The Best Supplements for Anxiety

*Taking natural supplements and vitamins has been one of the biggest game changers when it comes to my anxiety. I chose to take these supplements after much research and consulting with my doctor. Please do the same before taking any supplements!*

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You wouldn’t think that any regular vitamin you find at your local drug store would have such an impact on your mental health and well being, but I’m here to tell you that it’s true! I’m not a medical professional so I can’t tell you exactly WHY these things work, but after talking to my doctor, I learned that so many of us are really deficient in these nutrients, which makes us more susceptible to anxiety and depression.

Below I’ve compiled a list of the supplements I use. Feel free to test and see which ones will be best for you! (With help from your doctor!)


  1. Magnesium:

    -There are three different types of magnesium examples I gave you, so you wouldn’t take all three at once. I’ve always taken Magnesium in pill form, but recently my doctor told me to start using the concentrated oil because it absorbs better into our bodies vs. a pill form. I’ve definitely noticed a greater difference when I take it at night because it puts me right to sleep! I spray 4 sprays on the bottom of each foot and rub it in. Warning, it does sting a little the first few uses which is a sign that you are insufficient in magnesium! But it goes away after a few uses.

    - Be careful because there are so many different types of Magnesiums out there that most of them are just a laxative. I stick with Glycinate and Citrate. Recently I’ve noticed that Magnesium L-Threonate has great reviews but I haven’t tried it so I added it just in case you want to research. I’m really loving the oil at this point so for now that is what I am sticking with.

  2. L-Theanine:

    - My doctor suggested this to me because she said it has such a calming affect, and I totally agree. Luckily for me I take all of my supplements before bed, so i’m able to fall asleep pretty quickly. I thought about taking them more in the afternoon when things get stressful, but haven’t done so yet. L-Theanine is one of the main ingredients in green tea as well, so I love to drink iced green tea a lot!

  3. Multvitamin:

    - Just having a good multi-vitamin that covers all your basic needs is important. A lot of times we are lacking in just simple nutrients which can affect out mental health, so a good vitamin will help take care of that.


Have you heard of any of these supplements, and if so have you used them and have they helped?! I would love to hear!

How To Conquer Gym Anxiety

A few years back when I was in the midst of my daily panic attacks, going to the gym seemed like THE LAST thing on earth that I wanted to do. It didn’t matter that every blog/suggestion/doctor said that exercise would help reduce my stress and anxiety…For me and in my anxious mind, the gym was not the answer.

One of my biggest triggers was being a lone…(It still is the main trigger of my anxiety)…So the thought of going to a large over-crowded gym where I would be working to get my already high heart rate up, it just didn’t sound appealing. You see, when anxiety controls your life, it tells you where you shouldn’t go or what you shouldn’t do because of fear. Literal fear, as if you could die. Being anxious you avoid that fear at all cost because, why wouldn’t you?

Only, when you say it out loud it sounds so stupid really. You avoid walking in the middle of a busy freeway because it’s dangerous. You could die, among many other things that could happen.

But avoiding the gym because you’re afraid of a panic attack among other anxiety ridden thoughts just sounds…Stupid.

Now that we’ve addressed the why, we need to address the HOW. How do you go to a place that would benefit you so much in the long run, but it’s causing you incredible fear?

For starters you might think, what is the problem if I work out at home? I have a treadmill, weights, youtube…

Here is the thing. If gyms/studios aren’t your thing, that is ok. But part of dealing with constant anxiety is isolation. We isolate ourselves out of fear of something bad happening, and a lot of times we become agoraphobic. So whether it’s the gym or target, we make excuses for putting our selves in uncomfortable positions. Now I know that sometimes going to a place to workout really isn’t peoples thing, and I can only share from my personal (and some friends) experiences, going to a gym by myself, without my children has been one of the greatest hurdles for me. It was so hard, but in the end was one of the reasons why I was able to overcome daily panic attacks and anxiety.

I will be honest and say that it is sometimes difficult to get there. Sometimes I get on the elliptical and my anxiety starts to creep in. But having the tools to overcome it, and being so comfortable now in that environment, is SO FREEING. Whenever I leave the gym I am seriously so much more mentally strong. It’s time for ME to heal and to grow…and it has been amazing.

Whether you are in the thick of your panic and anxiety, or you just have a little bit, these steps will help you overcome that fear of going to the gym! You cannot give up. The way to overcome this is my going through it.

