Dear Beautiful You,
Remember the movie War Games? You know, the 80's movie starring Matthew Boderick? That movie was iconic for me, although I did not know how much at the time. Well, if you did not see it, let me give you a quick synopsis. A computer, Joshua, is simulating a nuclear war, but the US military believe it is real. And it is Matthew Broderick's character (a computer whiz) who helps the computer learn that playing "war" is not a fun game.
In fact, in the end when the computer, Joshua, "learns" playing war is not fun and there are no winners he says this:
"A strange game. The only winning move is not to play."
This is such an amazing analogy for anxiety! The ONLY winning move is not to play. What I mean is once you wrap yourself in the energy of fighting anxiety and thinking about how to get out of it, you literally are in a game that you cannot win.
So, the next time you are dealing with anxiety don't play the game. If an attack comes on, or weird thoughts or jelly legs or whatever your constellation of symptoms are, don't engage. Know that it is anxiety and ignore it. When you don't play the game, anxiety gets bored and goes away.
Obviously, there is some cool brain stuff that is happening when you turn your back on anxiety. You are creating a new mental movie in your brain which reinforces and instructs your subconscious to develop a new habit. Instead of fighting the anxiety, you are training your brain these symptoms are not important to you. This gives your brain the cue to not fire off alarm bells that you are in danger. And without the danger signs, your body has the time to heal and relax. As with any habit, this will take time, but so worth it!
This is not just a great analogy for you, but also an excellent movie and analogy to use when helping kids and teens with anxiety. They like having something to see and understand rather than just talk about how to let go of their anxiety. It is concrete for them and helps empower them and give them a plan and mantra which helps them see they are in charge.
Be the star in your own life story, not the anxiety.
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Lucie Dickenson is a wife and mom to three unique teenagers. She is also a successful, internationally recognized, speaker, writer and anxiety coach, with 25 years experience in training and business. Her passion is helping others to truly understand that their life stories hold the key to healing and connecting with others.
Certified EFT/Tapping Coach/Muscle testing Creator of the 3-Steps to Freedom Method