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How This Simple Phrase Helps With My Anxiety

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A while ago, I got into one-word mantras. You know, bite-sized pieces of wisdom that would somehow make my day smoother, brighter, happier. I eventually figured out that there isn’t a one-word solve-all — no bandage for all of my problems. But, there is a phrase that gets me through the day: “you’re OK.”

I started using this phrase on a whim. A fitness Instagram profile I follow suggested to pick a phrase that motivates you and post it. What came to mind was possibly the simplest phrase. It wasn’t fitness related, per say (but it does get me through the last couple of sets when I’m struggling). It was more of a way of mentally checking-in with myself, taking a step back and talking to the panicked voices in my head: you’re OK. I used to repeat it to myself on the way home from work when I was shaking with exhaustion. Or, on the way to work, when my heart was in my chest and my mood was somewhere around my shoes. I use it when I have to take a lap around the building because I can’t organize my thoughts, or because my chest is so tight, I can’t take a full breath.

Anxiety is something I live with. But instead of getting panicked about it, I’m telling my anxious mind: you’re OK. Because in the end, I know I will be. I’ll reach home. I’ll collapse into my work chair. I’ll pull in a breath and I’ll make a to-do list, and the day will be done. I’ll be OK.

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Originally published: July 28, 2017
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