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Anxiety is Invisible

In this episode, Jeff and Terry dive into what anxiety really is and why it’s all around us. They also discuss the process of recognizing and facing that anxiety with the goal of replacing some of it with peace.

Transcription:

Terry: That fight or flight mode that’s responsible for that we don’t think of that as anxiety, because while we see the snake, we see the, see the threat right in front of us. So we don’t call that anxiety, but anxiety is that anxiety is basically that reaction without being able to see a tangible threat.

Jeff: Hey, everybody. Welcome to another journey podcast. And I’ve got Terry here today. Hi Terry. Hello. And we are going to provide some practical, very focused help for you because we all want to grow. We all want to get better and. Terry’s had a lot of experience helping people do that over the last several decades from their physical, emotional and spiritual touch points.

Jeff: You’ve worked with a lot of people, so we thought we’d bring them, bring somebody that has some good insights and practical insights. Practical. How many people do you think you’ve worked with over the last?

Terry: Oh my gosh. I can’t count, you know, as first of all, as a nurse and then as a counselor just having decades of practice.

Jeff: and a gal that even taught Sunday school.

Terry: I did. I started teaching Sunday school at age of 16. So, you know, even touching on the spiritual matters too. So it’s all good. It’s all good. So, although I do want to challenge something that you said at the very beginning, you said it, we all want to grow. And I, I think there are people out there listening who would say, eh, I don’t think so.

Jeff: Yeah. I’m comfortable. Right? I’m in my orbit. I’m good.

Terry: Well, most people think of growth as, I mean, some people think of it as a good thing, but other people think of it as how much work is involved in that.

Jeff: Right. Right. Exactly. It’s easier not to write. It’s easier just to sit around and watch the next Netflix thing.

Terry: Yeah, I think so. I think, you know, again, there’s so many different people who could be listening to this and I try to think of, you know, just the different people I’ve talked to in the past. People who would come to me as a therapist and say, Hey, I really need, you know, this is, this is not working in my life.

Terry: And then we start talking about things that they can do to grow. And it’s like, okay, well maybe I’ll come.

Jeff: Oh, that’s a great point because this kind of thing is only as good as you know, the amount of you know, the quality of content you’re taking in. But as, or even maybe more importantly, the amount of effort that you’re willing to put in to do something different, so that you’ll will become better.

Jeff: And so not only will you be better, but the people around you will also be better because you are. There you go. Anyway, we we asked some people to give us really their feedback, some questions of what’s going on in their life. So again, we can be very practical about this. I want to toss one out.

Jeff: Terry that really stood out to me, a guy I’ve known for years. His response, when I asked, you know, what’s going on physically, emotionally, spiritually, spiritually with you. And he responded with one word And actually I’ve given Terry some notes of some responses we’ve gotten. And this one I didn’t include for whatever reason.

Jeff: I think you sent a separate email, that, right?

Terry: Yeah.

Jeff: You didn’t even see this one in the prep. You have no prep on this one, but this is something I’m sure you see every day, but his one word response was anxiety. Yeah. And so if you look at anxiety in the world, obviously that is very common and wouldn’t it be much better if we had more peace, patience, joy, and love just more contentment, but how, how do we do that?

Jeff: And again, let’s, let’s just do this real quickly. What are those top few things that we can do to decrease the anxiety meter and increase the.
Terry: Peter. Well, first of all, I mean, he was very insightful to be able to say the word anxiety, a lot of people and. And a lot of people who, I mean, anxiety has kind of a bad connotation and, you know, there are a lot of people out there who are anxious, who will say, oh no, I’m not anxious.

Terry: And they’ve got a different word for it. So whatever word you use, you know, stress you know, there’s so many different. Yeah. I mean, there’s so many different things that we can call it, but the reality is that anxiety is a natural way for our body to protect. And we, you know, you think about the idea of a person walking across, you know, you’re walking across a field and you’re taking a shortcut and it’s a beautiful day and there’s flowers in the field.

