I wanted to share an acronym my therapist shared with me a couple sessions ago. I keep a journal of our sessions and write down things that stand out to me, things that help me, what we talk about. I struggle with really bad anxiety and stress and my brain likes to try and sabotage me quite often. It gets very exhausting fast and quite discouraging as well knowing it is a constant cycle of ups and downs. When she told me this acronym however, something clicked and it felt like a little light had turned on. Not saying this is the end all for anxiety, but I have been talking myself through this acronym when I have panic attacks and it is helping and slowly slowly helps me start to gain back control of the situation. So I wanted to share it with all of you as well in hopes that it could be useful to some of you as well as it is for me.


F stands for FAIR. Are you being fair to yourself in this situation? It can work for others as well, but a lot of the time my brain is trying to make me into the bad person. And the other question.. Do you REALLY think and feel this way in more normal situations when your brain isn’t as freaked out or is this your brain being a bit irrational and jumping to point fingers. This one really resonates with me because quite often enough I really am not being completely fair to myself. I’m not giving myself as much grace as I should be. So it reminds me to give myself that grace that I completely deserve.

A stands for (no) APOLOGIES. No unjustified apologies! Don’t apologize for the way you feel. It is totally okay to feel that way! We are all humans and feelings are one hundred percent a part of us. My therapist also added this can be just one apology too. If you do feel you need to apologize only do it once. Ofph that’s harder than it sounds. I am one who really likes to over apologize and often enough make the situation worse by doing that. So if you need to apologize just do it once, take a deep breath and let go! You did it and your feelings are valid too! Which leads me to the next one!

S stands for STICK TO YOUR VALUES. Stay firm and stick to those values of yours! Those truths that are a part of you. Do not stray from who you are. Don’t let your brain start to question those values or make you second guess yourself. Stand firm! It’s often harder to do especially in the moment of anxiety or panic, but reminding yourself even of just the action of sticking to something. Sticking to what you believe in, reminding yourself hey this is important to me why am I discrediting it? That is so important to do!

T stands for TRUTHFUL. Be truthful, be honest with yourself! Hold true to what you know deep down! Be truthful and honest with others as well. State the true facts of the situation and don’t let the voices in your head try and make you think they’re lies. And if you have to just keep repeating them over and over until your brain quiets down a bit do it! I know sometimes I have to repeat over and over because the voices in my head try to play the whole “but what about this” game and boy does that get exhausting!

Going through this list for me has definitely helped lessen the anxiety when it tries to roll over me in waves. It gives me a tool to stand up to my brain and establish control, or try to? haha I still struggle with nagging thoughts, but even just the reminder sometimes of oh wait these are the reasons of why this idea is not true, or the reminder that I am ultimately in control of the voice in my head not the other way around really helps me. Take a deep breath, relax your shoulders, take another breath and go through the list. It’s really been helpful for me so I wanted to share in hopes it can be helpful to someone else out there as well! xoxo

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Frank says:

    Hi Mikaela: I’m so sorry to hear that you still have anxiety issues. I hope things are starting to improve for you. You are such a nice person.

    I’ve read your explanation and notes on F.A.S.T. several times now. Wow, your explanations are so clear and easy to understand. They really resonated with me.

    I thought I’d heard almost everything from my work with a Psychiatrist and Psychologist for over 2-years, but they never mentioned FAST. I just love the concepts you’ve discussed, and I know I’ll be back here to review Fair, Apologies, Stick (to your values), and Truthful many times. I can remember FAST. Thank you so much for typing such a clear explanation that will certainly help me; hopefully as much as it helps you. Thanks again for taking the time to write and share this. I hope agape is an appropriate greek expression from me to you. xoxo


  2. jobeccarn says:

    Reblogged this on jobeccarn and commented:
    This is a great blog post from ablondeinthecrowd. She shares a strategy to help navigate and diffuse anxiety- or whatever else one may be feeling and one is needing to talk back to one’s self-talk. Well worth the read. Thanks Mikaela for sharing!


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