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Is There a Benefit to Being Anxious?

Is There a Benefit to Being Anxious?

I was driving when I got the call from my doctor, “Could you pull over so we could talk about
your results?” I pull over. “Your tests have come back positive. You have breast cancer.

At that moment my world stopped… my mind immediately went to the horrific experience my
mother went through 30 years earlier with colon cancer, which eventually resulted in a very debilitating death. At that moment I heard, “Be anxious for nothing and grateful for all things.”

What? My world was silent except for the voice from the universe telling me, “Be anxious for
nothing and grateful for all things.”

Uhhhh hello God, don’t know if you heard or not but I have CANCER!

Be anxious for nothing… and grateful for all things.

I went home and told my husband about this. After he comforted me about my diagnosis he said, “It’s in the Bible. Be anxious for nothing…” I had never read this before. OMG! Literally, Oh My God. I guess this is a commandment versus a suggestion.

Be anxious for nothing… my life has been forever changed. Through chemo treatments, four surgeries and trying to find the appropriate post-chemo care, I have continuously tried to find a situation that would play out better if I had a little anxiety. For the last two years, nothing.

As an athletic coach I always figured it was good to conjure up some anxiety on game day to keep me on point. How ridiculous is that? The truth is, if I haven’t prepared our team and coaching staff for all circumstances that could arise by meet day, it’s too late. Me being anxious is only going to make them anxious, which every athlete knows can take you “out” of your game.

I absolutely believe in the law of attraction. I believe our energy is transmitted and that we receive other people’s energy. Why would I choose to believe that being anxious could be beneficial to our team and coaches in any way?

It was reaffirming that after our season this year a number of our student-athletes told me, “Miss Val, it was so much fun competing this year. You were so calm, it really helped me remain calm.”

Calm is contagious. To date, I haven’t come up with any life situation that would play out better if I was anxious. “Be grateful for all things” is the perfect follow through. It’s impossible to live with fear, anxiety, negativity when you’re constantly enumerating all that you are grateful for.

I always come back to the fact that “Life is about Choice.” Anxious or Calm? Entitled or Grateful?

Isn’t it awesome we have a choice?

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[…] Championship I was having a facial and told the esthetician the story of when I heard God say, “Be Anxious for Nothing and Grateful For All Things” after I was informed I had breast cancer. My esthetician said she got chills, and at that moment […]


[…] “Be Anxious for Nothing and Grateful for all things.” When I figured out the simple yet auspicious equation of how to not be […]

Wendell Haab
7 years ago

A new study finds that while social anxiety sufferers think their friendships are not of the highest quality, their friends are much more positive. Anxious people often say they are less likely to be injured because they are thinking ahead, but is that really true?

7 years ago

Ugh!! Big mistake! The term I meant is Eu-stress. It is literally the opposite of distress, but spell-check must have got me!

7 years ago

Miss Val– I am curious if you would consider stress and doubt to be the same as anxiety (which I noted you’ve equated with negativity and fear — definitely defeating feelings!) . I know there’s a term in brain study called “distress” which translates to “good stress”. It’s the idea that a little bit of stress can be beneficial for generating hope, motivation, and energy. I wonder if, in either your role as a coach or in what you’ve dealt with personally, you would agree with that concept. Is that different than anxiety?

7 years ago

I know this, and I try to live this, but I find at night my brain goes into overdrive with anxiety. And I know the verse too – Philippians 4:6-7.

Thank you for the encouragement to keep trying for calmness in all situations…!