  • Start Small

There very first thing I did was get out of my house. It was SO hard for me. I hired a babysitter and started to go on walks/runs near my house. I would tell myself to just go for 10 minutes. Then after 10 minutes, if I could go longer, I would. I kept pushing myself for a longer and longer time, until it was easier to leave my house alone.

  • Get a friend to workout with

The next thing I did was get a gym membership with a friend. We would meet at the gym, my biggest fear, and I would workout beside her and have that piece of mind that she was with me. It wasn’t easy, but having someone there forced me to stay and really helped me to reach that next step.

  • Start to go alone, slowly

Obviously if working out with friends is really helping, continue doing that. But also go a few times alone to really conquer those feelings of fear. It was so hard for me just to DRIVE there, so when I got there with an already elevated heart rate, the last thing I wanted to do was run. SO I started slow. I would walk around the track. And go back to the beginning where I would just try and stay for 10 minutes. And each time I would push my self to stay longer and longer.

  • Good music/show/podcast

Music is known to change an anxious mind into a calm one, there are so many studies on this. Create a play list of your favorite songs that excite you and listen to them. Save your favorite shows for when it’s gym time so you can watch them on a piece of exercise equipment. Or find a motivating podcast to help you. Whatever it is, these subtle distractions will keep your mind busy and less likely to bother you with a stupid, “What if?!”

  • Do not give up, even if you have a setback

If you are doing well and then all of the sudden you are lifting weights and have a full blown panic attack…keep going. Walk around a few times, get some water…but don't leave. Leaving just tells your body that you are in trouble, when in reality you really aren’t. Fight those feelings that something bad will happen, and stay. Or if you had a panic attack and left, and now you can’t workout because you remember that feeling…GO ANYWAYS. It’s scary, I know! But I promise you…When you go, you are telling yourself there is NOTHING to be afraid of. You are gaining control of that anxiety, and that is the best feeling.

  • Take care of you

Are you well rested? Drinking enough water before the gym? Taking the right supplements for anxiety, like magnesium? All of these things matter when it comes to anxiety. If you do these things, anxiety is less likely to creep in.

  • Have the right tools and resources

One of my biggest saving graces is my Anxiety Bible, as I call it. It’s really called DARE. But it gives you the tools to overcome ANY anxiety. It talks about everything you feel and go through, and how to work through them. A good resource will help you continue goin

Click the picture to find the book on Amazon!)

  • As always, make sure if you feel Anxiety/Panic Attacks/etc. that you tell someone, talk to someone, see someone, and get some help. It’s not easy to admit we are struggling…but I promise, it’s the first step into getting better and healing. Just remember, you would go to the doctor or tell someone if you had bronchitis! Mental health is just as if not more important than our physical health!


Anxiety


My First Panic Attack


I remember the night I had my very first panic attack. I can still picture it so clear in my mind, and can basically do that with every other panic attack I've had since then.

I was 14/15 years old and my family had just moved to an apartment because our new home was being built. It was our first night in that two bedroom apartment, and I wasn't too happy that I had to share a room with my two brothers. My friend Heather was with me and we decided to watch a new Jennifer Lopez movie called 'Enough'. It's about a girl who is being beaten and terrorized by a boyfriend/husband...sounds amazing right?

My friend Heather and I. She's so beautiful!!

My friend Heather and I. She's so beautiful!!

Perfect movie for a 14 year old girl.

After the movie, we went to bed. It was a dark, quiet new place. The movie was pretty 'anxiety' ridden, which I think was what triggered it. 

I started to feel I couldn't breath, like I couldn't catch my breath. My heart was racing, and every time I would try to take a deep breath, I couldn't. (You guys...I can't even write this without FEELING these emotions.)

I went to my parents room and told them I was having trouble breathing. After a few minutes my dad decided to take me to the emergency room. I remember walking back into my room and whispering to my friend, "Hey, my dad is going to take me to the emergency room because I'm having trouble breathing." 

I don't remember much except for sitting in the ER with a paper bag because my dad thought it would help as I breathed in and out through it...and then I remember the doctor telling me it was just a panic attack...something I had never heard of.

After that, everything changed. I couldn't sit in class without freaking out. I would get up and go to the bathroom multiple times. I starting skip class and sometimes skipping school. I remember telling a teacher that she couldn't call on me in class because I would get a FULL blown panic attack if I was asked to read...I remember going to class with a senior friend of mine and sitting in her science class. The teacher bent down and talked to me and told me I could stay as long as I wanted and he understood. I remember thinking how much comfort that gave me.. that someone understood and told me it was ok. 

