Will you take our 30 day challenge to reduce anxiety?

Mary Dell Hayes is the Development Coordinator at STSM. Mary Dell previously served as the Volunteer Services Coordinator at STSM from 2008-2012. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of South Carolina and is currently pursuing her Masters in Business Administration.

After experiencing a trauma (like a sexual assault) it is normal for the body to stay in a heightened sense of anxiety or stress. STSM clients work with our crisis interventionists and licensed counselors to reduce that constant feeling of anxiety and to return the brain’s neurobiology back to its normal state of functioning. A common exercise used in calming the brain is practicing gratitude. This practice isn’t limited to trauma and it can be helpful in everyday life.

Anxiety and gratitude are like oil and water. They really don’t mix. We want to use our practice of gratitude to take up that space in our brain that is consumed by anxiety. When I find myself feeling overwhelmed I like to mentally picture this like a Gratitude Pac-Man eating up my anxiety.

By definition gratitude is the quality of being grateful or thankful. It is simple and gives you a moment to focus on your surroundings and the things that are working well in your life. Right now I’m grateful for silly putty, half price Halloween candy, hot tea, my dog, and the internet.

We are all busy, especially as we start to gear up for the holiday season. It’s easy to lose sight of the simple pleasures and goodness in our day to day life. Traffic, nasty weather, and the day-to-day stressors start to build and overwhelm us. Let’s work together to block that anxiety out and let our Gratitude Pac-Men take over that brain space.

Will you take our #ThirtyDaysofThanks challenge and join us in a conscious practice of gratitude? Share your moments of gratitude with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Tag us on Twitter or Instagram using @scstsm or use the hashtag #ThirtyDaysofThanks.