Thursday, October 3, 2013


When I was young having butterflies in my stomach was a common occurrence.  If something happy was going to be happening like a special holiday, a birthday, or a dance I had butterflies.  If I had a major test I had butterflies that day.  When I was grown up if I worked for a cranky boss I had butterflies, if my husband and I had a disagreement I had butterflies, if one of my children became ill I had butterflies, and the night before I had any of my many surgeries I had butterflies.  Of course, the butterflies were just another word for anxiety.

While all of us have anxiety at times, if it happens too often then it is not a healthy situation.  Anxiety can cause or exacerbate stress, and we already live in a world with enough stress for all of us.  I have a friend who became an alcoholic at a young age, but he has now been sober for 30 years.  He said one of the things that helped him get over the anxiety that propelled him into drinking too much was the Serenity Prayer which he learned while attending AA meetings.  If you are not familiar with it, the words are:

                               God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
                               the courage to change the things I can,
                               and the wisdom to know the difference.

Even if you are not a believer, the philosophy of those words can help relieve your anxiety and keep you from becoming easily upset.  If you think about what is causing you to be anxious or upset, ask yourself if there is anything you can do about it.  If there is, then do it.  If there is not, then let it go, and it will either resolve itself or it will not.   Remember to breathe (we all have a tendency to hold our breaths when we are struggling with problems), and take deep breaths which will help lower your level of anxiety.

The best thing you can do is:


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