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Your Anxiety Toolkit - Anxiety & OCD Strategies for Everyday

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Now displaying: Page 1
Jan 13, 2023

In this week's podcast, I talked with Lynn Lyons about her new book, The Anxiety Audit (7 Sneaky Ways Anxiety Takes Hold and How to Escape Them).

We discuss: 

  • How repetitive negative thinking disguises itself as problem-solving 
  • How catastrophic thinking makes the world a dangerous place and demands you react accordingly 
  • How big conclusions and an all-or-nothing approach make the world smaller and harder to navigate. 
  • How a fear of judgment isolates and disconnects us from people 
  • How being busy and overscheduled both adds and masquerade anxiety and stress 
  • How we blame others when we are irritable
  • How self-care becomes not self-care at all



Transcript

This editable transcript was computer generated and might contain errors. People can also change the text after it is created.

Kimberley Quinlan: Okay, good. Well, welcome, Lynn Lyons. I am so thrilled to have you on the show today. Okay, so very exciting.

Lynn Lyons: Oh well, thanks for having me.

Kimberley Quinlan: You just wrote another book. I will say another book. It's amazing. Please tell me before we get started. Why did you choose that as the title?

Lynn Lyons:  Well, what happened was we have a podcast called flusterclux. And I do that with my sister-in-law Robin; she's married to my brother. And during the pandemic, one of the courses we created together, she called it the anxiety on it because we wanted to go through the patterns that maybe people were experiencing and they didn't, they didn't have words to them, they didn't know what was going on. And so we did this course, and we put it out there, and then my publisher said, Do you want to write a book? And I said, “Oh, okay”. And Robin and I said, Well, why don't you just make the course we did into a book? It'll be easy because she's never written a book before. Um, so that sort of was the genesis of it. So the publisher like the title, the anxiety on it. So the book ended up being much more expanded than the original course, but the title was from Robin. And the course we did for the podcast.

Kimberley Quinlan: Right. And I loved it because there is a degree of going through your book. We're going to talk today about the seven sneaky ways anxiety takes hold and how to escape that, but I love how it is. It feels like an audit, right? You're kind of auditing through these sneaky ways anxiety can take hold. So, I love that. So, let's go through today's those seven points, and then we will go deeper if we have time. Can you tell me a little about this first main concept of how repetitive thinking disguises itself as the problem?

Lynn Lyons: Yeah, it disguises itself as problem-solving. So when you are doing repetitive negative thinking,…

Kimberley Quinlan:  Aha.

Lynn Lyons is just the lingo we use to describe worrying and ruminating. We generally distinguish between worrying and ruminating in which direction and time they head. So if you are a worrier, you tend to worry about things that haven't happened yet. And if you're a ruminator, you're going back over things, which tends to be both. It can feel pretty obsessive. A ruminator will go back over things and ask those questions. And did I say the right thing? Did I do the right thing? Did I buy the right refrigerator? Did I make the right decision?

Lynn Lyons:  Repetitive Negative thinking. The problem with it is that the thinking feels like the solution. Remember, anxiety seeks that certainty.  If I just go over it, if I just think about it, if I just talk about it, if I just ask people about it, if I just get more information about it, that will lead me to a solution. But what we know is that the thinking is actually the problem because when you overthink,

Lynn Lyons: You're caught in that repetitive cycle. You're seeking that certainty. So you don't move forward, and you don't take action. It just feels like you're doing something productive. But unfortunately, you're when people go to therapy, if they have this kind of obsessive thinking and they get caught in it, is that the therapist will unknowingly say, Well, let's think about this, or Let's talk about this, some more. Let's explore this. Or What could that mean and the anxieties? Like, Yeah, I love this lady. Now we get to do our thing. 

Lynn Lyons:  What we know about people that tend to overthink and get into this repetitive negative thinking is that they are less likely to act on a solution if they come across one in their thinking. So they're saying, “Oh, I'm thinking to figure this out,” but then they never take the necessary action. Yeah. So it's a way to trick you into thinking you're doing the right thing. When you're just feeding your rumination feeding your worry,

Kimberley Quinlan: I love it, and you mentioned in your book Chewing the mental card, which I thought was just classic and…

Lynn Lyons: Mmm. M.

Kimberley Quinlan: hilarious. I grew up on a farm, so that was very appropriate. I love it. Let's go to number two, how catastrophic thinking makes a world, the world a dangerous place and demands. You react accordingly,…

Lynn Lyons: Sure. So catastrophic thinking this is like the meat of the anxiety sandwich…

Kimberley Quinlan: do you want to share about that?

