Well, hello there. I'm so glad you guys stopped in today to do a little personal growth work. Recently, I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, which is Tar Rox podcast. I just find her voice to be very soothing and her conversations with people to be so profound and deep.
I really, really appreciate the work she's putting out into the world and helping us all just calm the heck down. Anyway, she was interviewing Arthur Brooks about he and Oprah Winfrey's new book, which is called something like, oh, it's called build the life you want. I haven't read this book. I just listened to the interview and I was really struck by a very simple thing that Arthur Brooks said, which is that anxiety is unfocused fear. That hit me so hard because that is a beautiful expression of what anxiety actually is.
And I'm gonna play with this idea today because it's such a simple model to under stand anxiety and it gives us a framework for change. So if you're somebody who often feels that rush of anxiety. This is a process that's gonna help you name it and move on. As usual, I want to remind you that I'm over here behind the scenes of this podcast creating free useful resources for you, as well as paid useful resources for you. This week, I wanna invite you to handle your anxiety differently.
Deal with worry, fear and overthinking by becoming more present, disciplining your mind, and reducing your overwhelm in the process. I've created a handy, dandy visual guide that you can download for free on my website at takeouttherapy dot com. And that guide actually goes to darn well with this episode. So go get that free resource. I promise it will be useful.
Here's the situation. One out of four people report having anxiety. Now, these are the people that actually talk about having anxiety. Can you imagine how many more don't talk about it? You know, anxiety is really interesting, and I've specialized in helping people heal anxiety for many years.
And I think one of the really fascinating things about it is people have no idea that they're anxious. They just think like, oh, I'm just this way. Right? But nobody is meant to be constantly elevated all the time. Okay?
So anxiety is a constant elevation of your central nervous system. And it fowls up the body's calming mechanisms pretty well. It's basically like leaving Taylor Swift on all the time. Which I gotta say has been going on in my house and it ain't me that's got the Taylor Swift obsession. If you leave Taylor Swift on all the time, Before you know it, you're like doing dishes and you're booty shaken, you're not gonna be able to get those songs out of your head.
Good luck sleeping, swifties. Right? So I'm using this analogy to express this idea that anxiety is like, a constant churn that we need to be able to pause and shut off and get distance from. But the thing is is most people that experience anxious feelings think they're doing it wrong. They think there's something wrong with themselves I've been there.
I have I I often call myself an anxiety survivor because I lived with crippling anxiety for probably twenty years. So I don't live with that anymore. But it really taxes our relationship ourself. Right? When we think we're doing life wrong because we feel terrible all the time, how are we gonna get to solution from there?
And it really overloads our nervous system. And so it's important to understand anxiety so that we can heal it. It's a problem because the body just can't continue to sustain the degree of elevation that anxiety is. What happens is that eventually, we crash and burn Right? Or we become completely, emotionally, disregulated, and wanna kind of give up.
I see a lot of people that have anxiety, that also have anxiety's best friend called depression. Because when your nervous system's elevated all the time, your body will just shut your butt down. It really will. I mean, it'll just put you in your bed, which really feels awful and then we lapse into like this kind of funky state, the state of depression. So anxiety and depression go well together.
They like each other, and they're often paired in our body. Our mental health really suffers right here. And life gets so small. When we're in a constant state of fear. So let's talk about this, unfocused fear.
What does that even mean? It means like that it's our body is responding to the world incorrectly. You're not responding to the world incorrectly friend. It's your body that's doing it, and then your mind and your self get in on that action. Right?
But oftentimes, it's very elusive. It's like, well, what are you anxious about? You know, a lot of people do this to themselves. They're like, why do you feel this way? What are you so worried about?
What are you so anxious about? It's unfocused, which means, like, kind of nothing and kind of everything. Right? So how do we shift this, unfocused fear We take control, basically. We can shift fear into emotional control, emotional regulation, We can also turn it into empowerment and peace and calm.
So I I will just say real quickly that I have been an anxiety expert for many years about three years ago, I developed a class. It's like a three part online class to help people heal anxiety. So if you're really interested in digging further into this idea of unfocused fear and healing anxiety, goal to take out therapy Check out my back to calm anxiety class. It's cheap. It's easy and a really fun exploration of yourself.
