How To Beat Anxiety

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on December 3, 2009

As I have talked about many times in the past, I have struggled with anxiety since I was a child and it surfaces during exciting moments in my life.

As soon as I found out I was going to be on TV, I felt that anxiety creeping back. Because of my past with disordered eating, I used to always channel that anxiety on my outward appearance.

However, over the past few years I have worked very hard to change the negative mindset. I saw a counselor, I applied my psychology teachings, and I did a lot of inner work with myself. The change I have seen has been huge.

With this being said, there are still times in my life when I too am susceptible to negative thoughts and channeling my anxiety in a poor manner. This was evident yesterday. I was all over the place with my feelings and I definitely did not feel grounded in myself.

I always struggle with how much to reveal on this website. Do I hide my feelings because I am worried of sending the wrong message or do I share my struggles with the world in hopes that others can relate and we turn it into a learning experience?

I prefer to turn it into a learning experience, rather than hide who I am.

What I meant to include in my post last night was how I was channeling this anxiety.

When I feel anxious, instead of giving into negative thoughts…I now engage in productive activities to activate positive thoughts!

I thought I would share with you a few things I have been doing.

1) My mom sent me a poem she wrote for Operation Beautiful:

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My mom is so good with words!

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I love it! It never fails to make me smile. :)

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2) Then I took control of my anxiety and wrote myself a positive quote:

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This is one of my fav. quotes of all time:

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It reminds me to think of the people I love and why I love them. It is often because they have an inner spirit that radiates from the inside!!

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A couple other things I did:

3. Progressive Relaxation (try it out it’s awesome!)

4. Writing.

I also made another list of negative thoughts countered with a positive thought. This technique ALWAYS works for me and I do it often.

5. Exercise.

This morning I had a great workout, including some much needed yoga!!! Yoga never fails to relax every cell in my being.

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I don’t think it is realistic to expect perfection from ourselves and that includes times when we temporarily divert off our desired path. What is important is how we deal with those times and rise above it!!!!

I may always struggle with negative thoughts creeping back into my head, but I now have the tools to challenge them and kick their butt to the curb.

I feel back to my regular self today and I feel more excited than ever.

Bring it on!!!!!!!!!!! ;)

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Do you ever struggle with anxiety during exciting moments (or stressful ones)? How do you overcome it?

Angela_Signature

PS- Contest winners coming soon- I didn’t forget! Ok ok I did but it’s coming soon! ;)

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{ 81 comments… read them below or add one }

Megan @ Megzz Wins At Life December 3, 2009 at 11:26 am

You are going to do great in your TV Interview!! Your deserve all the “celeb status” you can get! You really are a beautiful person inside and out and have inspired myself and so many other people to follow our dreams.

Have a nice day!

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nicolene December 4, 2009 at 5:28 am

i love the way you choose your thoughts and articulate them so well for all of us who go through the same things!

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Laura Scholz December 3, 2009 at 11:28 am

Angela, we are so similar. I have also struggled with depression/anxiety and disordered eating. Yoga is my saving grace–I swear by it. And also the other things you mentioned–exercise, writing, counteracting negative thoughts. I think it’s great that you’re so willing to share–don’t ever stop being you!

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Jessica @ How Sweet It Is December 3, 2009 at 11:29 am

This is such a great post, Ange! I have always had massize anxiety, too. Really bad – I am sure a worry-wart. All of your tips will really help, I’m sure!

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[email protected] Healty Fit December 3, 2009 at 11:31 am

Thanks for this post! I too have been struggling a bit lately and I decided yesterday that I was going to write a post sharing it on my blog soon. So strange…I made myself an operation beautiful note last night and put it on my mirror to help me through.

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skinnyrunner December 3, 2009 at 11:45 am

fabulous post! it seems lately when i get stressed i reach for candy. hopefully these tips will help me NOT to.
your house looks beautiful by the way. and very clean!

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Claire December 3, 2009 at 11:50 am

Good for you!! I get anxiety,too.I have to give myself pep talks sometimes:-) cc

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Viviane December 3, 2009 at 11:52 am

Good luck Angela! I hope they will air your segment on CTV in Montreal!!

