Lauryn Evarts, fitness blogger, health blogger, and diet blogger talks skinny tips and tricks for weight loss.

Anxiety.

July 8, 2014
by
LAURYN

Lauryn Evarts, fitness blogger, health blogger, and diet blogger talks skinny tips and tricks for weight loss.

This isn’t some woe is me, I feel so sorry for myself blog post.

It’s just about my personal experience with anxiety.

I’ve had it for as a long as remember; I don’t know what caused it. I mean, I’m an anxious person naturally & there have definitely been events in my life that have exasperated the feeling, but I don’t know the root of where it originated.

Sometimes my anxiety is crippling. I literally get so anxious I need an outlet…ASAP. Ultimately, if I’m not in control, I freak the F out.

So over the past five years I’ve really, really tried to channel my anxious personality towards positive outlets.

Like?

Anything productive: writing a blog post, working out, cooking/baking, being with my BF/babes, getting a massage, teaching a Pilates class, snuggling with the most gorgeous girl in the world AKA Pixy, &/or enjoying a cold beer ( ya, sue me! ). Annnnnd typically those things really help quell it— but still. It’s always there looming over me like an annoying, butthole black cloud.

& BTW I’m not into pill popping ( like, thanks but no thanks! ). So sleep, herbs, healthy eating, & exercise ( running in particular has really helped ) have turned into my ‘pill’ of choice.

If you don’t know what anxiety feels like…lemme describe it: ever been super hungover? Like ridiculously-Captain Morgan-high school-rookie hungover? Ya. It’s that feeling ( without the headache & stomach cramps ). Just that feeling of being extremely edgy.

Fun shit.

Ok! So I have questions: do you have anxiety? If so, how do you deal ( if not, you’re SO lucky! I’m super jeal ), besides the obvious: a work out, bubble bath, & glass of wine?

Oh, & honestly? Writing this vulnerable post gives me anxiety- LOLZ!

K, bye. Off to go on a run.

xx.Lauryn

OH, ALSO:

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  1. sabrina

    Hi Lauryn,
    I’m in high school and I’m a terrible test taker because I have such bad anxiety and get soooo psyched out! This post definitely speaks the truth! I always try to sweat out the stress but I still struggle. It’s def borderline OCD as well in my case! IF something is not done on time/early or the right way I freak out.

    Reply
    1. Katie

      Sabrina,

      I used to be the same way in high school and it was so rough. One thing that really helped me before a test would be to write down all of my fears on a piece of paper. They could be anything about the test I was about to take like “if I don’t pass this test, then I won’t get into ___ college” or “my parents will be so mad if I get a C”, to anything else fearful going on in my life. By putting those fears on paper, it was almost as if I was giving someone else the responsibility of the fear. It was like it just left my brain.

      Good luck! πŸ™‚

  2. Michela

    I had anxiety even before I knew what the word meant.
    I really like that you put your energy into positive outlets, because it’s good to be busy and it doesn’t have to cost anything! Thank you.
    Cheers from Canada!

    Reply
  3. Emily

    I suffer from crippling anxiety as well. I feel like I go through phases through life where it’s worse than others. Last year it was so bad that I even had to be hospitalized and put on meds (trust me, I avoided taking meds like thd plague, but it dramatically affected my life) What I’ve learned is deep breathing, slow down your thoughts, such as trying not to get too ahead of yourself. Which happens a lot with anxiety. Also, for herbal remedies try Yogi Kava tea, and/or Bachs Rescue Remedy flower essence! It works wonders! It’s been a year and I now am living across the country on my own, working my dream job! And taking almost no meds now. So if I can do it, I promise you, anyone can! πŸ™‚

    Take care

    Reply
    1. KLyn

      My pup and I both take Bach’s Rescue Remedy and love it. My sweet girl was prescribed an anti-depressant by her vet but it turned her into a vombie. Rescue Remedy is the best solution for both of us.

    2. Kate

      When I moved away from home when I was 25 I had a huge panic attack – it was all embarrassing and on a plane and all that good stuff – and ever since i have had anxiety. I didn’t know what to do with myself to start off with because the adrenalin in me was so high that I would panic at traffic lights whilst driving and even a cup of coffee would set it off. I am anti-pills too, so I met with this yoga instructor who put me on a meditation course to breathe for 5 days. The benefits of the breath are amazing. We did this practice called Kriya where you breath intensely for a short period of time – not sure if it was 20 minutes or 45 minutes – it can get pretty trippy. Now I go to yoga twice a week and generally it is under control. I think I was holding my breath for long lengths of time before so that I would feel like i was going to pass out. Not good. So go check your breathing habits and see what some daily meditation can do for you πŸ™‚

    3. melissa

      I love running and breathing helps a lot! Taking even a few minutes in the morning or at night before bed to meditate, practice breathing techniques, or think calming, positive thoughts has really helped me. I have tried herbs and they didn’t seem to do much. I too am anti-pills. Mind over matter! Just like getting back into the groove of working out, or eating healthy, your mind can be trained to think positively and not be so reactive in stressful situations. Easier said than done, but it gets better!

  4. Jen Mirabile

    I totally do! Thankfully not too often but I obviously can’t control when I will.. I try to do some of the same things you do and they really help. I’ve been a runner since high school and still really love it. I go to a Bikram Yoga class and sweat my ass off, sit on the back porch after I put my kids to bed and drink a glass of red wine with my hubs. Sometimes I just need to leave and go get my nails done, go to the bookstore and pick a few books/magazines to go through.. I hate it too girl but I know that leading a healthy/active lifestyle gives me less of it than I would have if I wasn’t! Loved your post and adore your blog! I’ve followed for quite a while and I think this may be my first comment. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  5. Harkness

    Yes, I’ve had varying experiences with anxiety since my teens. I’m now 43. It has manifest differently at times, anxious feelings, panic, OCD. The thing that has helped me most was learning everything I could about it to the point of checking out scholarly videos from a local university on the topic. Next thing that helps is to remember it is just a feeling. All feelings change. We are happy, sad, hungry, tired, anxious–we experience so many feelings on a daily basis. That is normal, we should have many different emotions throughout a day, and they change. Don’t give anxiety more power than it deserves. It is just a feeling and it will pass. Think it away, say to yourself, you are only a feeling and you will pass. Take deep breaths. You are in control.

    Reply
  6. Emily

    Hi Lauryn! I really enjoy your blog, and I think we’d be friends IRL! I’m a big worrier, and started to have panic attacks last March. I’ve found 2 things that really help: the first one is a breathing exercise (I read it on Wikipedia, of all places!) where you breathe in for 5 seconds, hold for 2, out for 5, hold for 2. Simple, but it helps. The second one is a verse from the Bible that I memorized and repeat over and over in my mind when I am anxious – Joshua 1:9. It’s very meaningful to me and brings me great peace. Hope this helps

    Reply
  7. Emily

    Oh girl, I can relate. When it kicks in, I wish I could flip a switch and turn it off! I imagine that’s what a xany would do… but like you, I don’t want to pollute my bod with pharmaceuticals. So it wait it out, which is torture. Sigh… But it eventually passes. Something I noticed over the past couple of years: being hung over makes it worse. Esp after a night of vodka- the next day it’s horrible for the.entire.freaking.day. This has made me cut back on drinking so that’s a good thing! It’s that unbearable. On a positive note: I channel my anxiety into productivity! It goes like this: I can’t sit still so I’m gonna clean the whole house in an hour! And I like that. For those times, it can be helpful, but when I just want to be calm/relax/sleep and I can’t turn it off, it’s the worst!

    Reply
  8. Michele

    It’s really brave of you to write this post! I totally relate- I’ve suffered with Generalized Anxiety Disorder for a long time now, and when the panicky feeling comes it really is crippling. I personally take medication for it, but that isn’t the be-all-end-all- I’ve found that yoga has helped me more than any other medication ever could! It takes me out of my head, and helps me recognize my thoughts without putting so much weight and meaning on them! I also meditate every morning (not anything intense, just like a 5 minute thing!) Also going on long walks by myself, just getting fresh air really helps me! I really hope as you continue to use your coping skills that your anxiety lessens too!! πŸ™‚

    Reply
  9. Rose

    Just reading the post made me anxious because I hate that feeling! It hits and there is nothing you can do at 3am to find sleep. I love your blog πŸ™‚ i know that doesnt help you but you are already 10 steps ahead of people who are trying to medicate it away. You arent alone, and it helps knowing that Im not alone either!

