Controlling Anxiety and Antoxidant Boosting Cookies

To all my anxious readers,

I know you’re spending the day worrying, experiencing panic attacks and maybe even feeling devoured by life itself. And you know what? You’re not alone my friends. Trust me: you are not alone. I’ve lost count the number of times I’ve felt like my heart was going to explode out of my chest and the amount of sleep lost due to over-analyzing every situation throughout the day. I’ll admit it, I’m notorious for worrying. Don’t get me wrong, a little anxiety can be healthy, but when it’s controlling your life, that’s when you need to take action!

To start off, the first and most important role in managing your anxiety is accepting you have anxiety. You’re probably thinking, “Duh… I wouldn’t be reading this if I didn’t have it,” but I thought the same thing and would avoid confronting my anxiety. My anxiety is often triggered by time, clutter, exams or looking stupid. For example instead of just being organized, I’ll add on to the clutter in my life and when meeting someone new I’ll over analyze everything they say by painting ridiculous scenarios in my head. The truth is controlling your anxiety takes work! It requires self-evaluation, dedication and most importantly, seeking support from the people who love you. I’ve managed to come up with a few natural and pill-free ways that have always helped me get through my anxiety.

  1. Organize your closet. Try thinking of your closet as your brain: as you focus on removing the excess baggage in your closet it gives you the opportunity to connect to the idea of cleaning out your mind too. I am not sure why but when my closet is clean I feel like a weight has been lifted from shoulders; which is inspires me to rethink my anxious thoughts.
  2. Talk and vent to a close friend/family member. I used to never talk about my anxiety or when things bothered me which led to more toxic thoughts. So my advice to you is, talk to your friends and family when you need to vent. You won’t be burdening them because they love you! I believe that there’s always someone who will listen to you speak and be there to give you that hug and understanding you need.
  3. Eat away your anxiety. NO, I don’t mean eating copious amounts of Oreo cookies or eating ice cream by the tub! I’m talking about omega 3’s and antioxidants which are found in foods like: salmon & almonds and even dark chocolate!  Eating foods that are rich in omega 3’s release endorphins in the brain which feels incredibly euphoric. You know what else releases endorphins?
  4. Exercise! Not only does a good workout help prevent depression it also naturally detoxifies the body which helps release unnecessary stress. I love scaring away my anxiety with an intense workout; it improves my health and boosts my confidence!
  5. Get enough sleep. Trust me, a good night’s sleep will keep you away from anxiety; whether you’re a college student, hard worker, stay at home mom, etc. Feeling sleep deprived and cranky will not benefit your busy schedule! My anxiety comes from feeling unprepared which is usually a side effect from sleep deprivation. I know this can be impossible for people who struggle with anxiety. Insomnia loves anxiety but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can read my “Get Some Sleep!” article for natural sleep aids!

I hope this post helped you guys! Anxiety can be very debilitating, but start by remembering the first step: accept you have it and understand you don’t have to face it alone! Clean your closet, talk to friends and family, eat up some omega 3’s, exercise, get enough sleep, and most importantly STAY POSITIVE! Oh and here’s a cookie recipe…

Almond Joy Cookies

These cookies were inspired by the infamous “Samoa” Girl Scout cookies. They were my favorite growing up along with Tagalongs and Thin Mints. For these cookies I used dark chocolate, ground flax seeds, and a hint of almond which automatically give them anxiety fighting nutrients! I call them almond joy cookies because I added an almond to each cookie for a kick of omega 3’s and of course for aesthetics 😉

Almond Joy Cookies

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1/3 cup coconut oil

1 1/2 cups organic brown sugar

1/3 cup almond milk

1 tablespoon ground flax seeds

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (I only used ½ tsp)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Almonds

Chocolate layer: 1 heaping cup dark chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips), 2 tablespoons coconut oil

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large pot or skillet, pour in the coconut and toast over medium low heat for about five minutes, until the coconut turns golden brown. Be careful not to burn it, and stir occasionally. Once the coconut is toasted, remove it from the heat to cool.

In a large bowl, combine the coconut oil, brown sugar, almond milk, flaxseeds, and vanilla and blend until smooth. Sift in the flour, baking soda and salt and stir until the batter is thick. Fold in the cooled, toasted coconut.

Drop tablespoons of dough on a parchment lined pan. Use your palm to press down the dough balls until they are flat discs. (I put a little flour on my hand to prevent the dough from sticking to me) Press an almond in the center of each cookie. Bake the cookies for about eight minutes, just until the edges start to turn golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool for a few minutes on the pan and then cool completely.

To make the chocolate glaze: Using a small saucepan melt the chocolate chips and stir in the coconut oil. Allow the mixture to cool for five minutes to allow it to thicken a bit. Once the cookies are completely cooled, dip the bottom in the chocolate mixture and place on a pan lined in parchment paper. Repeat with all the cookies. Use the remaining chocolate to drizzle glaze over the top of each cookie, covering the almond in the middle with chocolate.

-Jeffie

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