Lynn Lyons: You're always wondering, worrying about, or vividly imagining the worst thing that could happen. And again, this feels like a solution. So if you are a parent and you have this catastrophic way of thinking, you're thinking, all right, so if I can imagine every bad thing that could happen to my child, then I can be ready for it. I can prepare for it; I can prevent it. But what we know is that the more catastrophic you are, the more you think about the bad things that could happen.

00:05:00

Lynn Lyons: The more fearful you are, doesn't mean that you're better prepared to manage things; it means that you start to avoid and remove things from your life. So, Yeah. So it just becomes again. It becomes this way of the anxiety dictating what you do and don't do.

Kimberley Quinlan: Right? You talked in this chapter about the pain. The Pain Catastrophizing Scale and…

Lynn Lyons:  Mmm.

Kimberley Quinlan: that's something that I didn't know a lot about, which I found. Very fascinating. Do you want to share your little thoughts on that?

Lynn Lyons: Sure. So what we know from pain and pain is such an interesting phenomenon, isn't it? It's such a rich place for research and study. If you could testify about your pain. So if you anticipate that your pain is going to be terrible, You will respond as if the pain is worse than it is. And one of the things that's interesting is I work a lot with kids and a lot with families and parents. One of the fascinating things is that, say, you've got a child in pain, and you ask the parent to rate the child's pain. Say the child rates their pain as a four. The parent weighs the child's pain as an eight.

Lynn Lyons: The parent's rating of the pain is a predictor of impairment in the child.

Kimberley Quinlan: Huh.

Lynn Lyons: Completely independent of, you know, maybe the child says Oh my pain is a two and the parent says, Oh the truck might try. I'm so worried about my child. I think their pain is an eight that parents catastrophizing about the pain. Predicts whether or not that child goes to school whether or not they predict an activities how much of their life is impaired by the pain. Even though the child is saying, Well like that, my mom thinks the pain is a lot worse than it is. It's the parents' catastrophizing that actually has the impact. Yeah.

Kimberley Quinlan: That is so interesting. And so what what really showed up for me was is that also true of like the pain of the suffering of anxiety, right? Like is if we are catastrophizing how painful the anxiety will be does that? That still the same concept scientifically

Lynn Lyons: Well, I don't know about the research in terms of the way they lay it out, so clearly with with pain but here's what we do know. Catastrophic parents being a catastrophic parent about anything. Is a high risk factor for developing anxiety as a chart for children. So, if you have a catastrophic parent, it increases your risk of creating an anxious child. We also know that parents who are anxious have a six to seven times greater risk of having an anxious child. We've got some genetics in there…

Kimberley Quinlan: Right.

Lynn Lyons: but there's an awful lot of modeling. So when we when we look at how parents talk about the world. one of the things that when parents talk about the world as a dangerous place, when they talk about their child as being incapable of functioning,

Lynn Lyons: When they step in so that their child doesn't have the opportunity to get to the other side, doesn't have the opportunity to independently problem solve, all of those things increased anxiety. And because we know that anxiety, untreated is one of the top predictors of depression, by the time you hit adolescence and young adulthood, we know that that that's that cycle is just going to continue. So when I am,…

Kimberley Quinlan: Mmm.

Lynn Lyons: when I am working with families and I am trying to interrupt this cycle, one of the things just as you said, one of the things I want to really target is, Is this parent catastrophizing?

Lynn Lyons:  About their child's ability to function and it may be catastrophizing about their mood catastrophizing about them, being upset or being nervous, right? So so my child is so anxious about this. There's no way I can send them off on this field trip or there's no way I can send them off to this summer camp because look they're so anxious. It absolutely is contagious for sure.

00:10:00

Kimberley Quinlan: And that's true of ourselves too. So if we're catastrophizing, when less likely to go on the field trip, ourselves is correct. Yeah.

Lynn Lyons: That's right. Yeah, well, so say, say you're gonna get on an airplane. And you're thinking, Oh gosh I'm going go on this airplane and you start catastrophizing and imagining bad things happening on the plane or the plane crashing and you activate your whole system. So you're having these symptoms and your your stomach feels weird and your heart is pounding. You say to yourself, Oh my gosh, if I feel this bad just thinking about getting on the airplane, it's going to be horrible. When I actually get on the airplane, I better not do it. Right. So we're just watching this scary movie and…

Kimberley Quinlan: Yeah.

Lynn Lyons: it makes sense if you're sitting there watching a terrible movie with a horrible outcome, Of course you want to avoid that thing but we have to recognize that that catastrophic thinking is a pattern of thinking not an actual predictor of outcome. Yeah.

Kimberley Quinlan:  Right.

Kimberley Quinlan: Yeah, and you talked about that about sleep as well.

