favorite and I actually use it as my perfume! I also use Lavender on my laundry, in my shower, and in my diffuser at home.
- Not drinking– obviously not my strong suit. I LOVE WINE. But I have noticed when I don’t drink, I have much less anxiety! I also sleep better etc…
- Natural Calm– a supplement you can get on Amazon and at Whole Foods. It’s got Magnesium in it, which is said to help!
What are some of the things you do to deal with your anxiety? I want to know!
I always knew we were spirit animals. I was on Wellbutrin and Lexapro and recently went off of them and I’m trying a new treatment. I may look into the medicine you mentioned! Do you like it for the most part?
I started having anxiety attacks a few years ago when I turned 30. Im almost 37 now. It does run in my family too. I use dōTERRA’s balance, serenity, & bergamot oils specifically for my anxiety and moods. Prayer and having a very understanding and accepting husband help as well. I couldn’t make it without Jesus and my husband!
Thank you Jessica for this post. So many people are afraid to admit they have it. I to suffer from it and feel like I have it under control with medication and Oils as well. I can say what also helps me is reading a few chapters each night on self help books whether they are about health and beauty, cooking, or parenting books. I also take a daily walk alone if my husband is not traveling just to clear my head. Can you tell me how you use Lavendar in your laundry? Once again thank you your posts are always helpful and enlightens me. Good luck and as my Mom always tells me just remember to take deep breaths.
This is a truly fantastic list, Jess. Thank you for sharing!
Anxiety is horrid! I’ve had it for years. Until my husband had major medical issues including strokes 15 years ago, I didn’t know it was anxiety. I started with Zoloft, then Lexapri. Then nothing. Now I use bergamot, with some orange oil, diluted in sweet almos oil. I rub it on my neck, just under my chin. Helps in seconds. Exercise helps tremendously. The sweatier, the better.
So happy to hear you found some things that help you with your anxiety. I would use exercise, too!
This is a great post, thank you so much for sharing. As someone who deals with anxiety this is very helpful.
I have also had panic attacks and anxiety. Much worse in pregnancy. At my absolute worst I couldn’t eat, sleep, or even shower. Natural Calm is a Godsend! I wanted to add Bach’s Flower Remedies helped me a lot, along with being outside in nature as much as possible (ESPECIALLY on sunny days) really helped. I’m so sorry you deal with this. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Xoxo
Thank you so much for opening up about your journey with anxiety, I suffer with it badly, so I am going to have to try and follow some of your tips and see if they help me as well.
exercicing is a great for relaxing. Being surrounded by positive and supportive people is too! When I feel anxious, I always read! It helps a lot! xx corinne
There are so many out there that suffer with anxiety so you definitely are not alone! I agree that taking care of yourself is the biggest way to calm fears and feel better.
It’s so wonderful that you can open up about dealing with anxiety. Even though I haven’t personally experienced it, having an opportunity to learn more about it through your post allows me to gain a better understanding about what it’s like to live with and battle anxiety. Thank you for sharing your personal story and ways to take control of anxiety when it occurs. I know you’ve helped so many people through this post.
I work at a mental health facility, so I see anxiety first hand every day! It can be so stressful. Glad you are dealing with it well
I found that listening to my favorite instrumental music as I drifted to sleep helped me. Medication is also an option to consider.
Now we are talking to the people Jess.
Great post and it’s a beautiful thing when we can share our imperfections with others. Some days are just so hard when you live with this draining disorder. Let go,
Let god… ?❤️ Mom
I love when writers can be real and share the dark they have, kudos to you for sharing! I totally appreciate this post!
I used to get attacks in my teens but somehow they didn’t bother me in my adulthood. Whenever I feel like I’m having one, I just breathe deeply and say what I see out loudly. It usually helps me to focus my breathing
I sometimes suffer from anxiety attacks and decided to give up coffee at Easter for this precise reason. I am seeing a difference.
I work out for almost 2 hours every day….. OR ELSE I will be a ball of stress and NO ONE wants to see that!!!
This is good to keep in mind. I do always try to get enough sleep–I get anxious now and again and rest helps me. Or reading a great book.
My friend suffers from anxiety and her little dog is a huge help for her. I will have to share this great post with her.
I love the sleeves of your off shoulder blouse, on another note, I know how hard is to deal with anxiety I have been there and sometimes I got back to that places i hate so much
This is such a great tip for those that deals with anxiety. I will share this with a cousin.
I try my best not to worry but it’s easier said the done. And I didn’t know caffeine makes it worse
Donating has always help me in times of struggle. I face so much depression, ptsd and anxiety growing up. For some reason helping others has helped me.
That’s good that you have found a medication that helps you. My ex is on Pristiq as well but she has some issues that are a bit different than yours. How does Pristiq work for you?
Honestly when it gets really bad running is the only thing that can help. I have a prescription for xanax but that’s only for emergencies. I hate exersice but the feeling of physically running away from the anxiety until I am too pooped to continue feeling that way is the best medicine.