I’ve been struggling with anxiety problems for years now and here’s a trick that might help: remember an event when you were excited/anxious about an event but in a good way (before your wedding, as a child before Christmas, for me it’s before my husband kneeled down and proposed). Now remember how this event made you feel inside? Butterflies in your stomach, increased heart rate… these are the SAME feelings you get when you get anxious in a negative way.
The body doesn’t make a difference between an event that you perceive as good or scary: it just reacts, it gets excited.

By repeatedly closing your eyes, picturing yourself being scared and anxious in an upcoming situation, remember the time your body felt the same way and associate this feeling to a POSITIVE event.

In time, this might help shift the way your mind perceives this bodily feeling (which cannot be controled anyways). This trick is helping me a lot and like you, my anxiousness comes from a past eating disorder, so believe me, you are not alone and there is hope!

Good luck!!

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Lauren @ Eater not a runner December 3, 2009 at 11:52 am

I love your mom’s poem! I get anxiety too, and I like your idea of a list of negative ideas countered by a positive one. I really need to try that out.

Thanks!

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Kate December 3, 2009 at 11:53 am

Anxiety sucks!!! I hate it! Whenever I feel anxious or stressed out, if possible I take a long hot bath. If that isn’t possible, I go to my car and cry really hard. I mean, really really hard. 9 times out of 10 when I’m done crying, I’m not stressed or anxious anymore. :)

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Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope December 3, 2009 at 11:56 am

Angela, random question–is there a tea you would recommend that is high in caffeine? The reason is that I’m going to start working the night shift and I may need a boost some time during the night, but I’m not a fan of coffee.

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[email protected] December 3, 2009 at 11:57 am

What a beautiful note by your mother. I suffered from terrible anxiety in my past – so bad I almost went to the ER a few times because I just didn’t know what to do. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing this. It’s all about finding your inner peace of mind.

I always think of one of my favorite quotes: PEACE. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.

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Estela @ Weekly Bite December 3, 2009 at 12:02 pm

What a great post! I don’t know one person who doesn’t have negative thoughts creep in their heam. Everyone has them… it’s learning how to deal with them that’s important.

You’re going to do awesome w/your TV interview!

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Pam December 3, 2009 at 12:03 pm

with green smoothies…it helps calm the nervous system!

Enjoy!

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Cindy December 3, 2009 at 12:05 pm

I am glad you decided to share this with the world. we need to hear it and see how you triumphed! WAY TO GO.

I have horrible anxieties that I have been tackleing HEAD ON for a while but DEFINITELY this year. It’s been exhausting and rewarding AND LIBERATING

I am proud of ya! and yes BRING IT ON!!!

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Lily @ Lily's Health Pad December 3, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Angela, I loved this post. I, too, am a psychologist, and I always get nervous before giving presentations or leading meetings. Sometimes it is so difficult to practice what we preach, and alleviate anxiety with research-based methods!

Usually when I get nervous, I try to remember all of the times that I was super duper anxious but yet was successful in completing whatever task it was that I was nervous about. More often then not, my anxiety wasn’t even necessary because I rocked it in the end!

You are going to rock it today! I hope that you are able to somehow post your interview for us on the blog!

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Mellissa December 3, 2009 at 12:10 pm

I am excited for all these tips, I have horrible anxiety and really struggle with keeping it under control.

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Anne Marie @ New Weigh of Life December 3, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Thank you for the tips-they are so helpful! I am such an anxious person by nature. I try to breathe through the stress.

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Courtney December 3, 2009 at 12:14 pm

I’m glad you decided to be honest and talk about your struggle with this. Many people who seem really put together and who are strong and in control are actually the people that aren’t! I know I am that person, and anxiety does take me over sometimes. I have found exercise to help IMMENSELY with these feelings. It gives me an outlet, clears my head, and gives those emotions somewhere to go. And sometimes I just need to have a quick breakdown, sometimes it is all I can do! Many people I know “in real life” would be surprised to hear that about me…you just never know what is going on with someone behind the facade.
Courtney
Adventures in Tri-ing

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Brittney December 3, 2009 at 12:17 pm

Thanks for sharing your tips. They are all definitely something we shouls take into consideration during stressful times.