Lynn Lyons:  Oh, yeah, well, the thing that most the thing, that people who are have difficulty sleeping people with insomnia, the number one thing they worry about is sleeping, right? So you can't sleep. And then you start worrying about not being able to sleep and off off the cycle goes. Yep.

Kimberley Quinlan: Yeah. Yeah of for me actually I remember when I had my newborn baby. It was the fear of being tired.

Lynn Lyons:  Mmm.

Kimberley Quinlan: So I would I would pressure myself to sleep because I'd catastrophized, what tiredness was gonna feel like,…

Lynn Lyons: Yes. Yes,…

Kimberley Quinlan: right. Yeah.

Lynn Lyons: I've certainly many people have that. I interestingly had this client long ago who catastrophized the feeling of being hungry. That she couldn't tolerate feeling hungry so you can you can grab onto anything in catastrophize about it for sure.

Kimberley Quinlan:  Right.

Kimberley Quinlan: Yeah. Fantastic. I agree. Yeah. Okay. Now this is cool and we've talked a little bit about this in the show before but let's just go over it really quick. How big conclusions and all or nothing approach make the world smaller and harder to navigate.

Lynn Lyons:  Mm-hmm.

Kimberley Quinlan: You talk about going global. Do you want to share a little bit about that?

Lynn Lyons:  Yeah. So so global thinking, so if you have a global attributional style or a global cognitive style it means that you come to big conclusions. Usually about yourself or other people, right? So oh I never get what I want or I always screw up or nobody understands me. These are these big huge words that then if you believe that well nobody likes me. Well then you're not gonna you're not gonna step out there and take any kind of risks or reach out to people because you've already come to the conclusion. So when people are global in their thinking, they're much more likely to one break things down into parts, so they can recognize, well, there's a sequence to making friends or there's a sequence to getting a new job, or there's a sequence to cleaning out my basement. So they, they get into this place of like, Well, it's a disaster. I, you know, I can't do it and then they also begin to believe that about other people. So when you're global about other people, it shuts,

Lynn Lyons:  Off. Right. Well, that group of people could never like me. Or that group of people is this or that group of people, is that So, the opposite of global and we know that global thinking huge risk factor for anxiety and depression. When we're confronted with that, or when we notice that we're doing with doing that, we want to back up from it and say, Okay, so I just heard myself using that global language, right? I just heard myself say, Oh, I'll never get this done. Oh, there it was right now. Why am I saying that? Well, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. It does look like a big project in front of me. Maybe it is a big project in front of me. So now I'm gonna break it down and I'm gonna recognize there's the beginning and a middle and an end, there's a sequence, right? And that moves us out of that big global way of thinking that's just absolutely paralyzing. Yeah.

Kimberley Quinlan: Mmm. Yeah, I love that. Okay. How anxieties fear of judgment isolates, and disconnects us from the from people, right? And I, I will, if you could speak to where you also touched on the disconnection, happens on the inside. You won't share a little about that.

Lynn Lyons: Yeah. So so interestingly when when when people are lonely It can be in two categories, one is that it's situational. So you've just moved to a new city. You don't know anybody. You're starting college and you're there by yourself or it can be more of a pattern of the way you interact with the world. And again the conclusions that you come to, so you look at the way that the world is connecting and interacting and you conclude that one is that everybody does it better than you,…

Kimberley Quinlan: If?

Lynn Lyons: right? That it's easy for everybody that it comes naturally to everybody and that it's not gonna work for you.

Lynn Lyons:  And you go inside and I always say, You know, you have a meeting with your anxiety inside you're having meeting and and during the meeting, you say, You know that. Well there's this is, this is terrible. I don't have the skills. Nobody wants to connect with me and also you fear the judgment of other people. So one of the mistakes that we often make with somebody who's feeling this way who's feeling isolated, who doesn't feel like they can connect is we try and talk them out of it.

00:15:00

Lynn Lyons:  By saying things like, Well people don't judge or, um, you know, nobody's paying attention to you or, Oh, people aren't thinking that, right? That's just not true. People do judge, they judge all the time, and we notice people. And if I'm, if I'm on an airplane and somebody has this really crazy hairdo, I'm gonna be like, Wow, look at that hairdo. Or if I, you know, got an airplane and somebody has this really funky tattoo on their face, I'm gonna say, like, well I wonder how they decided to put that tattoo on their face. We do it all the time. And so what we have to develop is the ability to tolerate being vulnerable and we can do it in small steps, you know, you don't have to, you know, you don't want to share your life story with the person you met two minutes ago.

Lynn Lyons: But recognizing that when our anxiety shows up and says, I can't take a risk, I can't be vulnerable, everybody can connect, but me, you go inside and you convince yourself, not based on what's happening on the outside, but what's happening on the inside that you aren't capable of connecting? And then boy,…

Kimberley Quinlan: Right. Right?

