Stop anxiety with my mom’s super-simple, secret code

My mother and I have a secret code. When she gets to feeling anxious – which happens to her a lot – she looks at me and asks, “What is that thing we say?” and I, knowing just what she means, say, “So what.”

“Yes,” she sighs, sinking back into her pillows. “So what.”

What we mean is: So what that I am feeling this way or that way? There is no story here – no drama to get caught up in.

There is no need to spin ourselves into a frenzy trying to figure out WHY she is feeling anxious. We don’t need to know the cause or the cure.

All of that just holds our attention on the anxiety – which gives it more power – and makes it increase.

We’ve found that when we meet her anxiety with our secret code, asking, “So what?” the anxiety just sits there, not bothering anyone.

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