    Reply
  10. Ally

    I get major anxiety!! To the point where minor things actually cause my FACE to break out in hives. I have found that journaling on a blank word document is extremely helpful. It allows me to get my thoughts out there. Also chamomile tea and taking baths have become a ritual for me. I will add essential oils or flower petals to the bath and light up candles– the full get out, but it’s worked wonders!!

    Reply
  11. adina beaudry

    I get super bad anxiety and more so now than ever. I have yet to figure out what causes it or how to control it. So far i listen to calming music on my “happy playlist” . This or I try to read fantasy books. Its a crippling feeling i know all too well.

    Reply
  12. Caroline

    I also have anxiety. Bad anxiety. I have had it since I was a little girl. My diagnosis is General Anxiety Disorder with Social anxiety. So bad that when I was working at a sandwich shop and during lunch there would be so much going on my heart felt like it was in my throat and my stomach in bad knots. Therefor I would make mistakes and people would treat my like I was stupid. I was prescribed an anxiety medicine sometime after this and it has been a life saver. I still do yoga and job/run especially when it gets worse. Since starting taking it, I can talk to people so much easier. Before it was like I was scared to talk to people I didn’t know, or even look them in the eye. Actually, it was sometimes almost worse with people I did know. But, the medicine is addictive and I’m worried about that. Most people that have never had real anxiety have no idea what it’s like and can’t understand unless they go through it themselves. “what do you have to be anxious about?”

    Reply
  13. Darcy Friesen

    Grrrrr! Anxiety, last night I woke up feeling jittery and sick, so yeah, I know it and it sucks. Excercise, Shutting the “in demons out” with positive thoughts, focusing on other tasks and FORCING myself to spend time with loved ones is basically all that works for me. But, yes we all indulge in the occasionally relaxing beer or rant session…but it is never cured, right? Sorry that you deal with this ugly thing too. Just do your best to look forward, surround yourself with good and loving, trustworthy people and keep on doing what you are doing. Love your posts!

    Reply
  14. Hannah

    I feel compelled to respond to this post. It’s comforting to know that so many normal people suffer from anxiety. In the last year (2012-2013) I suffered from EXTREME anxiety. I was having full blown panic attacks too, several times a day. I even went to urgent care! Everyone from my primary doctor to my therapist convinced me to go on medication. My friends were even pressuring me. I finally gave in…but the side effects were too much for me to handle, even at the lowest dose possible. I have to say that my anxiety and panic attacks did stop though:/ I am finally completely off them, and still feeling anxious at times, but not the extreme anxiety I had before (knock on wood). I will never be fully cured, since it runs in my family, both of my parents have it.

    What I learned about anxiety in the last year…it usually happens to perfectionist type A people like myself, with greater then average intelligence (I read this, not saying I am this:)). I did several self help things over this last year that seem to have helped me 1) bought/listened to ‘Attacking Anxiety and Depression’ CD’s, kind of cheesy at times, but it was helpful to hear the symptoms of anxiety other people had, and I was able to relate to their experiences. Got it on amazon, they sell it through an infomercial, but it’s much more expensive. 2) try and do some type of exercise every day, even a 1 mile walk with my dog…something!! I love to run too, and could run forever it helps so much 3) cut down on caffeine. I actually stopped coffee for a couple months and just drank tea…what a difference. But I am back to a 1/2 cup of coffee now. 4) told people openly about my anxiety so I didn’t feel like I had to hide it. They were very understanding, and I actually found out a close friend had it too. I would have never known! Now we are anxiety venting buddies. 5) try not to make everything such a big deal, and try not to have to be perfect at everything. This one is nearly impossible for me, but the key for my health. 6) therapy 7) try not to over schedule myself, and say no to things. This is really hard as I tend to take on more then I should. 8) Acupuncture 9) Yoga 10) Get lots of sleep and eat healthy.

    Good Luck. We can do this.

    Reply
    1. Lindsay

      I can totally relate. I’m trying to cut down on my caffeine intake and I’m hoping that will help me. I usually try going for a drive or even buying myself a little something that I know is contributing to a healthy lifestyle, like a new nutrition book, an exercise DVD, or new workout clothes. Treating myself to those little things and knowing that I’m taking care of myself and doing something for ME can often help me overcome my anxiety

  15. Meredith Adams

    My “drug” of choice for anxiety is food. I have anxiety a lot, mainly stress. Easily stressed. But I’m trying to not emotionally eat anymore. What really helps control my anxiety is excercise/movement in general (nooo being a couch potato.. that just magnifies the anxiety), eating healthy, journaling, watching a funny movie (Legally Blonde really does the trick) and cuddling with my husband. Avoid the negative, go for the positive. You’re doing all the right things. Also, prayer. Prayer is the best.

    Reply
  16. Amanda

    Thank you for sharing this! I suffer anxiety daily and I am not sure how to deal with it. It’s so bad that anything will set me off. If I eat or do something ill constantly think to myself, “if I do this or eat this will it make me sick? Make me feel bad?” I am such a worrier! I always make myself feel like there’s something mentally and physically wrong with me.There is no way I want to take medication. If you have any advice on ways to help me that would be great, I’ve also thought about going to talk to a therapist, not sure. Thank you again for posting!

    Reply
    1. kirst

      I have this same prob, that constant feeling and stress just sitting there expanding, making everything else in your day a big mess, I can’t seem to switch it off. Though fresh air does work it comes back, sucks really.

  17. Erica @loyalRUN

    I have really bad anxiety. It gets worse at night!! I’m with ya on no pill poppin’… So if you find a solution… Please let me know!!!

    Reply
  18. Kirsten

    Hi Lauryn. I used to have a lot of anxiety when I was younger starting in my teens, then I moved out of the house in late teen years and it went away. Go figure, my family caused it for me. Certain things will make me have anxiety though such as an interview or flying.
    What worked for me was deep, slow breathing. Also rubbing some lavender oil on my temples and under my nose for a calming scent. I also run too and that helps.

    Reply
  19. Maddy

    Hey Lauryn! Great post! Yep, I’ve had anxiety, my ‘last’ anxiety attack was June this year where I had 4 in a row and thought I was dying or something haha. I then figured out I was having an attack and it took me a good 3 hrs for my heart rate to calm down! So in that time I did things that made me feel like I was in control e.g. unpacking my luggage when I moved home, painting my nails, exercise and things like that! My anxiety got triggered at university last year when I felt completely out of control of my degree and finances and I think the anxiety is here to stay, however I can manage it now by recognising an attack and using my strategies to bring myself down.

    It took me 8 months to figure out what was ‘wrong’ with me originally, it actually wasn’t until a friend told me that she thought I had anxiety, then a light bulb shone and everything made sense! So I booked an appointment with a pscyhologist and was in 2 days later! So using the strategies the psychologist gave me (mentioned above) has really helped πŸ™‚ Feeling a lot more in control of my life now and no meds either πŸ™‚

    Wow, that was so much longer than I anticipated!

    Thanks for the insight, you’re not alone πŸ™‚

    xx

    Reply
  20. Vanessa

    I started my blog to help with my anxiety although it’s anxiety that has stopped me from creating a blog in the past. Facing some of my fears has helped but there’s still anxiety there and I rely on loved ones as well as my religion to keep me calm. It’s interesting to see how many people have anxiety and it’s comforting that I’m not alone. Thanks for writing this post and in turn creating awareness.

    Reply
  21. Lilly B

    I love this post! If feels like I just read an excerpt of my own biography!! As strange as this may sound, it’s always a bit comforting to know someone else feels your pain:/

    All the best wishes
    XoXo-Lilly B

    Reply
  22. Lauren

    Sleepytime Vanilla Tea is the best for anxiety! It’s made from chamomile and tastes pretty good!

    Reply
  23. Emily Also ;-)

    I suffered from anxiety until I discovered Paleo (clean eating) and also had IUD removed! I no longer have an elephant on my chest and 1,000 mile a min thoughts. Simple solution, healthy and not to forget I lost 30 lbs πŸ˜‰

    Reply
  24. Kristen

    Hi Lauren! I too suffer from anxiety. It runs in my family, my mom, grandma, sister, grandma’s sister, we all have it. Mine was initially triggered when I got pregnant with my first. Admitting it, and understanding my symptoms were the hardest part to overcome. For me it’s like: don’t touch me, don’t talk to me, I will snap at you (even my poor innocent children), go away. For that reason, I take a small dose of zoloft every day to keep my emotions more stable. I refuse to take anything strong because like you said there are ways to cope rather than resorting to being heavily medicated all the time. The best thing I can do for myself and those around me, first is to be honest with everyone – I basically shout it to everyone, Warning Warning, I am super anxious, sorry if I snap at you, promise it’s me not you. But then to get up and leave the situation and do something else is best. Last case scenario for an extreme situation = get me a beer, and hurry!

