I had the pleasure to be interviewed recently for The Tillage Podcast, hosted by Shirlee Fisher. Here is a transcript of the interview, and I’ve embedded it above, so you can listen to it as well! It’s episode 55, “Empowering Tools for the Anxious Artist with Dr. Bobbi Ballard”.
Shirlee: Hello there. My name is Shirlee Fisher and I’m an illustrator, creative business owner and mom of two. I’ve been slowly growing from a part time creator to a full time working artist since 2016. So I know the joy and struggle of working for yourself and how mindset can impact your growth.
It’s here where we dig deep through vulnerable chats about running a creative business and uprooting our limiting beliefs. My hope is that you walk away from these conversations feeling empowered with a greater sense of clarity and community.
So find a cozy spot, open up your heart and prepare to be encouraged. Welcome to The Tillage Podcast.
This episode is sponsored by Genna Blackburn. Do you want to create a beautiful portfolio to attract your dream clients? Surface pattern designer and illustrator Genna Blackburn is here to help.
Join Genna for her free workshop, Path to Portfolio, to help you spring into action to create an eye catching portfolio. Don’t waste any more time in the land of overwhelm and confusion. Genna’s three lessons will give you the tools you need to make major mindset shifts to get your art into the world and make a show stopping portfolio to send to your dream clients.
The free workshop starts September 13th and will also have three live Q&A’s. Sign up today by using http://www.pathtoportfolio.com or sign up at the link in the description below or through today’s show notes on the tillagepodcast.com.
Welcome Dr. Bobbi Ballard to the Tillage podcast. I’m really thrilled to have you here. I think you’re going to bring just a lot of clarity to a certain topic we are discussing today and also hopefully instill some hope and some tools for those of us who might really need those.
So before we get started, I would love for you to give a background about your journey because you’re a therapist, but you’re also a creative and you’ve studied psychology. So I think you have a really interesting background I’d love for you to share that with us.
Bobbi: Sure. And thanks so much. I’m really happy to be here.
Shirlee: I am so thrilled to have you here.
Bobbi: Thanks. So yeah, I went to graduate school for clinical psychology in the 90’s and I’ve been practicing psychology since 2001.
And then the creative part, I’ve just always been making stuff musically. I play a few different instruments on and off, and then drawing and painting and then just shy of a year ago, I discovered surface pattern design and I took Immersion and I’m completely like pursuing that now.
But I’ve always been making things and as a therapist, I didn’t set out to work specifically with creatives. I, when I started my career, it was a pretty like traditional, you know, you have a brick and mortar office because online therapy didn’t exist.
So the people who would come through my door were people who, like, my office was convenient to them and I took their insurance. And what I discovered many years later is the people that I really connected with and helped with the most were the creatives.
And so that’s when I sort of honed in and I leaned into it and said, Oh, okay, I’m going to work with creatives. I’m going to niche down.
I also took a detour about 10 years into my therapy career. I got really burned out, and it’s common for therapists. I was really enjoying working with people with trauma histories, because there’s just so much healing that happens in therapy and it was really rewarding.
But what I didn’t realize is, you know, the vicarious trauma is very real. So I took a break for a good decade where I had a very tiny therapy practice, like five or six clients.
And I mostly did forensic psychology, which is like evaluating people who are in trouble with the law and writing reports for the court. It was less emotional investment.
But then I got burned out on that for reasons that are beyond the scope of today, but the, the legal system is, I call it the injustice system. But anyway, so I, a few years ago, I pivoted back and now I’m all therapy again, and I’m wiser about how to structure my practice so that I don’t get burned out.
Working with Creatives in Therapy
Shirlee: Yeah, so I’d love for you to kind of unpack specifically, you talk about you work with creatives. So what kind of services do you use that are specifically for creatives and what does that look like?
Bobbi: Yeah, I’m so glad you asked that question because a lot of my potential clients ask that question, like what’s specific about therapy with creatives?
And really, the answer is the most important thing for a good therapeutic outcome is to have a really good rapport with your therapist. And that’s just like in the research for decades, that’s the number one factor for having a good, you know, having improvement in therapy is to really trust and click with your therapist.
Public service announcement: shop around if you’re looking, for a few of them and see who, you know, feels like you really, like, resonate with.
So part of it is, I’m not doing any therapeutic techniques that wouldn’t apply to any human being, right? Creatives and artists feel more understood and we connect better.
