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. No reason for this anxiety that we have to investigate.
No need to spin ourselves into a frenzy trying to figure out WHY she is feeling anxious. That just holds our attention on the anxiety – and that just makes it increase.
We’ve found that meeting her anxiety with our secret code, asking, “So what?” the anxiety just sits there, not bothering anyone.