Are Your Stories Making You Anxious?
The other day my son asked if he could go to the movies with some friends. I asked who and what movie and then approved. I drove him to the movie theater and when he got out of the car a group of boys, not the ones he was going to the movies with, ran up to him and high five’d him.
I reacted immediately to what I saw, or what I thought saw!
My son had lied to me!
Then my mind went into overdrive and I started telling myself that this was the beginning of a new era, an era in which my son was going to make poor choices. He was going to get caught up with the wrong crowd, he would succumb to peer pressure, he will not do well at school and would probably end up taking drugs.
Then I felt my anxiety rise and decided he probably should be grounded for at least two weeks and have his phone confiscated.
OK - I know what to do when I get anxious - BREATH.
After a few breaths I asked myself what was the truth in this situation, what did I know with absolute certainty.
Here are the facts;
- My son had asked to go the movies with some friends.
- I dropped off my son outside the movies.
- A group of boys that he knew were outside the movie theater and ran up to say hello.
Wow, that was all I knew to be true and none of that was anxiety inducing, what was anxiety producing was the stories I was making up.
Then I saw the friends he was going to the movies with arrive and in then went, just like that.
No poor choices, no drugs, no being grounded, no confiscating the phone. Just a couple of friends going to the movies together.
Think about the last time you got anxious about something, maybe you wanted to make some changes in your life, how much of your anxiety was based on reality, on fact, on what was really happening and how much was based on stories you were making up?
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