There are some things that are specific. There are common themes with artists where they feel insecure about their art or they feel overwhelmed. They’ve got like imposter syndrome. It can be kind of isolating to be a creative. So there are themes that come up
But really, if somebody is coming to me as an artist and they’re anxious, I mean, anxiety treatment is anxiety treatment. Like we’ve got nervous systems that, you know, are the same as someone who doesn’t identify as an artist.
What is Anxiety?
Shirlee: Yeah. This is kind of our topic we’re focusing in on today, which is anxiety, because I think today we hear that word thrown around a lot and some of us might be sitting here going, I probably do have anxiety, but I’ve not been clinically diagnosed.
Or maybe someone is sitting here listening going, I don’t really know what the difference is between, like, common worry versus anxiety. And maybe just trying to understand what’s going on within them today.
So I would really love for people’s big takeaways today is to understand anxiety, but also kind of have some tools to work with that in their own creative life and life in general.
So can you give us first, what is like a clinical definition of anxiety and maybe what the difference between like normal worry is and like, actual anxiety disorder.
Bobbi: Yes, absolutely. Yeah. I mean, the clinical definition is very specific, and in my opinion, it’s not particularly helpful because the clinical definition is: excessive worry or worried expectations occurring more days than not for at least six months.
And that’s not very helpful, because if you feel that way for three months, are you not anxious? Of course not. So the like diagnosis and stuff really exists as a shortcut for clinicians to communicate and also as a shortcut for insurance billing purposes.
Well, yeah, that official definition isn’t very helpful, but anxiety itself is actually a normal response that we all feel. And so if you’ve ever felt any anxiety, that’s just because you’re human and you’re alive.
And the difference between normal anxiety and clinical anxiety is in terms of the severity of it, the duration of it, and if it’s having an impact on your life.
So, clinical anxiety disorders aren’t just temporary feelings like, Oh, I’m nervous about putting my art out there. It’s more of an intense fear. Like, I’m so nervous about putting my art out there that I don’t do it. And if I try to do it, I get so, like, my heart beats and I sweat and I feel trapped.
And so I don’t do it. And so then it’s even harder to do it the next time. And it kind of spirals. So. Yeah, it’s not categorical like anxious, not anxious. It’s very much a dimension.
Shirlee: That’s really fascinating to even just understand that anxiety in and of itself almost portrays itself in a, in a physical response. So that makes me wonder then, what is going on, because you have a psychology background as well, what is going on, are you able to describe, like, I am very fascinated with this topic, so I, I love understanding what’s actually going on with the brain because it feels more concrete to understand.
The Brain and Anxiety
Bobbi: Yeah, yeah. What’s going on in the brain is that the more primitive parts of our brain are the emotional parts and it’s called the limbic system. And if you think about the further back in your head you get, the more primitive it is. Like the brainstem is about breathing, right? And like, we share that in common with like, you know, lizards or something.
And then the front of our brain is all the higher functions, like, you know, planning and anticipating consequences and creating something. And like, I think dolphins and some primates have that, but mainly it’s like a human thing, right? So the limbic system is more towards the back and it’s primitive and it’s responsible for our emotional reactions and it’s responsible for survival.
So because it’s primitive, it doesn’t really discriminate between a real threat and an imagined threat. So there could be a threat that’s mortal, right? Like you’re like teetering on the edge of a really tall cliff and your limbic system kicks in and it releases all this cortisol and adrenaline and it makes your body really strong and fast and powerful so you can escape.
You can jump back really quick before you teeter off the cliff and we’ve evolved to have that response. So you don’t want to get rid of that response, but the amygdala is a part of the limbic system that is, it’s mainly responsible for all this when the amygdala is freaking out like that. It will freak out over things that we think are really scary and it does not know the difference.
It thinks you’re teetering on a cliff, but really you’re worried about giving a speech in front of people or, you know, worried about starting a podcast or something.
Bobbi: Yeah. So those emotional things, our emotional, primitive brain center thinks, oh no, threat, threat, you know, and it releases all these hormones and it makes us want to survive.
And the way that it wants us to survive it, the quickest way is just to avoid it, right? Like, oh, well that’s making me feel like it’s dangerous, so I’m not going to do it. And that’s a short term solution to not feeling anxiety, but it’s not a long term solution. That’s where anxiety can interfere and impair us, when it leads to all that avoidance.
Shirlee: So what’s going on inside of the brain then, like you already described some physical responses. So like your heart beating really fast, maybe having like sweaty palms. Are there any other symptoms that we can be aware of that are attached to anxiety?
