How mindless action can alleviate anxiety

This puppy isn’t ours, but isn’t she adorable?

One of my best friends and her family adopted her earlier this summer, but I want to share how this photo helped alleviate my anxiety and overwhelm a couple of weeks ago…aside from the fact that it’s a cute puppy pic.

My friend sent me this photo and asked me to get rid of her phone number on Tippet’s collar tag before she posted it on social media. True to form, she insisted that it was no rush and even urged me to invoice her.

This request came during a particularly hectic day—a day when my email notification count kept climbing faster than I could address any of the action items—with my full time job and with my clients. I was beyond overwhelmed. I felt like my wheels were spinning, but I was quite literally checking nothing off my list.

I. hate. not. checking. things. off. my. list.

So I stopped and took 2 1/2 minutes to remove the phone number from Tippet’s collar tag.

It didn’t move the needle at all with my work tasks, but what it did do was reset my state of mind. As simple as the task was, I had at least accomplished something, and I felt capable and confident. It was worth putting work down for a few minutes to get this done (and make her day!), take my email notification count down by one, and feel like I was making SOME progress.

Action alleviates anxiety, so if you’re a list-maker like me, and you find yourself stuck and overwhelmed, find something you CAN do fairly quickly in order to shift your brain into “capable” mode. It works!