Relief From Anxiety

Relief From Anxiety

ANXIETY. It makes your head feel like it’s sandwiched in a vice grip. You mind overwhelmed with thoughts of fear, doubt and worry.

Did you know that from the time a girl reaches puberty until the age of 50 she is twice as likely to suffer from anxiety than a man?


Differences in brain chemistry may account for part of these differences. The brain system involved in the fight-or-flight response is activated more readily in women and stays activated longer than men, partly as a result of the action of estrogen and progesterone.

The neurotransmitter serotonin may also play a role in the responsiveness to stress and anxiety. Some evidence suggests that the female brain does not process serotonin as quickly as the male brain. Unfair as it may be, it’s a simple fact, women suffer from anxiety much more often than men.


I suffered from anxiety for most of my life. Mine would manifest as a loop that went around and around and keep me trapped until I could break it. I was basically held hostage by my own negative thoughts. My family and close friends described me as an intense, tightly wound, obsessive person who sometimes disappeared down a rabbit hole. Not who I wanted to be. Other people didn’t know the struggle I was engaged in because I had cultivated a glossy, upbeat façade that fooled everyone. Maintaining that was a struggle in itself.

Always looking…

I was always looking for relief and ways to break the loop. I tried so many things, exercise (helped) mediation (couldn’t concentrate), affirmations (no effect), chanting (not for me), journaling (too much writing), vitamin and herbal therapy (didn’t work).

One of the things I started to do was to write down quotes that I found meaningful on an index card and tack them on my bulletin board. One day instead of writing the quote I wrote the word from the quote that had the most meaning for me … the word was joy. I wrote JOY and drew a big heart around it and then I dug out pencil crayons, glitter and sparkles and I started to play. I felt like I was channeling my inner 6-year old.  I remember tacking my it up on my bulletin board and smiling. The interesting thing was as the day went on, I kept flashing on my card. I would be reminded of the word JOY and I’d be filled with those good feelings all over again.

A few days later I did it again and tried another word. I had the same experience I was reminded of my word as I went through the day and I felt the feelings.

 I started doing more of these.

I choose words that represented who I wanted to be or what I thought I needed that day. I always had the same experience.  The word which was my intention for the day became top of mind and the loudest voice in my head as I went through the day. Whether I was in line at the grocery store, driving or at the bank I would be reminded of my intention. I would see word. I would feel the word.  The word was reflected in my experiences. I felt good.

 I called these heart doodles.

I became a disciplined heart doodler choosing an intentional word and drawing and coloring it every morning. I refined it further and started titling each page Today I CHOOSE to…TODAY made it immediate and kept me present not focused on what happened yesterday or what might be coming up tomorrow.  CHOOSE reminded me that I choosing to be in charge of my life and how I felt.

What I started to notice was that the loop of anxiety that had been my permanent side kick wasn’t there and in its place were my intentional words and feelings that I was choosing every morning.

After all the things I’d tried this ‘heart doodle’ strategy worked.

That was 6 years ago.

Heart doodles become OH MY WORD as I shared it in the workshops for women I facilitated through my Red Shoe Zone blog.

Benefits of OH MY WORD:

  • Lowers stress and eases anxiety
  • Sets the tone for the day when done first thing in the morning
  • Retrains your brain to think in new ways
  • Makes your positive intentional thoughts the loudest voices in your head
  • Allows you to choose who you will be, how you will express yourself and how you will live- you are in control
  • Allows you to interrupt negative habitual thoughts and replace them with positive ones

Other ways to reduce anxiety that helped me:

  • Cut down on caffeine
  • Get regular exercise
  • Take deep belly breaths
  • Eat well balanced healthy meals

Purchase OH MY WORD on

Purchase OH MY WORD on

Purchase OH MY WORD at Chapters/Indigo

9 Replies to “Relief From Anxiety”

  1. I honestly had no idea that anxiety was a more serious issue in women than in men. This is very eye opening.

  2. I can now see what inspired you to come up with Oh My Word. The story behind it is so powerful and touching.

  3. A lot of women out there can relate to your story. How I wish they discover Oh My Word and start on their healing journey too.

  4. It’s interesting how sometimes channeling our inner 6-year old is all we need to get through a difficult situation. I appreciate this lovely write-up 🙂

  5. Wow, this is basically like the origin story of Oh My Word. I’ve enjoyed every bit of it and many thanks for sharing it!

  6. Everyone has a story to tell. I really love the contents of this post and have really gained in it.

  7. Your heart doodle are so heart warming. I am very inspired to see that they helped you through a difficult time

  8. The benefit of Oh My Word that really stands out for me is its ability to retrain how we think. Thinking in a new way is the key ingredient to leading a better and more positive and productive life.

  9. Having suffered bouts of anxiety myself, I must say that your story strikes me to the core. I appreciate you making this wonderful product available for everyone suffering anxiety out there.

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