Calming Your Anxious Black Girl: 5 Ways Meditation Helped Me Find My Inner Peace

Meditation
Image courtesy of YogaGreenBook.com

I’ve practiced meditation off and on for a few years now,  but it was a recent bout of my anxiety getting progressively worse that pushed me to take it more seriously, to be more consistent. I’m glad I did.

Fast forward to Saturday when I completed Day 10 of meditation basics with the app Headspace. Every day, I put five minutes aside for some quiet, guided meditation. Five minutes doesn’t sound like much, but it’s simply serene to let go after busy day at a job you don’t particularly like.

Strengthening the mind takes time, as does becoming more in tune with yourself. However, I’ve already noticed a difference in my thoughts. So, here’s how I’m now realizing (and calming) my Anxious Black Girl.


Don’t fight it, just feel it.

Anxiety is self-compounding so the more you fight it, the worse it gets. With meditation, I’ve learned it’s actually best to let these feelings surface — rear their ugly heads if you will — rather than try everything in my power to relax. Letting my body feel and simply allow these emotions helps to make them pass faster. This goes for anxiety or any other negative emotions, or self-destructive thoughts.

It’s okay to “just be.”

Again, I’ve found total peace in simply letting myself be and living in the moment. Focusing on breathing and staying  “grounded” in my surrounding for five minutes a day is a great way to unwind and give the mind a break. It’s also a great time for self-reflection, which I honestly haven’t become quite comfortable with yet.

It’s also okay NOT to be okay.

This one kind of goes back to my first point. Anxiety, angst, negative thoughts and emotions are normal, so stop forcing yourself to feel better. It’s how you react to and handle these feelings that can cause issues. Also, there’s really no power in faking it til you make it, trust me. So allow yourself the room to sulk, and then move on.

Becoming aware of your emotions isn’t such a bad thing.

I’ve always hated self-reflection. Writing my feelings down on paper, kind of like what I’m doing now, ironically. However, meditation has taught me that, though uncomfortable, becoming more in tune with my emotions isn’t all so bad in the long run. It helps you be less critical of yourself, as well as others.  If you know me, you know this is something I’ve always struggled with.

Breathe. Stretch. Shake. Let it go.

This is the best part for me personally. Being able to let shit go that’s been weighing me down, racking my mind for the longest is the best feeling. I haven’t quite mastered this with everything  that triggers my anxiety, but it’s coming along.

If meditation is in your practice, in what ways has it helped you? Feel free to share below.

With love always,
Tanasia K.

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Good Days, Bad Days: Why Your Anxiety Is Worse On Some Days Than Others

Mondays suck, but it’s on Sundays that my anxiety totally decides to go haywire. I can always count on at least one lengthy, angst-filled episode to rear its ugly head, ruining my day. Things tend to get worse as the day winds down, each hour drawing me closer and closer to the reality of walking into the office bright and early Monday morning.

Anticipating the stress the week has in store could be it, or just simply thinking about the number of story assignments I have to get done before deadline. And don’t get me started on my personal responsibilities. All I know is, come Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, those feelings of anxiety have pretty much dissipated. That is, until Sunday rolls back around, starting the cycle all over again.

The constant up and down, highs and lows led me to question why certain days of the week trigger my anxiety — or better, why I experience anxiety on some days more than others? I did some digging, and the answer kind of surprised me.

For one reason or another, certain days of the week can trigger feelings of dread and jitters, much like seasons or significant milestones can trigger anxiety, according to The Chicago Tribune. The trick to overcoming it all is to recognize what’s causing your funky mood patterns and then taking the necessary steps to reclaim your day.

“The whole point of being aware of what’s likely to affect you is so that you don’t have to be the passive recipient of life’s experiences that day,” Dr. John Sharp, a psychiatrist told the newspaper.

I personally haven’t mastered this “awareness” just yet, but I’m working on it. It’s harder than it sounds, especially because anxiety is self-sustaining. The feelings and symptoms associated with anxiety typically cause more anxiety, hence my horrible Sundays. But an extensive 2012 study revealed our “bad days” actually aren’t as sucky as they seem.

