Pretty much my whole life I’ve had some type of anxiety. As a child I remember leaving church in a panic thinking the world would end at any moment. I used to pray every single night for God to keep the world going until I could have kids and get married (I think that’s one reason I’ve been in a 10 yr relationship and not married yet. God is playing a joke on me). But I always felt worried and concerned about everything. It wasn’t just a feeling in my head but a feeling in my heart and in my gut. Sometimes I didn’t even know why I would feel that way. After having a child it seems like it got worse. The concept of death became so much more prevalent. I would constantly think what would happen to her if I died or what would happen to me if she died. Every time I would leave her I would have this overwhelming fear of loss. Over the years I have learned the things that seem to trigger my anxiety and the things that help. Although it’s never really gone, I try and find ways to calm it down.
Triggers… Some days it seems like they are all over the place. It’s so frustrating because I don’t know why my mind does this to me. I can’t seem to understand why I am so concerned with so much that is unrealistic and not relevant to my everyday life. I can’t fully grasp the concept of anxiety but I have learned what makes my mind work even harder. Caffeine plays the biggest culprit in my increased anxiety. I’ve had many panic attacks after drinking too much caffeine, so I try and limit this to maybe one cup of coffee a day and maybe a glass of tea, but always before 2 p.m. I very rarely drink caffeine after 2 or 3 in the afternoon. Alcohol will do it too. But only the next day, which is really my body withdrawing from the alcohol, but it sure does suck.
You know, I don’t know if there is any scientific proof behind this (I should probably research it more) but I honestly feel like my IUD causes anxiety. I am on my third one and every time I consider not getting a new one because I think I may feel better mentally, but then I have to think will the IUD or a second child give me more anxiety. So the IUD wins every time. I used to get really anxious if I couldn’t see an exit door when I went somewhere or if it was a large crowd. Those aren’t quite as bad now (although it will hit me out of nowhere sometimes).
The biggest trigger in my life is bridges (stupid i know). I don’t know what it is. There’s isn’t a point that I think I’m going to die if I do over the bridge and I don’t feel scared until I get right up on the bridge. My body gets so hot, my hands get clammy, I feel like I can’t swallow and my first reaction is to press the brake… in the middle of the road…. dangerous, I know. But I feel like I have absolutely no control over what my body is doing in that moment. I used to drive over bridges all of the time with no issues, but I don’t know what happened. I haven’t found anybody yet that can relate on the bridge anxiety, but according the therapists it’s a common thing. Shout out to me if you have the same feelings because it would be nice to have this in common with someone.
Improvements… Improvement is the key word here. I haven’t found anything that has made me feel 100% at ease yet. I really don’t want to take prescription meds. I’ve taken them before and I absolutely hate the way they make me feel. I do not hate on anybody that does take them thought. Everybody responds to medicine differently and if something helps ease the feeling of anxiety then, by all means, TAKE IT!!
But I have found a few herbs and vitamins that help me. Right now, I currently take a supplement called Calm. It’s by Regen Health. It’s all organic and I think it takes away some of the physical aspects that come along with anxiety. It also gives you more of a focused feeling throughout the day. My mind doesn’t wander as much. I’ve been taking it for a couple of weeks now and I am starting to notice a sizeable difference in how I feel daily. I’m rating this a 5. The reason it doesn’t rate higher is because it doesn’t specify on the bottle the best time to take it so I tried taking it at night and it kept me up for hours…. nothing on my mind but I just couldn’t sleep. So now I take it in the morning. Along with the Calm I take Vitamin D (K2 as well to help with calcium buildup), Vitamin B, Vitamin C and Collagen. Many people don’t realize that being deficient in vitamins can cause a lot of anxiety. So I found I have had a Vitamin D and B deficiency (like most people) and started taking the vitamins immediately. It really has helped my overall anxiety and energy throughout the day. Another supplement I have taken in the past is Ashwagandha. It helped me for a while but over time I don’t think it helped quite as much. I will say there is a low dose of this in the Calm, so I guess I’m still taking it. Ashwagandha gets a 4 just because I feel like it may be more of a short term fix.
Now, the craziest thing I have tried is hypnosis. Long story short…it works… very short term. It takes maintenance and it is very expensive (on the low end $200 for a couple of hours). But I did leave feeling at ease and actually was able to drive over a bridge within 15 minutes of leaving. It’s not like you see in the movies where you cluck around like a chicken or do absurd things. You simply feel as peace. Like you’re melting. In the moment you feel aware of your surroundings but also hyper aware of your subconscious, which is a beautiful feeling. This has the most potential to work and heal long term. It is very expensive though. So I am giving hypnosis a 6. As important as my mental health is… life goes on and bill collectors don’t care that my mental health isn’t up to par. Meditation actually helps quite a bit too. It’s not often, but when I have a chance I like to sit in a quiet, dark space and just let my mind do what it wants. Then after a few minutes I try and bring it back to me. I control my thoughts and take deep breaths. This helps tremendously if I am experiencing a sudden panic feeling. The one thing that requires the most maintenance but really does help for me is church. I know not all of my readers go to church but it’s not a religious thing but more of a positive vibes thing. Being around people who have a positive common ground can make all the difference in how you see the world. There’s a spiritual, loving feeling that is undeniable when you enter a place of worship. Being spiritual requires daily work, but it is forever life changing
I want to clarify. My anxiety is not depression. I know a lot of times anxiety leads to depression, but I don’t think it’s like that for me. There have been splurts of depression over time, but never long term. Overall, I feel pretty joyful with the life that I live. If you think you are suffering from depression these things I have suggested may not work for you. Please go see a doctor or therapist.
These are just a few things that I have tried and liked. Some may be short term and others could possibly change your life. If you live with anxiety please know that it doesn’t have to control you. You can learn to control it. Speak up if you have anxiety. It’s not embarrassing or shameful to have it. Don’t be afraid to live the life you are supposed to be living.
If you have more questions regarding some of the things I have listed. Please feel free to contact me or leave a comment. I will be happy to answer any questions I can.