What it's like living with Anxiety

​Anxiety Is An Overwhelming, All Encompassing Feeling—But I’ll Be OK

"You don't need a diagnosis to validate your feelings"

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My blood rushes. My head spins. My heart drops then beats fast as it tries to revive. A million thoughts/worries rush through my head. I never thought anxiety could ever apply to me until university, where experience (as opposed to textbooks) became the learning tool.

I thought whatever feelings I had were nothing, that they were something maybe but only momentarily. They were things I couldn't pinpoint exactly, as if typing them out or trying to talk to a psychologist suddenly made them quiet. It sucked because I knew there was something not quite right, but I had difficulty talking it out. I invalidated them with the thought that maybe they weren't anything at all, that I can solve them just by ignoring them. I only learned the definition of anxiety, and this was enough for me to tell myself that I wasn't having anxiety. There did, however, come to a point when I started to worry that maybe I was wrong. It wasn't apriori knowledge; but even if the psychological definition or some stories didn't apply to my case, this was something I had to accept.

The thoughts inhibited me from doing a lot of things. They're trying to stop me from telling my story right now, actually! They're telling me that I'll be judged, that I'm just overreacting, that these feelings really aren't anything. I'm just gonna keep typing, though, because mental health is real; and if something doesn't feel right, you talk about it. I can be pretty mean to myself, and I need to not do this, ya feel? I've never been vocal about my mental health, most likely because I only had textbook knowledge about mental health before then. I didn't think these would happen to me; however, reaching university saw me being more aware of myself. You can say that I was surrounded with optimism, but this generalization does not take away the fact that we face negativity. Too many details come into play; but to put it simply: I was not okay.

I consider myself as this bubbly and extroverted person; but of course, life isn't always this way. It's that feeling of being stressed about the stress- that anxiety flooding my mind with so much worry- that drove me crazy. During those times, I can't just say that I should prioritize me over my studies. It's easy for me to advise my friends to take care of themselves, but to be honest, I have a hard time complying with it. The anxiety tells me that if I don't study for all the minutes of the day, I won't do well in my classes. If I sleep, I'm wasting time. If I choose to take a break and breathe, I'm wasting time. That voice accounts for the fact that I have a hard time concentrating, but it twists it in a way that berates me for- you guessed it: wasting time.

Basically, I feel like I'm running out of time when midterms/papers due dates are approaching, then I become mean to myself. In a way, this thing makes it difficult to accept that I am human first. It's actually, sort of present right now, as I'm typing. There is, however, this being in me that's suppressing this voice. It's the one that told me that creativity was my thing. It's reminding me to be kind to myself; of my faith; and to look at the list of quotes I've taped up on the wall. I'm looking at one of the quotes, which reads, "do not be afraid, I am with you." Take it how you'd like; but for me, I see it as God talking to me. It's wild how fast this calmed me down. I'm wrapping myself in a blanket and sweet music, and I'm breathing. (Mom, I'm fine. I swear!)

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs. In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm..

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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CBD Oil: What Is It And What Are The Different Benefits?

CBD is a natural approach to traditional medicine, and it contains healing properties.

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The fascination with CBD has grown rapidly within the last year, and even within the last few months. This cannabis-like product has people interested because there are so many questions associated with it. People want to know if it's legal, if it's safe, or if it gets you high. To put it simply, CBD is known as cannabinoids, which possesses calm and tranquil properties. It does not have the psychoactive element, THC, that is normally found in marijuana. Instead, it is made from extracting CBD (cannabinoids) from the cannabis plant, and then turning it into CBD oil. It is now sold at places such as smoke shops and convenience stores. But what is so great about this anti-anxiety oil?

Most people who seek about CBD are doing so to help them relax or ease their pain. It is commonly seen in cancer treatments and for muscle recovery post-workout. It also helps with issues such as epilepsy, depression, acne, and anxiety. My dad, for example, uses a CBD lotion for his shoulder and back pain. He first heard about CBD oil through my aunt, who likes to put a few drops on her tongue daily. Ingesting it orally is, according to the smoke shop employee, beneficial for overall health. So if one is dealing with depression or anxiety, it's best to eat/drink CBD. For someone with pain in a specific spot, like my dad's shoulder pain, should look for a topical cream or something that is more direct. There are other ways to consume CBD besides tongue drops and lotion. On the market, there are different varieties of CBD gummies, such as gummy worms and sour patch. I've also seen it in oil cartridges or infused in water. In order to purchase CBD legally, you must be older than 18.

Last week my college had a venue where the School of Entrepreneurship students sold their products on campus. There were tents of all their student-run companies, and I enjoyed supporting local businesses. When I was there I bought an organic fudge brownie with 20mg of CBD (for only $5). I decided to workout and then take a bath, and eat the brownie right before the bath. It made my mental state feel very calm and it was relaxing after hitting the gym. I have also tried CBD gummy bears which taste pretty normal and those are also full-body calming effects. I am a fan of CBD and wish that is was less expensive and had easier access. It's great for college students who constantly feel the stress/pressure of their future. There are also a countless amount of celebrities who advocate for CBD. Some actors who heavily support the use of CBD are Seth Rogen, Morgan Freeman, and Tom Hanks.

Actor Seth Rogen started his own nonprofit, called Hilarity for Charity, that combats Alzheimer's. Rogen is large cannabis and CBD user, and he believes that CBD can help with Alzheimer's disease. He is an advocate for CBD law for medicinal purposes and believes that is can help with the symptoms. On Twitter, someone told Rogen that they had "restless leg" and he replied by saying "Try some CBD."

Another celebrity who has benefitted from CBD is none other than Morgan Freeman. After a 2008 car crash and developing intense fibromyalgia, Freeman decided to look into CBD treatment to help with his muscle pain. Now, he is an advocate for both cannabis and CBD because he has experienced the healing properties. Freeman believes in plant-based medicine because it is the more natural route.

Tom Hanks is one of the largest celebrities who has been an advocate for CBD. He developed type 2 diabetes over the years from stress and poor diet; Hank recently teamed up with a Cornell University student to study the medicinal properties of CBD for type 2 diabetes. He also enjoys it for the benefits of reducing anxiety and joint pain. Tom Hanks put it best when he said, "the benefits of CBD oil are unlike anything any pill or medication can do."

The following article has demonstrated all the different benefits that CBD oil has to offer. It is a more natural and holistic approach to traditional pharmaceutical medicine. I hope that in the next few years, cannabinoids become more popularized and the stigma behind cannabis medicine is dropped.

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