Anxiety is a topic I rarely spoke about or confronted because it made me feel abnormal, and I – a South Asian who isn’t a doctor, lawyer, nurse, or pharmacist – feel abnormal enough already so I didn’t want to add on something else to the list. More than that, some people make it seem like anxiety is not a real issue and people use it as an excuse to not do what they’re expected to do. These situations combined with others, I never looked for a solution to my anxiety until the past few years.
Today I want to share a few things that help me live an anxiety free life..most of the time. I still have my moments but it’s nothing like what it used to be! I feel the need to put out there these tips may not work for everyone and it’s best to do what helps YOU.
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A little background about me. I never really knew what anxiety was until my early twenties. I always thought the nervousness and apprehension I constantly felt most of my life were normal and permanent. I thought those feelings made me who I am and that there was nothing I could do about it.
- I refused to go to social events because I was nervous no one would like me and I wouldn’t “fit in”.
- I worried about outcomes before actually attempting anything
- Public speaking was (and still is but I can better control the symptoms) a nightmare
- I never spoke up in class because I worried what people would think of me if I was wrong (even when I 100% knew I had the correct answer)
- I barely spoke to people in general (besides close family and friends) because I was always afraid to say the wrong thing. Yes, I’m shy so I’m quiet in general but the off chance I did want to say something or contribute to a conversation, I let anxiety hold me back.
These are just a few situations where anxiety took a toll on me. There are definitely a lot more, deeper ones but I want to keep those off the table for now.
I can’t remember the exact moment I realized what I was feeling was anxiety but I do remember that was when I realized I can take control of my own life and do certain things to calm myself and live a happier life. Let’s walk through a few things that helped me overcome my anxiety!
Yup. I created Glamour and Giggles to give myself the voice I was too afraid to speak out loud. And over time, it has helped me become more vocal in real life! Writing, graphic design, photography, and social media really helped me build confidence and also introduced me to new people, some of which I’m lucky to call friends! Everything here combined vanished that cloud of nervousness I always had over me.
Breathing reduces anxiety? GIRL PLEASE.
Yes, y’all – breathing techniques do work! I was so skeptical of it in the past – one of my best friends often practiced breathing techniques and I never thought they would work for me.
Well my attitude towards that changed QUICK. One of the first time I really gave it a good go was before a huge presentation I had to do. I took a few minutes to slowly breathe in through my nose and filling my lungs, hold it for 3 seconds and then exhale slowly through my lips. This really does help A TON! I definitely need to practice breathing techniques more often but I always do this before an event or presentation. It keeps my anxiety out the door!
I’m just going to be 100% frank with you all. I rarely exercise and when I do it’s usually just an hour long walk around the neighborhood. Some studies do show that physical exercise can reduce the symptoms of anxiety and those effects can be long lasting! As much as I dislike working out, I always feel like I can take on just about any task!
I feel like my life changed after I bought my Aroma Diffuser – this is the one I have if you’re curious, it’s insanely affordable and you can use coupons to get 20% off (they still accept expired coupons!). I keep it on my nightstand and fill it up with a blend of lavender, eucalyptus, and lemon oil most before I go to bed! I’ve been sleeping so much better!
These were the four main ways I control my anxiety. I can honestly say these methods were life changing for me and has helped me in so many ways! Do you have any tips for reducing anxiety, share them below!