Lynn Lyons: it just snowballs

Kimberley Quinlan: I love it and so true of the pandemic and where we're at in the World,…

Lynn Lyons:  You yeah, yeah.

Kimberley Quinlan: Right? Yeah. Okay. The next two chapters were my favorite. okay, and…

Lynn Lyons:  Yeah.

Kimberley Quinlan: so I wanted to talk about this a little bit, you talked about how being busy and over scheduled, Which like I raised my hand to ads and…

Lynn Lyons: Mm-hmm. Awesome.

Kimberley Quinlan: masquerades anxiety and stress.

Lynn Lyons:  Yeah, so the interesting thing about busy and I raise my hand too. I'm you know so I get it. Um, We love the idea of being busy it because it's, it's this currency now, right? We can't, we can't really brag about how money, how much money we make. We can't say to, you know, if you ran into a friend on the street you and they said, Oh, how are you doing? Kimberley you and say, like, Oh, I'm doing great. I am making so much money this year, it's fabulous because they say, Oh my gosh, that's so tasteless. Why is she saying that? But you can say, Oh I am so busy. My life is so crazy. That's become sort of our currency of importance.

Lynn Lyons: Of how busy we are. So the more busy we are the more we feel like we're worthy and the more busy we are the more we don't have time to feel things that we're going to feel so we keep ourselves busy as a way to just keep that that brain of ours in motion and we have difficulties sort of settling back in but it is interesting. It you know, when I was doing the research for this chapter it a few things were really we're really kind of amusing to me and true you read this. They say of course of course is it a life of leisure that used to be something to brag about right back in the old days…

Kimberley Quinlan: Yeah.

Lynn Lyons: because the farmers and the labors and the coal miners, right? But if you, if you could sit back and and relax and drink a mint julep, right? That meant you had social status, well, sort of flip. Now, we don't really admire people that sit back and…

Kimberley Quinlan: Yeah.

Lynn Lyons: don't work. So, that's an interesting thing I found and then the other

Lynn Lyons: Interesting thing I found is that people who brag a lot and sometimes it's that humble brag, right? Oh I wish I weren't so busy. Oh my gosh. Yeah. Um people who brag a lot about how much they work are very inaccurate about the hours that they work and the more hours that you say you work oftentimes the more you're off. So people say Oh I work a hundred hour week and I always think to myself No you don't right? Because Even if you worked 12 hours a day, seven days a week, that's not even a hundred hours a week.

Kimberley Quinlan: Right.

Lynn Lyons: And so what what they found is those people who say Oh I work 70 hours a week really are working about 40 But it's just it's just indicative of how much we want to keep ourselves busy.

Lynn Lyons: And how how often times it's it sounds kind of backwards in paradoxical but it's true that we really like that feeling of chaos that we create because it means that we don't have to sit back and sort of look at how things are really going. And we do it.

Kimberley Quinlan: Right.

Lynn Lyons: We do it with our kids, for sure. And a lot of kids right now, believe that the way that life is supposed to be in the way that we measure our success is, how busy we are.

Kimberley Quinlan: Yeah, I always think of like I I remember moments where I in early in my own anxiety recovery where I could feel and I've talked about this on the podcast like feel myself, typing really fast and it's funny when you're so focused on what you're doing. You do tend to have less anxiety so it feels like a relief. Almost it's a compulsion, right? It's a relief to your anxiety.

00:20:00

Lynn Lyons: It is, yeah. Yeah. Well.

Kimberley Quinlan: Like I don't have to be up here if I'm typing like crazy or I'm focusing.

Lynn Lyons:  That's right.

Kimberley Quinlan: And I think that that you use the word masquerade down, anxiety, and stress. I think that, that is right on the money, right, that where we are. Busying as an avoidant compulsion.

Lynn Lyons: Mmm. That's right.

Kimberley Quinlan: Do you agree with that?

Lynn Lyons: Yeah. Well because if you're, you know, if you're if you're if you've got a lot going on in your head, And maybe your thoughts are saying, You know, you're not good enough, you're not busy enough, you should be doing this right? You're shooting on yourself, you're doing all this stuff and if you can keep your brain in your body busy and occupied, And almost as if like, you can't keep up and you've got, you've got this little feeling of of urgency or emergency. Oh, I've got to do this, I've got to do this, it really distracts and sort of satisfies. Those thoughts in your head of, I, you know, what's gonna happen next. And it allows you to not really experience the worry and the anxiety because you're just busy, busy, busy busy. Well yeah,…

Kimberley Quinlan: Right.

