From Crippling Anxiety to Starting My Own Business, My Mental Health Journey
For most people that are mindful about their mental health, there is a specific moment when you think “I need to work on this”; a moment that jolts you to reality and forces you to not only accept yourself, the situation and the fact that you can and must make it a priority to support your mental health.
For me, it was a few years ago, when I was working at my fancy new job, studying for my LSAT’s and had just moved to Los Angeles with my amazing husband. I thought I was on my way to obtaining the shiny golden star in life that one can only get by making it in LA.
But boy, was I wrong.
In this new job at a fancy law firm, I began to experience a resurfacing of mental health concerns I had experienced since my childhood but at a much more alarming frequency. I was in a situation that exasperated my deepest insecurities and made me prey to my own mind. My new position had me surrounded by misogyny, negative co-workers, and a lack of support. What I thought was going to be the start of a badass career up the corporate ladder, instead became a pit of constant anxiety and eventually led to depression. In this time, I was deeply torn by what I thought I wanted, what I really wanted to do, and what my mind and body were telling me. That year, was the time where I really started to think to myself, “I need to work on this".
My journey started with awareness and acceptance, as most healing journeys do. Admitting and identifying your struggle is really the first step to any path of healing and one of the hardest to achieve. But once you do, the knot in the back of your shoulders, that shuddering feeling of being lost disappears, as you are now living in your truth, and as they say, the truth will set you free.
Then, I began creating space in my life for real self-care, having conversations with myself and people I love about how I’m feeling, how I’ve struggled, and how I may be still struggling now. I dove deep into my passion for natural wellness and spiritual practices and set out on a path of understanding myself, creating support around me, and utilizing natural remedies to help my stress and anxiety.
In this time, I knew I wanted to try to harness my ancestors’ ancient rituals detailed in Ayurveda. I had a bit of knowledge on this from my background with my family’s health food store and began to dive deeper into these practices. I started taking a supplement my father created at his shop that combined stress and cortisol balancing Ashwagandha, with happy thoughts boosting GABA and physical anxiety-reducing Magnesium. This mixture is now available as Tranquil, our adaptogenic formula for daily stress management. I took it for about 3 weeks daily before I felt a difference, but I can truly say, I felt a real change. I was less on edge ALL THE TIME, and if you’ve been there, you know that a small difference like being able to get out of bed and feel rested, or having the energy to do small tasks, means a lot when you’re suffering in your own thoughts.
I also started to lean into sophisticated cannabis. Previously, I had smoked a lot of weed during college. But as I grew older, I noticed the more I consumed, the more anxious and paranoid I became. I now know that elevated levels of THC in the mega pure strains available to us now can lead to more paranoia and anxiety…but back I choose to just stop entirely. Instead, I looked to add non-psychotropic aspects of cannabis to my routine in the form of a newly discovered compound—Cannabidiol better known as CBD.
CBD changed the game for me. It allowed me peace from constant anxiety. The kind that you feel in your chest and body. The kind that cripples you before you even realize. As I started to explore CBD more, I noticed how badly the products tasted, or how I didn’t align with most of the brands available. They felt shady, unclean, and left me thinking of a better solution to the problem before me.
Around this time, is when Shanti Wellness was born. As a first-hand user, I was able to identify what was missing and source clean and effective products that made you feel better while allowing you to enjoy the experience as well.
The mixture of supplements was huge but it was only one part, and I must stress this: supplements will only do so much. They might provide you the support you need to feel empowered enough to take action or feel better enough to do everything else, but they are only the beginning.
With the routine of herbs and supplements, I began the rest starting with meditation and exercise. My mind was in a constant state of distress and worry, and I knew I had to incorporate calming practices to give my body a break, or I was headed towards a dark path. I became mindful of the way I think and the way I live. I started to read self-help books, a favorite list is coming soon! Utilizing free tools such as guided meditations and looking toward the teaching of others to support me (Tony Robbins, Alan Watts, Gabriella Bernstein, Sadhguru) as well as speaking more openly about my struggles with friends.
With some TLC, I began to bloom again. I regained focus, energy and my relationships began to improve. I set out on a new path of quitting my horrible job, embracing my passions, and continuing to be mindful of my self-care. Today, almost 3 years later, I am still on this journey. I began therapy as a way to continue healing and it's one that is constantly evolving. But as someone who’s been there, I promise there is hope.
-Mohnia Patel, CEO & Co-founder, Shanti Wellness
(Note: mental health and what you can do to support yourself, vary in each situation. I choose to try a natural path before trying medication as it aligned with my values. But there is no shame or harm in pursuing pharmaceutical support. Every individual has their own path, and I wish you the best luck on yours.)