Now more than ever, society has been shining light onto mental health struggles-- all for good reason, because 1 out of every 5 Americans struggles with mental illness. We would like to continue to open up the conversation about mental health, because no one is ever alone in this journey.
I will admit that before I started college, I hadn’t really experienced anxiety and it wasn’t something that I understood. My freshman year of college, I began questioning everything. Am I in the right major? Should I really be at this school? Am I rushing away the years that should be fun and exciting by pressuring myself about my future too quickly? I was tumbling over the future while completely forgetting about living in the present. These thoughts and worries manifested themselves into my behavior as well as physical ailments such as nausea and heart palpitations. I was combating anxiety without even knowing it-- and the problem was growing.
The truth is, everyone's experience is so different, and the sooner you trust that the track you’re on is the right one for you, the easier it gets. I realize this now-- however back then, I needed to find ways to understand how and why I was functioning and thinking the way I was, and more importantly, how to cope with it.
Wellness gave me all the tools I needed to feel like I had control over my mind and body. Personally, I put my focus on grounding myself in order to feel calm, relaxed, and at peace. Of course, everyone's experience is so different, but here are some ways that I used wellness as a basis for controlling my uniquely wired brain.
It all began by eating healthier. I wasn’t on any strict diet-- in fact I didn’t even change much. I have always had a sweet tooth that I couldn’t resist! But I was being more mindful of what I was putting into my body. Simply knowing that I was putting in more effort to help my physical health put my mind at ease. Little things like eliminating caffeine by replacing coffee with tea and cooking a wholesome breakfast in the morning made both my mind and body felt strong, energized, and healthy. Plus, I had a pretty great time exploring fun, healthy recipes to try on Pinterest!
I began researching more about the healing powers of crystals. Since ancient times, crystals have been used for their energetic healing properties. I’d stop into my local crystal store, which had all kinds of beautiful stones to explore. I would pick whatever one felt right at the time, keep it on me for a couple weeks, and then look up its properties.
Exercise was always recommended to help with anxiety-- and I chose to do so through yoga. I’m more of a wind-down and relax type of yogi, so after a long day of school or work, I would do an at-home yoga flow guided by Youtube videos. It’s free and I could do it in the comfort of my own home-- does it get any better than that? This brings me to my next point-- developing a solid night time routine was so essential to making me feel calm and secure.
After my yoga flow, I would spend about 5 minutes meditating. Mindfulness meditation has been proven to reduce symptoms of anxiety-- and honestly, we all could spare a mere 5 minutes to purely focus on ourselves and our wellbeing.
Lastly, aromatherapy-- before bed, I like to fill my diffuser with a few drops of lavender essential oil. This oil is excellent for calming and soothing the mind, and is therefore great to use before bed. With consistent use, the scent triggered my mind and body to think “hey, it's time to sleep!” This made sleeping much less of a dreaded hassle.
During the daytime, I like to massage a bit of our Root Enlightenment Oil behind my ears and at the back of my neck. When balanced, the root chakra supports our center of stability, security, and sense of belonging. The scent and the meaning behind this powerful chakra oil always makes me feel at ease and grounded.
When it comes down to it, I believe that grounding energy really helped me feel secure. Although my anxiety has not gone away, I am thankful for the process as it has helped me grasp a control over my life that I never thought was possible. I feel empowered through the ups and the downs, because in the end I always come out stronger.