Bobbi: Yeah. I mean, there’s that cognitively, you feel worried, trapped, a sense of doom or a feeling of danger. And also the higher cognitive functions in the front of our mind tend to shut down when the amygdala is really activated. So we don’t think as clearly.
And it feels like reality. So if I, it feels like a life and death situation, it feels like reality because the more rational parts of our brain are kind of going offline for a little bit because the amygdala is thinking we don’t need to solve a problem. We just need to get out of here. So it’s harder to think clearly until we calm down the physical symptoms.
Tools to Help with Anxiety
Shirlee: Well, and that’s where I’d love to head because as somebody who I truly do feel that I experience anxiety in my life and I would love to know as well as probably many others who are listening, like what tools can we use as anxious artists in our practice that can also be implemented like in our every day, right?
Bobbi: Yeah, I broadly categorize them into two groups. One is regulating the nervous system and calming that nervous system down so that you can think about it more clearly, and then the other part is that thinking part, correcting beliefs or assumptions that you might have that are creating a lot of anxiety.
For the first part, the physical part, the quickest and most effective route is through breathing. Because the body can’t exist in an anxious state if you induce a sense of relaxation onto it.
And so if you’ve got ready in your back pocket some breathing exercises to calm yourself down, you will learn and you will train your body in the same way that, like if you’ve ever played a musical instrument and the first time you do something it’s really hard. But then, your muscle memory kicks in and then you do it you don’t even think about it, your hands are just playing a scale on the piano.
It’s like that when you practice the breathing exercises. It becomes second nature and all you have to do is think, oh I need to breathe, and you start to do a relaxing breath and it just calms down that whole limbic system.
Then that second part around the thoughts, a lot of time, we have these underlying assumptions that we don’t even realize because they feel so true and they’re just in the background and they just feel like obvious truths.
Until we shine a light on them, they just are existing and steering our behavior and our feelings. And if you can adopt a different thought and assumption, you don’t even end up getting as nervous.
Anxiety and Overwhelm
A really common example is when I see people new in therapy, a lot of times they’re just feeling incredibly overwhelmed and they feel like everything’s coming at them all at once. This has happened even more since the pandemic. That’s just been like a seismic shift in what people can handle.
So the thought that we’re helping shine a light on is the thought of, I have to figure this all out right now. And they don’t even realize that that’s their underlying thought.
But if, think about it, if you have to figure it all out right now, no wonder you’re freaking out. It’s too overwhelming. You should have a panic attack, right?
But when they realize, I don’t have to figure it all out right now. I don’t have to figure out really anything, except maybe the next tiny step. Or I can just figure nothing out right now and just sit here and figure out what I’ll do next.
And if they can shift into that mindset of, it’s okay. I don’t need to figure this all out right now. The body doesn’t even get as worked up anymore.
Shirlee: We’ll be back after this short break. I’m so excited to announce that I will be joining an incredible lineup of speakers for Immersion Live, which is a virtual event. Put on by Bonnie Christine, who is an artist, pattern designer, and award winning online educator.
This annual event is just for you. Creative entrepreneurs, artists, and surface pattern designers. This year’s immersion live theme is all about the art of business. Bonnie’s heart is to help you to stand firmly and taking the right next steps towards accomplishing your goals and building a successful business that truly reflects your passion.
Come join us. For one evening and two full days, October 19th through the 21st for immersion live, which will be full of information, implementation, and refueling. I’m bursting with anticipation to share my heart with you and be one of the speakers to help lead you in finding success and fulfillment in a career that you love.
If you want more information or want to sign up, go visit the Immersion Live event page through my affiliate link on today’s show notes or in the footer below, you can see the speaker lineup. Meet the artists for the open studio night and see the whole schedule of events. And don’t you worry, all attendees will receive replays of the entire event.
Also, the first people to sign up using my affiliate link will receive an ultimate swag box. Once again, you can find my affiliate link right here in the footer of this episode or on today’s show notes. I so hope to see you there. Now, back to the show.
More on Anxiety and Overwhelm
Shirlee: Just a simple statement like that, ugh, I think is so freeing to just realize, wow, I don’t have to figure this all out right now. And I, in my own life, have realized that I sometimes just create a mountain out of a molehill and realize, wow, I do have options. Sometimes, I’ve talked about this on the podcast before, but sometimes I forget that I can make little changes that make a huge impact and I forget that I even have the ability to have options and to have a thought of, I don’t have to figure this all out right now.