You will do awesome with your interview :)

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Erin December 3, 2009 at 12:21 pm

Those are great tips and love the quotes. Your mom has a way with words. :) Just know that you have a positive message and be confident in what you’re saying. If you have inner confidence, that will radiate out.

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Gloria December 3, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Your posts always hit so close to home. It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one out there suffering from anxiety. My mom dealt with anxiety her whole life until just recently when she started speaking to a psychologist. My brother suffers from it as well and so did my grandmother! Is it genetic? We’re such fun, happy people.. so why do we go through life feeling anxious about everything exciting AND stressful?

I give myself a lot of peptalks, listen to music, exercise, and do tons of yoga to help calm my thoughts!

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caitlin December 3, 2009 at 12:36 pm

yay Operation Beautiful!

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Michelle @ Eatingjourney December 3, 2009 at 12:37 pm

and this is why you’re going to be on tv. because you’re real, honest, vulnerable, and beautiful. go kick some arse and shine woman. we’re all behind you.

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Bronwyn December 3, 2009 at 12:38 pm

There was a time when I would super duper anxious, and like you I’d place all of that nervous energy onto my outside appearance, and it led to some seriously disordered eating.
I remember there was a switching point and I had to tell myself to change, I went to a counselor and she gave me some ways to deal with it. One was to write down the situation, then write the worst that could happen, then write a more realistic scenario, then combine the two. Usually my anxiety would go down a fair bit. I’ve definitely always been good at writing stuff down. Things don’t make me quite as anxious anymore, and I usually try to deal with them in a situation-to-situation sort of way.

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Katie December 3, 2009 at 12:41 pm

Badly. I’ve been focusing on my eating lately due to the holidays and it’s not a positive feeling. I need to utilize some of your methods instead of beating myself up over what I’ve ate (like the cupcake I ate this am).

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Alanna December 3, 2009 at 12:42 pm

I really needed something like this to read today. I’m living under a giant pile of University paper work and feeling quite anxious! Thanks!

Good luck with your media appearance :)

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George December 3, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Hey Angela,
Love the sticky out tongue picture, its a great reminder never to take life too seriously =) Im off work with Swine flu and it made me smile. Thanks for posting about anxiety, its something I struggle with too, almost daily. Your a beautiful girl, who deserves every success coming her – now go rock that interview! ;)

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Paige @ Running Around Normal December 3, 2009 at 1:00 pm

I get anxiety from time to time too. I usually describe it as “I’m feeling weak.” Not physically, but mentally and emotionally, I just don’t feel as strong and confident in myself and my decisions as I normally do. I hate it, because it’s a skewed view of what’s reality, but it’s hard to shake it. Those are great ways to shake off the anxiety!

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Jo Stockton December 3, 2009 at 1:12 pm

This was a lovely post to read. I don’t know how to deal with anxiety, and usually my “coping” methods leave me worse off than I was before. I’m going to keep your tips in mind!

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Mo December 3, 2009 at 1:16 pm

If you did not have negative emotions at times, you would not be human! And sharing these with us is a GOOD thing, despite what someone said recently. You are a really good role model and someone that many of us learn from on a daily basis. We all love your honesty!

You are gonna be great on TV! Congratulations! And think of it as a warm up to a show on the Food Network – Yeah!!! :-)

Your mom is amazing!

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Ameena December 3, 2009 at 1:43 pm

I get through stressful times by organizing…the kitchen, my closet, etc. It just makes me feel SO much better. I too can’t eat when I am stressed so I know exactly what you are going through!

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Sarah December 3, 2009 at 1:45 pm

Good for you for working through the situation! I don’t get anxious too often but I have a friend who is constantly and she is always letting her negative thoughts get the better of her. I’ve tried recommending some of the things you mention on your blog but I guess she just needs to reach that point where she really wants better for herself.

Thanks for sharing who you are with us :)

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Tania @ Moment Anew December 3, 2009 at 1:53 pm

For the longest time, I have used the technique of writing a list of all the silliest negative things running through my mind and right alongside them I debunk them and replace them with a more positive, rational thought. It ALWAYS works, no matter how bad the anxiety. I have done this since my early 20’s and have been able to keep any anxiety/depression at bay.

