I tend to think of a reward as something given for a job well done or a game well played. I think of a reward as a positive end to a task or event. I think of a reward as instantaneous rather than something doled out over a period of time. Truthfully, rewards are both negative and positive, good and bad, instant and delayed.
There are moments when I deal with butterflies in my stomach, heart palpitations, feelings of dread. I have learned to recognize these experiences as anxiety trying to creep it’s ugly way in to my heart, mind, and soul. I used to try and think about what was the cause; okay, I still try and think what is the cause from time to time! My reward for trying to figure out why I was feeling anxious was to go into a tailspin of trying to control people, outcomes, events. Worrying about this person or that person or what if this or what if that. And nothing good ever came from this. My imagined fears never came true.
2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “…we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” I started asking myself what would happen if I tried choosing to focus on different thoughts when I felt anxious? What if I tried looking at the truth of what I know about whatever situation I was stressing over?
Over the last few weeks and months, I have started choosing to rein in my thoughts when I feel butterflies in my stomach and are my heart palpitations from too much caffeine or stress? I ask myself what I am stressing over or what is disturbing my peace? When I figure this out, I am then able to look at the facts of the situation and focus on the positives. A wise person (my therapist! Everyone needs one, you know!) told me to raise my hands to heaven and say, “I am looking forward to….” and say it three times over out loud. I say it a dozen times, not just three!
I don’t enjoy dealing with anxiety. I’m finding as I keep talking about it, as I keep choosing to refocus my thoughts, as I keep choosing to focus on what is true and not imagined, then I am able to break these chains which I have allowed to bind me to lies.
The choice to focus on the truth has been it’s own reward in loosing the chains which bind me in anxiety.
Happy to be linked to Five Minute Fridays.