Anxiety, Breathing, & Yoga

I was diagnosed with social and later general anxiety in my early 20s. I had recently graduated from undergrad and had started working in mental health only to learn that my thoughts and worries were not normal. I had lived with anxiety my whole life that I was convinced this was normal. This was everyone’s experience. The intense realization and sadness I felt was mirrored with relief. If it was a problem, a named problem, there had to be a solution. And after about 6 months of being too afraid to ask for help (and had convinced myself that “anxious was my personality”), I finally called a therapist. Three years later, things are so different. I still have periods of intense anxiety (but few panic attacks) but I have the resources in place and can ask for help. I am also now a certified yoga instructor and practice daily. I also found cutting out all caffeine from my diet to be immensely helpful.

Breathe. Breath can make all the difference. Yoga has been a wonderful tool for me and the pranayama breathing exercises are something I have incorporated into my daily life. You are not alone. It doesn’t have to be this way. So many people are there to help and support you if you reach out. And just remember, it’s already okay.
— Brown medical student, MD '19