As reported by the Tribune, the report “… found that people were no more glum on Monday than they were on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. They were significantly more chipper on Friday, Saturday and Sunday — with no difference in happiness levels between the weekend days.”

Interesting. So it’s pretty much all in my head? Yup, because that’s just what anxiety is. Your mind playing tricks on you, feeding you lies in an effort to “protect” you. It seems my so-called “Sunday blues” aren’t much different.

Moving  forward, the goal is to be more aware of the stuff that makes me anxious and handle it accordingly. That’s starts with acknowledging everyday won’t be perfect and that some days are just better than others.

So here’s a reminder: don’t fret. They’re just “days” and you’ll have plenty more.

Comparison is a Punk

Stumbled upon this GREAT post after finding myself in a funk over how far I’m “supposed” to be in my life, career, etc. compared to my friends. Hope this helps y’all as much as it helped me!

Live and Learn

Comparison is a PUNK.

In the words of Teddy Roosevelt, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

It’s true, how many times do we find ourselves comparing ourselves to those in the world around us? How many times do we find ourselves saying, “I’m not good enough,” or, “If only I had her looks, or his talent.” What if I told you that comparison is whispering lies into your ear? What if I told you that you ARE good enough?

man-person-legs-grass.jpg

I’m “supposed” to be graduating this May. What I mean by that is this, I didn’t go the traditional college route. I took less classes and worked more. While most of the people I graduated with are prepping for graduation, I am prepping for two more years of school.

Comparison has a habit of telling us what we’re “supposed” to be doing, or what we’re “supposed” to look like, but what…

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A List of Black Girl Anthems You Should Bump All Day, Err Day — Because Why Not?

We all have our days when our spirits need a little lifting, and the right song can do just that! Whether it’s hip-hop, pop or my personal favorite, good ‘ol R&B, I’ve learned music has the power to make your troubles melt like lemon drops. I’ have struggled with self-esteem since I was a young Black girl trying to find herself; thankfully, the perfect song came along every few years that allowed me to celebrate my Black girl/womanhood — unapologetically.

So, here’s a list of Black girl anthems I love to bump whenever I’m feeling down on my luck or just feel like celebrating the day.


“I’m Every Woman” x Chaka Khan
I’m every woman, it’s all in me / Anything you want done baby, I’ll do it naturally.
I can cast a spell / With secrets you can’t tell / Mix a special brew / Put fire inside of you.

“Put Your Records On” x Corinne Bailey Rae
Blue as the sky, sun burn and lonely / Sippin’ tea in a bar by the road side.
Don’t you let those other boys fool you / Gotta love that afro hairdo.

“Video” x India. Arie
I’m not the average girl from your video / And I ain’t built like a supermodel.
But I’ve learned to love myself unconditionally / Because I am a queen.

“Grown Woman” x Beyoncé
I can be bad if I want / I can say what I want
I can live fast if I want / I can go slow all night long.

“Nice for What” x Drake
That’s a real one in your reflection / Without a follow, without a mention.
You really pipin’ up on these n*ggas / You gotta be nice for what to these n*ggas?

“Independent Women, Pt. 1” x Destiny’s Child
Tell me how you feel about this / Do what I want, live how I wanna live.
I worked hard and sacrificed to get what I get / Ladies, it ain’t easy being independent.

“What’s Love Got to Do with It” x Tina Turner
I’ve been taking on a new direction / And I have to say
I’ve been thinking about my own protection / It scares me to feel this way

“F.U.B.U” x Solange
All my n*ggas in the whole world know / Play this song and sing it on your terms
For us, this shit is for us / Don’t try to come for us

“Run the World” x Beyoncé
My persuasion can build a nation
Endless power, with our love we can devour

“Whip My Hair” x Willow Smith
Don’t let haters get me off my grind / Whip my hair, if I know I’ll be fine
Keep fighting until I get there / When I’m down and I feel like giving up (I think again)

