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:


My mom is so good with words!


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


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


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


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!!


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.


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!!!!!!!!!!! ;)


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


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

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

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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 ;-)


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!).


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!


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!


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!


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!


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!


Donohuli December 3, 2009 at 4:27 pm

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 :)


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.


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 :)


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!


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.


Bridget December 3, 2009 at 5:40 pm

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


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.


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!


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

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


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.


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.


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.


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!


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!


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!


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.


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.


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!


Runeatrepeat December 4, 2009 at 12:30 am

You are gorgeous! You’ll do amazing :)


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!!!


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.


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.


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.)


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!


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!!


Nikki T December 4, 2009 at 11:49 am



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!)


::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 :)


[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


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.


Chad December 4, 2009 at 4:43 pm

And of course I forgot running and writing.


ProjectBare December 4, 2009 at 5:38 pm

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.



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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