After 20 years of chronic anxiety struggle, I overcame this mental condition, and you can learn how to apply the same success formula.
My Success Formula = Anti-Anxiety Diet + Anti-Anxiety Lifestyle + Anti-Anxiety Mindset + Self-Love
If you're ready to reduce your anxiety naturally, you're in the right place!
I can help you introduce anti-anxiety eating, living and thinking, as well as practical ways to love yourself, all of which are essential for conquering your anxiety long-term.
What Makes Me a Successful Anxiety Coach?
I believe the reason I have a lot of success coaching people with anxiety is down to my unique blend of experiences and expertise.
1. Personal Anxiety Experience
With 20 years of personal anxiety experience I can fully appreciate most of the struggles that people with anxiety face in daily life.
2. Success Formula
My coaching methods are very clear and specific. I teach people how to apply my 4-step success formula which I know is highly effective because it helped me to overcome Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).
My Success Formula = Anti-Anxiety Diet + Anti-Anxiety Lifestyle + Anti-Anxiety Mindset + Self-Love
3. Skills, Certifications and Diplomas
In addition to my 20 years of experience with anxiety, I have also a number of certifications and diplomas to better help others. At present, I hold diplomas in Anxiety Awareness, Life Coaching, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Psychotherapy and Counselling, Holistic Nutrition, Advanced Nutrition, and Vegetarian & Vegan Nutrition, Stress Management, and Yoga, and I continue to expand my knowledge.
4. Sympathetic to Pain
As a highly sensitive person I'm very sympathetic to the pain of others, especially people who struggle with anxiety.
5. Experience of Managing Anxiety in a Busy Lifestyle
I managed to reduce my anxiety while working in Investment Banking in London. This experience has taught me what are the best tools for managing anxiety while living a busy and overwhelmed lifestyle.
So, if anxiety is controlling your thoughts, social life, work, relationships, diet, or any other part of your existence, I get you 100 per cent. But there is a way out, with light at the end of the tunnel, if you allow me to show you the way.
Disclaimer: Although I have overcome chronic anxiety and my goal is to help you with your anxiety, I am not a therapist or licensed mental health professional. To find a mental health care provider near you call 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
My Anxiety Story
My Anxiety Story in a Nutshell
After struggling with severe anxiety symptoms for two decades and reaching an unbearable state of existence - where I could no longer go to work, face seeing friends or family, have normal relationships or get to sleep at night - I became desperate and embarked on a quest to get out of my living nightmare.
On this journey, I read many books, watched countless documentaries and took many courses to expand my knowledge of physical and mental health.
Eventually, with hard work and commitment to changing my diet, lifestyle, and mindset, and finding a way to love myself again, I managed to overcome chronic anxiety. This amazing achievement - which I used to believe was impossible - inspired me to help others also achieve the same kind of anxiety-free success.
Over time, I also acquired several diplomas in nutrition and psychotherapy to have the necessary skills to be an effective Anxiety Coach.
Today I help hundreds of people reduce anxiety naturally which is incredibly rewarding.
If you want to know more about my anxiety journey and success formula, you can read the full version of my anxiety story below. You'll see how I got to the formula, which is something I'd love to help you apply in your life as well.
1. How My Anxiety Disorder Started?
My anxiety started during my childhood.
I was born in Bosnia in 1983 to Croatian parents, and from the age of nine until eleven I lived through the conflict in former Yugoslavia (1992-94), which marked the start of my anxiety disorder.
During those two years I experienced many traumatic events and these triggered excessive fears, worry, and irritability, which continued in peacetime and for many years later.
It would take a book to describe all the painful things that I went through, but for the purpose of this “about page” I'm going to give you a snapshot of the six main traumatic events that were at the core of my anxiety disorder.
Traumatic Event #1 – My Mother, Brother and Me Left Stranded
One of the biggest challenges during the war was that my mother, brother, and me were left stranded without our loved ones. My father, who was a major in the army, was kept in a concentration camp for the entire time and all of our family resided in Croatia.
We also didn't have any contact with them at all because the Bosnian government disconnected all phone lines, and so, we had no idea if my father was alive.
Traumatic Event #2 – Regular Sirens, Shooting, & Bombing
We had to live through regular sirens, shooting, and bombing as part of daily life which was a living nightmare. Each time a bomb exploded near us, I felt as though my soul fragmented into a million pieces, which would keep me in a state of shock for days.
Also, we experienced more shooting than other locations in our city because our apartment building was the first block of flats next to the main target zone that included a hospital, an army base, and a school.
Traumatic Event #3 – Constant Hunger and No Money
We couldn't buy any food and had to struggle with constant hunger for the entire war.
Due to all the roads being closed, the supermarkets were not getting any deliveries, and were therefore completely empty. The only food that was available was on the black market but this was unaffordable to innocent civilians.