    Thanks for being honest about your anxiety! I think a lot more people suffer from it than are willing to accept that fact.

    Reply
  25. Jamie

    Thank you so much for being open about your struggle with anxiety. I have always been a huge fan of your blog and I always knew there was something “different” about it from others because you always seemed so genuine and honest.

    I’ve struggled with anxiety on and off for a number of years. I’ve noticed my anxiety has changed too — there used to be specific triggers or life events, and then sometimes out of nowhere I’d find myself struggling. I try to keep exercise a constant and being with my dog helps (unfortunately he’s with my parents for the time being…).

    I do think a lot of it is about control, especially if something “bad” has happened in your life, it feels like you’re constantly trying to prevent something bad from happening again. I think some people react to events differently and I know I’m the type of person who is always worrying about stuff so something “bad” doesn’t happen.

    I second the person about the baths and oils — it sounds like a really good idea.

    Reply
  26. Rachel

    I read a great book a while back my Dr. Daniel Amen called ‘Change Your Brain, Change Your Life’. I highly recommend it. It will help you understand what’s actually going on in your brain with issues like anxiety, depression, etc. and how to help yourself. I don’t suffer from anxiety personally (except for now and then, I think we all do) but this has helped me understand and empathize with others so I can patiently deal with it if a friend or family member is freaking out! I think you will love it, and follow it up with ‘Change Your Brain, Change Your Body’ …explains how we think about food! Good luck I love your blog!

    Reply
  27. Rocky

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this post today! This very morning I was overwhelmed with anxiety and decided to refresh my take on improving my ways of coping. Up until recently the only way I could cope was to sleep/nap for hours in order to reset my mind and let my body relax. As you can imagine that doesn’t allow very much room for a stable/typical job. Luckily I’ve never been a conventional gal so I’m used to having to adapt to my environment and haven’t struggled to find work. I became Buddhist four years ago and that has helped immensely. I’m much more centered, driven, and relaxed since the practice is rooted in self-reflection and improvement. Lately, I’ve been writing short stories, usually based on the very source of my anxiety and that has also helped immensely. I’m still looking for new ways to deal and am so appreciative of your blog; I loved it before this post but now you just took my admiration to a new level). Thanks for taking a chance and writing about this.

    Reply
  28. Melissa

    I take l-theanine for anxiety. It’s an amino acid and all I can find is good studies about it. It’s ah-mazing.

    Reply
  29. Christina Sinclair

    Have you ever heard of Cranial Sacral Therapy? It is amazing. Look into and if you need a referral let me know. It has changed my life. When I can’t sleep, I need a cranial… I am knocked out! Also, you should get your adrenals checked out. They are responsible for our “flight or fight” response… aka anxiety. I’ve had serious issues in the past, had to be medication for two years (hate it!) , and now I’m completely off. I know what works! Take care xo
    Christina Sinclair recently posted..Could the Key to Your Weight Loss be in Your Blood?My Profile

    Reply
    1. Lauryn

      OMFG!!!! Christina!!! I’m obsessed with Craniosacral therapy- literally, obsessed. I do it once a month- you’ve inspired a whole new post! Totally crediting you. Craniosacral is the most amazing thing ever :-). Thanks for the inspo babe. X.

  30. Alana

    I use a few drops of lavendar or peppermint essential oil in water a lot. especially when im studying for a test its all about the lavendar essential oil in water
    you may digest it or use it on your skin mixed with jojoba, go to whole foods

    Reply
  31. Yoona

    Hi Lauryn, I get it. I’m a full time teacher, masters student, and trying to live the best life possible in terms of health, social life etc, etc… It’s the perfectionist mentalist we are struggling with. I’m starting a blog on philosophical ideas and psychological issues in general ( becoming a clinical counsellor) so you’re welcome to read. My advice is: life is more than our narrow view of it …. It’s all a out perception. You are a kind, wonderful person. It’s clear from your posts. Don’t beat yourself up about the small stuff. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  32. alison

    I have had crippling anxiety for most of my life, however when I was in college living on my own it got really bad. I have found that having no caffeine, high protein diet, daily workouts really help. I also used to have panic attacks from HELL until I had hypnosis which made them stop completely for a long time. You can order hypnosis mp3s from the company I went to at http://www.hypnosisdownloads.com

    Reply
  33. courtstar @ starsystemz

    Whenever I get anxiety I go outdoors and take a walk or pour half a shot of vodka in my soda water there is my natural remedy. I also like my anxiety spray I got at whole foods Bach remedy spray and chews are great I also stopped drinking caffeine and eating sugar both of those helped me out a lot! Lots of calmness your way love ~ shine Courtstar
    courtstar @ starsystemz recently posted..WIAW: Pumpkin Obsessed + Cauliflower Dinner Roll RecipeMy Profile

    Reply
  34. Hilary

    I get it super bad. I definitely get it in phases though. Running and working out are great helps. So is talking to my mom! Also, sometimes I just have a shower, and think about what I’m anxious about. Sometimes I can talk my self down a bit, but other time I just have to wait for tomorrow.
    Its a horrible thing though.
    Hilary recently posted..Trader Joe DoughMy Profile

    Reply
  35. Laura

    this rings so many bells it’s crazy! I get that kind of anxiety – the kind where you get so worried sick that everything else suddenly seems mind-numbingly pointless, which really doesn’t help in the finding-something-else-to-distract-you stakes. That said, when I force myself (and at times like this, a lot of force is needed) to do a workout, it flips everything completely, and I see a hundred different peaceful solutions that just weren’t there before. My other favourite cure-all is a bit of a combo: cup of tea (builder’s, none other), good chick flick, fluffy dressing gown and a little bit of great make-up (yes, I know that last one really doesn’t go with the rest of the image, but it always always makes me feel that little bit better if I’ve made some effort to look pretty).
    Ultimately, I guess there’s no fail-safe one-size-fits-all solution – anxiety is one of those things, a bit like the common cold, that just keeps on coming back in subtly different forms so you always have to work out a different way to knock it on the head. Then again, I think just talking to others/realising that so many people are in the same boat, goes a long way towards scotching it – which is why I’ll definitely be coming back to read your post and the comments here next time the anxiety hits me!
    Thanks for posting about this, really is an under-addressed issue!!
    Laura recently posted..CharactersMy Profile

    Reply
  36. Michellka

    Oh how I understand you. My anxiety attacks started after really long and strong stress situation at work… I thought that when the project would be over I would be happy again, I would sleep well again and eat without feeling to vomit immediately again…. Nop! Even when the project was successfully finished my nightmare continued. Now after several years it is better but still not like before and I have my “bad days”.

    What helped me except the things you already mentioned:
    Dancing – going with friends to disco, listen to the loud music and let your body respond… or dancing lessons – port de bra, orient, this really helps my body to express itself and get “it” out
    Shopping – yes, pair of new shoes or new lipstick is sometime the best cure for woman soul, however not a cheap one
    Infra-sauna – my god, how I love my infrasauna – yes, I bought one after trying it several times and I have it at home now. Best spent money ever! I switched my 1 or 2 or… glasses of wine in the evening for the heat and it really helped me to stop thinking, worrying and I could finally sleep. Plus it is very good for skin, detox and losing some fat πŸ™‚
    Funny books, movies, series and reality shows in TV – laughing helps to release the tension. I always find some good comedy series online that makes me fun (like 2 broke girls…) and watch it online, 2-3 episodes in the evening make me relax.

    Of course I also run and exercise a lot which helps but yoga and meditation doesn’t πŸ™
    Also I tried herb pills for sleeping and homeopathic pills for anxiety that have no side effects and it quite helps too.

    Good luck to everyone who has to fight this. Cheer up!
    With Love
    Michelle

    Reply
  37. My Lovely Life and More

    Hi Lauryn,

    I love this post, it’s so honest and a very brave move. I think a lot of women suffer from anxiety as most of us are trying to a fit 30 hours of ” to do’s” in a 24 hour day. I also suffer from anxiety and panic attacks and agree with the feeling that it totally sucks!!! Besides running and doing yoga here are two things I have found that have really helped me. I try to meditate as much as possible and especially when I know I have a really crazy week ahead. When I started having anxiety several years ago, I had some blood work done. I found out that I have low blood sugar and that by B12 levels were low. Since then I have been taking supplements (not medication and I refuse to take any kind of medicine for this!) and it really had helped me. I notice when my sugar level is low and I am certain to fell anxious or have a panic attack. Just keep breathing, take each day one step at a time and run, run, run.
    Cheers!!!!