Lynn Lyons: one of the things it's interesting. We did a podcast episode on this a little while ago, this this term high functioning anxiety.

Kimberley Quinlan:  Yeah.

Lynn Lyons: Which is sort of amusing to me, right? Because it's the city right, everybody wants to have these new categories, right? It's not this. It's this high functioning anxiety and they had this list of The list of symptoms this checklist, I saw in this article which was just silly like you know you chew your lip or you chew gum or you don't make eye contact, you know it's just silly but but when we look at it, high functioning anxiety is no different than any other kind of anxiety. It's just that you're getting the job done and…

Kimberley Quinlan: Yeah.

Lynn Lyons: then people are giving you a lot of positive feedback for that,…

Kimberley Quinlan: Yeah. Right.

Lynn Lyons: right? So yeah.

Kimberley Quinlan: Right. A busyness is another form of like, avoidance of the fear, right? Yeah. Yeah.

Lynn Lyons: That's right, that's right. And it because of the way our culture works It, it feels good in the moment and you get the payoff of somebody saying,…

Kimberley Quinlan:  Yeah.

Lynn Lyons: Oh my gosh, you are so busy. How do you do all that you do? Oh gosh, I've never met anybody. You know what? If we want a job done, we got to give it to Kimberley, she's gonna get it done and…

Kimberley Quinlan:  Right. Right.

Lynn Lyons: all of that feels so good, but it totally burns you out, if you, if you keep it up for sure.

Kimberley Quinlan: They'd like No, I'm just over here doing a bunch of avoidant compulsions.

Lynn Lyons: Yeah, right.

Kimberley Quinlan: That's why Right.

Lynn Lyons: We don't say that. Right? Oh my gosh. You're doing so much Kimberley. Oh no, I'm just avoiding compulsing. Yeah, no. We don't say that. Yeah. Yeah, they would. They would they be like, Oh okay. So maybe we won't give her that next assignment then. Yeah.

Kimberley Quinlan: Right. Well, and that brings me to the next part of this which again these were my two favorite pots and concepts mainly, I think because it's I still like, ooh, there's some truth there. I need to be listening. And I think it links so well together with the last one about being over scheduled and busy talking about irritability, right? Because And you had said here and I'll use your your terms exactly how irritability likes to blame others but can be a red flag for you. Do you want to share that? Because I feel like they go hand in hand with that over scheduling.

Lynn Lyons: Yes. Yeah.

Kimberley Quinlan: Do you tell me your thoughts?

Lynn Lyons: No, I agree. And in fact, like all of these patterns, sort of overlap, don't they?

Kimberley Quinlan:  You know.

Lynn Lyons: Because we can be catastrophic and over scheduled at the same time. Yeah, irritability is, is a red flag. So irritability. I talk about all these patterns and irritability is a sign that perhaps you're really not addressing what you need to address. One of the, the definitions of irritability that I talk about in the book is that it's described as blocked goal attainment. Okay, so that's it. A research term is that you can't get…

Kimberley Quinlan:  Yeah.

Lynn Lyons: what you want and something is in the way the other term that I read, and it's in the book, is they defined irritability as feeling angry and the ability to sustain that anger?

Kimberley Quinlan:  and,

Lynn Lyons: So it's this constant sense of not getting what you want, not being able to feel satisfied. And what happens is you start looking outside to find out why you're so irritable. It must be because my kids aren't doing what I told them to do. It must be because my partner is not fulfilling the agreement that we made. It must be because my boss is such a jerk, it must be because of the traffic, it must be because of the weather, it must be because of this and what we really want to step back and look at is How is this constant level of irritability?

Kimberley Quinlan: You.

00:25:00

Lynn Lyons: How are you sustaining it? What are you doing? Is it your perfectionism is it the fact that you want to compuls and people are getting in the way of your compulsing because you're in your mind if I can only compulsa and I'll feel better but people aren't letting you do what you want to do.

Lynn Lyons:  Is it because inside there is a constant conversation with you about how you're not meeting your own expectations. How are you creating this level of Sort of low-grade simmering this low-grade dissatisfaction that is just eating away both at you and and your your relationships. It's hard to hang out with somebody who's irritable all the time.

Kimberley Quinlan: And what would you suggest somebody do? If they've caught this red flag of irritability, how would you encourage them to navigate that?

