Hi, I Have Anxiety (Giveaway)

Deeeeeeep exhale.

Confession: I had an entire different post written but I deleted it. I deleted it because I was writing and writing and writing and nothing was coming out the way I wanted it to and it felt preachy and impersonal. And what is a post about anxiety if not personal. Right? So I took a deep breath, contemplated the anxiety I felt about writing this post, and the anxiety I felt about the anxiety I felt about writing this post (yes, anxiety about anxiety- it’s a thing), and started a new post. So here we are. (Note: if you’re looking for the giveaway it’s alllllll the way at the bottom of this post, so feel free to scroll past the next few paragraphs if that’s why you’re here)

I’ve written about my anxiety before, but if you have anxiety you know that it ebbs and flows and changes with you as you grow. You find new ways of coping and that the old ways maybe aren’t as effective anymore. So I wanted to write about it again. Because it’s important. And it’s normal. That’s the thing, anxiety is completely normal, but there is such a stigma surrounding mental health that it’s hard to talk about sometimes.

Well, I’m here and I’m talking about it because  Hi, my name is Rebecca, and I have anxiety.

(Let me stop right here and let you know that I am not a therapist. I’ve just had a lot of experience working through my own anxiety over the years. If you feel like your mental health is something you cannot manage on your own (or by reading a blog post by a stranger on the Internet), please stop what you’re doing and seek medical help. There is absolutely no shame in asking for help. Remember that.)

I was inspired to write this post because quite a few of my close friends have come to me recently for advice in dealing with their own anxiety. Since I’ve dealt with it my WHOLE LIFE I’ve become pretty good at talking about it and helping others who might not know what the hell is going on in their heads.

The thing is, anxiety has a way of making it seem that the things you are worrying about are not just in your head. How could they possibly be just in your head when your palms are sweaty, your breath is shallow and your heart is racing at the very thought of whatever it is you’re anxious about? It has to be real, right? Wrong. But your mind does a really great job of convinving you that this horrible thing you’re fixated on is definitely going to happen.

Overthinking

Over the years I’ve gone to countless therapy appointments, read what feels like millions of articles, and even taken antidepressants to manage my anxiety. There are things that work and things that definitely don’t, and one thing I know for a fact is that talking about managing anxiety is a hell of a lot easier than actually doing it when you’re in the thick of it. But I have found a few things that have helped me even during my most anxious moments and I want to share them with you because maybe you’ll find them helpful too.

One thing I find really helpful when I’m anxious is to repeat a few different mantras out loud. I find that just the act of saying these phrases out loud distracts from my anxiety and forces me to focus on rationtal thoughts rather than the irrational ones in my head. There are tons out there but the three below have really helped me.

Three Mantras To Repeat When You’re Feeling Anxious

This is Anxiety

I’ve found that sometimes the best thing to do when I’m feeling anxious is to just acknowledge that what I’m feeling is, in fact, anxiety. This helps because it removes a lot of the pressure I feel about whatever it is I’m anxious about. To just observe that what I’m feeling is anxiety without judgement and to just let it be is really freeing. One thing I notice with my friends who suffer from anxiety is that they tend to beat themselves up over it. They’re anxious about being anxious (which, as I mentioned above, is a very real thing.) I used to do this too. But I eventually learned that the act of accepting that you have anxiety (and that it’s OK) and that your thoughts might not be rooted in any real proof or logic is really helpful, which brings me to my next favorite mantra:

Don’t Believe Everything You Think

This. THIS mantra has gotten me through some of my worst anxiety. I don’t remember where I first read it but I remember feeling something click when I did. It just makes so much sense and the thing about anxiety is that, a lot of times, it doesn’t make any freaking sense. The things your brain comes up with are sometimes SO COMPLETELY ABSURD and the scenarios in your head seem like very real possibilities, but, for the most part, they’re not. When I find myself spiraling and believing the made-up situations in my head, I stop, take a deep breath and ask myself, “what proof do you have that what you’re freaking out about is actually going to happen?” Usually, it’s none. Usually my anxiety isn’t based in anything real. But, for the very rare occasions when the things I’m anxious about are an actual possibility, I rely heavily on the next mantra:

Worrying Will Never Change The Outcome

It abolutely won’t. Worrying will never, ever, ever affect the outcome of whatever it is you’re worried about. Similary, most of the things I worry about never end up happening. It’s really helpful to look back on all the times I’ve wasted time worrying about something that never came to fruition. Believe me, I know this is a lot easier said than done. I am a chronic worrier, but it is really helpful to keep this mantra in mind.

