The reality star, who used to take Xanax, says CBD oil has been "a game-changer"

Malika Haqq is opening up about her experience with anxiety in the hopes of helping others who are struggling.

Speaking to PEOPLE, the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star, 36, reveals that she’s struggled with anxiety most of her adult life.

“A lot of this s— is in my head, let’s be honest,” she says. “But dealing with stress is real for people — the daily struggles of trying to figure things out.”

Over the years, Haqq has become more comfortable addressing her issues in public.

“I think that the more you mature and become self-aware, you spend less time caring about what people think about what you’re doing and spend more time actually taking care of yourself and your wellbeing,” she says. “What I’ve learned is the best way to handle or deal with your discomforts in life is to be honest about them.”

“It doesn’t mean you have to scream them from the rooftops, but it’s almost impossible to get help with something that people don’t know about,” she adds. “So often we struggle with things out of fear that someone will judge us. There are so many people that are afraid to say, ‘I’m struggling.’ I’m going, ‘I struggled, and I still do with stress on a daily basis.’ I’m happy to be someone that’s out there going, ‘You don’t have to speak up, I’ll speak up for us.'”

Malika Haqq
Credit: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty

Haqq initially began treating her anxiety with therapy and meditation and was eventually prescribed Xanax.

“It isn’t that those things didn’t help me, but I actually needed to be on medication,” she explains. “But the older I’ve gotten, I’ve gotten wiser and more protective of myself and the things I put in my body.”

Haqq stumbled upon beam, a Boston-based CBD wellness brand that uses organic, pharmaceutical-grade, full-spectrum CBD products that are 100% free of THC.

Short for cannabidiol, CBD is a non-intoxicating chemical in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD does not make you high. While more evidence needs to be gathered, studies have shown CBD to have anti-inflammatory properties, meaning it can reduce pain and swelling associated with everything from muscle aches to skin conditions. Research is also being done on CBD’s ability to help with issues including anxiety and epilepsy. (So far, the FDA has only approved a version of CBD for two pediatric epilepsy conditions, so you should consult your doctor before trying it. There is also no regulation on the products, and a recent study showed only about 30 percent of commercial CBD products are accurately labeled.)

Haqq says CBD works wonders for her and that finding a holistic, alternative approach to anxiety issues has been “a dream come true.” She has since stopped taking Xanax, and has instead incorporated beam’s products into her daily routine.

“A lot of anxiety is very much about the way you process things in your head. So for me, I actually am processing that I’m doing better and feeling better because I’m doing something that’s better for myself,” she says. “It’s crazy, but the truth is it really does help. It honestly has done a world of difference for me where anxiety is concerned.”

“If you really do have a reason to be doing it, it is a game-changer,” she adds. “I’ve become the girl who is literally dropping CBD oil into people’s hands. I feel like the fixer.”

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Haqq says she starts every day by slipping some of beam’s Do You drops into her morning tea.

“It’s almost like hitting a reset button that makes your body go back to a balanced state,” she explains. “It has been the reset button for me that balances everything out. It’s not a heightened moment, it’s not a dull moment, it’s just right.”

“And it’s instant,” she adds. “I would relate it to if you’re thirsty and you drink water, however long it takes to feel hydrated is how long it takes for the CBD to kick in, in my personal experience.”

Haqq says most of her anxiety stems from scheduling and meeting deadlines, which makes up most of her day-to-day life.

“I am very critical of myself when it comes to being on time. It’s always created a lot of pressure on me, but I actually really like it, because it gives me a sense of responsibility and something to look forward to,” she says. “I just have to learn how to process.”

“Some days are better than others,” she admits. “Those days that I’m not doing that great, trust me — I’m CBD oiling it down, in the morning in my tea, then I’m going on about my day, just doing the very best that I can.”