My Journey with Anxiety: 9 Ways To Deal With Anxiety

I am not a healthcare professional.  If you are experiencing anxiety, please talk to your doctor about it!

I haven’t talked about this much on my blog and now I’m wondering why.  The whole point to starting this space was to connect with and help other women.  I know there’s a stigma around women and anxiety and I absolutely hate it.  But since I haven’t talked about it, I feel like I’m also progressing that stigma.  So here it goes: My name is Jessica Hughes and I have anxiety.  That’s not so hard to write. 

My Journey with Anxiety: 9 Ways to Deal With Anxiety

My Journey with Anxiety: 9 Ways To Deal With Anxiety by Atlanta blogger Jessica of Happily Hughes

This is what I’ve learned from dealing with this dealing with anxiety for so long: it can be genetic.   My mom and her side of the family have a history of it.  It’s also hard to diagnose.  When I experienced severe anxiety in high school it wasn’t often talked about.  I didn’t know who to turn to or what to do.  Thank goodness my parents were understanding and loving throughout.  It’s debilitating: I dropped out of college for a semester because my anxiety attacks got so bad.  I mean dropped all of my classes and moved back home kind of drop out.  If you know me at all, you know that kind of surrender is so unlike me.  

So here’e the gist of it: I have anxiety.  I’ve had anxiety attacks since I was at least 11, maybe earlier.  It’s especially bad when I’m hormonal (think period, pregnant or postpartum).  I’ve been on medication for my anxiety attacks since I was 19 (when I dropped out of school).  I’ve handled my attacks pretty well since then, give or take a couple of episodes.  Just a couple of weeks ago I was in the throes of a particularly bad episode.  The racing heart, the feeling of your stomach falling out of your butt, the constant adrenaline rush… It’s awful!!!!  After talking to a therapist and taking medication (I’m on Pristiq, Lexapro made me gain 25 pounds and totally zone out) I’ve found these 9 ways to deal with anxiety help me the most: 

My Journey with Anxiety: 9 Ways To Deal With Anxiety by Atlanta blogger Jessica of Happily Hughes

  1. Exercise.  Hahaha you knew I had to say it.  But REALLY!!!!  Working out helps SO much with my anxiety attacks.  When I’m in the middle of one, I try to revert that energy into a workout and it helps calm me down.  There have been so many studies done on the importance of exercise when dealing with anxiety and/or depression.  Here’s one of my favorite articles on the subject.
  2. Let go and Let God- If you’re not religious that’s fine but praying and letting go really helps me.
  3. Good sleep- obviously something I’m not getting currently which has negatively affected me for sure.  When I do get a good nights sleep the probability of an anxiety attack drops significantly. I also love to sleep, so that may have something to do with it. 
  4. Limiting caffeine- I cut out coffee a long time ago and only drink it in dire circumstances.  I do take a pre-workout, but normally the caffeine has worn off by the end of my workout.  
  5. Giving back- donating my time and/or money has done wonders for my anxiety attacks.  That feeling of helping others is such a relief!  Try it, I promise you’ll feel better. 
  6. Surrounding myself with supportive and positive people.  This is of the utmost importance!! If I feel like someone is a negative impact on my life, I try to remove that person.  
  7. Essential oils.  No I’m not selling them, I jut honestly believe they work.  Peace and Calm is my absolute favorite and I actually use it as my perfume!  I also use Lavender on my laundry, in my shower, and in my diffuser at home.
  8. Not drinking- obviously not my strong suit.  I LOVE WINE.  But I have noticed when I don’t drink, I have much less anxiety!  I also sleep better etc…
  9. Natural Calm- a supplement you can get on Amazon and at Whole Foods.  It’s got Magnesium in it, which is said to help!

What are some of the things you do to deal with your anxiety?  I want to know!

My Journey with Anxiety: 9 Ways To Deal With Anxiety by Atlanta blogger Jessica of Happily Hughes

33 thoughts on “My Journey with Anxiety: 9 Ways To Deal With Anxiety

  1. Samantha

    I always knew we were spirit animals. I was on Wellbutrin and Lexapro and recently went off of them and I’m trying a new treatment. I may look into the medicine you mentioned! Do you like it for the most part?

    Reply
  2. Ani

    I started having anxiety attacks a few years ago when I turned 30. Im almost 37 now. It does run in my family too. I use dōTERRA’s balance, serenity, & bergamot oils specifically for my anxiety and moods. Prayer and having a very understanding and accepting husband help as well. I couldn’t make it without Jesus and my husband!