Now that I’ve talked about my favorite mantras, I want to very briefly tell you about a few tangible/ action-oriented techniques I’ve used to deal with my anxiety (one of which I’ll be giving away!).

Three Tangible Techniques To Deal With Anxiety

Deep Breathing

I know, I know. If you have anxiety, hearing that deep breathing will help is nothing new. The thing is, it really works, especially for the heart-racing, hyperventilating type of anxiety. A really helpful activity I learned in a yoga workshop once is to count backward from 25 (or 10 if 25 seems too much). Each deep inhale and exhale counts as one breath. It’s just true that when you’re focused on your breath you’re not focused on what it is you’re feeling anxious about. Period.

Talk It Out

As I mentioned in my disclaimer at the beginning of this post, seeking help is nothing to feel ashamed of. Whether you talk to a therapist, an Internet forum or a close friend is completely up to you. Anxiety can be very isolating. It’s very easy to feel like you’re the only one in the world who has ever felt the way you’re feeling. I can 100 percent guarantee you, you’re not alone. The simple act of talking about what you’re anxious about can and will make you feel better.

Practice Self Care

Whatever that means to you: going to a yoga, drinking tea, taking a bath, etc. Remember, anxiety is completely normal but we tend to beat ourselves over it, and become anxious about our anxiety. In these cases it’s always best to just be gentle with yourself. One of my favorite things to do when I’m feeling anxious is to take a hot shower.

C&Co. Shower Mists

It was around this time last year that I wandered into one my now-favorite body care shops in Asheville: C & Co. Naturals and discovered their Serene Shower Mist. Simply put, it’s an essential oils mist that you spray while taking a shower. The oils diffuse with the steam and immediately fills your whole bathroom with a super relaxing lavender and coriander seed scent. Since buying it last year, I’ve gifted it to many of my friends who suffer with anxiety. It is a really concentrated spray so you only need to use a little bit; I’ve barely made a dent in my bottle. Whenever I’m feeling anxious I take a shower and use this spray. It ALWAYS helps. (They also have an Energize Shower Mist -pictured above and below- that I am dying to try!)

GIVEAWAY (CLOSED)

Feb 10, 2018: This giveaway is now closed. I will announce the winner next week! Thank you for entering and don’t forget to use the COUPON CODE I mention below. Stay tuned for more fun giveaways on Rosey Rebecca in the future!

Since it’s helped me so much, I’ve teamed up with my friend Christi, the owner of C & Co., to send one anxious reader a Serene Shower Mist of their own!

Shower Mists C&Co Naturals Asheville, NC

How To Enter

All you need to do to enter is leave a comment on this post letting me know one thing you do to manage your anxiety (let’s help each other out!) That’s it!

Extra Entries (Optional)
You must leave a separate comment for each additional entry

  1. Follow C&Co. and Rosey Rebecca on Instagram
  2. Like C&Co and Rosey Rebecca on Facebook

Rules

  • This giveaway is open to United States residents only
  • You have until 11:59 p.m. EST on Friday, February 9 to enter
  • I will select and announce a winner on Monday, February 12 via the Random Integer Generator. The winner will have until midnight on Tuesday, February 13 to claim their prize. If the winner does not reply by then, I will choose a new winner on Wednesday, February 14.

Coupon Code

Since I love C&Co so much (I probably have one of everything they sell) and want you to love it too, Christi has agreed to offer Rosey Rebecca readers 10% off your purchase at the shop or on the C&Co website. Just mention/enter promo code HEALTHYLIVING when you check out. If you’re local and are in the shop, you can also just show them this blog post. This coupon is good until 11:59 p.m. EST on February 28. One time use per customer.

Note: C&Co has not provided me with any free product or compensation to run to this giveaway. I just love them so much and want to share a product with you that has helped tremendously with my anxiety.