Think many who listen to the podcast. And it’s funny I sent out a question I did a giveaway and I sent out questions and one of the questions was what is the current struggle you’re facing in your creative journey right now and one of the number one responses was I feel overwhelmed, there are too many options, I don’t know which way to go.
And I just feel like stuck. And I think that’s very common. And correct me if I’m wrong, I feel like anxiety and overwhelm are like two buddies. They like go together a lot. So those two things together, I think we can see very often in our lives. But I also I’m really interested to hear your thoughts about this because you talked about how the amygdala can actually shut down parts of our brain.
Can Anxiety Help with Creativity?
Shirlee: So I’m curious, you have a blog that I saw that I really want to talk about because the blog post title was, Can Anxiety Help With Creativity? So can you explain how maybe anxiety and creativity can actually play nice together at some level. Can you unpack this for us, because I’m very intrigued.
Bobbi: Yes, yes. Well, there’s this idea in statistics called a bell curve, and if you think about anxiety and how helpful it can be, think of a bell curve, whereas really low levels of anxiety are not very helpful, because we don’t tend to be motivated or to get much done. Really high levels of anxiety are also not helpful because you’re just shut down and you’re frozen.
But that middle level, and I’m calling it anxiety, but really it’s like nervous system arousal.
Okay. And I’m going to take a little detour and then I’ll come back. The detour is that our nervous system has one way to be excited. All those symptoms of anxiety I talked about, those are also the same symptoms of being really excited about something.
And so it all depends on how we interpret it. And if your heart is beating and your hands are sweaty because you’re about to, I’ll take an example from my forensic psychology days, you’re about to go on the stand and testify as an expert witness.
You can say, Oh my God, I’m really nervous. Or you can say, I’m so excited to share my knowledge with the jury. It’s really going to help this case. See what a different mindset about the same quote unquote symptoms?
And so that was my little segue back to anxiety working with creativity. It’s those moderate levels of physiological arousal where all the best stuff happens. Because we’re excited and activated enough to do things, but we’re not shut down.
Also… There is a whole, like, history of turning anxiety into art.
Shirlee: Interesting. Yeah, I can see that in many artists.
Bobbi: Think about the famous, Munch’s famous painting, The Scream.
Bobbi: I mean, he was not feeling great when he did that, right? He was not feeling healthy.
And when I was in graduate school, or actually when I was doing my internship, my husband was in graduate school and we had a long distance marriage for the year that I was on an internship.
I had a lot of anxiety that year. I was like living in Chicago alone, working really hard. You know, it was a rough time.
And so one night I was just kind of crawling out on my skin with anxiety. And I had to do something. I had paint, but I didn’t have anything to paint on. I went down to the alley behind my apartment building and found, like, a bookshelf plank of wood.
I lugged it up to my apartment and, like, painted on it and stuff, and then I felt better, so.
Shirlee: It’s really interesting that I think, like you just mentioned, wow, yeah, artists, we tend to channel a lot of our emotions into our work, which is incredible.
And I think that’s one of our superpowers, is that many of us are making, you know, a very broad stroke here, but I think many creatives feel very deeply. And so I think that, you know, you’re suggesting that if we find that perfect spot on that bell curve, that creativity can be boosted by changing that anxiety into excitement.
Can you actually give an example as well of how that might look in someone’s? day to day art practice.
Bobbi: Sure. I’ll use an example of a visual artist and I’ll just say visual artist because it could be any medium. And let’s say that they’re really nervous about sharing their art and they’re even, you know, poised to do it, but they’re feeling all of those symptoms of anxiety.
If they’re so nervous that they’re on that higher end of the bell curve and they’re shut down, the physical and cognitive things we talked about, we’re doing some breathing, having some thoughts to reassure themselves.
You know, it might be something like the worst thing that could happen is, and it’s really not that bad. It’s like the worst thing that could happen is I delete some comments I don’t like, um, you know, that’s about it.
And they calm their nervous system down to that middle part. Where they’re like, okay, yeah, I feel scared to do this, but I’m going to do it anyway. And I did that recently. I put a pattern on my art Instagram account and in the caption I put, I feel scared to share this, so I’m going to do it.
And I got thanked by another person who was like, thanks for saying that, that like really resonated with me because it’s, yeah, it’s not going to not be scary, but if you have some tools to get you out of that frozen, shut down part and back into okay, I can do this. Yeah.
What’s the Worst That Could Happen?
Shirlee: That’s an excellent tool of just stating what’s the worst that can happen. I’ve talked about this a lot. And I worry that I talk about it too much, but I have seen a life coach for so long and one of the things we do is, what is the worst that can happen?