It wasn't until one day I woke up and realized I would never be able to leave and go to college if this didn't stop. And seriously that day, I didn't get another panic attack for YEARS. (If only I was young and naive today like I was back then!)

I ended up doing a study abroad in Central America, attended college thousands of miles a way, and drove multiple times alone for hours to and from different states all after I told myself anxiety would not control my life...

 I did however drop a Spanish honors class in college because we had to read spinach aloud....haha!

As the years followed, certain things made me anxious, but never took control of my life. I didn't let things that made me nervous bother me. I had confidence that things were no big deal and I paid little to no attention to the anxiety that did creep up..

Skip to the summer of 2016 when I attended a Youtube conference by myself. I was in traffic all morning and was semi nervous to do such a big thing alone. I walked into the conference center and got on this mile long escalator when it happened. I felt like I couldn't breath. I was trapped on this escalator with thousands of people everywhere.

Love my little sidekick.

Love my little sidekick.

I was alone.

I was freaking out.

I walked and pushed people out of the way to the top, just so I could turn around and go to the bottom. I walked a mile to my car, trying my best to keep my composure. When it got to my car, I lost it. It all came coming back, and being alone surrounded by thousands of people...doing this whole blog/youtube thing alone...It triggered me. 

After that I tried to go back to the convention but I couldn't. I made my mom come with my kids and wait at a mall near by so I could try and attend. I took my oldest daughter with me just so I could sit through one class. I remember my left arm going numb because I was freaking out inside SO bad. I wanted to get out of there as fast as I could. 

After that I couldn't do anything. I couldn't go to the grocery store or target without having a panic attack in the checkout line. I dreaded picking the girls up from school because I would have an anxiety attack having to walk all the way in to get my daughter, worried I would pass out and embarrass myself and her. I was afraid to leave my house, go out with friends, live my life....

Then my heart started having the worst palpitations. (It's a natural side affect to anxiety.)

I remember my heart palpitating so bad as I pulled up to my daughters school. I called my dad hysterical telling him I was going to die. My 5 and 2 year old were in the back, and my 5 year old came and hugged me in the car. My dad stayed on the phone with me as I walked in to get my daughter. (I had to park far away and walk a ways to get her...)

Anxiety was and IS the worst. 

Anxiety feels like tunnel vision. It's like your are SO scared, your body is in flight mode and your adrenaline has reached it's highest peak. It's one of the scariest feelings in the least scariest scenario. It's bizarre...

Anyways...skip to today. 

My.Whole.World.  My why.

My.Whole.World.

My why.

I've learned a lot about myself. I'm way stronger than I was two year ago, but I do have my days where I'm weak. I have to remind myself that it's ok to be weak. It's ok if I don't feel up to doing something, but I also know when I have to push myself. I know so much more about myself and what I need to do to be confident in my abilities...But sometimes those things are the HARDEST things to do. Sometimes it's so hard to tell myself to go do something. But I really try and tell myself to do it. Because if I don't, then I am 10 steps back after taking 5 steps forward. 


-How I have, and how I am, overcoming my anxiety.-



Taking care of me.


My third daughter is quite the girl and we've had our fair share of challenges with her. From her lack of sleep, to her severe lack of eating...Then this past year after dealing with some behavioral issues, we decided to put her into a  preschool where they can help her work on certain behaviors.  All of this alone has been quite the challenge for me as a mother, and probably one of the reasons my anxiety has skyrocketed over the past couple of years. Every time I would go somewhere or do something, my daughter would really struggle. Immediately I felt, and was a lot of times judged. I was already anxious to go get my daughter from school because every time my baby would scream bloody murder and I would have to walk a half mile with her completely melting down. It was humiliating. On top of it all my husband was working 12+ hours a day 5 days a week, plus a half of Saturday and some Sunday. I was completely mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted.

My sweet and sour baby!

My sweet and sour baby!

 Part of healing, especially when dealing with a child whose needs are quite demanding, has been to take care of myself. It hasn't been easy. I don't mean relaxing at the end of the night with a bath and a good Netflix binge. I mean leaving my house and going somewhere alone or with friends. Saying yes more to those type of situations that are SO hard for me, that I know will give me anxiety. Even if it means my palms are sweaty and I can't sit still, I always try and go. (Because eventually I WILL calm down.)  It was also really hard putting my husband in charge and leaving the house, even though I do feel an enormous amount guilt because he just worked 13 hours that day.