    Reply
  38. Sally

    I have had times of frightening anxiety in work and social situations. It wasn’t until I discovered a natural supplement called Laminine that my whole world changed. I got the real me back who was once confident, healthy and fearless. It contains all 22 amino acids and FGF the body needs to rebuild and rebalance. There is nothing on the market like it and it is an absolute life changer. Plus it is 100% natural.

    Reply
  39. Rachel

    First of all, you should know that anxiety and depression are two of the most diagnosed mental health issues in our country. Overall, we’re an anxious nation. So, know that you are definitely not alone. Secondly, a good psychiatrist or psychologist will tell you that to treat anxiety you essentially have two options, pills or exercise. Exercising, having a good support system, and good sleep hygiene are all legitimate ways to deal with anxiety symptoms. Ultimately though, when I feel anxious (sometimes with no apparent cause) the only real solution is to take it to God. It’s amazing. Prayer, meditation and getting his perspective on things is life altering and brings so much peace. I’m a grad student in psychology; I know what the treatments are and I know the most current studies. There is a lot that counseling and therapy and simply living well can do, but I have found that nothing can do what he can. 1 Peter 5:7

    Reply
    1. Deeyarah

      Amen to everything you said! Everything aside from what Jesus Christ can do for anxiety is a temporary fix. I suffered from anxiety, depression and oppression for a long time. Looking at me you couldn’t tell but it was a tormenting struggle. One that’s too familiar to women, and young women, and one that is dangerously kept quiet. It wasn’t until I surrendered to Christ and developed a relationship by talking to Him in prayer: releasing the stress, the pain, the pressure, the concerns, the worry, the anxiety to Him that things changed. Completely. There are moments when stressful things happen, and the pressure is on, and worry tries to creep in but immediately I turn to Christ, and get under His covering with His Word. There is no peace like His.

  40. Charlotte

    Guided meditation all the way! I thought it was cheesy or hokey at first, but it absolutely changed everything once I started learning and incorporating solid breathing techniques and visualizing myself into a less stressy place. Good luck, babe!

    Reply
  41. Amanda

    The easiest way I have found to deal with it, is to know what my triggers are… I have to have organization and structure; however, life isn’t always so structured. What helps me is to go run/walk, light a candle and read a book, or get out my feelings by writing them down.

    Reply
  42. Jac

    Hi Lauryn! I love your blog, and I especially love this post! I, like many other commenters, have dealt with anxiety for pretty much my entire life. I seriously used to have panic attacks in grade school because I couldn’t decide what to wear to school. Thankfully, picking out clothes is no longer an anxiety trigger, but with age comes a whole slew of new things to worry about (money, job, relationships, etc.). I find that exercise, running especially, really helps me. I do currently take anti-anxiety medication, but I would love to go off of it eventually (I’ve taken something for anxiety for probably at least the last 15 years…). Best of luck to you and thanks for sharing your anti-anxiety tips! πŸ™‚

    Reply
  43. Heather

    I’ve had anxiety for over half my life (started after my father unexpectedly passed when I was 11) and I can honestly say, I completely relate. It can feel debilitating at times and like it takes over your whole life. Everything you’re doing to release the stress is positive, however, finding the ROOT of your anxiety, is really where you are going to find your peace. In some cases, it is biological, but understanding where it comes from, what triggers it, and how you can better deal with it, is really what is going to help you cope in the long run. This might mean talking to a therapist or counselor. If you find the right one, they are completely compassionate and can help you see from the outside in, so to speak.

    In the meantime, when you feel the anxiety creeping in, stop what you’re doing right then and there. Shut everything out by closing your eyes, focus on your breathing, and relax your muscles. Find a mantra (“this too shall pass”, “I am in control of my emotions” etc…). Prayer has also really helped me, if you’re into that. Good luck!

    Reply
  44. Mallory

    I can definitely understand where you’re coming from! There are a lot of situations that make me anxious but the top are: being in large, dynamic, loud crowds, a lot of people talking to/around me at once, trying to do more than two things at a time, speaking in front of any size audience, not repeatedly checking little things like locked doors, whether my clothes are hanging correctly and whether something I put in my purse is still in there, etc (yes, I know a little crazy and a little OCD), heavy city traffic and ferris wheels (no joke, can’t ride them – I can do roller coasters, ziplines any other heights but something about ferris wheels makes me hyperventilate). Mostly, aside from the OCD tendencies, it stems from tasks that I’m not good at, that I, as an introvert, have never been good at, but I sometimes wonder if my anxiety is what makes me bad at them?? Chicken or egg, seriously?? Idk! If I know I’m going to be in a situation that will cause me anxiety, I make sure that I don’t intake a lot of caffeine before or eat a large meal, both of which exacerbate my anxiety symptoms. Obviously, this depends on the situation but I try to make sure I’m dressed very comfortably (no outfits where I have suck in or watch my neckline when bending over a desk, 5 inch heels, etc). These are ways I try to avoid it. To deal with it once it’s happened, I try to get away from people if I can and have few moments by myself where I can breathe/read the bible/pray/listen to very slow, soft classical or instrumental music. These might be obvious but they seem to be tried and true along with breathing into a paper bag, laying down with a fan on – these just aren’t always practical.

    Reply
  45. Holly J

    I get anxiety from time to time and deal with it with many of the same things you do. For the most part, I feel like anxiety stems from past traumas that occurred early in life. I feel like even if you have dealt with those traumas (they can be big or small) things that remind us of those times, even if only mildly and/or subconsciously, can set us on the road to anxiety. I think pill popping just prevents us from dealing with feelings, so I’m not a fan. I believe in exercise, healthy eating, journaliing and prayer. Only if anxiety is severe do I think it’s helpful or necessary to seek chemical assistance and even then I think it should be done with caution and the intent to make it temporary.
    Holly J recently posted..Nailed It: How to Create Fun But Classy NailsMy Profile

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  46. emily

    Hey girl, I feel ya with the anxiety. It slowly sucks me in until my hands are literally shaking and my mind’s running in circles! Things that help me are working out to burn off that negative energy, eating clean and also getting acupuncture. Find someone legit that has study acupuncture for a LONG time! I was skeptical of this at first but it really has helped to balance my energy. And just remember the anxiety is only temporary… This to shall pass.

    Peace & Love,

    emily
    emily recently posted..Latest Beauty FindsMy Profile

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  47. Sim @ The Micro Harvest

    It’s really brave of you to share your struggle with anxiety! I have also experienced anxiety for as long as I can remember, but was always able to “manage” it by controlling my lifestyle. It helped me feel better to control the things I could control, and that lessened the anxiety a bit over the things I couldn’t. Over the past 6 months it got so intense that I wasn’t able to deal w/ it on my own with things like exercise, clean diet, sleep, etc. I started to see an amazing therapist who helped me get to the core feeling that was causing my anxiety – a feeling I didn’t even know I had because my focus was always on the effect {the anxiety} rather than the cause {this feeling/lie I tell myself}. Dealing with the cause/root of my anxiety through therapy has been very helpful – more so than any “lifestyle” change I ever made in the past!! Seeing a therapist definitely doesn’t mean you have to take medication. And just remember, anxiety is the fear of something that is not real in this moment. Hope this helps!

    Reply
  48. Kylie

    Hii pretty!! Anxiety is the worst, but I feel like the Enneagram has helped me realize when I’m acting out of fear, anxiety, etc. and it helps you identify and realize how to control it — or at least for me. Just thought I would let you know because it has helped me A LOT. hope this helps. xx. Ky

    Reply
  49. Olivia

    I recently decided to stop taking my anti-anxiety medication, and have since been working on finding natural remedies. I guess the positive side of struggling with anxiety is that it prompts us to take better care of ourselves! When I was on medication, I felt fine, so I had less incentive to exercise, meditate, or eat healthfully. My strategies are the same as yours and as many of the other women who have posted comments. I switched from coffee to green tea and am trying to keep my stress levels down in general. I have been reading a book called The Hormone Cure by Dr. Sara Gottfried. She talks about common hormone imbalances (many of which can cause anxiety) and how to cure them through a combination of lifestyle changes, natural supplements, and amino acids. I also purchased something that she suggested in her book – the . The skeptic in me still wonders if it’s a gimmick, but it has been helping so far, so…who cares?

