Thoughts on Anxiety and Slowing Down + a Morning Tip

I am really making an effort to write more every day. I find that getting my thoughts on paper really helps to clear my mind. One of my favorite podcasts is Lewis Howes on The Skinny Confidential and his tips on dealing with anxiety are really awesome. One in particular that I really took away was just simply practicing gratitude. It's so easy, but when we get caught up in our lives, it's becomes hard to remember even just 3 things that you're thankful for every day. 

Practicing simple habits every day can help set us up for success, mentally and physically. If you are like me and have a mind that's always flooded with thoughts and worry, getting your thoughts on paper or typing them is really therapeutic. Today, I'm going to share a habit I've implemented in my morning routine that really does make a difference in calming anxious thoughts.

It's 7:00am and the alarm begins to go off. 
Side note: If you aren't setting your alarm in the Bedtime part of the clock on your iPhone, I highly recommend starting tonight. The sound is much more peaceful to wake up to- it really does make a difference! 
I brush my teeth and then either make the bed or get back into bed and pull out my journal. I just start writing and try to get at least a page (front and back). Write how you're feeling, what's going on in your life, any worries or fears you're having, and then write just 3 things you are grateful for. If I'm especially tired, sometimes I'll just call to mind the 3 things I'm grateful for and write them down and call it a day. It almost sounds silly how simple, but can you remember a time you sat in silence without looking at your phone and thought of 3 blessings in your life? 

Anxiety sucks you guys. When it hits, it takes over your mind and, often, you really can't even pinpoint what is really bothering you. While this is a horrible feeling, when that feeling hits, stop and practice gratitude. There are so many blessings in life that we can and should stop and thank the universe or God or whatever you believe in for. It is crazy how much this has helped me calm down and calm my thoughts. 

I really wanted to share this simple thought on the blog in hopes that it might help you if you suffer from anxiety like I do. There are so many incredible moments in life that we need to start slowing down and acknowledge and I am totally guilty of getting too caught up in my busy life to take this time. I want to encourage everyone to take time out of your day to slow down. Take a walk, get up 15 minutes earlier and write down your thoughts, eat your breakfast without looking at your phone or computer; whatever it is that allows you that time to just chill.

I hope this small tip was helpful to whoever is reading and that you know I'm right there with you in trying to be more mindful and grateful in my day to day life. If you want more thoughts of morning routines or my efforts to be more calm and mindful, follow me on Instagram (@balanced_baig) and let me know.


20 Things I've Learned in 20 Years

20. The beginning of a new and exciting chapter of my life. I know a lot people don't care about 20 as they'd rather get to 21 (ha!), however, this is a really exciting milestone for me. While I by no means know everything about life (quite the opposite actually), with growing up comes experiences and moments in our life where we grow as people. I've made so many mistakes in 20 years, but through those mistakes I've learned so much. I'm all about constantly pushing yourself to be the best version of yourself that you can be. While I have so much to learn and see in this world, I wanted to share 20 lessons I've learned that have been really impactful for me.

1. You can't do it all. And you really shouldn't have to go through hard times alone. Going off of that...

2. It's okay to ask for help. It is a sign of strength to admit you need help in all aspects of life I think.

3. Be kind. You never know what people are going through in their life and people remember kindness.

4. The most important relationship is with yourself. Invest in yourself and always continue to push yourself to be the best you can be.

5. Mental health is important. I've talked a little about my struggle with anxiety, but it's a real thing and more people are suffering than we even know. Take time to take care of yourself.

6. Your outer appearance doesn't define who you are as a person. 

7. Always stand up for what you believe in. 

8. Accept the things you can't change. Despite how much of a fight I've put up with the universe, some things are out of our control. Accept those things and move on.

9. Support others. There is room for everyone to succeed in this world. Cheer people on for their successes.

10. A positive mindset is everything. Being negative has never gotten anyone anywhere.

11. Never give yourself the opportunity to say you didn't try your best. Always work hard and give your best effort.

12. Spend money on experiences, not things. Being able to travel has been one of the greatest opportunities of my entire life and has opened my eyes to so much. I've also never regretted a Sunday brunch with my girlfriends!

13. Don't be afraid to do something new. Stay tuned for my semester in Barcelona!!!

14. Fight for what you want.

15. Be a listener.  Never underestimate the power of lending a listening ear to someone.

16. Not all relationships are meant to be. Friendships, relationships with boys, whatever. Not everything is supposed to last forever and that's okay. We learn and grow from every situation.

17. Put your phone down and enjoy life. Just try it for one day and trust me.

18. Not everyone is nice. Back to #3. Be kind anyways.

19. Always push yourself to keep learning. Read books. Listen to podcasts. Ask questions. Listen to stories from wiser people.

20. Admit you don't know it everything. Let's be honest. No one likes a know-it-all and no one really knows it all. We are all constantly growing, making mistakes, and learning from them.