But also just going through the then whats. Yeah. So well then what? Well then what? What would happen then? What would happen then?
And then you finally get to the end and you’re like, oh, I guess I’m not going to lose my house and like be on the street. Okay. Feeling better now.
I just had a situation this week where I’ve just gotten an influx of orders from a trade show I did, and this being kind of my first rodeo with this particular trade show in this season of time, I didn’t really know what to expect.
And we’re coming up against deadlines, and our product hasn’t arrived yet. And I have this anxiety of like, I don’t want to let people down. But at the same time, I literally had to say out loud, what is the worst that can happen? Someone cancels an order.
Well, yeah, that would really be disappointing, but that’s really the worst that could happen if I don’t get an order out exactly in the time frame they were expecting.
So, I think that’s a powerful tool to just minimize all of those really, like, aggressive… thoughts that I’ve practiced. So I think those are really great tools. Do you have any others up your sleeve that we can add to the list?
Bobbi: Oh, I have so many. One thing that anxious people are really good at is doing what ifs.
Bobbi: And the what ifs are like, but what if, you know, I fail miserably. And, but if you’re good at generating what ifs that are scary, it means you can take all your what if skills and generate positive what ifs. Like, what if, let’s even do a neutral one: what if nothing bad happens or what if I get positive feedback?
What if I succeed beyond my wildest dreams? What if this leads to the next amazing thing that I don’t even know what it is yet? And so, I mean, we’re imaginative, right? So we can use our imagination and generate what ifs that are you know, positive and motivating.
Anxiety is Treatable
Shirlee: Yeah, I think that’s an excellent tool. So this leads me to ask then, if these are all tools that we can use, what are some shifts that you have seen in general of when artists and creatives have started to apply these things, what outcome are you seeing?
Bobbi: The outcome is that they get more confident and more productive, and they also make choices that are more in alignment with their values.
Bobbi: Because if, when people are operating out of a place of fear, they might do things that they’re not really that excited about because they think they should, or they might work with people or with things that don’t really resonate with them out of fear they think that that’s the path to take.
And when they’re more centered in themselves, they can make choices that are really in alignment and it feels, so it’s not depleting to do that.
Shirlee: Yeah. Yeah.
Bobbi: And you’re like smiling and nodding. I’m like, I know I’m like, I’m a therapist, but I’m also like going through all of this too, right?
And it’s like when you make decisions that are really in line with yourself, it almost like returns more energy than you spend.
And that’s what I love to see. And I love nothing more than when I’m working with someone in therapy and we kind of run out of things to talk about and we’re like, okay, this is the first session where we’re just chatting about your life because everything’s fine. And you’re doing therapy on yourself in between sessions. I think we’re done because what you came here for isn’t really bothering you anymore.
And that’s one of my mantras that I’m saying a lot is that anxiety is treatable. Like, your nervous system wants to keep you safe, and if it learns that, you know, going out and sharing your work with the world isn’t dangerous, it’s going to give up that fear.
That’s, that’s the piece where, when we’re talking about the difference between normal anxiety and like, clinical anxiety, is it’s going to give up the clinical anxiety fear.
Will you still struggle with… normal mindset things, yes, like in every new phase, like you’ll probably have a little imposter syndrome.
Sorry, you’ll have the tools to manage it. And every, you know, you might find yourself getting all perfectionistic and trapped in a cycle of, you know, wanting to get something just right. Those are things that, you know, we can have tools to manage, and the anxiety that shuts us down and keeps us like living a really small life, that is so treatable.
Shirlee: Yeah. Yeah. I feel like I’m a little living example right now because I’ve just experienced so much of that in my own life of once I started pushing into that fear that I had or all of the what if thoughts and then once you do the thing and you realize that. This isn’t actually that bad.
Shirlee: It diminishes, like you were saying, that anxiety. It gives up because it has nothing else to go off of. If we’re talking about anxiety as like a little person, it’s like, Oh, well, you did the thing, so I guess I don’t have anything else to give to, to keep.
Bobbi: I do picture it like a little part of us that’s like, always on alert for risks. And it’s like, oh, well that thing, that’s not a risk. We learned that. I don’t have to worry about that.
Shirlee: Yeah, it kind of, I just watched Inside Out again with my daughter. She had never seen it and just the fear, like, I, I love the fear character in that movie. It’s such like, it’s like the amygdala right there. Like the, ah, freak out.