That will help you calm down this incredibly unfocused fear. Right? Because we have to acknowledge that there is fear in life. Like, fear is functional and frankly keeps us alive. The system creates fear out of pretty much nothing sometimes.
The system gets bad signals and safety connection and belonging. Why at the base of most of this fear that we have? And so when we can, like, meet up with fear and kinda validate, like, yeah, I do feel afraid. I do feel really insecure. I do feel kind of connected, we can kind of dig a little bit deeper and get in there and and validate ourselves in order to heal it.
So one of the ways that we can really approach this is to decide how we want to feel and point ourselves in that direction. You know, a lot of people that I see have social anxiety. And I I really get social anxiety because I actually sometimes feel socially anxious. I feel like literally the most awkward person in the room a lot of the time. I'm not always super well spoken and have my act together when there's a million things going on in the room.
It can lead me to feeling very insecure. Disconnected like I don't belong, which then makes me feel, yeah, afraid, unsafe. Right? And so this idea about decide how you want to feel and point yourself in that direction is about mind discipline. It's we want to use mindfulness by becoming like, we wanna become and learn to become very present with yes, our emotional state, but also, like, of all the other things that are going on in the environment.
Right? This is body based work, mindfulness, mind discipline. We think it's a cognitive process. Like, we try to talk ourselves through this vague fear, and it doesn't work. It's not a cognitive process.
It has to be a body based process. Mindfulness is oftentimes a body based process. And we also want to point ourselves in the direction of our values in our life. Right? So Like one of my values is that I wanna be around people.
I want to have connection. I want to feel belonging. I wanna be part of my community. But I I don't always feel super confident right there. So in terms of living my values, I would literally have to feel a lack of confidence and do things anyway.
Right? So that's kinda what I mean about. Decide how you want to feel and point yourself in that direction. It's like, yeah, feel afraid. I acknowledge the unfocused fear or the known fear and follow your own boundaries anyway.
Right? I think if you've been listening to the podcast any length of time, you'll know that I am terrified of flying. And also, I refuse to stop traveling. So I have learned to cope and the way that I do that is to validate that flying is really scary to me. It's completely appropriate to be afraid, but what can I do to get through it?
What can I I can't ignore it? Right? I can't invalidate myself because then I just end up at war with myself. So we learn to cope And the way I do it is deep breaths. I do meditations.
I listen to fear of flying podcasts. One time, I listen to this podcasts with this guy who's a pilot just basically said like, hey, yeah. So, turbulence for pilots is literally no big deal. It's like driving on a gravel road. Whereas, like, most of the people in the back seem totally calm when I look around thinking to myself we're all going down.
But I don't feel calm. And so I've always remembered that that it was like, so this isn't rational. Up there in the cockpit. This is no big deal, girl. Like, just breathe.
Just get through this. You know, we have to learn to cope with some of these moments of irrational fear or unfocused fear. We can do this all day long to get where we want to go in life. We can follow our own boundaries and feel afraid at the same time, we can hold those things next to each other. But it cannot happen if you invalidate your feelings.
If you invalidate your the fact that you're afraid. You have to make room for being afraid and doing things anyway. This is what helps anxiety. So I really love this idea and I hope that me talking about this idea about unfocused fear in regards to anxiety helps you to kind of understand a little bit further about why sometimes it feels so vague and unnecessary to be anxious and that that actually is totally appropriate. Our poor bodies, we were not built for this life, my friend.
Like, we were built for quieter calmer, more centralized and community tribe based existence. This whole, like, you have access to the news twenty four seven and you know what people are having for breakfast situation, it is bananas. No wonder one out of four people suffer with anxiety. But that doesn't mean you can't deal with it and it doesn't mean you can't get better. Come check out, take out therapy and get some resources that will be really, really helpful for you in the months and years to come.
And don't forget, you have to be in a good relationship with yourself in order to do personal growth work. So get working on that. And if you need a little bit of help, Come join one of my programs because that's what I teach people all day long. Okay. I'll see you again soon.