Money was another major issue for us. We didn't have any income because my mum stopped receiving her salary and we couldn't get any money from the bank. The economy and the financial sector had completely collapsed, the local currency flopped, the banks ceased and the economy reached hyperinflation.
So, we barely managed to survive throughout. My mum struggled to find ways to cope, and in the end, she sold pieces of our furniture and other belongings to buy flour and yeast, which was all she could afford.
The price of 1kg of flour was the equivalent of 25 EUR, while the price of 1kg of sugar was the equivalent of 50 EUR, and so when my mum would sell a wardrobe for example, she could only buy 2kg of flour, which would stretch us for about a week.
Traumatic Event #4 – No Water, Electricity, Heating or Transport
We also didn't have any water or electricity. If either was turned on by our government, they would do so randomly (without any warning) and only during the night so that we wouldn't use a lot.
Heating was a massive problem too. We were living in an apartment and only had access to central heating, but without electricity this was worthless and so, we were freezing during winters. We had to sleep with our coats, hats and gloves on and even then it was too cold.
Keeping safe was also a problem. When the shooting got intense around our building, we slept in shelters, and moldy and dark cellars, but while this was protecting us in one way, we got sick afterwards which was then hard to shake off because we were deficient in nutrients.
On top of that my mum had to leave my brother and me home alone and go to work. Even though she was not getting paid, if she wanted to keep her job in the future she had to continue working. My mum was a teacher in Bosnia, but as schools were full of refugees from neighboring villages, instead of teaching she was looking after orphan children who had lost their parents during the war. Leaving us at home was especially hard when she worked nightshifts.
It was very unsafe for my mum to travel to work especially because she also had to walk kilometers to get there as there was no fuel or public transport.
Traumatic Event #5 – Unable to See My Father for Another 8 Months
Another traumatic thing that happened during the war was that when my father was finally released after 14 months, we couldn't reunite with him.
When the British Red Cross carried out an exchange of prisoners from his concentration camp, instead of sending my father back to Bosnia, he was sent to Croatia.
At the time we couldn't join him in Croatia because all the roads were closed to and from Bosnia and our government required many NEW documents to even consider anyone leaving.
So, while in Croatia, my father decided to apply for all four of us to seek refuge in the United Kingdom. Thanks to the efficiency of the British Embassy, a month after first getting out, my father was granted this request and was sent on a plane to England while being promised that they would do the same for us once we get out of Bosnia.
After numerous obstacles, of what many times felt like the impossible, and more than a half a year later, my mother managed to collate all the necessary documentation to leave Bosnia. Soon after she sold our remaining belongings (though we didn't have much left anyway) and bought three excessively overpriced single coach tickets to Zagreb (Croatia).
Traumatic Event #6 – Stranded at the Border with No Money
In 1994, we finally boarded a coach to get out of Bosnia, and though we were meant to travel on one bus all the way to Zagreb, things didn't work out this way.
Firstly, we travelled for 36 hours (a journey that normally takes 5 hours during peacetime) because the driver took many detours to avoid danger zones, but also he kept stopping to have a sleep. We and the rest of the passengers were frightened each time he did this because it was common for buses to be raided and for soldiers to rape women and children.
But that's not all, once we got to the Croatian/Bosnian border, the driver didn't have a visa to show at immigration. Basically, he lied about having the necessary travel documents when he sold us the coach tickets back in Bosnia. So, we were stranded at the border which was another shock for everyone travelling on this bus.
My mum asked the driver to give us some of the money back because we still had more than half of the journey to do on our own, but he made all the passengers get off the bus and drove off.
So, with two children, suitcases and hardly any money my mum had to come up with a new plan! I remember standing with my brother by our luggage shaking and trembling, while my mum ran around trying to sort us out!
Somehow, my mum managed to negotiate with a different bus driver to take us to Split (65km) and that she would give him the money once we arrived. She kept her promise, and called my uncle once we arrived to Split to arrange for a friend to lend us the money so that my mum could pay the driver and also buy more tickets to get us to Zagreb (415km).
All I can say is that the journey was pure hell and waiting at the border during the war was a very frightening experience.
But once in Croatia, the British Embassy arranged for us to fly to England pretty quickly, and I finally saw my father after 24 months.
2. How I Managed to Make My Anxiety Worse?
Starting my new life in the UK was great in the sense that we were together again as a family and safe, but unfortunately my anxiety continued.
I must admit that at first my symptoms were manageable and occurred only sometimes rather than constantly.
But with time I managed to make my anxiety progressively worse with an overly ambitious mindset and bad lifestyle choices.
Again, it would take a book to give you the full story but for now I'll elaborate on the three main reasons why my anxiety got worse over the years.
Reason #1 - Pushing Too Hard
When I came to the UK, I was desperate to fit in with the other children, and so I pushed myself too hard, which resulted in more anxiety.
