At the height of my illness, when almost every waking moment of my life was consumed and tortured by OCD, my psychologist introduced me to the idea of anchor cards. Anchor cards are simply index cards on which you write something meaningful, peaceful, and/or calming. The idea is that reading these cards during times of heightened stress will help to "anchor" you, or bring you back to reality and keep you in the moment. When consumed by incredible anxiety, I found it nearly impossible to think properly, to make sound decisions, or even to function normally. I would pull out my anchor cards and read them until I felt calmer.
I have not needed or used anchor cards for over a year. Unfortunately, over the last 20 hours or so, I have been filled with terrible anxiety over some contamination issues in my home (because of my cat, Anna). I had a difficult time sleeping last night and my stomach has been in horrible knots all day. I decided it was time to write out some anchor cards again.
On one card, I wrote a list of all the people and things that I'm thankful for. My therapist often suggested this type of list because she believed it was good for me to focus on my blessings and that it would help me to change some cognitive distortions. On the second card, I chose to write out Psalm 23. I love that psalm because it reminds me that I am in God's care and that He has my back. Mostly, it reminds me that I am not alone. Because, honestly, in the grip of anxiety's stranglehold, alone is what I feel the most.
Psalm 23 - The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. NIV