Lynn Lyons: So, the first thing you want to do, and I think I say this about a lot of the patterns in the book. Is you just want to talk about it? Openly with the people you live with, because one of the things that's enormously helpful is for you to own your own stuff, right? So if you know that you're struggling with irritability or even just on a busy day you come home and you're feeling particularly irritable to say to the people that you love the people who are in your orbit. Hey you know what, I had a rough day. I'm feeling irritable, it is not you, it's me it's not your fault. So you're really gonna pay attention to that blaming and you can even say to the people around. You give me a few moments, right? I've got to go for a walk or I'm gonna listen to some music or man. I just need to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Lynn Lyons: And then give yourself permission and, and more than permissions, sort of give yourself a little kick in the hello. That says, I'm gonna, I'm gonna work on releasing this irritability without going after other people. And that diffuses it very quickly and…

Kimberley Quinlan: Mmm.

Lynn Lyons: then if you're a parent, you're modeling that for your kids, which is a wonderful thing and…

Kimberley Quinlan:  Yeah.

Lynn Lyons: then you really have to look and see if it's a chronic thing. What do you keep doing over and over and over again? That's making you irritable.

Lynn Lyons:  How are you going to recognize that and accept that? Because a lot of times people say, Well I don't know why I'm so irritable and then we talk about it. And it's pretty obvious why they're so irritable. Now that means you have to adjust or adapt and it might be your schedule. Maybe you're not getting enough sleep. Maybe you're saying yes, too often. When you want to say, no, maybe you are ruminating in your head about how other people have, let you down all the time, maybe you're catastrophizing. So those horrible stories about what the world is going to look like are really making you irritable. So it's it's a way for you to to step back and say What am I doing? That's resulting in this state that I'm in. Yeah.

Kimberley Quinlan: And yeah, yeah. And I'll just for being transparent. I have found as soon as I'm irritable, it's because I'm refusing to feel some feeling like that is for me. I'm like, I don't want to feel this feeling.

Lynn Lyons: You.

Kimberley Quinlan: So I'm gonna be like Real shop and all edgy around everything. So I think that's just such a great point. It's like, I don't want to feel the anxiety. I'm feeling so I'm just like,…

Lynn Lyons:  Yeah.

Kimberley Quinlan: frightened reactionary. So I think that that is such a common. I see it a lot with my patients as well. Just a deep sense of frustration of like you said, they won't let me compuls and…

Lynn Lyons:  and,

Kimberley Quinlan: that. Okay, that's means that you're gonna have to feel some anxiety,…

Lynn Lyons:  Right. Right. Now.

Kimberley Quinlan: right? So I you're on the money there. I love. Okay. This was an interesting one and the last point how self-care is hijacked and becomes not self-care at all.

Lynn Lyons:  If well, and I think that you you sort of teed this up for me very well because oftentimes what we call self-care is really means of avoidance. Right trying to eliminate. So I'm trying to get rid of some feeling. I'm trying to avoid something that I need to address. I don't want to feel this way. We, I talk a lot about our elimination culture and how we're really focused on trying to get rid of things like feelings or discomfort or right. So we take on these practices that we call self care, that are really about getting rid of something or avoiding something and so that can be

Lynn Lyons: Anything from drinking or using other substances to spending money, you don't have to binging on Netflix and not getting the sleep. You need, because you feel like you want to escape, what's going on? When you are doing something that in the moment you're saying, you know what? This is really for me. And then the next day you feel regret about it, probably not self care. Right self-care.

Kimberley Quinlan: Mmm.

Lynn Lyons: If you do it consistently. After after I do something that is truly, you know, one of my good self-care things. I don't say to myself. Oh, I can't believe I did. I can't believe I got eight hours of sleep last night like, Oh, what a loser. I can't believe I went for a walk with my friend. Oh, right. But if I

00:30:00

Lynn Lyons: Spend too much money, or if I stay up too late, or if I skip my exercise, that helps me so much, or if I eat half the chocolate cake. The next day, I'm probably gonna say, Oh honey, like do that, You know,…

Kimberley Quinlan: Mmm.

Lynn Lyons: I should. So that's one of the easy ways to sort of determine for yourself whether or not you're engaged in self-care or self medication, but self care isn't a one hit wonder, right? It's not, it's not a quick fix. It's a consistent pattern. Moving.

Kimberley Quinlan: Right. Right. Yeah, I talk I wrote a book about self compassion and I talk about the same thing as people say. Well this is the self compassionate thing to do to not face my fear or…

Lynn Lyons:  You.

Kimberley Quinlan: to not, you know, to not get out of bed and yes, I understand some days we have to be gentle but I think we also rely on self compassion. Sometimes as a, as a way to avoid our feelings and…

Lynn Lyons:  That's right.

Kimberley Quinlan: wade fear as well. I think that really, you know, is so true. You did talk about self-medicating, and then you would said that, When you're able to identify these seven points, that's a form of self-care.

Lynn Lyons: That's right.

Lynn Lyons: That's right.

Kimberley Quinlan: Right. Do you want to share a little about that and…

Kimberley Quinlan: what that looks like?

