How to deal with anxiety naturally

 

In this post, I’m sharing my personal story with anxiety and panic disorder – as well as how to deal with anxiety naturally. This dealing with anxiety story is very personal so please remain positive in the comments. Ask any questions – I’ll try my best to answer them based on experience!

How to deal with anxiety naturally

None of you know this (many of my friends don’t either) but I have been dealing with anxiety for the past year and a half. I was diagnosed with panic disorder back in February 2011. I’m pretty sure I have gotten it well managed and under control and I have been panic attack free all year (some times, it’s gotten close to one, but I managed to keep it at bay).

Monsters Under my Bed

Sensory Perception

 

Most of my anxiety that I deal with comes from heightened sensory perception. Ironic, huh, since the name of my blog is sensual appeal..

Having a heightened sensory perception basically means that a person is overly conscious of body functions that usually go unnoticed because they are automatic, for example breathing.

When I was in the beginning of dealing with my new-found anxiety, I found it hard to manage. I was overly conscious of how I was breathing, constantly thinking I wasn’t breathing the right way – which freaked me out further, making me think I’m gonna die, which would in turn spiral me into panic mode. It was a never-ending exhausting cycle. It was terrible.

Eventually though, I learned to control it more and more. I am happy to say that I have been a lot less anxious over the past couple of months, which I am also indirectly linking to this blog. It has helped me talk about whatever was on my mind and focusing on being healthy instead of sitting in my head and overanalyzing everything that might be wrong with me.

However, I have also become a hypochondriac over that time and still am to an extent. Google is not helping here, of course. With searching for symptoms and their possible reasons and the diseases that could be linked to these symptoms, anxiety can only get worse, not better.

The reason for writing this post is because I was feeling pretty anxious tonight. I felt lightheaded during my second workout, slow cardio (which I don’t really even call a workout, it’s just a way for me to get more movement in my day since most of my day is spent sitting).

I got home after ending it a couple of minutes early and I went straight to the fridge to make myself food. Food helps. It’s comforting and I have been on a lower calorie range (but not too low) and I thought it might have been because my body is adjusting to the increased movement and decreased calorie consumption.

Thankfully tomorrow is a rest day and I am not planning on doing anything but walking (when necessary). I need the rest.

[2014 edit: this post was written in 2012 when I was still in my chronic dieting mentality. I have since stopped dieting. I do NOT think the behavior I wrote about with twice-a-day workouts is healthy. My blog is now a healthy living blog focused on intuitive eating AND balance]

How to deal with anxiety naturally

So I wanted to share with you guys some ways in which I deal with anxiety, especially when I start thinking about my body reaction and sensations and my hypochondriac self starts thinking I might be having a heart attack/gonna pass out/etc, so that I don’t freak myself out further and therefore not going into panic mode.

Here are some things I do that help me take control of my anxiety in those situations:

    • Drink some cold water, making sure you don’t gulp, take small sips instead.
    • Breathe in and out… slowly. Close my eyes and slow my breaths out to make them relaxing and soothing.
    • Do some calming yoga poses. I usually just do some simple hatha poses and stretches. I especially do forward folds and this pose a lot. Not sure why, it just calms me down a lot. I tend to stay away from child’s pose when I feel anxious because scrunching up in a ball makes me even more nervous. I need to feel more open instead in order to release the tension.
    • Make myself a warm cup of caffeine-free tea. There are calming and relaxing tea blends out there as well but I find that any warm tea works well for me. I’ve been drinking Throat Coat tea lately because of its delicious sweet flavor; it’s comforting.
    • Smell some relaxing scents. I purchased a relaxation essential oils blend (which includes lavender oil, balsam fir, needle oil, patchouli, palmarosa oil, geranium oil, and chamomile) that I sniff and put a few drops on my wrists so that I can smell it as I go about doing my activities. As far as I know, the best and most well known relaxation scents are lavender and chamomile, but there are many others with calming powers as well. 
    • Tell myself that it’s just me freaking out for no reason. I’m too young to die and I am too healthy for something to happen (like a heart attack, come on, now, really?) 
    • Listen to music that relaxes me. Sing along. I usually listen to Lykke Li, the XX, Radiohead, Bon Iver, Sigur Ros, or Explosions in the Sky. Pandora mixes it all up well for me. (Hope you enjoy the songs I posted up in here ;)
    • Take a GABA supplement
    • Take a magnesium supplement

Kammie wants to know:

  • Do you ever feel anxious?
  • What are some ways in which you deal with anxiety?

Let me know in the comments below!

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Comments

  1. says

    This is great! I’ve got anxiety as well and I love all the natural methods you’ve come up with to help yourself. I usually lay down and listen to lots of music as well. I find that writing in my journal helps as well, just stream of consciousness writing :)

    • Kammie says

      Yes writing is very helpful as well. I haven’t done much of it but I find blog writing helps. I also have done some abstract drawing therapy as well where I would just draw whatever the heck comes into my head and the end result is usually pretty strange but it’s the action of drawing rather than end result that helps me. Similarly to writing in journals.

