That the birds of worry (or anxiety) and care fly above your head, this you cannot change; but that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent. Chinese Proverb
The Greatest feeling ever – Anxiety
I have battled with this for a number of years. I believe I can write the book on just how shitty this wonderful feeling really is. I’m sure you can, too. For me, it is just another layer of the bipolar to contend with. It has been as overwhelming and constant like a deluge of customers flooding the mall at Christmas time. On the other hand, my anxiety has been merely triggered by particular things such as driving on interstates, a certain person, talking on the phone or being around people.
The pendulum has swung back to the time when I was anxious nearly all the time. My toes on my right foot tap rapidly in the hope that this action will get rid of the nervous energy surging through my body. Most of the time I do not even realize the anxiety has snuck up on me and kicked off my toe-tapping nervous dance.
I have learned through the years to recognize that many of my choices are made out of fear. Do I pick up the phone when it rings? If I am afraid, then I won’t. Do I go to church to worship or stay at home because I am afraid of the masses of people? If I am not fearful, I will go to church. Any change to my routine can alert fear or anxiety which leads to horrible stress. When this change occurs, I only have a split second to adapt or go into distress, fear or anger mode. I have experienced all four.
There are numerous ways to combat the fear of anxiety. I am going to talk about one that helps me. Once the trigger has been pulled: 1) take a deep breath in and out; 2) notice your surroundings — everything is in its place; 3) next pick a slogan from the list below; and 4) reflect on the meaning of the slogan; what memories does it conjure up?
Sample Slogans of Wisdom to Help with Anxiety
How important is it?
Even after a deep dark night the sun will rise again!
Life goes on.
Thy will be done.
I am not in charge.
I am not in control.
Live and let live.
This too shall pass.
Eat the elephant (whatever is causing your anxiety) one bite at a time.
Easy does it.
Let it go.
If you have scripture from the Bible like Philipians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” you can use that, too. I often use Bible verses to help me calm down. You might have a phrase or a mantra your therapist has shared with you. Maybe a slogan from someone dear to you. Try different things to see what works.
If something happens this week to frighten you and results in anxiety, email me and share with me how you were able to get through it. firstname.lastname@example.org