Good luck and I truly hope this post has helped you in some way!

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57 comments

  1. #Ihaveanxietytoo.. Deep breathing, talking to someone, going for a walk, and listening to music are a few things I try to practice.

  2. I’m so glad you shared this. It’s on point. I’m a counselor and varying levels of anxiety are common and you shared some great ways to deal with them and work through episodes. I’ve had my own anxiety issues, especially when I was younger and very self-conscious and painfully shy. Thankfully I worked through a lot of that, but it is still what I call my “default mode”. Showing up somewhere for the first time or doing a thing for the first time causes anxiety but one thing that is helpful is knowing I’ve been through similar situations before and came out okay on the other side. Just visualizing a positive outcome is helpful.

    1. Marsha,

      Thanks so much for your feedback on my post. It means a lot coming from you since you’re an actual counselor! I can definitely relate to the ‘default mode’ and I get anxious about first time experiences as well. Your advice is great and similar to what I said in my ‘Worrying Will Never Change The Outcome’ paragraph- remembering that I’ve worried about things in the past that never ever happened is so helpful. Thanks again for your comment!

  3. Thanks for sharing your story! I get super anxious around certain people (sigh) and in anything that involves any semblance of public speaking. I definitely try to do the deep breathing and to just think of solutions for every possible worst-case scenario and that tends to help! Distraction is also a biggie!
    Farrah recently posted…Ultimate Coffee Date: February 2018My Profile

  4. A couple of things that help me overcome my anxiety is getting active. Going for a run or even a walk. Just to get the endorphins flowing to counteract the negative feelings I may have. Honestly, a good cry helps me sometimes… sometimes you just need a way to let it out.
    And if my husband is around a hug always helps settle any nervous energy.
    Thank you for writing this post. It really helps to hear other people’s experiences with anxiety!

  5. Someone told me once that you can’t be curious and anxious at the same time, so when anxiety shows up I try to think- “what would I be thinking if I was curious about this situation/scenario/person instead of worried about it?” I have a little phrase that I think to myself when I’m really getting wound up, “Let the Great World Spin” it was actually the title of a book I read a couple years back but it very adequately sums up the idea of letting go of a whole bunch of stuff that you have no control of and also no matter what happens with you what you do or don’t do, the great world will keep on spinning life is so much bigger than just us as an individual.
    And then I go blast some of my favorite music and dance around.

  6. I meditate every morning. I also journal and paint! Being able to express what my anxiety feels like through writing and art helps me to better manage it each and every day!

  7. I take deep breaths and try to remind myself to accept things I can not change (doesn’t always work but it’s always nice to try). I also try to get a full nights sleep. And relaxing hot showers help me too.

  8. I agree, physical activity is good in so many ways (hard not to breathe while moving!), getting outside for the fresh air and sound of birds, listening to music, a good hard cry, meditation, a hug, talking to a friend…I’d also like to add drawing is a nice way to just focus on something else. If you think you can’t draw (which I assure you you can!), I would try Zentangle. The repetitive line making is soothing and ANYONE can do this. 🙂 Smells are also comforting, which is why a warm cup of decaf tea or even hot water with lemon is nice. The spray for your shower sounds devine! So happy you and C&Co are doing a giveaway! Thank you for sharing Rebecca, and to all of you who commented! ❤️

  9. I am just starting to look into holistic ways to manage anxiety. I used to self-medicate heavily with alcohol until I started getting older and developing digestive problems. I have started using tinctures (passionflower, St. John’s, vervain) in herbal read. I’d like to see if this product helps. Thanks!

    1. That’s wonderful, Bonnie. I’ve heard St. John’s Wort helps a lot. I’ve been antidepressants for the past several years and not able to take it in conjunction with my meds. I’m looking forward to trying some natural remedies now that I’m off! Thanks for your comment!

  10. I manage my anxiety by doing mindfulness meditations and deep breathing. Staying in the moment as much as possible and being grateful for all that I have keeps me grounded.
    🙂 love ya boo!