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Julie @savvyeats December 3, 2009 at 2:02 pm

First of all, I love your mom’s poem :)

Such a good post! I suffer from anxiety too, and you have some great techniques listed here. Thanks for sharing with us, sweetie!

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Alina December 3, 2009 at 2:05 pm

You’ll do awesome – good luck! Just remember, it’s not live, so they’ll just take the best clips :)

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Jil December 3, 2009 at 2:06 pm

I find a lot of times if I write about my anxiety, it eases them a bit. It just gets everything that is in my head OUT!

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Ashley December 3, 2009 at 2:21 pm

Hi Angela! I definitely appreciate you sharing your struggles with overcoming anxiety. I can relate more than you know to channeling my anxiety to my appearance. It makes me feel better that I am not the only one that struggles with anxiety. Thank you so much for sharing!!

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Kate December 3, 2009 at 2:29 pm

I definitely struggle with anxiety with all the stress of grad school and just plain life. I love progressive muscle relaxation! Our health network has put together some stress management podcasts (found here: http://health.colostate.edu/CounselingServices/StressManagement.cfm), including one about progressive muscle relaxation. I often recommend the podcasts to my patients, and I use them frequently myself.

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*Andrea* December 3, 2009 at 2:33 pm

anxiety sucks. my mom, sister and i all have it, in different forms i guess. i love your advice though.. i also try and reverse negative thoughts. i read somewhere that thoughts are just pretend things that do not exist and yet are so harmful but you can trick your brain but just saying the opposite of whatever negative thouhg youre having and then you get on a more positive track of thinking :)

ps your mom is so creative! just like you!

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Jenna December 3, 2009 at 2:40 pm

I can be a very anxious person. I haven’t found the perfect remedy yet. However, baking and talking to family always helps me calm down. Especially talking to my mom and brother, they always can help me talk through what is making me anxious and help me relax. :)

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Lindsay December 3, 2009 at 2:47 pm

Great tips on beating anxiety! Yoga is a good one, I have something big tomorrow and to beat stress I am getting my downdog on tonight ;-)

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Tiffany S. December 3, 2009 at 3:23 pm

First of all, you are GORGEOUS and need to hear that!

Second, I can totally relate. Even people in college would ask me how long I’d spent on my hair because the more anxious I was, the more perfected my hair was – coiffed within an inch of its life.

I have a special coffee meeting today and spent an extra 5 minutes on some eyelash positioning!

So never feel that you’re alone. We soooo appreciate you sharing. Good job finding healthy ways to assuage your anxiety (I once did jumping jacks until I was totally worn out and then the thing I was so anxious about turned out not happening. Still happy to get those jacks in though!).

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Kelly December 3, 2009 at 3:29 pm

I’m glad you posted this! I struggle with anxiety as well — but exercising, and a better understanding of myself has helped (and — not gonna lie — a Xanax, as needed. Literally like no more than 1x a month…). I struggle with social anxiety issues — traveling, attending meetings, riding in cars with other people….basically anything that leaves me out of control of the situation and unable to “escape” (or leave) when/if I want to.
It’s a constant struggle, but I acknowledge that I’ve grown leaps and bounds in trying to tame it! I’ve also discovered it helps to talk about it — so I’d say if you are comfortable, yak away on the blog whenever you’re feeling anxious!

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Lynne December 3, 2009 at 3:47 pm

Thanks for sharing this. I struggle with anxiety too. I have found that for me, swimming really helps. I also try to talk through my anxieties with someone. I am terrible for building things up out of all proportion in my mind, and actually talking to someone helps me to get things in perpective. And a good cry helps as well!

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lz December 3, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Angela, thank you for posting the poem from your mom! It was a delight to read, and it lifted my spirits! She is indeed talented with words. The Sophia Loren quote is so true; one’s external appearance reflects their internal stability. Thanks for this post and for your continuous dedication to encouraging readers to feel good about themselves. You certainly made my day brighter!