    Reply
    1. Olivia

      I recently decided to stop taking my anti-anxiety medication, and have since been working on finding natural remedies. I guess the positive side of struggling with anxiety is that it prompts us to take better care of ourselves! When I was on medication, I felt fine, so I had less incentive to exercise, meditate, or eat healthfully. My strategies are the same as yours and as many of the other women who have posted comments. I switched from coffee to green tea and am trying to keep my stress levels down in general. I have been reading a book called The Hormone Cure by Dr. Sara Gottfried. She talks about common hormone imbalances (many of which can cause anxiety) and how to cure them through a combination of lifestyle changes, natural supplements, and amino acids. I also purchased something that she suggested in her book – the Heart Math emWave device (http://www.heartmath.com/). The skeptic in me still wonders if it’s a gimmick, but it has been helping so far, so…who cares?

  50. Anna

    I used to have really bad anxiety until I started practicing YOGA!!!! Now I rarely get it and when I do I know how to breathe! I’m starting my yoga teacher training this fall I love it so much!

    Reply
  51. Courtney

    So many people deal with this and don’t discuss it, so thanks for opening up a discussion. I like the usual to help my anxiety: running, hot yoga and some healthy foods (my anxiety tends to trigger bad food habits, and adding food guilt to anxiety just makes it worse. Avoid!), but reading is what works best for me. Anything: books, news, gossip. It’s a nice reminder that the world is still spinning, including mine, and I’ll move past whatever is causing me anxiety.

    I love hearing all these recommendations, thanks guys!

    Reply
  52. Alison @ The Fit Chronicles

    Ok, moment of truth: I used to SERIOUSLY suffer from anxiety. I lived in NYC, worked at an investment bank, and had a strong hatred of the subway. EVERYTHING made me anxious and it ended up with me psyching myself into thinking I was having a heart attack and needed an EKG. The anxiety felt like something I’d never get past and would just have to deal with all my life. Having a naturally nervous husband didn’t make it any better.

    Fast forward to today: I now live in Miami and am a personal trainer (and yes, I’m still married!). I specialize in pre-natal and post-natal fitness, so I get to work with happy pregnant women every day. I had to sit back, take recon on my life, and figure out where I was so miserable. I quit finance and never looked back, and guess what?! My anxiety is almost non-existent today. Yes, I get the occasional I’m-so-stressed-how-will-I-get-anything-done mood, but nothing compares to that crippling, unsettling, chest-tightening feeling.

    I feel for ya, girl. There might be some things in your life worth auditing and editing to make things sunnier for you. GOOD LUCK AND DON’T FORGET TO BREATHE!

    Alison
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  53. Jenni

    Thanks for this post and thanks for all the commentors. Its nice not to feel alone. What I always do is journal. When I write down all the reasons I’m freaking out its easy to go back and see how trivial they are, or how done and over with they are. It helps to analyze what’s making me upset so I can move past it and get over it. Don’t give it power, just address it then move on. For the most part it works. I also tell myself “OK you’ve had this feeling before and you eventually got over it, so let it go now.” Also I researched cognitive behavioral therapy and am continuing to practice it. It’s hard but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. P.S. watch a light hearted, cheesy 80’s movie, they’re awesome.

    Reply
  54. Katie

    I have terrible anxiety too – so much so that my health suffers. At one point in my mid twenties I had such bad anxiety that the only thing I could eat with out getting sick was plain bread, bananas, and jello. Not fun! These days to calm down I do many of the things you posted, running, napping, eating healthy, cocktails with friends. But sometimes the best remedy is learning to say “no”. Sometimes even if saying no to work, friends, family, or other things gives me more anxiety, I have to listen to myself, say no, and take a day for myself to read, relax, and to remember what makes me happy. Good luck, you’re not alone! xoxo Katie

    Reply
  55. Kiah

    Like you and a lot of other people who have commented here, I also have anxiety. I am a control freak and am slightly introverted, the combo of these two things can be catastrophic when you throw a dash of anxiety into that soup. I have found a few things that help me cope and get through panic attacks and general melt downs, I hope these are helpful:
    1. breathing exercises: If I am panicking or freaking out I either put my feet on the ground (if i’m in a chair) or sit on the ground and take deep slow Ujjayi breathes and think about how grounded I am to the world around me physically and through my breathing. This is the best solution to panic attacks I find.
    (Ujjayi breathing technique check it out here: http://www.yogajournal.com/practice/768)
    2. Focus on Wellness: This is about balance and enjoying life. I try to live healthy, but I also try not to over stretch myself. I try to listen to my body and take moments to reward myself and appreciate my life.
    3. Find Support!: Surround yourself with people who know how capable and strong you are, people who when you have a melt down or panic attack will be there to tell you how awesome you are and how you will get through it. If you don’t have support and positive reinforcement it is easy to get lost in the anxiety and let it defeat you.

    Reply
  56. dana

    I love reading posts like this. Real posts- where people say how they actually feel and talk about the hard things in life. I used to get panic attacks on a daily basis when I was younger – had to be with my mom 24/7 even when I was a bit old to be doing so.. but somehow, she helped. so she was my cure. I do for SURE get the hungover anxiety when I drink (which is rare, because I hate that feeling so I don’t like to drink heavily). Funny thing you posted this.. I was having the worst anxiety this week – and thought I was going nuts. I haven’t found the best outlet for it yet.. working out doesnt always help. Usually just being with friends family makes it all better for me – living far away from my mom is hard for me when this happens. Thanks for posting this – so helpful and really makes me realize that everyone goes through this.

    The Casual Classic
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  57. Julia

    Meditation.

    It has def helped with my anxiety. Normal breathing technique such as imagining pure white light being breathed in and ugly black cloud of smoke out (Impurities). Even if for 5-10min.
    I have had anxiety for a couple of years now. Sometimes, I may feel it may be a Vitamin B deficiency. Other times I feel effin crazy (I mean, gdamn you anxiety). I drink chamomile tea, too. I hope this helps.

    Reply
  58. Kaitlyn

    YOGA! You have absolutely got to go to a HOT power vinyasa class (Baptiste is my choice). I have struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember and power yoga changed my life.

    Reply
  59. Jessie

    I have found psychotherapy really helpful in order to understand where my anxiety comes from. Having an understanding of why the anxiety is there makes it more tolerable. Anxiety is a message about a deeper feelings that are going on inside. its actually good to identify the anxiety since then you can begin to work with it. If you can afford psychotherapy, it is the best investment you can make in yourself. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  60. nicola

    Fellow anxiety sufferer here and i work as an occupational therapist in a mental health team in the UK so really ought to take some of my own advice! On top of the things you’ve mentioned i would add breathing exercises and relaxation techniques (lots of stuff on you tube) and something called mindfulness based cognitive therapy – popular here in the UK and it’s amazing – really works. Finally i try to tell myself that it is just a feeling (albeit distressing and hugely uncomfortable, but it will pass), alongside asking myself like that old Dr pepper advert (can i mention soda on this blog?!) “what’s the worst that can happen?” usually helps me to get thongs into perspective, and if the worst does happen, what and who will help me to cope with that? That’s my two cents worth x

    Reply
  61. GinGin

    Running, yoga, cooking, and watching reruns on Netflix with my cat always helps! I get super bad anxiety and insomnia so I can definitely relate to this post. I actually love to focus my energy into making some really complicated, intense new dish! Looking up ingredients and cooking techniques and then actually executing the recipe keeps my energy focused and in check.

    Reply
  62. Samantha

    Yoga! Especially an outdoor class. Getting outside in general can be just what the doctor ordered. I’m lucky enough to live in California, so I can hike, ski and surf all year round. For times I’m REALLY freaking, Bach’s Rescue Remedy is amaze! It’s an all natural blend of flower essences that come in a few different forms (drops, gum, spray). It even stands up to the real test and gets me through my constant cross country flights (I’m a total white-knuckle flyer) without hitch.

    Reply
  63. Katie

    I have really bad anxiety and panic attacks. What helps me is a daily yoga practice, walking, meditation, tapping (EFT), and healthy eating. When I feel anxiety getting ready to rear its ugly head, I will do one of those, and will also take a lavender bath and drink lavender chamomile tea while watching reruns of How I Met Your Mother. Something about that show just really calms me down. Also, limiting alcohol consumption during that time really helps me cope. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  64. ashley

    Love this… so many people suffer from things like this and don’t even know what it is! Love your honesty!

    Reply
  65. Natalie

    Hi Lauryn,

    Thanks for this post. As a fellow anxiety sufferer, I feel your pain. I find that I need to really watch my caffeine intake, because it seems to induce irritability and anxiety attacks for me, even just a cup of coffee! A tip someone gave me many years ago is to literally write (or use that awesome notepad iPhone app) exactly how you are feeling, what’s bothering you, no matter how ridiculous it may seem at the time, or write and ramble on about anything that you want. You’ll find that often your anxiety will subside in like 15-20 minutes. And sometimes, just laying down with a cup of tea helps. Unfortunately I’ve gotten bad panic attacks and needed to take pills, but I prefer not to take them because they make me foggy. I’d rather take a natural approach as well, and train my body to calm itself down by itself again.