Bobbi: Yes. I love that movie.
Shirlee: Yeah. It’s such a good one. I also think that, you know, as you’re talking about one of the things you’ve seen in artists who have started to practice these tools is that confidence comes, because I think when you have a track record, like we’re saying of pushing through, then you can kind of go up the next mountain, and the next one.
I mean, when I first got my first order for a big box store, I curled up in the fetal position in the corner, because I was like, oh my gosh, there’s like this huge, huge basically textbook of manual that you have to go through to understand their online system.
And now that I’ve done it, I’m like, oh, I can pitch to other big box store. I’ve kind of already done this before. But the first time was really scary. So I love that you are describing, you know, the hope that we have when we start applying these tools.
Bobbi: Absolutely. I know it’s not related to art, but my example about testifying in court, the first couple of times I did it, I was so anxious. I overprepared for weeks. By the end, not even by the end, somewhere in the middle, it was just a non-issue. I was like, Oh, I have court today. Because my amygdala had learned this is not a threat. This is something you do. This is part of your job.
Shirlee: And I love when we talk about it like, oh, this is the amygdala. I don’t know, it gives this picture of something that we can kind of start to understand and control.
So, if someone’s sitting here and they’re thinking, Wow, Dr. Bobbi, how do I work with you? I’m a creative, I feel all of these things, I want to start implementing tools, but definitely don’t feel like I have the… either the understanding to implement them myself or just want to be guided through this process.
How can someone work with you? And can you give your socials and your website so that people can connect with you, even if they would love to work with you on a professional level?
Wrapping Things Up
Bobbi: Sure. Yeah. My one-on-one practice right now is usually full, but you can reach out and check by email, bobbi, B O B B I at ballardphd.com. And for this very reason that my practice is full, like I’m at capacity, I’m working on an online group membership for anxious creatives where I wouldn’t be your therapist, but I would be the leader of this membership for support and education and community.
There are a lot of things I say to therapy clients that I’m saying the same thing in session after session. And it’s like, if I could say it to a group of people, I could have more impact, and I don’t have more space.
Shirlee: That’s such a good problem to have.
Shirlee: I’m so thrilled that there would be a resource like that because I feel like it’s so needed, especially on that certain topic for artists and creatives.
Bobbi: Anxiety is so common, and I’m not talking about the normal stuff, like 100 percent of humans have anxiety sometimes, but about 25 percent of people have clinical anxiety that really affects their life and it’s so treatable, so yeah, I love spreading that word.
Shirlee: But it’s so amazing to hear you say those words. It offers a lot of hope, and obviously this takes a lot of work as well to learn these tools and implement them, but I think that there’s hope to be found to know that this is treatable and that it’s a muscle that just needs to be exercised.
Bobbi: Right. Exactly.
Shirlee: Well, this has been a wonderful conversation. It’s been so educational. It’s been really enlightening. I think there was a lot of hope that was given, and I just want to say thank you so much for being here and sharing your knowledge with us today all about anxiety.
Bobbi: Thank you so much, Shirlee. It’s my pleasure.
Shirlee: Here are the key takeaways from today’s episode. Anxiety is a normal human response, but the difference between normal anxiety and clinical anxiety lies in the severity, duration, and the impact it has on one’s life.
The brain’s limbic system responsible for emotional reactions and survival instincts. It often doesn’t differentiate between real and imagined threats, which leads us to have an anxiety response, even in non-threatening situations.
Anxiety and overwhelm often go hand in hand, and learning how to manage anxiety can also help us feel less overwhelmed.
Some tools to help with anxiety that were mentioned were regulating the nervous system through techniques like controlled breathing, challenging and changing negative beliefs and assumptions, shifting anxiety into excitement and using positive what if thinking, and getting to the bottom of your anxiety with asking the question, then what?
Applying these tools can lead to increased confidence, productivity, and alignment with your values.
And lastly, a hopeful fact is that anxiety is treatable and it is possible to learn to manage and reduce clinical anxiety with practice and the right tools.
Thanks again for listening to the Tillage podcast. It brings me so much joy knowing that you spent your very precious time with me here today. If you want more, head on over to the tillage podcast.com for today’s show notes, and I’ll be back next week with another episode.
–End of Transcript–
That was such a fun and important conversation! Thanks again to Shirlee for hosting me on The Tillage Podcast.
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• The art of fostering compassionate dialogue, transforming criticism into understanding and empathy.
I’d love to have you join me!
Stay connected and keep creating!