A few months ago I attended a helpful professional conference about strategies to lower anxiety. Dr. Stanley Hibbs, the presenter, shared an innovative strategy involving a powerful, anxiety dissolving word. As Dr. Hibb's puts it, "This word helps combat discouragement and turns potentially disastrous days into productive ones. It's good for your health, your self-esteem, and can make you a more productive, better person." The magic word is "Nevertheless." Here's some examples of how he uses it:
- "I'm tired and I've earned the right to goof off. Nevertheless, I can get a few more things done and then relax."
- "It's very cold outside and I don't feel like walking today. Nevertheless, it's very important so I'm going to do it anyway."
- "I'm upset and ice cream is my comfort food. Nevertheless, I will find a better way to deal with my feelings."
- "I think I will fail this test but, nevertheless, I am going to start studying and give it my best."
If you try using this word in earnest you'll likely see its power. Dr. Hibb's states that "Nevertheless" allows us to pause and realize that we have choices. There are always reasons (or excuses) to succumb to anxiety and to do what's unhealthy, unproductive, or morally questionable. Nevertheless, we can still choose to do the right thing.