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Adulting & Anxiety: How Do You Frame Your Situation?

If you experience anxiety, you may have seen how it has a cruel way of creating a whirlwind of emotions that come and go throughout the day. It can get to the point where you are tired of ALL THE FEELS. You crave peace. Simplicity.

A port in the storm for me has been to boldly take a step toward the emotion I want to have, not the one that just happens to be present. In essence, I’m learning to get ahead of my emotions and dictate to myself how I will feel. I call it “framing the situation." (Note: there is probably a more professional term.) Because I believe we can be storytellers of our own life. We don’t have to be so darn passive. It’s basically self-talk, and it goes something like this:

“Once I clean up after dinner, I will feel so good having a fresh kitchen.”

I find it’s even more effective to take this a step further and voice your narration to someone. Speak positive:

“It will be so relaxing to curl up in bed tonight.”

“The commute from work might be rough, but I’ll be so relieved when I get home.”

Even mundane comments about the weather can work. I had a friend who delighted in walking into work, dripping from the rain. He’d smile at us serenely while saying, “What a lovely day it is.” And he meant it.

Did I agree? Well, to be honest, no, I didn’t. I’m just not that smitten with rainy days where I can’t stay inside with my tea. But just his positive narration lifted the atmosphere in our workplace. It was, at the very least, nice to know someone found the climate enjoyable.

I would like to leave you with three helpful reminders:

  1. Never forget how powerful our thoughts and our words are.

  2. Never forget how we can be narrators, setting a framework to direct our mood.

  3. Never forget that it’s through such choices that we can encourage ourselves. And others.


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