Lynn Lyons:  Well, so if you are reading this book, or if you're listening to me now and you're beginning to recognize that you have a few of these patterns that really take over and then and you begin to own them. Just like I was talking about with irritability and you begin to see the pattern. It takes courage to change the pattern. It takes courage to say, Oh gosh, I look catastrophizer or boy, do I get caught up in a ruminating about things, as a way to solve problems? Or you know what? I have been saying that my two or three glasses of wine. Every night is self-care and I'm really noticing that I feel worse the next day, or I don't sleep very well. So once you begin to own them and once you begin to, you know, you can talk about them openly with the people you care about.

Lynn Lyons:  Things start to shift the biggest thing and I'm sure you see this with your patients as well. Kimberley The biggest roadblock that I run up to run up against is when people deny that they're doing the things that I know are causing them to stress. and then, when they blame other people, You know, I I say this all the time, I have this client, The daughter was struggling with OCD, Dad had OCD, he was highly perfectionistic. Things had to be perfect in the house. He would miss his kids, recitals, or their soccer games, because he had to come home after work. And make sure that everything in the house was perfect. And I was trying to explain this to him, this rigidity and his OCD. And he said to me, What's wrong with a neat and tidy house.

Lynn Lyons:  Now nothing except that, that's not what was going on here. But his denial of his patterns and his inability to own them and to talk to his family about them because you can imagine what his daughter did when he said that, right? She like threw herself back on the couch and rolled her eyes got in the way of him, being able to move forward. so, When you know people talk about it, say you say, you're phobic of something, we talk about the courage to face your fears, right? So if you're afraid of bridges, you have to have the courage to go across the bridge. Or if you're afraid of germs, you have to have the courage to touch germs. I feel like the courage is much more, the courage on the inside.

Lynn Lyons:  To acknowledge what's going on and then to work to do the opposite and to really be to really be honest. And vulnerable with yourself. The courage comes not on the bridge or with the germs, but the courage comes from saying, I'm really struggling with this pattern, with this issue with this compulsion, and it feels scary. I'm gonna face what's going on inside of me. And that's gonna help me face. What's going on outside of me?

Lynn Lyons:  Yeah. Yeah.

Lynn Lyons:  Mmm. Yeah.

Kimberley Quinlan: Awareness is the first step but that accountability. That's a hard one. Like it's it,…

Lynn Lyons:  It is a hard one. Yeah.

Kimberley Quinlan: it's a good one, but I had one and I think Do you have like I know where we're close to being finished? I want to be respectful of your time. But do you have any thoughts on how to work towards that accountability, particularly if you're someone who's rigid and doesn't like that,

Lynn Lyons: Well, I mean, one of the, one of the things that I think is really helpful is for people to recognize that these patterns and OCD and anxiety is really common, and people don't talk about it. But gosh,…

00:35:00

Kimberley Quinlan:  If?

Lynn Lyons: how many people have OCD in this world? How many people struggle with the things that we talk about on a daily basis? So I'm I say to people, you know, you're not unique. Your problem isn't special. It's it's, it feels big to you because it's your problem, but there are really a lot of things that we can do to help this. We know a lot about it, it's not mysterious the content of what your worried about or the content of your OCD is meaningless. This is a process. This is a thought process issue and let's just get over this idea that it's so special and that you're unique and that there's nothing anybody can do because you're worse than everybody else, right? So that's one of the things I do.

Lynn Lyons:  And then also really helping people. Learn about Other People's Stories. I think there are some wonderful books and resources where you read about other people's struggles. And you begin to realize gosh, This is so much of what I've experienced it is. It's a matter of being vulnerable in a matter of moving away from this idea that the perfect world that other people are presenting is not so perfect, after all. Yeah,

Kimberley Quinlan: Yeah, so true. So true. Lynn, I have loved getting all your wisdom. Thank you so much. Do you want to tell us where people can learn about you and about your book and all the things?

Lynn Lyons: Sure, sure. So my website is just Lynn Lyons.com. I'm on Instagram at Lynn Lyons anxiety. I'm fairly new to Instagram. My younger son is my is my Instagram helper, and then I'm on Facebook. If you go on Lynn Lyons, and just put in anxiety or psychotherapist, we've got the podcast fluster clocks with an X that comes out every Friday. Um, By the time, this comes out, by the time that people are hearing this, the audible book for the anxiety audit. Hopefully we'll be released because they told me it will be out in January. I just recorded it right before our Thanksgiving in November. So I'm excited to welcome that into the world. So yeah there's there's you know, all sorts of videos and things on my website and resources and things you can check out.