    Reply
  66. H.

    Hi Lauryn,

    Unfortunately, I suffer from an extreme anxiety condition as well. I can’t believe you wrote it up here, but it made me feel better to see that you have it too. Gave me a sort of anxiety as well. I have to pop pills or I can’t function. It got to the point where I couldn’t leave the house. I usually have to drive myself places as well so I feel in control of where I am going. Have you ever tried Bach remedies? I have been using them for years…who knows if they work. I sadly carry emergency chill pills, Tums, and Bach Rescue Remedy with me at all times.

    Xoxo. Heidi

    Reply
  67. lyn

    I totally relate. Especially lately. When you say crippling I know what you mean. I have been on my knees this week with anxiety. Sometimes anxiety is around for no reason, at the moment it’s financial/career shit. I take St Johns wart which helps, back flowers take the edge of and EFT tapping also helps. EFT is something you need to do every day for it to really work which I am crap at. Last night I was so bad and I knew I needed to tap but when you’re really in it, you don’t want to do anything. But I did. I tapped on the emotions I was feeling. At first it made it worse and I was bawling my eyes out and then after about 5 mins i felt calmer, my heart rate slowed down and I could go to sleep. Look at The Tapping Solution online if you don’t know about it.
    Have you tried Kinesiology? Another thing that came up for me in kinesiology was that some of my minerals where out of wack. My magnesium, B6 and copper were low and this can cause anxiety and depression.

    Reply
  68. jasmineflowers

    Kava the pure kind from Kona HI is amaze. Its not something use everyday but its calming properties are unmatched. Its best after a sweaty workout you can mix the fresh kava juice with pure coconut water and anxiety is gone. I have also used the pure extract before a long day at work and honestly nothing fazed me.

    Reply
  69. Danielle

    Thank you for this post. Anxiety is often hard to talk about. I think I’ve always been an anxious person (easily getting overwhelmed – keeping in my feelings certainly didn’t make it better!), but it definitely got worse in college. Sometimes the idea of going to a class would be enough to make my stomach ache. Luckily, I found relief through working out at the gym, laughing with friends, and spending some quiet time in the library (not studying – reading or writing for pleasure). Some days, post-college – it’s tough. I still have trouble expressing my feelings sometimes, and I often feel guilty about little things. I try to take it all one day at a time.

    Best,
    Danielle
    http://awriterinlove.blogspot.com
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  70. Deborah

    Hey Lauren,

    So i don’t even know where to begin to this post other than by saying it makes me so happy to know that you are able to show your real self and that you struggle with something like anxiety. That in its self takes courage!

    So, I suffer from major anxiety and I don’t know why. I totally know the feeling of waking up after a long night of drinking and just having that crippling anxiety where i am so ashamed I want to die… but in reality … i don’t even know why. I honestly don’t know what anxiety is from and it comes around often for me even if things are fine in my life I will just have panic attacks and then i’ll feel like I can’t breath and then before I know it i’m balling my eyes out and mad at the ones i love the most …but not even knowing why. I have found from my experience that sometimes certain things triggerg it like things people say or do or situations in life that happen and it gets me worked up and i go into full blown panic attack. Running used to be a huge anxiety outlet for me but my knees have gotten bad from running so much that I can’t anymore. I also have my prayer journal and I pray to God about everything! Another thing which has really made a difference in my life is when I used to live in San Diego I went to this amazing church called C3 San Diego and now that I am back in Texas I really try and take advantage of there FREE podcasts on my phone as i’m driving to work. No one in my family gets it and no one really understands when I get it…I don’t even understand but I do get it and it sucks… and I wish that I didn’t suffer from it so I can really relate to what you are going through. Sometimes, I think to much and over analyze things or situations and that can trigger it as well and also when something happens that reminds me of a child hood issue I had that makes it come out again. Either way I understand what you are going through and think it’s awesome you posted this because I have been dealing with one today since I got home from work and reading your post was like God wanted me to see other people deal with this too. I know your not into pills but xanax really helps… just saying.

    Reply
  71. Em

    I have anxiety since high school, through law school, and through the bar exam. It’s been with me every day for the last 10+ years. I have learned to cope and deal and in some ways appreciate it. It keeps me focused, organized, and busy. That being said, it can also be debilitating. When I stop taking care of myself (don’t get enough sleep, don’t exercise, don’t give myself “me” time) it can come to a head to the point where I am more or less spiraling and can’t get a frickin grip. When that happens I pretty much need a day, or maybe even a week to reset. The moral of my story at least is to take care of yourself. Anxiety can me a useful tool if you know how to manage it, but if you let go it can be your worst nightmare. I have taken medication in the past, but also prefer not too. Not that i knock it, whatever helps, DO IT. Running pretty much got me through law school and the bar exam, I do not think I would have been able to keep it together without that outlet. Of course I like to run because it is good for me and keeps me in shape. But the real reason I do it every day is so that I can keep my head on straight.

    Reply
  72. Jessica

    High five to you for putting yourself out there! I have found that sugar dramatically increases my anxiety. The most beneficial options for me are mindful breathing, running outside, and a small dose of zoloft. For me, zoloft takes the edge off. I have also suffered from ulcerative colitis, and I truly believe in the mind-gut connection. Several years ago, I discovered the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. I had no health insurance, and I was literally bleeding to death from the inside out. As you can imagine, my anxiety was at an all time high. Cleaning up my diet saved my life. I’m not hardcore about it now, but I bet if I devoted the time to SCD again, I could get off the med. Thank you for your post.

    Reply
  73. Liz

    Hey girls-
    I know it can be hard to think about putting medications in your body but remember that anxiety is actually caused by a chemical imbalance. Most times, if you have Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), you have low levels of the neurotransmitter gabapentin. While many people are able to control their anxiety by strategies you all listed (yoga, meditation, exercise, etc), for some people dealing with it on their own can actually make the anxiety worse (ex. getting anxious about not being able to deal with anxiety even though other people can). So if you do have a problem with anxiety that you can’t control, don’t be afraid to seek help.
    Good luck!

    Reply
  74. Sophie

    I have a super anxious personality type, have since I was little. Sometimes just writing out everything that I’m anxious about really helps (sounds lame, just trust)- or sometimes letting all my anxiety out in front of my boyfriend (embarrassing yes. cathartic, yes.) helps as well. I will also totally admit I am in therapy once a week letting it all out. Basically, the more I hold it in and try and control it, the worse it gets. Sometimes I have to cut out caffeine when I’m feeling extra anxious. Doing things to take care of myself WITHOUT MAKING MYSELF FEEL GUILTY! really helps. I love that you are brining this up, it takes guts and people need to hear this more.

    Reply
  75. Sarah

    A good therapist/counselor. I was lucky and I love the first one I found, but many people have to go through a few before finding a fit. But once you find them, they’ll be your rock. You have to go in with a very open mind. After a session, I feel so energized and revived. From 0-18 I had severe social anxiety. I am now 25 and the social anxiety is 100% gone (went away on it’s own for the most part), but I have generalized anxiety now and refuse to take pills. I started going to a therapist 6 months ago. She’s given me the tools to get rid of anxiety and I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t go to her. I owe her everything!

    Reply
  76. Marysa

    I get awful anxiety at night, and melatonin is what helps calm me down so I can actually fall asleep. Some brands give me weird/crazy dreams but most of them work great. I never wake up in the middle of the night & feel rested in the morning.

    Reply
  77. Liz

    SO I have major anxiety issues. Like you, they date back to before I can remember.

    I’ve also had a really rough last three months (bad car accident – like staples in the head, suv was totaled type one), my apt had to be gutted because of termites (everywhere in New Orleans) and I was homeless a month, one of my closest friends unexpectedly took her own life and most recently my car is a lemon so no I have to file suit against the car co because they are not working with me.

    Sounds rough right?! My secrets in addition to all the things you mentioned above without having to rely on pills … eating very little processed foods, lots of power yoga, meditating and journaling. The yoga and meditating help calm me back down. So much. I’m a junkie to them both. The journaling helps me to just let it all out, be honest with myself, face how I’m feeling and it taught me that we really don’t have control … as much as we try to exert it over a person or situation, everything can change in an instant.

