World Mental Health Day: Anxiety Update! ♥

Hey lovelies! Today is "World Mental Health Day" so I thought it would be perfect to talk about the subject and share an update on my personal experience. As you may or may not know, my first post ever on this blog was about my Anxiety. You can read all about it on that post but basically I have suffered from anxiety for almost 15 years. I had very traumatic experiences as a baby and when I started elementary school that triggered panic attacks and lots of daily anxiety. Unfortunately, I didn't know what it was and how to manage it until I started college. I had a long period of time where I did not think I still had it and thought it was all over, but when I started getting very stressed in college, it all came bursting back & worse than ever. It got to the point where I had several panic attacks a day and just had to calm myself down somehow and keep moving on. My parents did not understand it very well, because I would get scared doing basic things I used to always do before without a problem, but when it got really, really bad, they finally realized I needed help. I went to a psychiatrist and got medicated to help me cope with my panic attacks and anxiety, which was all diagnosed as Agoraphobia. As the doctor explained it to me, it meant I was scared of being scared. So anything that for some reason scared me once, would trigger panic attacks and severe anxiety the next time I had to do it. I was scared of riding the train (and had to take every single day to get to uni), so everyday I started my day off with panic attacks. I had always been scared of elevators as well but when the train and elevators had done their damage, I was suddenly scared of auditoriums, classrooms, malls, and even cars. As you can probably tell, it had gotten way out of control and the medication didn't seem to be working at the lowest dose so my doctor gave me the highest dose to try to help (I was NOT happy about this).  I had also been going through some complicated and stressful things at that point in my life, so I would also get panic attacks when stress took over and that made my life hell. I was like this for almost 2 years until I decided to take control of my situation and start doing new things to try to help me cope as psychiatrists and psychologist had advised me to.

I first started letting God take control of my emotions and problems. I am not about to preach here, but believing in something greater than yourself (for me its God but for a lot of people its something else) helps SO much. My problem was that I always tried to control everything like for example, if something was going to scare me, I controlled it by making sure I did not ever do it. But I hit rock bottom because it got to the point where I could no longer control what I had to do or the risks I had to take. So I kept on taking my medications and started focusing on other things like working out and doing lots of yoga to relax. I would workout every single day and finished my workout with lots of stretching and yoga to cool off. My anxiety levels would go down quite a lot after lots of cardio & so I got hooked on it! Also, I would let my family and doggy help me. Whenever I used to panic my doggy would always be there for me along with my family and boyfriend. But the most important thing for me was knowing they all understood me when I got bad. For a long time I felt alone because I felt they didn't get it. I felt that by people telling me to just breath and that it was all in my head, they were doing me more harm than any good. So talking and making sure the closest people to me understood my situation helped a lot. My diet also changed quite a lot because since I was feeling so bad all the time, I wanted to make sure the food I was eating was healthy and made me feel better. I never deprived myself from anything, but incorporated lots of fruits and veggies into every meal and just made sure I was making lots of healthy choices in that sense.

When medications, doctors, and all the other things I mentioned got mixed up together was when I really saw a huge improvement. And now I can finally say I don't remember my last panic attack. I know I'm not fully healed, because I still can't ride the train (haven't dared to try) and get anxious now and then, but I am doing SO much better. (Knock on wood!) Recently I had to get on an elevator a couple of times, and did wasn't my favorite thing in the world but my boyfriend was with me and he didn't even remember I didn't like them until I got out and told him: Oh wow...I did it!! :)

More recently, I have continued working out, doing yoga, talking about of it, and meditating lots, but another thing that has helped my channelize my emotions has been making sure I have me-time. I have been loving baths and hot chocolate at the moment (I post about it a lot on  twitter, haha!). I don't know what it is about those two things together but it gives me inner peace and calm me down no matter what. I guess its all about the little things. Oh I almost forgot to mention my coloring book. Oh my goodness my coloring book! I cannot say enough good things about it and believe everyone should have one in their lives. Want to be happier? buy crayons and color it all!

So now that I have shared all of that with you, I wanted to tell you that if you are suffering from a mental illness yourself, there is hope. You can conquer your fears or anything else for that matter. You will need lots of help, so find it & it might take a long time...but it feels so good to get better. Most importantly, it makes you so much stronger. On the other hand, if you don't suffer from any mental illnesses yourself, make sure that if you know someone that does, help them. Maybe all it takes is for you to listen to them and understand. As I said before, it wasn't until I felt understood that I was able to get better. So be the person who understands. Care for that person. Make sure you tell them that they will be okay and help them be okay. Behind every smile there is a whole lot of emotions that might not necessarily be worthy of a smile. Don't hide behind a smile & don't be fooled by a smile. . . ♥

Thank you all for reading, it feels so good to have written this down. I am so incredibly passionate about this subject. Feel free to share your thoughts on the comments & on Twitter. I would love to hear from you.

With love,


♡ Be Happy Always ♡

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