When I'm stressed, time speeds up and so do I.  I talk faster and my words run together.  I rush around trying to do more than one thing at a time.  In a hurry, I forget important things and make mistakes that take away more precious time, increasing my stress.  My heart beats faster.  I breathe faster.  I move faster and more violently.  I anger more quickly.  I react without thinking.  Stress hormones overwhelm my body, damaging each organ and system, and my body tries to communicate with me though pain, nausea, headaches, exhaustion, cravings.  If I stay in a state of stress too long, my poor body burns out and I get sick.

In the beginning of my healing journey, I read a lot of books that encouraged me to change what I thought, to change my words and thoughts from negative to positive.  Instead of thinking, "I'm so stressed out," I tried to think, "I am at peace."

Just thinking that I was at peace wasn't enough, but it only took seconds of my too-limited time.  At least I was trying.

I believe that everything is energy, that words are energy, and that every word I say and think has the power to change my energy and the energy I attract to myself.

I believe my actions are even more powerful than my words and thoughts.

Thus, to manage stress, or anxiety, I needed a mantra that I could do as well as think.

Anxiety made me either rush or freeze.  Between those two extremes, I reminded myself to move slowly.

Anxiety made me speak and move more violently, thus I reminded myself to speak and move gently.

Anxiety made me act without thinking, so I reminded myself to act with intention, to make every word and movement deliberate.

The opposite of anxious is calm.

I am most powerful when I am slow, gentle, intentional, and calm.  This energy nourishes me and my world.  This energy sustains me.  It keeps me grounded and centered.

Slow. Gentle.  Intentional.  Calm.

This is where I choose to thrive.