Tag Archives: mental health

One Year Ago.

One year ago, I began having panic attacks.

One year ago, I found the greatest therapist ever.

One year ago, I took my mental health into my own hands.

I’d always been that person who thrived on being really busy but could sometimes teeter into OMG stressed out and overwhelmed pretty easily.

Once I took my physical health into my own hands more than four years ago, my mental health improved from my healthier diet and steady exercise, but at one point last year, a healthy diet and running were no match for my anxiety, and I needed to figure out how to handle stress better.

I won’t say that I have it all figured out, and dealing with anxiety may well be something I deal with all my life, much like maintaining my weight loss,

Jordan wrote a wonderful post about anxiety the other day. About how our minds latch onto these worries and won’t let them go.

And oh lord, do I understand that. But I’ve also learned how to reframe my thoughts. And how to rationally think through those worst-case scenarios. And think about how 90% of the time, when I’m worried the worst is going to happen, the actual outcome is so much better than I ever built it up to be.

And to just move forward. Several weeks ago, I saw a post on the Buffer blog about the Seinfeld Strategy that talked about disconnecting from outcomes and focusing on the process instead. (Laura also recently wrote a post about that, and the awesome Leanne at Uplift just today wrote a post about how to get started.)

While I haven’t picked any “don’t break the chain” habits, I really like the idea of taking some of the power away from what gets my heart pumping with fear. Important email to write? Big project to start working on? Big scary workout on the calendar that if I don’t do well on might mean I don’t reach my race goal? Inbox full of emails that all need to be attended to immediately? Just get started. Just keep working through it.

I also write a lot more down on paper than I ever did. Often, just seeing my worries written out makes them a lot less scary and serious and helps me pinpoint what’s really worrying me, rather than that icky generalized panicky feeling.

And of course, as I’ve mentioned often in the past year, yoga and meditation have been completely invaluable in this fight.

The world isn’t slowing down any time soon, but I can slow down my mind, and that’s so important to me. I didn’t ask for panic attacks, but I took that hand I was dealt, and I’m stronger for it today. And I am very lucky to have an amazing support network of parents, friends, and oh yeah, you guys 🙂

My Favorite Meditation Resources

Last year when I started having panic attacks, I was desperate to find new stress relief methods, since it was obvious my previous stress relief methods weren’t working.

Before I even found The Greatest Therapist Ever, I started looking for ways to quiet down my racing mind. A friend suggested meditation to me, and I was desperate for a solution other than Xanax, so I tried it.

I don’t always meditate every day, and I don’t always use guided meditations, but I’ve discovered some awesome ones over the past year that I wanted to share with you. Laura asked me for recommendations a few weeks ago, and I figured some of you might find these interesting too.


Meditation Oasis: I started with these podcasts, and they also have an app. I listened to them in the morning, at night and even at work, with headphones. Even when I wasn’t “meditating” (i.e. at work), it was still relaxing to hear the soothing voice.

Gabby Bernstein: She has some great free ones on her site, but I also downloaded one of her meditation albums so that I could listen to it wherever I was.

BexLife: I’m a little biased because she’s a friend of mine, but she’s got some awesome meditations on her site/YouTube.

GPS4Soul: I actually love some of the mental health/mindfulness stuff that the Huffington Post is getting into, and they have a decent app called GPS4Soul, which has a number of guided meditations of all different lengths.

Heather Waxman: Fellow blogger Heather (formerly For the Love of Kale) has some kickass meditations on her site and is releasing a meditation album through a Kickstarter campaign. I think she’s going to do awesome things with it, so I was happy to kick in a little to help fund it.

Do you meditate? What are some of your favorite meditation resources – books, albums, websites? I also discovered this article recently on 5 Meditation Tips for People Who Don’t (Yet) Like to Meditate.