I didn't like that I was known as the refugee, or that I couldn't speak a word of English or that I was behind my peers in school, and the way I dealt with this was to study and read constantly, and not allow myself any fun-time or time off.
The sole focus of my existence became academic success, which proved to be great for my grades but very bad for my mental health.
Reason #2 - Ignoring My Symptoms
As time went on, my strive for academic success was progressively making my anxiety worse, but I chose to ignore this completely and carried on as usual.
I was studying all the time, before, during, and after school, and at weekends. This meant that I was inside all the time, sitting down a lot and living pretty much a sedentary lifestyle.
All of this combined - working too hard, no fun and no exercise, and ignoring my symptoms - began to seriously take a toll on my mental health but also on my physical health. For example, in addition to worse anxiety symptoms, I was also experiencing low energy, candidiasis, and cystic acne.
Reason #3 - Adopting an Unhealthy Lifestyle
I have to say, my hard work and dedication toward my studies paid off academically and got me a place at the University of Manchester, but at the cost of my health.
To make things worse, while living in Manchester I continued with my bad habits and acquired new ones as well.
I was again studying a lot and ignoring my symptoms. But I also started working nights in a club, eating poorly, and drinking alcohol in excess, while not doing any exercise.
On top of that I got obsessed with trying to get the best grades at University.
So, what was the outcome?
At the end of my undergraduate degree I got the grades that I dreamed off - a first class honors in bachelor of science economics and a full scholarship for a masters in economics.
But, and this is a big BUT, by the time I finished my postgraduate studies, my anxiety was in a dire state and I struggled with it daily.
This should have been the point where I stopped and made some positive changes, but unfortunately, I was only concerned with my career.
3. Anxiety Reaching the 'Unbearable'
After University I moved to London and with my academic credentials, I managed to get into investment banking.
From day one I threw myself into my job. I was working long hours - from 7am until 8pm on most days and also during weekends - and I persisted with all my bad habits, including poor eating, no exercise, drinking alcohol and striving to be the best while ignoring my health.
But this was not sustainable, especially because it had gone on for too long.
So, only a few years into my life in London, and while in my mid-20s, I reached a point of unbearable anxiety, coupled with many other health issues which was overwhelming to say the least.
When I got to this stage, I could not ignore my symptoms any longer and I knew it was time to get professional help.
In addition to chronic anxiety, I experienced the following issues:
4. Turning Things Around - My Anxiety Healing Journey
Step 1: Getting a Diagnosis & Therapy
The first step I took on my healing journey was to see my local doctor who immediately diagnosed me with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).
The truth is, until I received this diagnosis, I didn't realize that I had mental health disorders. Maybe it's hard to believe that I was that clueless, but I simply thought that the way I was feeling was unique to people who lived through the war.
This diagnosis helped me to finally put a name to what I was experiencing all those years which proved to be useful going forward, both for my own research and when talking to therapists.
My doctor gave me medication to manage my anxiety and depression but I only took these tablets for a short while because they made me feel weak and drowsy. Though as soon as I stopped taking the medication, I began seeing a therapist.
Please note that this is not something I would recommend to anyone as I should have consulted with my doctor about my medication, but at the time I didn't know what I was doing.
The therapy was a great move. My therapist was a lovely, and gentle man, who made me feel comfortable to cry, and I cried a lot. All of our sessions together were focused around my childhood trauma because I had to deal with that first. I can't remember exactly how many sessions we had in total, but what I do remember is that I came to a point where I felt I was ready to make the next step on my healing journey.
I was still struggling with anxiety at the time, but I felt that the therapist had helped me to make sense of the past, which was something I had to do in order to make space in my mind to tackle the present.
In addition to seeing my therapist, I also saw a number of consultants as part of my private health care at work about some of my other health issues. I was given more medication therapies which I took for some time. But once I realized that my physical symptoms were not getting any better, and that some even got worse, I decided it was time to look for alternative help.
So, while still trying to manage my anxiety, depression, and other health issues, I began to do some research on my own.
But I should point out that I'm really glad I saw my doctor and therapist at the outset, because getting a diagnosis and dealing with my childhood trauma was necessary to be able to move onto the next steps on my healing journey.
Also, by seeing my doctor and other medical professionals I eliminated any other possible health issues and this is essential.
Step 2: Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle
Roundabout this time, I met my husband Kresimir. It was love at first sight and after only a few months of knowing each other, we decided to get married!
He became my shining light and together we began researching alternative medicine and various healing therapies. This is how I got to meet an amazing phyto-therapist, who changed my life!
More specifically, she suggested I
- Adopt an anti-anxiety diet
- Start doing gentle exercise
- Introduce daily relaxation techniques such as meditation
- and work on reducing the amount of stress in my life.
