3 best iphone apps for managing anxiety (with pictures!)

Most of us are guilty of feeling a constant need to check emails, scroll through Facebook and throw out a couple likes on Instagram. Having our entire lives at our fingertips is almost too convenient. I admit, I also fall prey to this. I find myself re-loading my Mail app every 10 minutes thinking that some important news from work or school will come in. Although this makes our lives that much easier, I think it also adds a certain amount of pressure as well. Especially with the social media craze, it’s overwhelming at times. Something to note, however, is that people typically only post the best version of themselves online – would you post that one picture that your eyes are closed or share news that you didn’t get accepted into the program of your dreams? Probably not.

Living with anxiety can make this all more troublesome. It can become too much really quickly. Luckily, our phones can actually be the end of these problems too! These apps are a great way to not only manage your anxiety, but manage your life so that your anxiety doesn’t flare up. Stress-free me sometimes means less-anxious me, and I’m totally ok with that. I focus on three aspects of mental health: Mindfulness, Sleep and Writing.

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my relationship with anxiety medication

TW: mental illness, anxiety, depression, irrational behavior

it’s been just over a year since i first started my medication for anxiety and depression. when i first started on it, i was so happy. getting that prescription helped me cope with  and come to terms with the fact that everything was not okay. the bottle was something tangible for me, something i could hold in the palm of my hand as if to reassure me. it truly made me feel less alone. it gave me an external source of strength when i didn’t have any left within me. but then one day something inside me changed and looking at my medication instead filled me with resentment and shame.

white and yellow

i stare down at the tiny pill in the palm of my hand; some kind of magic mix of chemicals encased in a yellow and white shell. Zoloft. annoyed that my brain doesn’t regulate these neurochemicals by itself.

taking my meds became routine – wake up, have breakfast, medication. it became so automatic that sometimes i would forget if i even took it or not. “did you see me take my medication this morning.” at this point, i didn’t even think twice about taking the medication. i still had bi-weekly check-ins with my doctor to talk about symptoms, i was actively looking into therapy options, i was still on that weird high from finally telling my family about my struggles. i kept myself accountable.

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anxiety from friends & subtle stigma

I am lucky enough to be surrounded by amazing friends who make me feel loved and supported…most of the time. having anxiety isn’t easy for me, full stop. although, having always been the ‘supporter’ in a friend group, I am able to step back and recognize that it isn’t always easy for my friends, either.

being in university, you are supposedly living the best years of your life. this means that you often want to take a break from studying, go to parties, hang out with people you have never met and ALWAYS put yourself out there. for me, on the other hand, this idea leaves me riddled with anxiety.

a night out on the town

I’m not good in social situations where I don’t know exactly who is going, what everyone in my group is wearing, how long we are staying, if we are moving locations at any point and if so, when etc etc. you get the point right? especially when you mix dark spaces, loud music and alcohol into the picture, this leaves my head spinning with uncertainty and anxiety.

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explaining my anxiety to my family

Picture this: A traditional European family who often look to tea, sleep and praying to God Almighty as remedies for everything and anything and refer to mental illness as ‘being messed up’
Picture me: Terrified (and anxious, of course), writing this in her diary (yes, this is a real excerpt from 2 years ago):

March 15, 2015

I’m so conflicted and scared and anxious and worried and nervous and undecided and hyperventilating and having panic attacks and so fucking depressed. Someone please end this feeling cause it fucking sucks so much sometimes I think about just doing it but then I think no, I won’t do that, I can’t do that.

I can’t do it

Yeah. I basically used every synonym for “nervous” that you could find in the dictionary. Looking back, it makes me so sad that I ever felt like there was no light at the end of the tunnel.

Back to my family. What I’m trying to say here is that telling them that I couldn’t go certain places because I would have panic attacks, or that I couldn’t concentrate for more than 20 minutes because of racing thoughts, was going to be really freaken’ hard.

But, I did. 

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