Managing Anxiety: Name, Claim and Tame Your Way Through Anxiety Without Medication

In the U.S. alone, over 6.5 million children have an anxiety disorder. This doesn’t happen randomly. 40 million adults also.

In the U.S. alone, over 6.5 million children have an anxiety disorder. This doesn’t happen randomly. 40 million adults also have an anxiety disorder. We pass on more than our DNA… One 13 year-old girl and her mother found their path out of the anxiety tunnel. This is their story. In the hospital, it became clear immediately when they
brought Meg to us the first time that she was upset it was different. It was urgent. She
needed urgent help. It didn’t feel like a cry like “I’m kinda
hungry.” I held her through really everything, just held her a lot
and and sometimes that would work and
sometimes it didn’t but I felt like at least I was holding her while she was having the upset. And then the rest is history. Hi, my name is Meg Molli and I am 13 years old. Fourth or fifth
grade is when the anxiety became big. The first real one, I was probably nine[9]-ish maybe, and I was laying in bed and it was before something
big was going to happen the next day, and I remember jerking up and sitting up
because my stomach was churning and it didn’t feel well, and so
then I went to my mom and dad’s room and told them I
felt sick. At that point I was shaking. Her heart
was racing. She would want to stand over the toilet,
she would never get sick. It would feel safe if she was in the
bathroom. I would rub her back and say nothing. Just rub her back, and I would just take some deep
breaths. When she came to the bathroom, of course,
my mind just went back to my own personal
experience. I knew that was the way I processed anxiety as well. We began taking trips, and it became
very clear that the plane was a trigger. She
would have these huge events in the bathroom where we would be up with her until 12 and 1
o’clock, and it was very different. Her body
would be shaking, her respiration would be so fast. Even though I was a national consultant helping people all over the country, I
was baffled. It was bigger than anything that I had
skills to manage. I had used what I felt were the Conscious Discipline skills that I had and breathing wasn’t enough. I contacted Becky
and she explained to me that we had to name it. Now we talk about
in Conscious Discipline naming the feeling and the importance of differentiating between, “I am anxious.” and “I am Meg feeling anxious.” It was instant. We decided at that point to call it
the Funny Feeling. We decided not to call it anxious. It helps you know what it is so you don’t feel scared about it anymore.
She could differentiate between the Funny Feeling and illness
immediately. My mom gave me this little blue card. It
had a star on it, and it said on it, “I am safe. I am calm. I can handle this.” She would hold the card and she would
talk to the feeling and she would say, “I’m safe. I’m calm. I can handle this.” After we named it, the
amount of time that she would be in the bathroom began
to shrink and we just hadn’t seen that. It helped me conquer the Funny Feeling and not feel as scared as I was. Now that
we’ve named it and she’s claiming it, she’s okay with having the Funny
Feeling. There was no upset about it. No one was angry that
she had it. When we decided I was going to go to camp, it made me nervous that the Funny Feeling was going to come on again and my mom wouldn’t be there to help
me. One thing that I knew was that not
putting her in uncomfortable situations wouldn’t arm her with any new skills. I
knew that would be a struggle and maybe a little scary for me and
for her. With that anxiety I brought tears and so I
cried a lot over it. I sat down with my mom. I said how about every night, night time is the hardest we
know for everyone but has been typically for
Meg and so how about at night we each have a
bracelet on. When you’re going to bed, you hold on to
it and send us some Wish Well thoughts, some love and
I’m going to send you strength and love and know that you’re capable
of handling this away experience. Having the
bracelets really made me feel like she was there
with me to relax and have fun at camp. Sometimes a picture is also helpful. I found the picture
and I stuck it in my pillowcase. It really helped me the first night, and then just I think having it there
every other night helped me not have a big storm like that so then I could relax. As a parent, the first step I believe is realizing that your child is reflecting what your own personal struggle is, and so
when you see anxious moments in your child or anger in
your child, what they are exhibiting is really your
experience and when you choose to value their anxiety, when you value their
anger instead a trying to discard it or stop it then you are willing to own it. When you
can own it as part of your own story then you have
a willingness to acknowledge it and and then to make the changes. We were
going to Chicago, we had got on the plane and I just took a
deep breath, I said, “I’m safe. I’m calm. I can handle
this.” and it just went away. From then on it worked every
time. In a car, at a restaurant, on a plane it worked. I used to be so afraid of the feeling. Now that I have the
skills, even when it does come, I know I don’t have to be
scared of it anymore. When you have a child with anxiety, it’s
not something that just happens. I have anxiety. My dad has anxiety. My grandmother has anxiety, but the most
wonderful part is each time I think that we get better at sharing skills so I’m just tickled
and excited for Meg to see what skills she’ll offer to her children and that perhaps anxiety will not be
something that they have to navigate at all. You are able to have a fun life without
worrying, not have this heavy weight on your
shoulders. It’s a big relief. Joy Relief Hope Jill and Meg claimed their anxiety and everything became possible. Learn how to do the same for your life.

6 thoughts on “Managing Anxiety: Name, Claim and Tame Your Way Through Anxiety Without Medication”

  1. I feel daily gratitude for the work which Becky Bailey so generously shares with us.  It has made such a difference in my teaching, who I am as a mom, the skills I have to teach little people now, and in my own internal world.


  3. I have been drawn to Becky's Conscious Discipline as an Early Childhood Professional for many years because it makes sense and works. this wonderful story just provided the insight as to why. I have a deeper purpose to implement CD. The history of anxiety I have dealt with was never labeled. my children suffer as I do with unnamed anxiety while I have helped so many others. Thank you for sharing this story, you have changed my life in 7 minutes!

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