Coping with Anxiety -- Your Circle of Control

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There is one major theme when it comes to the anxiety issues in my life: CONTROL

or... lack of it. 

Whenever my symptoms arise (nausea, stomach pain, shaking, shallow breathing, rapid heart rate, etc.), the lack of control I feel is terrifying, which only causes the symptoms to get worse. It's a vicious cycle. Very quickly my body becomes sensitized, and basically I feel anxiety over my anxiety and the lack of control over my symptoms.

I have learned that when I feel symptoms, I try to control them. I try so very hard, always to no avail, to make them go away. I fight them with all my might, which actually only makes things worse. 

I can not tell you what a difference it has made in my life to just give into the feelings of anxiety. If you have been on this blog before, you know that I love Dr. Claire Weekes. Please read her book. It will explain more in depth what I mean. 

When I feel anxiety and the symptoms that come along with it, most of the time it's about something over which I have no control. 

Loved ones, getting sick
My husband's work/job
Choices that other people make in their lives (like addictions or even choices about money and relationships)
Tragedy around the nation/world
These are just a few examples.

I want to fix things. I want to make choices for people. I want to right wrongs, and because I can't (or really shouldn't) I feel anxious. 

In reality, I just need to let that sh*t go. (Insert Frozen sound track here.)

A friend of mine introduced me to Susan Goss awhile back. She came to our church and spoke about anxiety. When she gave her "circle talk," a big light bulb went off for me. 


I am a very visual learner, and it really took seeing it mapped out in this way for me to "get it." 

If you don't watch, here is the main idea of the circle talk:


Here I've added a just a few things of my own:


I think it's pretty self explanatory, right?

It's a daily process of letting go.

Daily, when I feel myself getting anxious, I ask myself whether or not this "thing" is in my control. Most often it is "not in my circle."

"Not in my circle" has become sort of a catch phrase among my friends, because I have shared this strategy with all of them and now, I hope it will help you!

What are things you know are not "in your circle" but still want to control? Share in the comments!



10 comments:

  1. You are speaking to my life right now. Gosh I love this so much. These last 4 years, I have had some pretty traumatic things happened that I don't open up to too many people about and I choose that way. I have learned how much privacy too is such a personal thing but to also reach out for help. Girl, I have so many convos with God I am like that nagging child but really it is true....let it go, and it will all work out. If it hasn't worked out yet, its not the end! Keep your head up! I know I need it.

    Chiara
    Chiaramarie.com

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    1. Balance is so important when thinking about what to share and who to share it with! Praise God that He is always there to hear it and always the one who will take it to heart and keep it!

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  2. Aniexty doesn't hit me too often but... When it does, I have certain tricks to calm it all down. Talking to my mom is something I do. I sometimes take a nap. I most of the time just stop what I am doing and actually talk to myself OUT LOUD telling myself that I am A-OK and no one is dying and everything will work out!

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    1. YES! For some reason, out loud makes a difference! I know!!

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  3. I agree with you 100%. Control the things that you cannot and if you can't control them do not worry about.

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    1. I feel like a broken record sometimes with how much this goes through my head : )

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  4. I really needed to read this today! Thank you so much for sharing!

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    1. You are so welcome! I'm so glad it was what you needed. Thank you for reading!

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  5. This is such a good reminder. I have been letting something bother me for a while now and reading this post made me pause and realize that I can't control the thing that's bothering me but I CAN control my reaction.

    http://www.myplotofsunshine.com

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    1. Yes... so true. Control over my reactions is something I am working diligently on especially with decisions my littles make!

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