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  • Writer's pictureLauren L. Murphy

Thin Space No. 59: Anxiety Toolkit

The Question

How do you create healthy habits?


The Intention



The Meditative Moment

Moments of deep grief or spells of anxiety or mental health struggle lay bare our coping mechanisms. What do we reach for when the world crashes around us? I tend to refer to my anxiety management as a toolkit: it’s a ratty old metal box with lots of different tools in it that I can use to address any number of problems that crop up. The longer you work with your anxiety, the more you realize it crops up in different ways, and sometimes what worked at one point doesn’t really fit at this point. This is why my yoga classes include four elements: asana, journaling, meditation, breathwork. If I had even more time, I’d add time for hydration, napping, walking the dogs, calling your mom (or person of your choice), baking bread, and fabric arts. Throw in medication, listening to the Harry Potter or Louise Penny books, and playing Two Dots on my phone, and you’ve got much of my toolkit. It took a while to assemble these tools. But now that I have them, they are well-worn and loved. These are the tools that work for me. Some people need HIIT workouts and Eminem. Others need spicy foods and woodworking. When we’re in the midst of struggle, we want what comes easy: one thing that fixes the problem. But anxiety doesn’t work like that. It takes practice to find the tools you need. You will find them.

Waves crashing

Originally sent September 28, 2023, to paid Substack subscribers. If you want to receive current Thin Space reflections, you can start a paid subscription here: You can choose to pay $75/year or $8/month.

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