Today we want to talk to you about Vitamin G and its role in reducing mild to moderate anxiety. “Where can I get this?” we hear you shouting. “How much is it?” “Will it interact with my meds?”
The good news is, it’s absolutely free and there are no side effects. And you don’t have to leave your bed to get it. The bad news is, sometimes it’s not so easy to access.
We’re talking about Gratitude here—the G word that’s all the rage in pop culture these days. Just scroll through your feed and you will find no fewer than 10 memes instructing you to be thankful for everything you have.
But here’s the thing: these memes make it sound so easy to do. It’s not.
Suffering, by definition, is all-consuming. When we are caught in the grip of profound anxiety or depression, for example, that is all we can feel. We cannot look outside ourselves when our selves are so desperate. For some of us, anxiety can feel like a fight for our lives. Hard to stop mid-spinning to remember how “lucky” we are to be alive. In fact, we get annoyed by the suggestion that we should feel gratitude at these particular moments.
Of course we can always find somebody who has it worse than we do; but that is not a particularly fruitful game. In fact, it can cause a spiral of shame, depression and anxiety. How can we justify our own struggles when we put them up against those in such dire straits that they may not even have food or shelter?
Well-meaning people trying to “help” us may often use the “At least you’re not…” strategy. They believe that not seeing the bigger picture is our problem.
But we know two things: (1) this strategy does not help and (2) people with anxiety tend to be the most empathic people on earth.
There is, however, a place for gratitude in anxiety relief. For me, when I’m not in the throes of an anxiety episode (spinning), focusing on one person or thing or place that I am thankful for can be a meditation that takes me out of my own head—even just for a few moments. We like to think of it as a Vitamin to be taken preventatively.
The more consistently I “take” my Vitamin G, the less generalized anxiety and worry I experience. An Anxiety Brother told us he—even in the midst of an actual panic attack—writes a list of 5 things he’s grateful for and reads them over and over. Just the action is distracting enough to soothe him.
Obviously, it’s going to work differently for everyone, but we believe it’s worth finding out how Vitamin G could best work for you.