Terry: And, you know, you’re, you’re kind of at the top of your game here, you’re walking across a field and all of a sudden you step on something that’s kind of. Squishy a little bit and that’s not us, you know? And what happens when you are, you know, you’re looking down and you’re thinking, is this a rattlesnake? Okay. Just not just a snake, but a snake that could be really. And the, the reaction that we have from that is all this fight or flight syndrome, fight, flight, freeze, kind of things. Most people don’t freeze at that moment.

Terry: Most people I, you know, I’m thinking about when I was I was cleaning out the garage and I had a little net thing that was covering over. Fruit trees. And I had this, I had the F the, the net, I had gotten all kind of jumbled up into a little ball and I’d set it on the little table that we have, where I keep my plant stuff.

Terry: And I was walking through the garage a few weeks later, and I saw that. Laying on the, on the ground, on the floor or the garage. And I thought, well, I don’t want it down there. That’s really a bad place for it. I went to pick it up, to put it back on the table. And when I did that, I wasn’t even looking at it.

Terry: I just reached down and grabbed it. And I realized as I was lifting it, that it was heavier than the nuts should have been. And as I looked down to find out why the net was heavier, I saw this really good sized, probably a. A bull snake or something, you know, some kind of a garter snake or something, but it was a pretty good sized snake.

Terry: It was pretty snake. It was wrapped up inside this, this thing. And my reaction, my fight or flight mode kicked in immediately there that the, you know, if you’re, I think the, this, I think. Bundle of netting and the snake went flying halfway through the driveway. And at that point I’m kind of dancing and I’m going, Ooh, my blood pressure’s out, my heart.

Terry: Rate’s up, you know, you’re, you’re, you’re there holding your breath or you’re breathing faster. You know, all of those things that go along with that, that fight or flight mode that that’s responsible for that we don’t think of that as anxiety because while we see the snake, we see. We see the threat right in front of us.

Terry: So we don’t call that anxiety, but anxiety is that anxiety is basically that reaction without being able to see a tangible. Standing right in front of us slithering right in front of us.

Jeff: Right, right. But you’re making me a little anxious here cause I want to get to the, I want to get to the luckily do about it.

Jeff: So we do about it. So if we’ve got that where there’s not that snake and there’s just the stuff going on in our life, what are, what are some things we can do to really minimize. The the stress and going more to the peace side of the equation.

Terry: Well, I think you’re jumping ahead of things. I know you’re feeling anxious about there, but it’s really important to understand what the threat is because we don’t feel anxious without some kind of, and usually if there’s not something right in front of us, it’s something we’re thinking about. And so, you know, going to talk to a therapist, going to talk to your best friend, talking to, you know, somebody and just saying, Hey, I don’t understand why I’m feeling this way.

Terry: You know, I’m feeling like I have this some kind of danger in front of me and I don’t know what that really is. So in order to get rid of that feeling, you kind of have to understand where it’s coming from. Just like tossing that snake as far as I could. You know, you’re, you’re, you’re trying to get out, get out what’s the threat and how far away can I get from it? 

Jeff: So talking to a friend, right, was the point there that I heard.

Terry: Yeah. A lot of people will just go talk to a friend first. They might go talk to, you know, an advisor of some kind, a pastor. If those things, you know, if those things worked out awesome, a lot of times friends will say, Hey, you know, they’ve got an objective perspective.

Terry: They might suggest, Hey, you know, you’ve been under a lot of stress lately. Maybe there’s something. But a lot of people don’t do that.
Jeff:  Right. 

Terry: Because a lot of people, you know, when you mentioned passer, a lot of people that are listening to this, they’re not church people. So they’re thinking, well, I don’t even know pastor.

Jeff: I’m not sure I would talk to one. If I knew one, all my friends, they’re all busy, they’ve got things going on and let’s face it in this world. We’re all a kind of pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. So I think a key point is. A lot of us just don’t have that go-to person. I mean, am I off base on that?

Terry: No, I don’t think you’re off base at all. I think that’s one of the reasons why there are so many people on my waiting list is that there, I just, I think some of those things would be taken care of by, by talking to a friend finding somebody who’s trustworthy. You know, we, we, we often want to hold this.

