Confessing My Struggle with Anxiety
For as far back as I can remember I have battled with anxiety. An over productive thought life rendered me paralyzed with fear of what “might” happen. I don’t know why I struggle in this way. Could it be a genetic predisposition, the way I was raised or the culture we live in? Maybe a little of everything and maybe it doesn’t really matter why…the better question is what do I do about it now.
The cure to anxiety is beyond my expertise. I will not pretend to have all the answers nor do I want to represent myself that way. Rather, I would like to share what has helped me by adding tools to your toolbox…something tangible that you and I can use to calm the anxious heart. This subject is very close to my heart. The majority of my suffering has been private…in the dark recesses of my heart. Shame will no longer keep me quiet…I will address the issue of anxiety many times in my blog.
Anxiety Tools: Mottos to Calm My Anxious Heart
I began using mottos a few years ago. As part of dealing with anxious thoughts, I was practicing replacing anxious thoughts with positive, uplifting thoughts. While an excellent practice, I needed something quick. Something that would be readily available and easy to remember when anxiety hit.
Developing a Self-Talk Strategy is Critical for the Anxious Mind
Mottos provide a quick, go-to phrase that becomes a theme for a specific time in your life. Mottos can change as you change and your success/struggles change. For example, my first motto was:
“God already knew this was going to happen. If He knew it, then He prepared me in advance to handle it.”
During this time period I was experiencing issues with my daughter repeatedly getting sick …seriously every other week. Calling into work to tell my boss and/or cancelling meetings was tearing up my gut. Anxiety and feeling like a failure were ruling my emotions. This motto calmed my anxious heart. It reminded me that though I didn’t know…God foreknew this was going to happen and because he foreknew, he prepared me to handle it. Regardless of the outcome, I would be ok and needed to stick to my priorities.
Ready, Set…2017 Motto Ready to Go!
I am in a different place now. As you are aware I quit my job, I am homeschooling and I started this blog. My anxiety is centered on these huge changes. Did I make the right decisions? Am I going to fail at homeschooling and writing my blog? Will we financially sink since I don’t have an income? The kicker is, I won’t know the answers to these questions for months or even years to come. Talk about a prime situation for anxiety to rule! I need a winning motto to battle this out….my new motto is:
“Do everything I can, do my best and leave the results to God.”
We haven’t started 2017 yet and my motto is already at work for me. Producing calmness in my anxious heart…remembering that I can only control what I can. I must follow my heart, pursue my best life and not worry about the rest.
Create Your 2017 Motto
Create your motto by taking something you are anxious about or trying to accomplish this year. Ask yourself, “what can I control and what is out of my control?” Focus on what you can control. For example, in my first motto I couldn’t control my daughter getting sick and how my boss would react to it…but I could control how I would handle the situation. In my 2017 motto I can’t control the results of my Chickening IN decisions, but I can control putting my best foot forward every day. Center your motto around what you can do. Empower yourself with positive and soothing self-talk that you can repeat over and over again when you feel anxious.