    • Kammie says

      Thank you for appreciating! A lot of my friends don’t know these things about me either but I have grown to be more comfortable with sharing about my personal life as well. I’ll be sharing more as I get even more comfortable. Thank you for reading! xo

  2. says

    I have recently been diagnosed with anxiety as well. It is the scariest thing I have ever experienced. Been dealing with it for about 8 months now and have no idea why, but at least I know there are ways to control it. The mind is pretty nuts sometimes! I just have to laugh at my thoughts sometimes and that helps too. Oh and you are so right on the food helping as well! Thank you for sharing this- lets me know I’m not alone!

    • Kammie says

      Oh gosh, I know, when I first started dealing with panic disorder, there was a LOT of ugliness going on in my head. Not pleasant things, a lot of fear and anxiety, it was making me feel nuts, almost. It’s the most frightening thing ever, most definitely. The scariest was not knowing if I will ever be able to get back to normal. Thankfully, it gets better. xo

  3. says

    I have a lot of anxiety issues as well and have been on multiple medications for it. However, none has really helped so I went off them. I am always looking for ways to deal with anxiety because for me it is totally debilitating and I tend to lose sleep over it. Thank you for being so honest in this post, I think a lot of people can relate

    • Kammie says

      I can relate to the part of losing sleep over it. When I was first dealing with it, I also got insomnia and could barely fall asleep or stay asleep. It only made it all worse. I also believe medications would only treat the symptoms not the root of the problem which is the reason why I never take any.

  4. says

    I relate to this post on so many levels. One of my best friends dealt with anxiety and panic attacks and I saw her struggles. It’s a difficult thing to understand from an outside perspective, but last September I actually had an anxiety attack at work. It was awful and I had no idea what was happening…I felt light-headed and dizzy and thought I was having a heart attack (no joke I was convinced). Terrifying. I think the key to preventing anxiety/panic attacks is to pin-point the root of the problem which can take time and effort, but don’t stop trying!! Best of luck to you Kammie!

  5. says

    I’ve had a panic disorder for about 4 years now and I’ve got it under control for the most part so I definitely understand where you’re coming from. Whenever I feel a panic attack coming on I usually call someone to help talk me through it and to just talk about the most random things to take my mind off it. I also write in my journal whenever I feel panicky, but whenever I do go into a panic attack I tend to just start crying which surprisingly controls my breathing so I stop hyperventilating.

    • Kammie says

      Oh interesting about the crying part, I’d think it would freak me out more, but I haven’t ever actually tried it as a release. Thank you for sharing!

  6. says

    I’ve got family who’ve experienced panic disorder, and it can be completely debilitating. Kudos to you for sharing.

    One thing I learned: a panic attack is actually a physical reaction. Your body is having a fight or flight moment without the initial stimuli to set it off. So, literally your adrenaline is pumping like crazy, your heart is racing, your breathing changes, you start sweating, and they leave you feeling exhausted, like you just ran a marathon. Panic attacks are not just in your head. They are very real and physical. The recommendations my family and I got for coping with them when they kick in: move around (even though you may feel like your legs won’t support you) and keep telling yourself this is nothing more than a panic attack. Your symptoms while real will not lead to a heart attack or other serious injury. The more you repeat, the more you’ll believe it.
    Keep strong.

  7. says

    I too have been dealing with anxiety and panic for as long as I can remember. I found magnesium was perfect for me. I am a true believer that magnesium can prevent anxiety naturally. Anti-depressants didn’t work in the long run. They made me feel better at first but then came with their own set of issues. Magnesium helped level me out. I recommend investigating the benefits of magnesium if you suffer from anxiety or depression.
    Olivia Martin recently posted…Irrational Worry & Generalized Anxiety DisorderMy Profile

  8. Keri says

    This post is very interesting to me, as my boyfriend has this same thing and loves that song explosions in the sky. Sometimes when the anxiety gets really bad there are crazy meltdown panic attacks.. I try to do everything I can to help him to feel better. I’m also starting to learn that every couple months or so these things just happen over built up stress. Do you have any advice for a girlfriend who has a boyfriend with anxiety? And should I be worried about this getting worse? (Aloholism, drugs..etc..?) Thanks so much

    • says

      I’d say the most important thing is to encourage him to value self-care. I haven’t had any panic attacks in a long long time and it’s because I learned what causes it – I don’t drink a lot (I’ll get a buzz but that’s as far as I go and don’t do it frequently), make sure to get PLENTY of sleep – most of the time when I get less sleep than I should, I can feel my anxiety rising steadily. It’s important that your boyfriend values sleep. Otherwise, just self-care and BALANCE: sleep, eating real food, exercise 3-4 times a week, practice meditation and breathing exercises when he feels stressed out. Hope this helps!

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