 

Terry: It’s like we’re wearing masks as we’re going around. It’s like this mask has a smile on it and we don’t want to let people inside what’s going on inside of us. We don’t want to talk about our weaknesses. We don’t want to talk about our worries and our fears and our stress. Not in the way that we want.

Terry: You know, we’re, there’s, there’s this, we need to be, like you said, we need to be kind of independent. We need to be taking, pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps. But the problem is we are, we don’t have an objective. View of our lives. We have a very subjective view of our lives and having a friend, having somebody around us can give us an objective view that we may not have seen.

Jeff: And it gets us to say what’s in our head. Cause all this stuff that’s bouncing around in our head and we’re, you know, which is something I found a way that I’ve been the, you know, with my background, my Tufts Swedish background pull myself up by my bootstraps is definitely a, my DNA. And then the other thing, being an introvert, it’s like, yeah, I can get in my head and just be, you know, analyzing and coming up with all these great solutions.

Jeff: But until I get them out on the table and actually run them by and process with somebody else. It can be kind of a jumble of mess in my little pea brain.

Terry: There definitely is.

Jeff: Thanks for your support there.

Terry: No, I think that’s with everybody. I think, I think just having that opportunity to share with somebody.

Terry: And again, if you don’t have a friend, if you don’t have people around you that you can trust to be able to kind of speak into your life then. You know, finding somebody like that and you get intentional about it, right?

Jeff: I mean, it’s one of those things where it really does take some risk, takes a little bit of energy to just go out within the people, you know, and just, Hey, can we just sit out and have a cup of, you know, can we go get a Pepsi and just sit down and chat and just start some conversations. And I think what I have found when I’m more open with people, more people are, tend to be open with me.

Terry: Well, and I think it takes, you know, for, for those of you who have friends, you know, the next time somebody says, how are you doing.
Terry: You might try getting them a little bit of what’s real.

Jeff: Give them some honest answer rather than oh yeah. Great. Hey, well, what about the, what about that team? That sports team. They’re the hot guys. Yeah, they did great. Yeah. Well, yeah, let’s get a little deeper than that, you know?

 

Terry: Well, and, and if you’re struggling with something you know, there’s always there, there are some amazing counselors are really, really good at providing feedback to people.

Terry: That’s more Objective. It’s like having someone’s, you know, I I’ve spent quite a few hours just listening to people, you know? Usually I, I listened for about 50 minutes and then they, then they’re quiet and want me to give them feedback

Jeff: well, and, and to that point, let’s let’s wrap this up cause we do want to keep these short targeted and have that key action steps.

Jeff: So I would say and let me summarize this and then you can tell me if I’m. At all offer on base here, Terry, but now one thing may be that we’re saying if you have feelings of anxiety is to intentionally reach out and to find someone just that you can. I have some discussions with is that fair start building that intentional, deeper friendship.

Jeff: And along with that, then at some point you know, counseling can be good. What we want to do here at journey. Is as many counselors as we can put out of business, it would be fantastic because if we can do healthy relationships, wellness, not saying that counselors aren’t needed because they definitely are.

Jeff: I mean, there are situations that, you know, as a, just a person myself as a business person, I have no clue how to really dive in deep, but let’s say. We can all do a lot better at building those intentional friendships that may help keep us out of some therapist’s office until we really do have that need.
Jeff: And then when we do to really be open enough to address that and say, yeah, we’re going to go in and dive in and get beyond what just some good healthy friendships can provide.

Terry: I know, I know you don’t mean to say, put some counselors out of business because you don’t like them, but I do think you have a good point.

Terry: I think, you know, for instance with depression, we can talk about depression at another time, but depression increases the more isolated we are. Right. And so the more connected we are with people, the less, the less depression we might see in the less counselor visits we might see.

Jeff: So, yeah, so hopefully that’s helpful.

Jeff: As you’re listening find out more about doing this intentionally. If you want to grow, we want to help with journey coaching, and we want to help provide the tools so that you can grow through healthy one-on-one guide a guy, gal to gal, a couple of couple relationships, and you can find out more@journeycoaching.org, that’s journey, coaching.org, and.

Jeff: Thanks for listening. See you next time. Bye. Bye bye.

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