Stress & anxiety : what works for me

April 28, 2019 Paris, France

I tried a bunch of things to help me with anxiety ; some of them were effective while others didn’t do much. Here's what worked !

If I had to explain, what anxiety is, I'd summarize it this way : anxiety is as state of intense stress, for no reason, for an extended period of time. Aka : hell.
I got diagnosed with generalized anxiety back when I was 18, and tried pretty much everything to make my life easier ever since.

Anyway, even though you might not be suffering from anxiety, there's a 100% chance you're suffering/will suffer one day from stress. Here's a list of things I like to do to reduce stress/anxiety :

☞  Taking a shower and massaging myself with olive oil

Olive oil makes me feel grounded. While its smell might not be to everyone’s taste, it reminds me of childhood memories and its thickness/greasiness makes me feel more calm, not really sure why though, but taking the time to slather some on my body after a hot shower always makes me feel better.

☞  Lavender and ylang ylang essential oils

These two essential oils are known to have soothing and calming properties on the nervous system. While there’s a bunch of other oils with similar effects, these are the ones I love the most, probably because they’re the only ones in this category having scents which don’t bother me. I either use them mixed with olive oil to apply on skin, use them in a diffuser or put one drop on my wrists to sniff during the day. 

☞  Eating proteins and fats, staying away from sugar

This tip is a major one since our blood sugar levels have a significant impact on anxiety. Keeping blood sugar as constant as possible, avoiding sugar rushes and crashes is definitely a major concern. Proteins and fats help stabilizing blood sugars, and make you feel full and satisfied for an extended period of time. They're our BFFs !
On the other hand, I also avoid sugar and simple carbs (white bread, white rice...) and aim for complex carbs like beans & whole cereals like oats, brown rice etc to prevent the sugar rushes & crashes.

☞  Exercise

It helps instantly but also in the long run. The only thing is that when my anxiety is peaking, it’s very very hard for me to stay focused while exercising. What usually works best for me in those moments is to go for a 1-hour class instead of exercising on my own : I have no other choice but to stay focused on following the instructions from the coach. Disconnecting for an hour + the feel-good hormones shot = happy me ! 

☞  Making myself some tea

Between the brewing process and finally being able to drink a cup without burning my lips, there’s usually a strong 15 minutes. I love how this ritual keeps me busy and then allows me to enjoy my favorite beverage. It’s warm, soothing, tasty... absolutely perfect. 

☞  Soaking up the sun

While this tip involves a variable which cannot be mastered, I noticed that feeling direct sunlight on my skin improved my mood dramatically. So whenever I can, I either go outside or stand next to a window on sunny days to feel this pure bliss. Bonus point if I just got out of the shower and can let my hair dry in the sun.

☞  Taking a curcumin supplement

Curcumin is the very potent anti-inflammatory compound found in turmeric. Inflammation can worsen anxiety, therefore supplementing with anti-inflammatory supplements is always a good idea. It's pretty phenomenal to be honest ! You can add turmeric into your diet, but I chose the lazy option which consists in swallowing a curcumin pill. Notice that curcumin requires piperine (a compound found in pepper) to be absorbed efficiently. Take turmeric along with a hint of pepper or make sure your supplement contains piperine as well !

I tried A LOT of things, and here's a list of what worked for me, but I intend to post soon about everything else I read about and tried because even though I didn't work for me, it might work for you !

Take care,

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