I’ve been dealing with anxiety for years, many of tips have helped me in the past. It can be so frustrating at times to deal with this- I’ve had a lot of ‘I wish I could be normal moments.
Donating surely makes me feel better even otherwise. I need to do it more often. This is a good post for even those who don’t have to deal with Anxiety.
I appreciate your honesty and bravery to open up about this. The stigma is ridiculous and I am very passionate about exposing the truth about it and destroying the stigma. A therapist once told me, “you wouldn’t withhold insulin from a diabetic, so why do people try to do without medication if they truly need it for anxiety?” I was struggling with having to depend on a pill at that point, years ago. It runs in my family as well. Can I ask you what you took/did while pregnant? My husband and I are getting closer to that stage and it really worries me! As far as what helps me, my medication in the morning, deep breathing when I feel overwhelmed, exercise, and baths!
People often don’t understand how debelitating dealing with anxiety can be. These are all really great suggestions!
There are some great tips here for those that suffer from anxiety. I hope these people are able to find your article in times of need 🙂 x
This post is so helpful. I’ve started having anxiety in big crowds and when I go out by myself sometimes. It’s awful but i’m a huge believer in essential oils and prayers, especially. I’ve started doing yoga again, too and it helps me feel so good! Thank you for sharing this post.
These are such great ways to handle anxiety! I actually have a scheduled post on my blog for next week and am some of mine are the exact same! I’m glad you have found ways to deal with yours, too!
Awesome tips. You forgot one but it will be in my anxiety post. I hope you can eventually over this as it can be debilitating. I have suffered with anxiety panic disorder for many years. Not enough sleep and caffeine are my two biggest avoidable triggers. I wish you well.
First of all, you look beautiful. Second, anxiety is such a serious issue. My oldest daughter and my best friend a.k.a. brother, both have cases where they are literally paranoid when it rises up! I will be sharing this with them, thank you 🙂
Thank you for the article, I appreciate the suggestions and will be trying to adapt some of them into my lifestyle.
Getting away for 1-2 days to a cottage or hotel really helps. Swimming is my “go to”for exercise and Celexa is a great anti- anxiety med with few size effects.how this helps.
Getting away for 1-2 days to a cottage or hotel really helps. Swimming is my “go to”for exercise and Celexa is a great anti- anxiety med with few size effects.hope this helps.
Anxiety can definitely be crippling. It’s good to have people talk about their experiences because it might help others going through it too.
Wow! I am surprised to check all the items on the list! I am unknowingly following these tips – and I am happy to say they do work! Thank you for spreading positive vibes!
Every now and then I do suffer from anxiety and the things that helped me was exercise and prayer. Working out a sweat by doing housework helps me to focus on the mop! When I feel like I am going into another anxiety episode, I pray for healing. God never fails to bless me with it.
Thank you for these tips. Anxiety is not a pretty experience to go through and we must find ways to address it effectively. Thank you for sharing your ways to handle anxiety. I love #2 the best.
I really love that you have stepped up to talk about this. I know a lot of people struggle but are too scared to say anything and deal with it on their own.
I love that you’re sharing ways to help. Praying is the one that most resonates with me. That does always seem to help.
Literally every single thing you wrote here is me go a T! I absolutely sucks, I totally get it! During pregnancy it got Teri le as well as post pardum. I am a stay at home mom. I tried going back to work (I’m a nurse) even thought I have always wanted to stay home, because I didn’t know how to handle this terrible feeling. Just Horrible. Calling my husband at work to has him come home because I needed to go to the ER (panic attack mode), horrible. I am now taking Lexapro 20mg and feel the same way. I am tired a lot of the time and feel like I have gained weight! I have tried SO many other different types, the same one my sister takes thinking genetics would play a good role and work well for me like it does her, but it didn’t. I do feel better now that I have moved up to 20mg (as in the anxiety part, not the tired or weight part). I deal with it through exercise, I just started lifting weights which also seems to help and talking to my best friend every morning while she drives to work.
Also, I clearly can’t type ?
When I get anxiety I like to do my breathing techniques, think happy thoughts, or even trying to relax by watching a movie or taking a bubble bath. I take medicine for it but sometimes it still doesn’t help.
I started having panic attacks last March and I wouldnt want anyone to have to go through them. I am no on the offbrand of Zoloft and it’s helping. I also meditate. There is a free app called insight timer that has helped me SO much. Motherhood definitely helped bring my anxiety out but I think it was always there. Thanks for sharing your experience.
Just when I thought I couldn’t feel more connected to you…Thank you for sharing!!!
I feel like if I took out coffee it wouldn’t help that’s the only thing that has still the same but everything else I do!
Yay! And nature! Walking in nature. And lately, bad weather kinda makes outside even better. Time with my pets and yoga. But sleeeerep. And definitely not drinking. I think drinking is a young person’s game.
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