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carolinebee December 3, 2009 at 4:16 pm

ANG congrats on the TV spot and your house looks aaaamaaazing!!! You will be just fabulous :D As usual!

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AGS December 3, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Thanks for this post. The schedule I’m keeping (and pressure) is just horrible. I wish I could find a good way to deal with the stress. . . and anxiety!

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Donohuli December 3, 2009 at 4:27 pm

Angela,
You have the most AWESOME site ever. You are honest, sincere, you explode with integrity, you have values that are sincere, pure, honest, and real and it shows in EVERY posting.
On top of that you are incredibly beautiful. TO think that even for a minute you would experience the negative feelings that you do is astonishing.
I am WAY older than you (probably your Mom’s age)….and so when I read/look/hear what you have to say I am astonished that you have the kind of nervous energy that you describe. I do relate to it (at my age), but WOW – you should go to bed EVERY dayI and your mantra should be:
I am strong
I emobdy incredibly STRONG values, beliefs and faith
I demonstrate those values every day
I live clean, exercise religiously, continue to try harder
I am BEAUTIFUL….everybody things so (honest)
You are going to be a HUGE star on this TV series. Your house is beautiful, you are beautiful, Eric is great…STOP worrying.
Enjoy :)

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Karla December 3, 2009 at 4:42 pm

I love your mom’s poem! Anxiety is definitely hard to deal with. I struggle all the time. Exercising generally helps me, also doing something to get my mind of whatever is stressing me out.

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Lisa (bakebikeblog) December 3, 2009 at 4:59 pm

What a beautiful and honest post – thankyou for sharing. I can certainly relate to the ‘anxiety’ issues and your approach to tackling it is wonderful :)

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Chrysta December 3, 2009 at 5:11 pm

I can totally relate to this too! The one thing that has really helped me is exercise. For some reason it calms me down mentally and emotionally and really helps me through some tough times. Its those awesome endorphins I’ll tell ya=) I wish you all the best and I know you will be amazing!! You always are!=) Keep up the fabulous work!

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Courtney December 3, 2009 at 5:19 pm

I can definitely relate to this, I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder in high school. I was on medication for a little while but I found that overcoming it in my lifestyle made me feel SO much better and in control over my own life. These are great tips, I love your mom’s poem.

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Bridget December 3, 2009 at 5:40 pm

Your words are so true! And i love that poem your mom wrote – simple yet powerful

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Dori December 3, 2009 at 5:41 pm

Wow, looks like lots of your readers have anxiety. Including me. My boyfriend wants me to get a handle on it, he says he has a hard time being with me when I am especially agitated and fixated on something minor.

Running does help but I am trying to get into yoga. I didn’t like it in the past but lately I have been enjoying it on my own and would like to keep trying. I have a hard time really focusing but I hope that will get better over time.

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Lauren December 3, 2009 at 5:42 pm

I know you love inspiring quotes, and I’m not sure how you personally feel about Bible verses, but these came to my mind, as they have been sources of comfort and truth to me during times of anxiety:
Philippians 4:6-7 “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand.”

Also, Jesus said, “Can all you worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not.” Matthew 6:27 and “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries.” Matt. 6:34

I don’t mean to push my own beliefs on you, but I thought I’d just share how my faith has gotten me through very anxious times in my life.
Love your honesty, thank you for being so real with us, Angela!

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Ali @ Food, Fitness, Fashion December 3, 2009 at 5:46 pm

Great post, Angela! I love the poem you mom send to you!

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Jolene December 3, 2009 at 6:16 pm

I get really anxious as well … and the only way I can deal is to take deep breaths and try to relax.

