The Best FREE Mindful Tool Is...Clients and the CBT School community are often asking me for tools and tricks to manage anxiety. Thankfully, we are so blessed there are so many scientifically proven tools and treatment modalities to help those with anxiety, depression, and other struggles. However, I feel the need to bring us back to a mindful tool that we can use any time we want. The great thing about this tool is that it is THE BEST FREE MINDFUL TOOL! That's right! It is the best, and it is free. Before we do that, I want to look at things abstractly for a second. I promise it will make sense once I tell it so hear me out. Let’s say I want to be a great mom. I want my daughter to think I am the freaking best mom ever. Here is the thing! Just because I am her mother, that doesn’t automatically mean she and I will be good friends and have a great relationship. Or, that she will even like me. To be a freaking rockstar mom, and to make a lasting impact on her heart and well-being, I am going to have to nurture her and our relationship. I am going to have to hear her pains. I will need to sit with her when things are hard. She will need me to hold her hand and be compassionate when she makes mistakes. And wipe her tears when she cries. And most of all, she will need me to not deny her of her anger and sadness and brattiness. I am going to need to really be with her. To have a nurturing and healing relationship, I can't cheat and do it the fastest way. She is not going to think I am an amazing mom just because I buy her the newest iPad and get her the best clothes and hire the best nanny to take care of her all the time. Those things are great and will make her happy for the short term, but they won’t result in a good relationship with my daughter in the long term. She won’t feel deeply loved by me and she won’t feel deeply seen. If I want to have a lasting and healthy relationship, I have to actually sit with her. Be with her. Not disown her because she is angry or being naughty. I can’t just leave it to the nanny to fix her when she is sad or angry or not cleaning her room. I can't buy her a trip to Disneyland and send her off with the nanny and expect that she will feel loved by me just because I arranged it and paid for it. If I do that, she will understand that I will only be there when she is good, or when it is easy, and she will not feel worthy when she is having tough emotions. Here is where the healing and growth occurs. So, here is this week’s lesson. When it comes to your mindfulness practice, you can't cheat. You too have to do the actual “being with.” Our relationship with ourselves is no different. We all want to be deeply understood. We all want to feel worthy of being sat with. We all know that feeling deeply seen is one of the most healing experiences we can be given. Here’s the big question for this podcast episode. Do you try to cheat when it comes to actually spending time with yourself and deeply sitting with your experience? My guess is you are saying Yes. We cheat ourselves on self-care and just “being” all the time. So, let's talk about how we befriend ourselves. This is the best FREE mindful Tool I am talking about. The best free Mindful tool is your breath. We disregard breath as one of the best mindful tools and we push forward wanting more supercharged, easier tools. During this podcast, we do a short breathing meditation, in hope to simply honor our “being” and “spend time with” ourselves. Returning to our breath really is the best free mindful tool. Before we go, here is a reminder to check out our swag! WE ARE SO THRILLED TO FINALLY BE OFFERING IT! We have an array of t-shirts and tanks for men, women, and children. Each product has our very own CBT SCHOOL motto, “It is a beautiful day to do hard things.” Check it out at the following link! https://www.etsy.com/shop/CBTschool
How To Talk To Others About Mental Illness (with Representative Michael Schlossberg)
Hello there and welcome back to another episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit podcast. Today we have the final episode of the “We can do hard things” series; a series of episodes where we have inspirational and courageous guests who talk about hard and life-changing things. I have enjoyed this series so much and hope to start it back up again early next year. I just loved having all of the wonderful guests, who inspired me to be better and brave and more courageous.
Today we are discussing how to talk to others about mental illness. I often get asked questions about how to share your story of having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or Eating Disorder or Panic Disorder or depression with loved ones. If you are wondering how to talk to others about mental illness, this is the episode for you.
In this week’s episode, we have State Representative of Pennsylvania, Michael Schlossberg. Michael Schlossberg is not only a State Representative. He is a mental health advocate and the author of the fiction book Redemption. Redemption is a science fiction book about a character who defeats depression and anxiety. If you are interested in reading this book (the first of a three-part series), click HERE.
