It Is Possible To Overcome Anxiety

It Is Possible To Overcome Anxiety

No matter how difficult it might seem, it is possible to lessen your anxiety's control on your life.

It's possible to overcome anxiety.

I never thought that I would be able to write those words and actually believe them.

Now, I'm not referring to your everyday, run-of-the-mill anxiety, like when you get nervous over taking a big exam or dread having to talk on the phone. I'm talking about real anxiety that you can feel in every nerve of your body, the type that makes you break out in a sweat, blurs your vision, and speeds up your heart rate. Anxiety that springs from the most normal and common situations. Anxiety that is always lurking in your shadow, waiting to take you by surprise. Anxiety that twists your sense of self and damages your ability to live the life you want. That's the anxiety I'm talking about.

Anxiety is an old friend of mine - well, more like an old enemy. I was always shy growing up (note: being shy and being anxious are not the same thing) but I didn't begin experiencing constant nervousness until I hit my middle school years. Throughout the course of a typical school day, I would encounter situation after situation that would make my heart feel like it was about to burst out of my chest and make my stomach feel like it was tied up in knots. My anxiety only worsened in high school.

Something changed my senior year of high school, though: I stopped caring about what people thought of me and instead starting living my life in accordance to my own ideals. Groundbreaking, I know. I started to develop more confidence in myself, which helped out considerably when it came to pretty much everything. I don't even think I consciously realized what I was doing, but slowly things that once caused me to panic now only resulted in mild discomfort. Things only improved once I began going to college. I am now doing things that once seemed impossible.

I still consider myself an incredibly anxious person, and there are still plenty of times where I can physically feel my anxiety crippling me. But looking back on how I use to be, I am in awe of how much progress I have made and the things that I am able to achieve now that I don't let my anxiety get in the way of living my life.

Anxiety isn't something that simply vanishes. You don't struggle with it for years just to wake up one morning and feel as peaceful, content, and confident as can be. That would be awesome, but sadly that's completely unrealistic. Gaining the upper hand when in comes to your anxiety is a gradual process that spans years, and even then the end goal is not that, eventually, your anxiety will go away. As I asserted before, anxiety is something that likes to hide sometimes. I believe that anxiety is something that I will battle my whole life. The goal, in my eyes, is to make it a battle in which you are almost always on the winning side.

I think it's important to realize that having anxiety doesn't make you weak. Though I don't think we should be bragging about it, I also believe that we shouldn't be ashamed by having anxiety either. I'm not ashamed. I will always be an anxious person. It's just another one of the many traits that, as a human being, I possess. However, I refuse to let this one thing define who I am and completely shape my life. No matter how difficult it might seem, it is possible to lessen your anxiety's control on your life. I'm living proof.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Sorry I'm A Size 00

But I'm not really sorry.

My whole life I’ve been thin—which is kind of an understatement. Every time I go to the doctor I get the same “you’re underweight” lecture that I’ve heard every year since I was able to form memories. I’ve never really felt insecure about my weight, I love being able to eat everything and not gain a single pound. Since my freshman year of high school I’ve probably only gained 8 pounds and I’m now a sophomore in college. Of course, in school, there were rumors that I was anorexic or bulimic, but everyone who knew me knew that was far from the truth. I’m now 19, 5’2, and I still have yet to break 100 pounds on the scale. It seems that there is a lot of skinny shaming going around and to me, one of the main contributors to that is the Dove Real Beauty campaign.

You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this because skinny girls get all the praise and other body types are neglected. That’s really not true, though. While loving other body types, you are tearing down skinny girls. Why is it okay to do that to skinny girls but not to other body types? Why is it okay to say “only dogs like bones” or say “every body type is beautiful” until you see a model's abs, or ribs, or thigh gap and then tear them down because they’re “unnaturally” skinny?

The point I’m trying to make is that, as a naturally skinny girl, I have never shamed anyone for their body type, yet I go every day and get at least two comments about my weight. I’m always the skinny girl, the toothpick, but I’m not Jessica. Yeah, I’m a size 00. Get over it. If you have an issue with my body and feel like my body is disgusting to you, don’t look at it. I know that I’m healthy and I don’t need your input when my body just naturally burns calories fast. I don’t have an eating disorder and never have. I am real beauty though, and I know that because I’m comfortable in my own skin. So maybe the real issue is that we as a society have been shoving certain body types down our daughters’ throats so they begin to romanticize models that have certain standards that they have to meet, who work hard for the bodies that they have, and are making a hell of a lot more money than most of the people discussing why they look emaciated while what they’re actually looking at is the photoshopped product.

I’m not going to apologize for being skinny when that is just how my body is, I can’t help it. So please, stop tearing my body down while trying to bring your body up. You can praise your body without shaming skinny girls. Shaming me for being thin does not make you better than the man that shamed your body, just as me shaming you for being curvy does not make me better than the man that shamed my body. As women, we need to love each other because we are the only ones who truly understand each other.

Cover Image Credit: Victoria's Secret Untouched

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'Taste The Rainbow' But Not Because Skittles Said To

The health benefits of eating a wide range of fruits and vegetables


Does everyone know that fruits and vegetables are good for you, but do you know why they are considered to be nutritious?

Some may believe the answer is because they have low caloric value, which isn't wrong but they provide so much more. They possess phytochemicals.

Phytochemicals are naturally occurring compounds found in plant foods that provide the fruit and vegetables their color, taste, and odor. More than that, each phytochemical comes with its health benefits.

There are seven mechanisms of action or ways that phytochemicals are beneficial to our health.

They can either act as antioxidants which help to prevent damage to healthy cells, anti-inflammatory, chemo-preventative, support our immune system, trigger apoptosis or programmed cell death, protect our DNA, regulate hormones and finally, some may have the ability for specific actions, such as inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria.

Below is a list of phytochemicals:

1. Carotene 

Alpha and beta carotene give fruits and vegetables an orange or yellow color. Some examples of foods that are high in beta carotene are sweet potatoes, carrots, and bell peppers of those colors.

Carotene, when ingested, is converted into Vitamin A that your body can easily absorb and utilize. Carotene has been scientifically proven to help eye and heart health as well as support our immune system by acting as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and possessing chemo-preventive factors.

2. Lycopene 

Think tomatoes. The phytochemical lycopene is responsible for the red color in whole plant foods. The health effects are acting as antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, chemo-preventative but also good for DNA and urinary tract health. What's cool about lycopene is that no matter how you prepare your food, you don't lose any of the nutrients.

3. Chlorophyll 

Eat your greens. Chlorophyll-rich foods appear green. Some excellent sources include dark leafy greens and broccoli. Chlorophyll, like the other phytochemicals are known to be antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and chemo-preventative. Choosing foods that have a rich and vibrant color indicate that is a good source of that phytochemical.

So, next time you're in the produce aisle, be sure to choose your colors wisely.

4. Anthocyanin

Anthocyanins are those foods that are red, blue and purple. Any type of berry is an excellent source of antioxidants. Antioxidants combat damage to cells by helping balance those that are unstable. Cells become unsteady when they have an uneven pairing of protons and electrons so antioxidants essentially give an electron to the cells that need it.

5. Reservatrol

The color purple. Just as every phytochemical mentioned, resveratrol contains antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and chemo-preventative agents. That's the beauty of phytochemicals. Reservartrol also takes it a step further to help brain and bone health. Studies have proven that eating foods rich in resevatrol also help to protect against age-related diseases.

If you want to learn more about the health benefits of phytochemicals, please check out this wonderful book!

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