Monday, June 1, 2015

4 Simple Ways To Combat Anxiety

For those of you that don't know, I have had anxiety since I was 12 years old. That's just shy of 20 years. When puberty hit, along with the hormones, I got a whopping dose of crazy emotions. I've had them every day since. There are times in life where they just don't seem to exist (yay!), but for the most part, they do. 

So, these are the treatments I've learned through trial and error, and discovery, that really help me get through the rough days. Maybe some of them will work for you, too. This is not a post about climbing a mountain, laughing, finding joy in the journey, etc. I feel like I've done that before and have many more posts to write on those topics. This post is about the specific products, natural and pharmaceutical, I use to treat my anxiety.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, and don't claim to have the answers for your problems. This is just what works for me. Also, I was not paid or asked to review any of these products. This is all my own opinion. However, if someone sees this and wants to pay me for it, I'd gladly accept! Ha!

Essential Oils

This year I was gifted several DoTerra Essential Oils. I'd never used them before, but I heard great things about them. I figured I might as well try them if I've got them on hand, and I was pleasantly surprised by the ones I received. I even discovered some of them really helped with the severe anxiety I was dealing with.

Balance - Because anxious people need to feel calm. Balance brings a little rush of peace when I rub it on my wrists, and breathe in the smell of the oil. It smells nice and woodsy. I diffuse it a lot when I'm feeling particularly anxious, and found that carrying it with me during the past several months has been quite helpful. If I'm feeling anxious at work, I'll just rub some on my wrists, inhale the scent and an instant rush of calm will wash over me.  

Elevation - This one... wow.  It is supposed to give you a joyful mood. It's considered one of their joyful blends. I only like to diffuse it for about 10 minutes at a time and I try not to rub it on my skin. I'm so sensitive to the blend of Elevation that I get dizzy and jittery when using it, but... it works. My husband said, after a few minutes of diffusing it, that "Elevation is more intense than Adderall." Anxious people don't really need uppers, so I try to stay away from this one unless I'm feeling particularly low, or want a big boost of energy for a project. I repeat, anxious people should stay away from uppers. However, if you need a quick pick me up, this will do it. The smell is a bit floral and powdery for my taste, but it's not unbearable. 

Lavender - I like to diffuse this several nights a week while I'm lying in bed. It's incredibly calming and lovely.

DigestZen - Last but not least, DigestZen is my all time favorite oil. It smells like minty, black licorice. I rub it on my wrists and my abdomen (in a clockwise motion). When my anxiety is at its peak, I can get pretty awful stomach aches and it gives me IBS symptoms. This is one of the only things I've ever found in my 20 years of anxiety that takes them away. It's one of the most quick-acting, and soothing, treatments that I've ever experienced for the cramping and burning stomach aches that IBS causes. For those that suffer from IBS flare-ups when they're stressed, this is what you need. Just a few drops of DigestZen on my stomach, massaged in clockwise, and 5 minutes later my stomach is being soothed to calmness. For those with sensitive skin, you might need to use a carrier oil, instead of applying the oil straight to the skin. I would test your skin first in a small patch before rubbing it all over. DigestZen is amazing. Honestly, it's given me back my confidence in myself. IBS is one of the most debilitating parts of anxiety/depression because it makes it harder to have normal functioning days. It's one thing to be anxious but it's quite another to be sick, too. 


I try to avoid junk food and stick to the basics of healthy eating. The days where I eat like crap, I feel like crap, and feeling like crap makes me feel crappy emotionally, too. I save the junk food for when I'm at the top of my game and a burger and fries from In-N-Out is easily, and happily, welcomed. Also, anxiety causes IBS flare-ups, and, for me, they are the worst if I eat dairy. Whenever I'm stressed, anxious, and/or sad, I avoid dairy like the plague. So, no bowls of ice cream for me with my Netflix marathons. (Sad, right?)

I also like calming/relaxing teas. I like to drink both of the pictured teas. 

The honey lavender tasted nice and light, I drank it right before bed, and slept like a rock. 

The Kava Tea is rich and flavorful like cinnamon and licorice. I drank a cup at work during a particularly crazy day and it made me a little sleepy, but calm. From what I've heard, you either hate it or you love it. I love it. 

Special Note: Don't drink either tea if you're pregnant or nursing, check the labels first to make sure you can use them. Also, don't mix them with other medications (like Xanax), it can probably mess you up! Photos taken from the Yogi brand website


Let's be honest, we all just plop in front of Netflix for marathons when we feel awful. I am the Queen of the Netflix marathon when I'm feeling less than awesome. To combat the slob-like tendencies I get when I feel crappy, I also have to schedule non-slob activities like going to the girls' night out even if I'd rather be in sweatpants eating potato chips, spending an hour in my garden examining the growth of the plants, and the health of them all.  This is even better if I have heavy gardening work to do. 

I try to write in my journal, do some yoga stretches to keep my anxiety-tightened muscles from cramping, and do some housework. Reading is an excellent thing to do as well. My favorite thing, though, is to get myself moving even though it's SOOOO difficult when I feel crappy. Movement improves moods, it's science.  My husband and I love to take small walks around our neighborhood several times a week. It's a chance to get our blood moving while we talk about our dreams for the future. For whatever reason, it's much easier to dream out loud when we're moving our feet. 


Xanax - for the bad, bad days. The days of panic attacks or severe, awful, anxiety. I wrote this post the day I got my prescription for Xanax. To this day, I'm still a little embarrassed that I have a Xanax prescription. Part of getting over that, is by telling the world, apparently. Luckily, I only take it on the really awful days, so I've only had to take it a handful of times. The essential oils, good diets, movement and just plain old keepin' on keepin' on gets me through most of my days. 

++ What do you do to treat your low/crazy/anxious moods? Have you tried any of my methods?

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