    Reply
  3. Lisa Nagel

    Thank you Jessica for this post. So many people are afraid to admit they have it. I to suffer from it and feel like I have it under control with medication and Oils as well. I can say what also helps me is reading a few chapters each night on self help books whether they are about health and beauty, cooking, or parenting books. I also take a daily walk alone if my husband is not traveling just to clear my head. Can you tell me how you use Lavendar in your laundry? Once again thank you your posts are always helpful and enlightens me. Good luck and as my Mom always tells me just remember to take deep breaths.

    Reply
  4. Lisa Dyer

    Anxiety is horrid! I’ve had it for years. Until my husband had major medical issues including strokes 15 years ago, I didn’t know it was anxiety. I started with Zoloft, then Lexapri. Then nothing. Now I use bergamot, with some orange oil, diluted in sweet almos oil. I rub it on my neck, just under my chin. Helps in seconds. Exercise helps tremendously. The sweatier, the better.

    Reply
  5. Jenee

    I have also had panic attacks and anxiety. Much worse in pregnancy. At my absolute worst I couldn’t eat, sleep, or even shower. Natural Calm is a Godsend! I wanted to add Bach’s Flower Remedies helped me a lot, along with being outside in nature as much as possible (ESPECIALLY on sunny days) really helped. I’m so sorry you deal with this. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Xoxo

    Reply
  6. Sarah Bailey

    Thank you so much for opening up about your journey with anxiety, I suffer with it badly, so I am going to have to try and follow some of your tips and see if they help me as well.

    Reply
  7. Shannon

    There are so many out there that suffer with anxiety so you definitely are not alone! I agree that taking care of yourself is the biggest way to calm fears and feel better.

    Reply
  8. Denay DeGuzman

    It’s so wonderful that you can open up about dealing with anxiety. Even though I haven’t personally experienced it, having an opportunity to learn more about it through your post allows me to gain a better understanding about what it’s like to live with and battle anxiety. Thank you for sharing your personal story and ways to take control of anxiety when it occurs. I know you’ve helped so many people through this post.

    Reply
    1. Marybeth

      Now we are talking to the people Jess.
      Great post and it’s a beautiful thing when we can share our imperfections with others. Some days are just so hard when you live with this draining disorder. Let go,
      Let god… 😘❤️ Mom

      Reply
  9. Shevoneese

    I used to get attacks in my teens but somehow they didn’t bother me in my adulthood. Whenever I feel like I’m having one, I just breathe deeply and say what I see out loudly. It usually helps me to focus my breathing

    Reply
  10. Claudia Krusch

    My friend suffers from anxiety and her little dog is a huge help for her. I will have to share this great post with her.

    Reply
  11. Josselyn Radillo

    I love the sleeves of your off shoulder blouse, on another note, I know how hard is to deal with anxiety I have been there and sometimes I got back to that places i hate so much

    Reply
  12. David Elliott

    That’s good that you have found a medication that helps you. My ex is on Pristiq as well but she has some issues that are a bit different than yours. How does Pristiq work for you?

    Reply
  13. Natalie Lade

    Honestly when it gets really bad running is the only thing that can help. I have a prescription for xanax but that’s only for emergencies. I hate exersice but the feeling of physically running away from the anxiety until I am too pooped to continue feeling that way is the best medicine.

    Reply
  14. Nicole Caudle

    I’ve been dealing with anxiety for years, many of tips have helped me in the past. It can be so frustrating at times to deal with this- I’ve had a lot of ‘I wish I could be normal moments.

    Reply
  15. Anvita

    Donating surely makes me feel better even otherwise. I need to do it more often. This is a good post for even those who don’t have to deal with Anxiety.

    Reply
  16. Quincy Mason

    I appreciate your honesty and bravery to open up about this. The stigma is ridiculous and I am very passionate about exposing the truth about it and destroying the stigma. A therapist once told me, “you wouldn’t withhold insulin from a diabetic, so why do people try to do without medication if they truly need it for anxiety?” I was struggling with having to depend on a pill at that point, years ago. It runs in my family as well. Can I ask you what you took/did while pregnant? My husband and I are getting closer to that stage and it really worries me! As far as what helps me, my medication in the morning, deep breathing when I feel overwhelmed, exercise, and baths!

    Reply
  17. Megan

    People often don’t understand how debelitating dealing with anxiety can be. These are all really great suggestions!

    Reply
  18. Leslie Soto

    This post is so helpful. I’ve started having anxiety in big crowds and when I go out by myself sometimes. It’s awful but i’m a huge believer in essential oils and prayers, especially. I’ve started doing yoga again, too and it helps me feel so good! Thank you for sharing this post.

    Reply

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