    Not sure if you’re in to Uni-verse type stuff, but Spirit Junkie (followed by her other two books) by Gabrielle Bernstein REALLY got me through this summer. Just wanted to throw that out there because you never know πŸ™‚

    Hope this helps! <3

    Reply
  78. Karolina

    I’m dealing with anxiety for a long time. Unfortunately I end up visiting professional therapist to learn how to control it. In my case, anxiety is followed by strange pain in my chest and for this, the only remedy that I have found up to now is sleep or just meeting people – I focus on others and somhow I just forget about it.
    I’m trying to find roots of this feeling and rather work with them then just deal with outcomes. The thing which helps me to let off steam and stress is exhaustive run or workout.
    Hope, one day all of us will manage to deal with our fears πŸ™‚
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  79. Cassie

    I also have really crazy anxiety. It gets really bad when I feel like I don’t have enough time to get everything done or I haven’t worked out or will have to skip a workout.

    I find eating really clean settles my nerves. My dr has me on anxiety pills, but I don’t think they do a thing. Yoga helps A TON.

    xo

    Reply
  80. Michelle

    I am a mental health professional (nationally certified school psychologist, masters from Columbia).
    I have battled with anxiety and would be happy to speak more on the issue professionally and personally!
    I have found two big things helpful:
    1) mindfulness based stress reduction. It’s a course developed by a big time physician. Changed my life. If you can’t find or afford it, try “peace is every step” by thich nat hanh (hope I spelled correctly!) or “wherever you go, there you are” by John kabot zinn (again, double check my spelling but it’s everywhere on amazon.)
    — similarly, try serious yoga nidra and meditation classes– but support your practice with self study
    2) work with a therapist trained in rational emotive behavior therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy. When you call around, ask if they have this training– studies show this to be effective and I have trained with the best– this works, especially when combined with a meditation or mindfulness practice.

    Hope that is helpful– that is professionally and personally informed, sound advice πŸ™‚
    Best, m
    Xo

    Reply
  81. Regina H

    I can completely relate. I’ve suffered from anxiety for most of my life but really had no idea there was a clinical reason I freaked out so much. I recently found a phenomenal therapist and started low dose drug therapy. (Not for everyone…I totes understand!) Sometimes I pray when i’m feeling super anxious. I had a touch moment this weekend and ended up watching almost an entire season of Homeland. It just happened to be the thing that distracted me at the moment.
    Thank you so much for posting about your experience!

    Reply
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  83. Jackie

    Thank you for writing this and sharing your feelings! I have pretty bad anticipatory anxiety since January this year. It was triggered due to a move from Germany to the NYC area. The isolation has been very hard on me and as it turns out it is almost impossible to find a job in this area without contacts. So I am struggling with trying to find a job, adjusting to a new culture and having waaaay to much time to think. I started therapy and it has helped me a little. The other thing I love is running with my dog. Anxiety is triggered because your limbic system in your brain is misintpreting signals and starts releasing adrenalin. It is in a constant fight-or-flight mode and that is why running is the best thing you can do to minimize the effect as from an evolutionary standpoint that would be the reasonable thing for a human being to do when danger is imminent. You should also cut back on alcohol because it actually worsens the anxiety even though you feel like it is relaxing (I do love my wine too). I also tried mediation, but it I experienced that it does not do the trick for the kind of anxiety I am dealing with. It actually makes it worse. Massages and acupuncture have helped me too.
    Thanks again for posting this!

    Reply
  84. Brittany

    I have the exact same type…sometimes it just FEELS like something is wrong even when its not! I’ll go through a checklist in my head like…OK work is good, I’m caught up on school stuff, I’m not fighting with my husband, bills are paid, etc, but I can’t explain WHY I still feel on edge. Like you said, going to the gym has been the only natural thing I’ve ever found that helps. Running usually does, but when my anxiety is really bad, sometimes I’m too keyed up to even run, I just can’t stop my mind from racing. Yoga by far has helped the most…I used to have a lot of negative physical symptoms as a result of my anxiety like back and shoulder pain, and headaches, and yoga has helped a lot of that. I do the herbal supplements too, especially to help sleep because my anxiety is worst at night. Honestly though there are times when nothing has helped but prescribed meds, even though I hate taking those and don’t like to feel dependent on anything. But generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is definitely a mental health issue, a lot of people just ignore it or think we are complaining or misdiagnose as depression (I’ve heard that one a lot- how many times I’ve had to say “I’m not depressed, I’m ANXIOUS”!). But whatever you decide to do about it know you aren’t alone! It sucks how people without it don’t really get the feeling but I definitely know what its like, and I think at least by living healthy lifestyles we are doing as much as we can to combat the symptoms.

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  85. jess

    I feel your pain girl. I’ve had anxiety most of my life, thanks mom! (not). It runs in my family. It got even worse when I was 17 and died from a botched appendectomy, blah blah blah whatever. So then I was diagnosed with ptsd as well which made it even more of a shitshow. One time I was driving home from college, had a panic attack, and passed out for few seconds behind the wheel. That’s when I

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  87. jess

    I feel your pain girl. I’ve had anxiety most of my life, thanks mom! (not). It runs on her side of the family. It got even worse when I was 17 and died from a botched appendectomy, blah blah blah whatever. So then I was diagnosed with ptsd as well which made it even more of a shitshow. One time I was driving home from college, had a panic attack, and passed out for few seconds behind the wheel. That’s when I was like “yeahhhh should probably get some help”. Immediately doctors put me on meds because, you know, they know best (sarcasm). I felt like a zombie. I knew I was only masking the prob. So I saw a counselor/lifestyle coach and that has made all the difference. I think exercising and eating well and being and all-around healthy person definitely helps and it gives you a positive attitude, something that is always useful, but you have to go inward to really find the cause of the anxiety, as cheesy as that sounds. And it can be really scary at first but your happiness is so worth it. I’m tapering slowly off the asshole pills my psych prescribed and it’s a real bitch. So if anyone is thinking about taking any medications for a mental disorder, really think about the pros and cons. I’m not saying they don’t work, because they absolutely do for some people, they just really were not for me. And I’m just gonna paraphrase something my counselor said recently : out of all the human emotions, worry is the most useless one there is. It enables you to do nothing but live inside your head. It paralyzes you mentally. I hope this helps someone, because it’s currently helping me. Good luck!

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  88. Fiona

    In a not messed up way, it makes me feel so normal to read about others with anxiety.
    I was diagnosed with Panic Disorder 8 years ago, which for 6-8 months was being in the state of 24/7 panic attack mode. I’ve been on medication the whole time, finally getting myself to a place within the last year where I have started coming off of them.
    Distraction has always been my tool if I feel an attack looming. Putting on a specific tv show that engages my brain, and reading a magazine at the same time or a book. I would also want to be around my bf at the time, but have learnt that depending on others to help stop that feeling ultimately works against you, as you have to be able to create that feeling for yourself. So thankful I finally reached that place after a lot of hard, painful work on myself. No doubt I am predisposed to anxiety, it runs in my family, my upbringing ticks all the boxes to create it and I invest a lot of emotions in people, but I know now I can survive anything πŸ™‚

    As debilitating as it was, for a good 4-5 years, the perspective it helped me gain on life, as well as appreciation for the smallest things, and also for ones sanity, is something I would never trade. I try to help anyone I encounter suffering with anxiety now, as when I was first diagnosed, it was not discussed or known about as it is today.

    Reply
  89. Melissa

    Lauryn,

    These are things I do on the daily to help me stay focused, calm, and living in the moment:

    It all starts from within! I practice yoga for its calming affects on my mind. It’s taken me a while to find some good classes that I like, because every instructor and environment is different…hot yoga is INSANELY detoxing for your mind.

    I also listen to meditation podcasts every night when I go to sleep. I’ve gotten to the point where I can’t get through a whole mediation without falling asleep! Here’s the website : http://www.meditationoasis.com/podcast/listen-to-podcast/
    The meditations are designed for your needs, whether it be deep sleep, letting go, or feeling gratitude.

    It’s all mind over matter πŸ™‚ hope this helps.

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  91. Chloe

    I’ve suffered from social anxiety since before I even knew it existed. When I was little I thought I was just super weird and didn’t know if I would ever get passed it and honestly, there was a long period of my childhood (I’m talking like 6-9 years of age) where I genuinely would of rathered to be dead than live my whole life with it, but now that I know what it is I can understand it and control it more. The more I learnt about anxiety the more I improved but once I decided to channel it all into exercise it all got amazingly better. I’ve been exercising loads for about 2 months and haven’t had any panic attacks since I started. I’ve tried everything (besides therepy and pills) and exercise is definitly the best remedy out there, no question. p.s You’re very inspirational, I love your blog<3

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  92. Jessica

    Hi Lauryn,

    I suffered from anxiety and panic attacks several years back and what worked for me was diversion mostly, doing anything but thinking about or focusing on my anxious thoughts and feelings. Exercise helps, I found eating apples helped…avoiding alcohol (I know bummer) when things were at their worst and relaxation MP3s were a big help as well. I was very against prescription meds as well and was able to avoid them luckily. I found a program called the Linden method and it was very helpful and what I really credit for allowing me to kick my anxiety to the curb.

