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Minisode 06 | November 5, 2020

Unpacking Anxiety (Part 2)

In another (not so mini) minisode, we talk about ways to help ourselves when we're feeling anxious, and how to help others with anxiety.


Welcome to “That’s a Hard No” – the podcast about saying no and setting boundaries so you can become the authentic and empowered you that this world needs.

Quick disclosure: While Sarah is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, this podcast is in no way replacement for one-on-one therapy with a mental health professionalIf you are struggling with mental health issues, we welcome you on this journey, but also invite you to seek out professional help.

Looking for a therapist? Here’s a good place to start:

unpacking anxiety part 2 | that's a hard no
Ways to help yourself when you’re feeling anxious:
  • Self-compassion – You have to give yourself space and grace. You are allowed to feel however you are feeling. Period.  
  • Creating a timeline is super helpful. Just writing down big events that have happened throughout your life. This could bring up some big emotions so seeking a mental health professional to process these things is very helpful. Here’s a link to help you find a therapist near you.
  • Mindfulness exercises can help you build awareness, bring forward unconscious feelings, and help you be present “in the moment” so you can get curious. Curiosity is what keeps us alive inside. There are great apps you can download. Two of Sarah’s favorites are:
  • Breath Work – Deep breathing is essential. Inhale for exhale for 8. When we slow down our breathing it slows down our thinking. Sit with it.
  • Ground yourself – Some like to plant their feet firmly on the floor. Maybe you like to lay down, or just sit up straight and feel the back of a chair on your back.  Once you’re “grounded” ask yourself what am I feeling? What from my past are these anxious feelings reminding me of?
  • Brain dump – You’ve gotta write it out to get it out! Writing out our feelings can help us look inward and think. And it’s through introspection that we find insight. Insight is empowering – owning our own thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and reactions. Identify those core emotions. Get curious and really identify what are you feeling. What are you afraid of? What do your anxious feelings remind you of?
  • Nurture yourself – Be your own idealized parent that you didn’t get or your most nurturing friend. They don’t enable you but they do acknowledge you. 
    • This may feel awkward or uncomfortable at first because it’s probably not something you’re used to doing. But the idea is to pretend as if you are that parent that you didn’t get or a nurturing friend, and talk to yourself in that voice. You may say things like “it’s okay, sweetie. I’m here for you. It’s ok to feel that way. It’s ok to let yourself sit with this feeling. It makes sense you’re feeling scared.” (etc.)
  • Bracket Whatever thought work you choose to do, once you’ve done it, “park your thoughts” (save them for later), then spend the same amount of time giving yourself some self-care. That self-care could be going for a walk, doing something creative, yoga, listening to a podcast (ahem),  or whatever it is that makes you feel good.
How to help others who suffer from anxiety?
  • When your and their emotional temperatures are low (meaning, you both aren’t in the thick of a highly emotional moment), ask them what they need during their anxious moments. Then try to help them in those ways when the time comes.
  • Don’t try to rescue, fix, or save them. Just do your best to offer the support they’ve told you they need.
Credits and Thanks