Kimberley Quinlan: Fantastic and I'll link all those in the show notes. Thank you so much for coming on.

Lynn Lyons:  Thank you.

Kimberley Quinlan: It's a delight to me meet with you.

Lynn Lyons:  Thank you for having me and thank you for all of your wonderful questions you made it so easy, which is nice.

Kimberley Quinlan:  Wonderful, thank you.

Lynn Lyons:  All right. Yeah, that was great. You are you are super easy to talk to so thank you. Yeah.

Kimberley Quinlan: Oh, I'm so glad I didn't tell you. I beforehand, you've written a book with Read Wilson.

Lynn Lyons: Yeah. He is.

Kimberley Quinlan: He's a very dear friend of mine. Yeah. Yeah,…

Lynn Lyons: Yeah. All right.

Kimberley Quinlan: so I'm

Lynn Lyons: Well, I'll tell you say hello. Yeah. We wrote two books together, I am.

Kimberley Quinlan:  yeah.

Lynn Lyons: I was just talking to him the other day. Yeah, that's how did you, how did you meet him just through working on OCD stuff.

Kimberley Quinlan: Yeah, through ICD. He's been on the show a bunch of times and…

Lynn Lyons:  Oh, that's awesome.

Kimberley Quinlan: and I consider him such a, I know a helpful resource and and support. So I just wanted, I want to mention that at the end.

Lynn Lyons: Oh yeah,…

Kimberley Quinlan: Yeah. Yeah,…

Lynn Lyons: that's awesome.

Kimberley Quinlan: I don't often usually we don't take guess…

Lynn Lyons: That's awesome.

Kimberley Quinlan: unless I'm sort of developed a relationship but your name went underneath the,…

Lynn Lyons:  Yeah.

Kimberley Quinlan: the read seal of approval.

Lynn Lyons: If? Well,…

Kimberley Quinlan: I was so glad to meet with you. And have you on the show? Yeah, you guys trained together.

Lynn Lyons: thank you. Thanks for having me.

Kimberley Quinlan: Is that what it was?

Lynn Lyons: Oh no, he we wrote the books together so I'd never I'd never met him before and we were presenting it. I was we were both presenting at a brief therapy conference. I think when was it like Like, 15 years ago, maybe. And so he just,…

Kimberley Quinlan:  Yeah.

Lynn Lyons: he just popped in and listened to my talk and then he emailed me a little while later and said, I want to write a book on kids, but I don't work with kids, and I need a co-author,…

Kimberley Quinlan:  Sure.

Lynn Lyons: would you want to write a book with me? So I was like, Yeah. So so we wrote the two books together. It was a period of four and a half years of writing. And, you know, the two books and I think God. I mean, I talked to him every day. Probably for, you know, three and a half years. So yeah, we've become, we've become good friends. Yeah, he is a good guy. Super helpful to me,…

Kimberley Quinlan: Yeah.

Lynn Lyons: too. I just, I just love what he's offered me. Yeah.

Kimberley Quinlan: Yeah, and and my clients and…

Lynn Lyons:  Mmm.

Kimberley Quinlan: my stuff to be honest. Like so often when I'm consulting with my staff, they'll like bring up a read Wilson comment.

Lynn Lyons:  Yeah, yeah, and his new OCD program is just amazing. Yeah.

Kimberley Quinlan: And it's really wonderful. Yeah.

Kimberley Quinlan: Amazing. Yeah. Really amazing. That the six the six-part plan is so cool. Yeah. I love the work that you're both doing.

Lynn Lyons:  Yeah.

00:40:00

Kimberley Quinlan: Thank you for all your work. I'm like a learner of your work, right? I'm yeah,…

Lynn Lyons:  Oh thanks. Thanks thanks. Yeah.

Kimberley Quinlan: it's really wonderful. Yeah, yeah, well, thank you so much. I it will be out on the 24th of February,…

Lynn Lyons:  Okay.

Kimberley Quinlan: and we usually link to Instagram. I'm really active on Instagram and…

Lynn Lyons:  Okay.

Kimberley Quinlan: it comes out on Friday, as well. I'll probably please come out and Friday. And so, if you want to have your assistant or a publisher, I'm not sure email me. All of the links to anything you want me to add in the show notes. That's usually an easy way to make sure I get it correct.

Lynn Lyons: Okay, okay.

Kimberley Quinlan: And I think that's it. Yeah.

Lynn Lyons:  All right. Great. Shoot. Me an email. Just to remind me before it comes out, so I can start to promote it on my stuff too. Okay.

Kimberley Quinlan:  Yeah, wonderful. Yeah, and it's really great to meet with you and chat. Alright. Take a have a good day.Lynn Lyons:  Okay, thank you very much. Bye.

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