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Shelly December 3, 2009 at 6:45 pm

I’ve struggled with my anxiety disorder for years. I’ve had a good grip on it for the past few years though. When I start feeling anxious, I stop, identify the fact that I am feeling anxious (b/c it tends to just creep up on me), the think back and recall what made me anxious (Because if I’m worrying about something it tends to be a “go to” worry instead of what I need to think about. I distract myself from negative or strong emotions by feeling anxious instead). So once I find the trigger, I address it and once I’m done with that process, it will have given me enough time to separate myself from those anxious feelings.
For example, I might feel angry at someone or frustrated or embarrassed, but instead of dealing with my real feelings, I’ll start worrying that my hangnail is going to become infected and that I’ll have to go to urgent care b/c it’s after 5 and that then I’ll be low on money for the next two weeks, etc…. If I stop and notice that I started worrying after I became upset, and then think about how I can resolve the situation that made me upset, then the anxiety usually goes away.
Oddly enough, being really really excited or happy can also trigger anxiety for me. It’s like my mind knows it’s really good at worrying, so that’s what it does when it doesn’t know how to process my real feelings.
Other things I do that keep it at bay are adhering to a regular schedule in terms of lifestyle and in terms of when I eat, and getting plenty of exercise.

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Cynthia (It All Changes) December 3, 2009 at 9:04 pm

I get super anxious a lot. I’ve used exercise for a change from food. I also tend to use yoga to help since I have to focus on the poses.

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Jenny December 3, 2009 at 9:38 pm

Great post!! I struggle A LOT with anxiety over things like tests, social situations to stupid things like what to wear each day.

What helps me is acknowledging exactly WHAT about that situation is making me so worried and anxious. 9 times out of 10 it’s some irrational fear that I’m letting get to me, and I can nip it in the bud right there!

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sarah (ghost world) December 3, 2009 at 10:45 pm

woah — i wrote about anxiety TODAY too!!! great minds think alike? we even have some of the same strategies. i favor a mindfulness approach and agree exercise helps SO MUCH — my run tonight completely turned my mood around!

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Kristine December 3, 2009 at 10:46 pm

I have anxiety a lot! I hate it! I am having quite a bit right now because I have a HUGE clinical exam tomorrow in my doctorate program that will determine if I can continue in the program!! TRYING TO STAY CALM! Haha! I can’t say it effects my eating too much, although I chew lots of gum!

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Lindsay Perrone (goodiesgalore) December 3, 2009 at 11:15 pm

Very helpful and thoughtful post. Countering negative thoughts is important to see things more realistically. I absolutely struggle with negative body image/self esteem and it takes real work to truly feel better. Thanks for the tips.

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Sarah December 3, 2009 at 11:27 pm

Angela you will do fantastic in your interview! Thank you so much for your tips. I often turn to food control when I’m stressed and anxious because it’s the one thing I can control. Your tips in how you deal with anxiety and overcame your eating issues has really inspired me to try to live healthily as opposed to obsessing about calories, etc. Thank you for being so honest and sharing your struggles because it helps me feel less alone in dealing with my eating habits.

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SP December 3, 2009 at 11:34 pm

I’ve been at your blog for like 2 minutes… and I love it already and will subscribe right after this comment.

I’m planning on revamping my own blog soon and yours provides so much inspiration of “what could be” — I really really like this!

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Runeatrepeat December 4, 2009 at 12:30 am

You are gorgeous! You’ll do amazing :)

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Trail December 4, 2009 at 12:32 am

I also have times of anxiety where I can feel it trying to get the best of me. I often notice it with physical symptoms. I tend to either scratch my head/play with my hair until I notice I’m irritating it or I breathe too shallowly and feel like I’ve run a marathon. Deep breathing is a quick easy way to help with either, and I can do it while still accomplishing whatever is needed for a looming deadline. You will be awesome in your interview, no need to stress!!!

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Jaya December 4, 2009 at 3:00 am

I love Trail’s comment about breathing. I also notice this change when I am anxious about anything. Angela, you are awesome. Keep sharing. In fact, there is a whole world of people willing to talk about the good, the great and the impressive, but what’s more impressive is that tiny minority who are willing to share the tough, the ugly and the common.
It is so awesome that you find everything you need to overcome tough times within you. Whenever I want to be needy (on someone or something) I always remind myself that every comfort I could ask for is already within me. I just need to sit down and hang out with ME..quietly, peacefully.

You are going to be great on TV. You are a babe, and you have nothing but great messages to share..including the one you have today. The thing about anxiety is that it’s often an indicator of something huge and exciting just over the horizon.

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Christine December 4, 2009 at 8:54 am

I use Bach’s Rescue Remedy. It works very quickly to settle your nerves. I don’t leave home without it.