I took her advice very seriously and got to work immediately. Amazingly enough, after only a few months of following her advice I noticed incredible improvements.
My skin started to clear up, I was free of abdominal pain, my energy levels went up, and I began to experience anxiety relief for the first time in years!
I was truly inspired by this progress and decided to explore alternative healing even more. This is when I began reading and learning about nutrition, healthy and clean eating, healthy cooking, detoxing, raw diets, veganism, bio energy healing, and so much more.
My husband and I also began attending courses and seminars and we acquired many certificates including the following.
The more I learned about healthy living and the more I ate healthily, exercised and practiced relaxation, the less anxious I felt, and the better I was overall. Also, with time my physical health issues started to disappear one by one.
Step 3: Creating an Anti-Anxiety Mindset
Living a healthy lifestyle proved to be an amazing move on my healing journey.
But as I read more about holistic living, I realized that I also had to work on changing my negative thoughts and beliefs as another step on my healing journey.
The more I worked on replacing my negative thoughts with empowering ones the less anxiety I experienced.
For example, I started to believe that I have the power to change how I feel, and I can use anxiety as a signal to help me change things in my life that are potentially not working for me, which made me take more positive actions and adopt other healthy habits.
I realized that with each new positive belief and action I was getting better and better.
Step 4: Falling in Love with Myself and Overcoming Anxiety
The last step on my healing journey - inspired by self-help authors such as Louise L. Hay - was to fall in love with myself again. This was the final piece of the puzzle that I needed to overcome my mental disorders.
In my eyes this was the advance level of positively changing my mindset.
That's because when I first started tackling my negative thoughts I couldn't affirm "I love myself". I had spent most of my life rejecting myself and so saying "I love myself" was too soon in the beginning.
But once I developed some positive thoughts and beliefs as explained in step 3, I was ready to work on self-love next.
So, I began adopting more self-loving thoughts, behaviors and actions.
- Intensively practiced positive affirmations such as I am enough, I love myself, I forgive myself
- Practiced regularly accepting my strengths and and weaknesses as part of a whole
- Adopted techniques for self-forgiveness, and gratitude
- Learned a lot about unconditional love
- Practiced not comparing myself to others
- Strived for success only in a way that was aligned with my health
- Created a self-care routine, and
- Introduced fun hobbies into my life.
This work was incredibly important because adopting self-love and self-care as part of my daily routine, allowed me to find the beauty within myself, and the more I cherished my own uniqueness, the more I noticed anxiety fading away.
Eventually, I came to a point where I truly fell in love with my soul at which time anxiety and depression were no longer part of my life. This was an enlightening experience, and one that inspired me to help others.
5. Anxiety Coach
The moment I realized I wanted to help others achieve the same kind of anxiety-free success, I created this site, a YouTube Channel, and a Pinterest Profile to connect with people from all over the world.
I also decided to become an Anxiety Coach and completed several diplomas, with a focus on anxiety awareness, life coaching, nutrition and psychotherapy.
This is the full list of my diplomas to date, though I am studying towards something new all the time.
6. My Holistic Success Formula
Everything I teach through my articles, videos, coaching and online courses is designed to help you achieve this effectively.
My holistic success formula is based on the key steps that I took on my healing journey.
Anti-Anxiety Diet + Anti-Anxiety Lifestyle + Anti-Anxiety Mindset + Self-Love
In addition to the above, I also encourage anxiety sufferers to see a doctor and get a diagnosis for their anxiety, and to consider therapy.
Therapy is especially important for chronic anxiety sufferers, trauma victims and anyone still struggling with anxiety after making positive changes to diet, lifestyle and mindset.
7. Life as An Anxiety Coach - Walking the Talk
I continue to eat, live and think healthily, and love myself, and this is my way of life now.
Having worked extremely hard to overcome chronic anxiety and depression and most of my other health issues, I have no plans to go back to my old bad habits.
Also, I truly believe that healthy eating, living and thinking, plus self-love is the recipe for happiness and I want to stay being happy and content.
On top of that, I stand behind my word, and if I am teaching you to change your life then, I'm at peace only when I practice that which I am encouraging others to do.
So, if you are ready to change your diet, lifestyle, and mindset, and adopt self-love, I would love to show you how.
Helping people reduce anxiety naturally and become happier and healthier versions of themselves has become my passion and I spend every spare minute of my time connecting with anxiety sufferers from all over the world, and writing and learning about mental health.
8. How I Can Help You with Your Anxiety?
If you're ready to get your anxiety under control - as well as eat, live, love and think healthily - then enter your email address below to become a loving member of my anxiety email family.
Each week I'll send you amazing tips and tricks on how to adopt an anti-anxiety diet, lifestyle, and mindset and also how to find the beauty within yourself. You'll also get updates on my coaching sessions, online courses, latest articles and recent videos.
Always remember that You have the Power to Change How You Feel.