During this episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit podcast, Schlossberg talks about his response to Robin Williams’ death by suicide and how that propelled him to be more open about his own depression and anxiety. We talk about the experience of depression and how it can keep you feeling alone and isolated. Schlossberg has many pieces of helpful information on how to talk to others about mental illness. He talked about how talking to others about his mental illness made him feel closer to others and how it helped him to be more accepting and kind to himself.
The best advice I took from this episode was “There are more people in their rooms crying than you would ever notice. 1/5 Americans have depression. You are not alone.”
Click HERE to learn more about Michael's story and his focus on mental health in his governmental work. Find him on Facebook HERE and Twitter HERE.
How To Let Go of the Past
This week’s episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit Podcast is my response to a question that came directly from the online Facebook group CBT School Campus. It is based upon the following: how to let go of the past.
This question was one that the online group agreed was incredibly painful and one that was very difficult to approach. If you aren’t familiar with CBT School Campus, go check it out. CBT School Campus is an online group of wonderful people who support each other as they do hard things! The group includes people who are struggling with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. Each member is kind, supportive and helpful.
Here is the question:
“One of my obsessive regulars is about things from the past that my mind twisted and has blown way out of proportion (at least that’s what my non-OCD support people tell me. Ha!), but the memories cause me immense guilt/shame because I question my motives and wish I hadn’t done it. I do my exposures to try and accept that I may have had the wrong motive, it may have been inappropriate, I may be bothered by it forever, etc.
My struggle lies in the yucky, depressed, guilty feeling it gives me as it looms and sucks the joy. That often leads to the worry of suicide if I can never get over it. I try to welcome the yuck, keep moving, etc. Anything specific that has helped you?”
What a great question! During this podcast, I talk about how we misinterpret events from the past and use past events to calculate or define ourselves, our worth and our value. This miscalculation (or rating game) can become a compulsion and as you might already know, the more you review yourself, the more you find to be upset about and the worse you feel.
DON’T FORGET, THIS WEEK IS OCD AWARENESS WEEK! CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION.
WE ARE SO THRILLED TO FINALLY BE OFFERING SWAG! We have an array of t-shirts and tanks for men, women, and children. Each product has our very own CBT SCHOOL motto, “It is a beautiful day to do hard things.” Check it out at the following link! https://www.etsy.com/shop/CBTschool
Everything You Need To Know About Self-Compassion (Interview with Paul Gilbert)This week’s episode of Your Anxiety Toolkit is going to blow your mind! Yes! You better believe it! If you have been thinking you should start a self-compassion practice for yourself, THIS is the episode for you. Today we are going to discuss everything you need to know about self-compassion. This week I am so honored to talk with Paul Gilbert, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Derby and Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the Derbyshire Health Care Foundation Trust. Paul Gilbert is what I consider a Self-Compassion and Shame “Guru.” We all know shame and we all know how difficult shame can be when it comes to Anxiety Disorders, such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Social Anxiety, Specific Phobias, Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRB’s), such as Trichotillomania (hair pulling) and Dermatillomania (compulsive skin picking). Paul shares with us his beautiful insight and understanding of the human brain and how to apply self-compassion in our daily living. So much of what Paul has to say compliments the discussions we have had on the podcast already. Professor Gilbert performed psychopathology research for over 35 years with a special focus on shame and the treatment of shame-based difficulties. Paul Gilbert was the founder of Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT) and I am certain you are going to LOVE what he has to say. Paul Gilbert has written and edited 20 books and established the Compassionate Mind Foundation in 2006. He was awarded an OBE in March 2011. During this interview, Paul shares everything you need to know about self-compassion. Paul explains his work and research on self-compassion and how he came to practice and develop Compassion-Focused Therapy. Paul addresses why he thinks we are so hostile or self-critical towards oneself and what he considers the most important tools for practicing self-compassion The most beautiful part of this podcast episode is that we ALL need to be better at practicing self-compassion. As a reminder, it's BFRB Awareness Week (October 1-7)! Click here for more information on BFRB School, which is a complete online course for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRB's). Lastly, OCD Awareness Week is coming up from October 7-13! OCD SoCal will celebration OCD Awareness Week on October 7 from 1:00 pm-5:00 pm in Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego. Go to IOCDF.org or search your local area for events.