    1. Allie, gratitude is a great way to combat anxiety. I took a mindfulness meditation class a couple times when I lived in the DC area. It was really helpful. I think there are a few around AVL. We should go! <3

  11. I’m trying to do more alignment before action. So, as counterintuitive as the ego may think, I feel so much better and more productive after I start with anything that brings me joy versus trying to tackle the to do list!

  12. This product sounds interesting to me! I have anxiety as well (and take medication for it). For me, exercise is the #1 thing that helps my anxiety! I’d love to try this product, too.
    Lisa recently posted…February GoalsMy Profile

    1. Neck stretches are so great because we hold a lot of tension there and in our shoulders. I find that raising my shoulders up to my ears with an inhale and then lowering them down with a big exhale works wonders!

  13. I’ve dealt with anxiety most of my life, along with everyone in my immediate family. Depression is a fun sidekick that has kept my anxiety company as well. My friend recommended her mantra to me one time: “My arms and legs aren’t going to fall off”. I really like that one. I also do some self-soothing, usually rubbing my hands on the tops of my thighs. I also believe strongly in self-care (though sometimes, if I focus on myself too long, I start to feel guilty about it and then I think about the other things I should be doing haha), and baths are my favorite method. Also, eating foods that are good for me : )

    1. That’s a great mantra, Lindsey. Anxiety runs in my family as well, and I know what you mean about depression going along with it. Eating good for you foods is a good tip too. Too much sugar and caffeine make my anxiety worse! Also, never feel guilty about self-care. You can’t take care of anything else if you don’t take care of you first!

  14. Last year my anxiety was at its peak but like you said, it ebbs and flows. Things that helped me: gym, walks and time outside, meditating and stretching in the evening, and sticking to a routine.

  15. Great post Rebecca! Lots of it resonated for me. My favorite way to keep anxiety at bay is outdoor exercise — also works for a hangover! Hot power yoga is right up there too — after an hour of that I’m too wrung out to worry about anything. Keep us all posted and thanks for the C&Co coupon, that stuff is the bomb.

  16. I recently rescued a dog in December. We found him in the middle of nowhere after someone had abandoned him. He has been an incredible dog other than his separation anxiety that has a destructive streak to it in his panic. Even with those minor issues, I love him dearly and he could not have found a more empathetic human to help him and love him through it.

    Before he came along I was in a pretty deep hole of depression. I stayed in bed and slept my days away after having to step down from nursing school due to my struggles with my anxiety and health.

    Ever since my dog Max came along, I have been waking up at 7:30 every single morning (with no alarms… alarms which I used to not even hear on the days I was depressed). When he wakes up full of energy and ready to start the day, he relies on me so I have to get up.

    My doctor just recently gave me the go ahead to start training Max to be a service dog for my anxiety and depression. Even now, without training, he knows to stay close when I am upset.

    In the thick of it I just try to focus on him. When I feel anxiety creeping in, making my muscles tighten around my ribs and in my shoulders and feel overwhelmed by the emotional tsunami headed I focus on how carefree and happy he is. I try to take him for a walk, or go play fetch with him, or just cry and hug him if I need to. Having him around has helped me so much and has given me a routine and purpose.

    I know a dog isn’t ideal for everyone, but if having a pet is something you are able to do I highly reccomend it.

    I look forward to using some of the suggestions in your post the next time the need arises. Thank you for being honest and open about your struggles.

    These are the conversations we need to be having about mental health!

    (Also, fellow NC dweller here! )

    1. Danielle, thanks so much for sharing! Max sounds like a wonderful dog and I agree that animals can help so much with depression and anxiety. I’m glad you found my post and will maybe use some of my tips in the future. I truly hope they help. And yay for living in NC! Hope you have the chance to visit C & Co!

  17. I love your suggestions, Rebecca. I deal with anxiety by exercising–swimming, yoga, walking, jogging. I always feel better afterwards–and over the years I’ve learned when it’s time for me to get outside before anxiety/depression enervates me.

  18. First, I think we all have anxiety that we deal with each and every day. How we respond to it is the key. My go to is walking my dogs. They remind me to stop and enjoy the simple things we see, have joy being in the outdoors, and to stop and “smell the roses”, although their smelling likes are quite different than mine-ha. Finding humor and laughing is also something we should always embrace.

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