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Katherine December 4, 2009 at 10:55 am

Anxiety is a huge issues in my family. One doctor a family member went to said that she heard of a study where patients who exercised vigorously 5 times a week had as much benefit from the exercise as most people on medication. So now our family members have to exercise at least every other day. It’s a rule in our household! Otherwise we reap the nasty side effects of anxiety (IBS, hospital visits etc.)

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linda December 4, 2009 at 11:35 am

I came across your site by accident and admire your courage and honesty to openly discuss your feelings and emotions.

I loved your mom’s poem – love yourself, and all your flaws!

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Racheal December 4, 2009 at 11:46 am

Thank you so much for your post!! I admire your courage to put your feelings out there like that. I struggle with anxiety and OCD and I completely understand where your coming from. We just have to recognize the times that this is happening and handle it with positivity. I listen to Christina Aguilera song “Beautiful” and that really helps. Thank you!!

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Nikki T December 4, 2009 at 11:49 am

GOOOOODDDDDDDDD LUCK!!!

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Laura December 4, 2009 at 1:09 pm

I am an elementary school counselor and I often teach my anxious students about “ANT Crushing.” An “ANT” is an Automatic Negative Thought, and when one pops in their head they imagine squashing the “ant” and proclaim an opposite statement. For example, “I’m going to fail this test.” SQUASH! “I am going to do my very best on this test.” I cut out pictures of ants and let them literally stomp on them when they are learning the technique. They love it! I realize you aren’t an eight year old, but getting in the habit of swapping a negative thought for a positive one can be helpful. (and thinking of grown-ups running around stomping on “ants” makes me giggle which is also anxiety-reducing!)

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::christine:: December 4, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Thanks for sharing this with us. I suffer from anxiety myself. In fact, the fact you haven’t posted yet worried me (thoughts like, I hope Angela is ok) – Maybe I’m just a worrier :)

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[email protected] December 4, 2009 at 2:52 pm

I’m stressed out all the time. In fact I can’t think of a time in my life when I have not been! This is actually why I moved to Maui many years ago :-)
Anyway, I’m pretty stressed again at the moment….changing jobs, dealing with a terrible economy and trying to unload some real estate in this depressed market. However, I’ve been trying REALLY hard to breath, surf and enjoy my beautiful island as much as possible…..these times will pass. They always do….Aloha, xo

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Chad December 4, 2009 at 4:43 pm

Singing, listening to inspiring tunes (a la U2), and praying in my heart to my Creator, Jesus, helps me immensely. Sounds lofty, but its true, and pretty base. Being connected to supportive friends also helps me, and laughter, is really important in times of great anxiety.

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Chad December 4, 2009 at 4:43 pm

And of course I forgot running and writing.

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ProjectBare December 4, 2009 at 5:38 pm

HI!
Great post, thank you for sharing :) I completely understand your dilemma with how much is too much to share. I, too, suffered from anxiety and disordered eating following a sexual assault a few years ago. After years of therapy and positive reinforcement, I’ve learned to love myself again and wash myself clean of my negative thoughts (most of the time.) I run a site called Project Bare, where each day I tell something I used to be afraid to admit about my past (ie; eating problems, anxiety, drinking, etc.) and encourage other women to share their stories as well so they too can try to move past their problems and feel the relief that I’ve felt. Next week, I’ll be moving to a week-long topic format for my “reveals” and I’m hoping that soon I can do a week on anxiety. I would LOVE to do an interview with you since you’re a successful woman who has overcome her problems to be a great role model for young women. Would you consider this?

Please feel free to email me back if you’d like to talk more. I would love to pick your brain as a fellow blogger on women’s issues.

Thanks!!

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Katy @ These Beautiful Feet December 5, 2009 at 12:35 am

I have grown up with a lot of anxiety, mainly around people but that stems from a lot of things. I feel like I get nervous or anxious at least once a day. At least, I used to. I thought it was normal until someone told me how sad that was. I feel like I have grown so much in the last year for the better and I am finally becoming able to overcome those anxieties, but I still have moments of anxiety, I would love to talk to you about it sometime. I can totally relate.

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