    Hope you can keep your anxiety at bay and thanks for being so open and honest!
    Jessica recently posted..Linden Method Reviews – Anxiety Cure?My Profile

    Reply
  93. Jill

    thanks for posting! it’s freeing to express when you are dealing with anxiety. i used to have it major, major, major. that sh*t will make you feel cray, cray. anyway, i am so blessed to say that i do not deal with it like i used to. i mean, it got to the point i couldn’t even go to a restaurant or a check out line without it happening … but once i started replacing POSITIVE THOUGHTS whenever the negative ones came around … it started getting better. i also tell my friends who deal with it, just think of butterflies, sunshine and dolphins lol.

    that’s the cure i found, replace positive thoughts when the negative one comes.

    xo-jill

    Reply
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  96. Kristen

    I get anxious all the time as well so I try to take everything just one day at a time! I also try to stay super busy and keep in touch with friends and I love you bake as an outlet (even if I don’t eat it!). Eating well helps a lot because it is one less thing to stress about. I will also type all of my random thoughts out and it helps me to get all of my ideas on paper. Or I will go on Tumblr and read other blogs.

    Reply
  97. Dennis Simsek

    Dealing with anxiety and the many faces of anxiety can be debilitating I agree. The important thing ti remember is that if we can CREATE the fears in our minds that may be causing our anxiety, we can also create a new set of beliefs that will take us past anxiety. I’m big on anxiety solutions so I invite you to visit my own success story and strategies I used at http://www.anxietykey.com thanks again for this great post.
    Dennis Simsek recently posted..3 Important Reasons To Consider Alternatives To Anxiety TherapyMy Profile

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  98. melanie

    working out, running everyday (it’s like taking a handful of xenax), mild dose of an anti-depressant that works for me and benzos ( but only for emergencies!)

    Reply
  99. Christina

    I have just finished your book and absolutely love it and have just been scrolling through the blog and of course love as well! I’ve tried a lot of your beauty and health tips so far and its just day by day but reading this post makes me feel more like ok I’m not abnormal! haha I’ve had celiac disease for the past 12 years and started developing a lot of anxiety the past few years it got to the point of medication but I took my self off my body cant handle meds and definitely therapy with talking and she introduced me to meditation and yoga and just learning how to say No (which is a huge thing for me!) has helped. I can definitely relate to the type A personality its a blessing and also gosh I wish I was more laid back haha Your blog is fabulous and looking forward to keep reading helpful lifestyle posts! πŸ™‚

    Reply
  100. Katie

    i know exactly how you feel sugar, i have just finished my first year of my a-levels, and i get so anxious, i spend most of my time at college alone because i physically can speak to other people. it literally feels like there is someone holding my throat, i can breath or anything, it actually stops me doing things, but i find that surrounding myself with people who i am comfortable with really helps, having people who value and understand you really boosts my confidence, mixing with like-minded people also helps, because i am constantly worried about being shunned for something i do/ like and so finding people who are similar to me really helps! and if i still feel crappy, small amounts of dark chocolate (the muller lite orange and dark chocolate is my fave!)

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  101. Amy

    Essential oils! Lavender is the SHIT. Also journaling, since my anxiety tends to hit at night. I’m an incredible insomniac and my OCD has really controlled the majority of my life, so I take it day by day. I call each day either my YES day or a NO day, and if it’s just going to be a NO day, no matter how much meditating or whatever I do, I give myself permission to indulge and not put so much pressure on myself, since that’s usually when I’m not going to get anything done productivity-wise. So I take my dogs on a long walk, take a bubble bath, watch a really silly old movie like Footloose, and know that tomorrow it will be better. The anxiety always calms down eventually. Being honest about it also helps; for a while all my relationships were getting destroyed by my anxiety because I couldn’t go out or do things with my friends because I was either too tired or having a meltdown. When I told them I struggled with anxiety and was open about what I considered to be a really embarrassing thing, they were all very understanding, and it helped me accept myself. I have learned to embrace the YES days when they happen. I also wake up each morning and say out loud, “Today is going to be a great day. I am in control. I am loved, I am worthy, I am strong, I am beautiful. I GOT THIS.” Most days I feel ridiculous doing it, but it does help set the tone for the day, and I repeat it out loud whenever I feel like I’m going to explode. Sending you lots of love!

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  102. Nicole

    Thank you for posting on this very real issue. I’ve always had anxiety though out my life. I’m 26 now and thought it was time to get it under control. My doctor has prescribed me several medications and none of them seem to work. I’m not into pill popping either (to me taking pills is like trading illness for another type of thing). But regardless of what I thought, my mom and husband encouraged me to try it. So far nothing significant but I hope the medicine helps. I commend you for not taking pills. When anxiety is a daily struggle, sometimes it’s just difficult to get through the day. Love that you aren’t afraid to go go there and talk about serious shit. One of the ways I have to relax is to drink tea, watch Bravo (perfect trash tv), read a good mag, and read my fav blogs. Thank you for being one of those blogs.

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  103. Sara

    Ah I just found this blog! It’s so wonderful and I love the little posts about anxiety, to know that other people have anxiety pop out of nowhere with out any reason is truly comforting. I have such a weird relationship with anxiety. I am such a chill person, but I have irrational anxious tendencies towards certain situations I.e. being on a plane and worrying that there is not a doctor on it in case someone has a heart attack, or being in a movie theater because there are no windows (so silly and annoying, I know). It used to be day to day that I would be on edge, I was put on anxiety meds for almost a year until I said fuck that. In the past 2 years I believe I have learned to control my anxiety and it is so so much better than it was before. Here are the things that I feel have helped me the most:

    -Taking ashwaghanda every day- I interned at an Ayurveda center for over a year and was introduced to this wonderful herb. While interning I did multiple Panchakarma cleanses for my dosha type and those worked wonders!

    -Running/Yoga/Hiking- any form of movement. I feel on edge the most after a day of not working out.

    -Acupuncture- I was such a skeptic on this one until I actually tried it. After my second session I literally hadn’t remembered the last time that I felt that grounded.

    -Tryptophan- I keep a bottle of this near by at all times just in case I feel like I’ll be in an uncomfortable situation or if I am about to fly on a plane. I just take one every so often to relax me.

    -Magnesium powder! So good for you and so good to take especially after a workout.

    -Watching The Daily Show to start my day. It’s always great to laugh in the morning and see people make light of some shitty/obscure situations.

    – Being confident in myself and not over analyzing shit. I found that once I put in more of an effort and take care of myself, I feel energized and more confident/productive; therefore my anxiety on a whole drops.

    -I hope any and all of these help!

    Reply
  104. Livvy

    Meditating helps me! Trust me, I’m SO bad at it (but getting better!) Because I am such an on-edge, always like to be doing something, constantly distracted type of girl. But FORCING myself (with the help of the app “HeadSpace” – his voice is so soothing) to meditate every night; at first 5 then 10 then 15 then…20 minutes (oh yeah baby!) has helped me dramatically. It’s great for slowing down, breathing and pulling me back when I’m charging at life too fast. Let me know if you have any good meditation apps!

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  107. Lisa Turner

    Where can I but gelatin caps very low on cash. What brand what kind for max benefits

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  109. KC h

    I usually feel comforted by writers who share their own struggles with anxiety. As a mental health professional and someone who deals with anxiety – let’s try not to stigmatize mental illness with phrases like “pill popping”. Everyone’s treatment is different and some people need meds to function effectively even for a short period of time. Plus there are huge differences between a Benzodiazepine (I.e. XanaX) and other medications taken to HELP to alleviate symptoms over the longer term (xanax etc brings immediate help for panic etc while other meds such as SSRI do not have an immediate physical effect). Anyway – I am glad to see writers talking about their own anxieties and mental illness and bringing it to the surface. I would just hate to see someone who is super vulnerable at the moment not seek professional help bc they may see taking medication as weak. A lot of times anxiety is hardwired into a person bc of genetics, trauma, etc. and needs medication (just like any other illness) to be treated so the person can be stable enough to get the therapy/help they need. Thanks !

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