Also saying no to my daughter, or my other kids, and being ok with it. Not feeling guilty about hiring a babysitter every week so I can do date night...Things like that. Things that are not easy for me to do, but doing them always makes me feel better.

I'm also really trying to make time for myself. More exercise, that's a tough one for me because I legit can't deal, I hate exercise haha! But making time for me to be healthy, it's so important. Otherwise if I've taken care of kids ALONE from 6-8 at night, then I go to bed late, and well eventually I've snowballed myself into a gallon of Ben and Jerry's tonight dough. (Which by the way I feel is totally healthy and acceptable every once in a while.) But most likely the next day, and the groundhog days of motherhood that follow, will cause my anxiety to creep back.

Lastly, less phone time. BIG ONE. Social media is good and evil. If you are struggling, the last thing you should do is look on Instagram for inspiration. It it no way will make you feel calm, I can do this, I'm amazing, and I'm strong. It will however make you feel more anxious, weak, insecure, less than, and like 'everybody has their shit together but me' type of attitude. 


Going there, even when I absolutely do not want to.


Some times the hardest thing for me is to go to the grocery store that's 5 minutes away. Already my nerves start to build up just thinking about it. It could be because every time I go to the store, and I'm already on edge, my daughter will most likely throw a huge tantrum. Which doesn't make it easier. But if something scares me, I do it anyways. I'm not always good at this, but I've been so much better these past couple months. If I'm afraid to go to the store, I go. Every night by myself. I buy one thing, or more the next night. But I go. I (you) have to train your body to know that you are not in a harmful or dangerous situation. And going and doing even when you don't want to is KEY.


Talking about it.


Something I did differently a few months ago was tell my closest friends about my anxiety. Shame and embarrassment is something that gives me anxiety, about anxiety. Makes total sense right haha?! But just knowing that I could openly talk about it with my friends made it not so scary, and I knew that if I ever had a panic attack with any of them I could tell them. It was comforting. But I've never had to because It made anxiety much less threatening when I talked about it.

Also having that someone you can call and talk to when things get rough. It's not easy to open up with someone when you are afraid to admit a weakness. Afraid to admit you might be crazy, even though dealing with this in no way makes you crazy at all. But if you deal with it all on your own, it's so much harder to overcome. Talk to someone. Anyone. A family member, friend, partner...whatever. Just casually bring it up that you have anxiety, and get more comfortable talking about it as time goes on. You won't believe how many people have experienced or are experiencing anxiety or panic attacks. TRUST ME...And you won't feel so alone. I know it's hard. It's probably the hardest thing to talk about...But you can do it. I promise.


The Book that changed my life.


One of my biggest turning points in my anxiety was reading this book: (Click book for link.)

Dare

It was like reading my inner most thoughts. It answered every one of my fears and questions, but also told me how I can control the anxiety and even overcome it. That's what we all want right? I call it my Anxiety Bible because whenever I feel myself starting to have a rough week, I go back and read on things I'm struggling with and I almost immediately feel so much better off.

If you are struggling with anxiety you MUST read this book. It saved me.


Faith


Last but definitely not least is my Faith. I know we all come from different background, religions, and beliefs. So whatever your lifestyle is, this may not be for you. But my faith, and my Anxiety Bible lol, are probably one of the two things that had the most impact on helping me with my anxiety. I'm a Mormon, and I relied a lot on prayer and scripture. I prayed daily to have strength to overcome this. For faith that I could do small and simple things that seemed so hard. I read my scriptures nightly and relied on my Heavenly Father. I became so much stronger I know because of this. Again, we all believe and live differently, but I really feel that relying on a greater being of some sort...it really does help.

No special occasion, we always dress fancy and match at the same time. It's how we roll.

No special occasion, we always dress fancy and match at the same time. It's how we roll.


You can be stronger, I have so much faith in this!


Something so comforting to me is when someone believes in me. When someone assures me that everything will be ok and that I can do this even when something is telling me I can't. But I promise you that you can. As someone who has and does struggle, I know that there is and will always be the light at the end of the tunnel. That we are SO much stronger than we let ourselves be. 

And lastly...Tonight Dough Ben & Jerry's really does calm all anxiety.