A Mantra To Keep The Anxiety Monster At Bay

Yup, another grey sky low humidity day here, and so the Anxiety Monster is just bubbling beneath the surface, and I’m daring it to rear its ugly head.

Go On, I Dare You Anxiety Monster.

AM: Really? You dare me?

Me: Yup. I’ve been exercising and eating well, taking my vitamins, getting outside, and chatting with friends to stay social.

AM: So you’re feeling pretty good?

Me: Well, there’s a lot going on, but yeah. Mostly!

AM: Your cat’s sick you know. Look at her.

Me: Yeah, she’s hoovering a bowl of tuna and purring and then heading over to the neighbour’s porch where she has her own chair and personal water dish.

AM: So she’s fine for now.

Me: Yup!

AM: But for how long? The vet said a couple of months at most.

Me: Well…

AM: It’s going to be really sad when she goes.

Me: I know but…

AM: Remember when that happened with your last cat?

Me: 10 years ago, yeah.

AM: It was sad.

Me: Yeah.

AM: Really sad.

Me: …

AM: Aaaaaand, I’m back!

One of the things that is a constant struggle for me is to do everything I can to keep the Anxiety Monster at bay.

I’ve written about it a fair bit (which is one of the things that has helped me), and I have learned tips and tricks that help. I’d say the two biggest things that help are diet and exercise, but just this weekend I’ve been employing a new tactic.

My new mantra.

I will not get sad before I have to.

Now you have all heard similar phrases, like

  • Don’t borrow trouble,
  • Cross that bridge when you come to it, and
  • I’ll worry about that tomorrow.

My mantra has a little different nuance.

It’s quite specific with respect to sadness, which can be a real struggle for people with anxiety (ok, for lots of people, and especially if you struggle with anxiety), and can send us into quite a spiral.

It recognizes that I’m going to be sad, and it also tells me that today is not that day.

It kicks me in the butt and tells me to move on, not to just stare at my cat and be sad.

And you know what?

It totally works.

Like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, this mantra helps me reframe how I’m feeling so I can live in the moment and appreciate what’s going on around me without my anxiety bringing me down unnecessarily.

So now my conversation with the Anxiety Monster will go something like this:

AM: Your cat’s sick you know. Look at her.

Me: Yeah, she’s hoovering a bowl of tuna and purring and then heading over to the neighbour’s porch where she has her own chair and personal water dish.

AM: So she’s fine for now.

Me: Yup!

AM: But for how long? The vet said a couple of months at most.

Me: I know, but she’s so happy right now. Look at her!

AM: But when…

Me: Seriously! Can you hear that purring? She’s actually snoring.

AM: but

Me: Nope.

AM: So I’ll see you later then.

Me: Maybe. But not today.

My Happy Cat, Tazo
Ruth Henderson is co-owner of Whiteboard Consulting, and focuses on ways to make things better through a wide spectrum of business activities including sales, marketing, customer service, and financial operations, although her specialties are Coaching, Training, and Business Process Improvement. She’s a podcaster, blogger, process nerd, and loves to call Toronto her home.Find out more about her atwhiteboardconsulting.ca.
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Ruth Henderson is co-owner of Whiteboard Consulting, and focuses on ways to make things better through a wide spectrum of business activities including sales, marketing, customer service, and financial operations, although her specialties are Coaching, Training, and Business Process Improvement. She’s a podcaster, blogger, process nerd, and loves to call Toronto her home.Find out more about her atwhiteboardconsulting.ca.

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