“Respect” x Aretha Franklin
Ooo, your kisses / Sweeter than honey
And guess what? / So is my money

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

t Your Records On” x Corinne Bailey Rae

“Grown Woman” x Beyonce

“Video” x India. Arie

“Respect” x Aretha Franklin

“Girl” x The Internet

“Run the World  (Girls)” x Beyonce

“Independent Women, Pt.1” x Destiny’s Child

“Nice for What” x Drake

Get Stoned: 5 Healing Crystals You Need In Your Life

When my sister first introduced the idea of healing crystals to me, I have to say I was a bit of a skeptic. Like what could these pretty little rocks possibly do for my well being? It took a trip to the “crystals store,” a few hours of research, and a session of meditation to finally open my mind to it all.

For those who don’t know, these natural stones — which come in all shapes, sizes and colors — are believed to possess certain energies that have the power to “clear unwanted energy such as stress, dissipate blocked energy like tension, increase types of energy such as calm and boost the flow energy and vitality throughout the body,” according to spiritual teacher and crystals expert Krista Mitchell.

This isn’t to say these crystals will suddenly heal a broken leg, however. Instead, they can be used as a means and a method of helping folks find their inner peace in the midst of daily stressors. They are not medicine and won’t help reverse any medical conditions … I repeat, THEY ARE NOT MEDICINE!

As practitioners suggest, I carry my crystals of choice with me in my purse, but others may choose to stash them around the house or leave them at work to promote positive and productive vibes.

All right, that’s enough talking. Let’s get to the good stuff.


Here are the five healing crystals I choose to keep with me on the daily:

Rose Quartz

Rose Quartz: Believed to promote kindness, self-love, friendship, platonic and romantic love ❤

Black Tourmaline

Black Tourmaline: The ULTIMATE protection stone! It’s thought to block negative energies and is great for grounding and achieving balance.

Turquoise

Turquoise: Believed to help with feelings of depression and panic attacks. Promotes self-forgiveness, self-acceptance and triggers the release of useless regret.

Citrine

Citrine: Helps promote physical energy, abundance and the release of negative emotions, which helps make room to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. It’s also one of the few stones that doesn’t hold negative energy.

Vivitar

Tiger’s Eye: Believed to promote inner strength, vitality and courage. It’s also great at welcoming new opportunities, wealth and prosperity.

What are some of your favorite healing stones and why? Feel free to comment below,

Until next time,
❤ Tanasia K.

(Source: http://thechalkboardmag.com/ultimate-guide-how-to-use-healing-crystals)

TBT: The Day I Realized I Was An Anxious Black Girl

It was around the end of my junior year when I realized something wasn’t right with me. I just didn’t feel like myself. In the beginning, I simply wrote it off as the stress that comes with college and the juggling of multiple responsibilities. I was working three jobs at the time, anticipating graduation and trying to manage my heavy college course load.

First came the recurrent headaches. Then the upset stomach, and that choking feeling. There was shortness of breath — and that feeling of something weighing heavy on my chest. Before I knew it, I was in a full-on panic. But I didn’t know it was a panic at the time. I had no idea what the heck was going on with my body.

So, these mini-panic attacks happened at least three times a day for about three weeks straight, leaving me feeling completely depleted. I could barely function. I was irritable all the time and felt myself withdrawing. I wasn’t until I was headed to class on the third floor of the social sciences building that I felt another “episode” coming on.

By the time I reached the top of the stairs, I was out of breath and dizzy. I quickly rushed to the wall for support and slowly slid to the floor. I felt like crap. Luckily, my class mate was coming around the corner and saw something was wrong. She helped me up and we walked into class. The panic subsided.

Although it was short, that last attack was pretty scary for me because I felt like I was gonna pass out. Something was clearly wrong, but I just didn’t know what. Knowing my mom struggled with anxiety and panic attacks in the past ultimately prompted me to do a little research for myself. Lo and behold, I was dealing with the same thing.

A week later, I scheduled an appointment with the campus counseling services.

Moral of the story: take care of yourself ❤