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A Powerful Anxiety Lesson From My Daughter

A powerful anxiety lesson from my daughter
Got to brave the storm to get to new shores. Life is an ocean, filled with beauty and danger, A beautiful surface that hides the terrible depths.

This poem was submitted to me by a great guy named Adam.  He’s a veteran suffering from multiple mental illnesses. Poetry is his therapy.

If interested, you can check out his other works here.

My daughter is six. She is so smart, kind, and caring, but also extremely emotional.

Yesterday she had a complete meltdown. “Why?” Because she couldn’t get her tablet to work right. Its old and needs to be replaced, so it routinely goes on the fritz. (Can you guess what she’s getting for Christmas?)

She began crying, growling, and throwing her body around until I gave her “the look.” She does this often, and she knows what “the look” means. We’ve had this conversation many times.

I usually tell her, “It’s okay to feel aggravated or angry. You should never apologize for your feelings, but giving up and crying doesn’t solve anything. It doesn’t make you feel any better, so why bother? Close your eyes, take a deep cleansing breath, and then try again. You can always ask for help.”

 

You may be wondering why I’m talking about my daughter’s life problems and how they have anything to do with anxiety, well I’ll tell you.

I’m telling you this story because anxiety is so much like her tablet.

 

Sometimes:

  • It works fine more or less, other times it goes on the fritz.
  • It only glitches for a little while, other times it happens for days.
  • You can try everything possible and it still doesn’t make a difference.
  • You can make a few adjustments, and it’s back to working right again.

 

All of the time:

It’s a constant battle with the same problems. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.

 

Related: 7 Anxiety Tips on Dealing With Loved Ones Who Don’t Understand

 

The anxiety wars

 

Like I tell my daughter; You can’t just give up, and throw a fit about it. Well I mean, you can. You definitely can, but honestly, does that solve anything? Does it make you feel any better? No, it doesn’t. In fact, it accomplishes absolutely nothing, except setting up a mindset for feeling sorry for yourself.

 

My daughter catches my look and immediately stops. She knows what to do.

 

She sets down her tablet and closes her eyes. She stands still for a moment and breathes in deeply. You can hear the aggravation in her slow drawl of breath. She exhales. You can hear how forced it is. The air comes from deep in her chest.

A second time she does this. It’s a little lighter this time. And the exhale no longer comes out as hard and aggravated.

One last time for good measure and her breathing is calm.

She opens up her eyes and takes in one last deep breath. As she exhales, she says “OK” to herself, and tries to fix it again.

 

Sometimes she fixes it. Sometimes she can’t, and she has to bring it to me for help.

 

Related:10 Things You Can Do To Help Eliminate Anxiety

 

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A POWEFUL ANXIETY LESSON FROM MY SIX-YEAR-OLD

 

I feel proud of her in these moments, because she, at six years old, has learned some things that most adults fail to grasp.

  1. You should never apologize for the way you feel.
  2. You can’t give up and still expect change.
  3. Crying (without action) doesn’t fix your problems, it just makes you feel worse.
  4.  Life may deal you a hand where you’re in a constant battle with the exact same thing every day. It’s something you have to learn to accept.
  5. You can try your best without any results, and that’s OK. What matters is that you are trying.
  6. You may have to ask for help, and there is nothing wrong with that.

 

I’m not trying to say that it isn’t okay to break down sometimes. Sometimes the bad days are just hard, and you have to cry it out.

Hell, sometimes all I need is a good cry.

It’s just important to keep in mind, you shouldn’t linger in that mindset.

 

If you have to cry, cry it out boo. But after you’re done, pick yourself up and throw yourself back at that problem like you never fell in the first place.

 

Remember: You are strong, and don't you ever forget it!

You are strong. You are a force to be reckoned with, and your anxiety will not keep you from living your best life.

 

Much love,

Kabrina 😘

 

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