Well Balanced

Wellness Month: How to rhyme your way to self-compassion

August 22, 2022 Balance Season 1 Episode 42
Well Balanced
Wellness Month: How to rhyme your way to self-compassion
Show Notes Transcript

In continued celebration of National Wellness Month, Ofosu and Leah (and some special guests) want to help you make wellness a priority in your life. So each week in August, they’ll announce a new wellness challenge for you to try with them.

This week, Ofosu and Leah talk with Josiah Frazier, also known as "Guy with the Hair" on social media, about his struggles with mental health, the creative way he practices self-compassion, and the fourth Wellness Month challenge. Plus, hear Ofosu and Leah give it a try on the spot!

Tune in next Monday to hear more about how the challenge went for them, and don’t forget to share your experience, too. You can email a voice memo to wellbalanced@balanceapp.com. Or you can participate when prompted on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok, or you can even tag @balance on a post on your personal account. The more you participate, the more you increase your chances to be featured in next week's episode!

More about Josiah:
Josiah Frazier is a TikTok and Instagram creator, known best for his daily song posts. You can learn more about him at https://guywiththehairofficial.com/

About Balance:
Well Balanced is co-hosted by the expert meditation coaches of Balance. Balance is a highly personalized meditation and sleep app that's been named Google's App of the Year and Apple's App of the Day. Completely free for the entire first year, Balance is helping 3 million+ people around the world improve their stress, sleep, focus, and mood. Unlock your free year of Balance today by downloading it from the App Store or Play Store: https://balanceapp.sng.link/Arat1/h3qp/icji

OFOSU: Hey, what's up. I'm Ofosu Jones-Quartey, and -

LEAH: I'm Leah Santa Cruz. We're the meditation coaches on the Balance app. 

OFOSU: And this is our weekly show, Well Balanced, where we explore ways to live a healthier, happier life.

LEAH: And today we're reviewing how last week's wellness challenge went for all of us and our guest, Josiah Frazier, also known as ‘guy with the hair’ is gonna give us our last wellness month challenge, which is about building self-love with rhymes.

OFOSU: Yeah, I think I know a little bit about that. Super excited.  Well, first to get y'all up to speed, August is the month that I was born in. (LEAH: Wait, when's your birthday?) August 16th. 

LEAH: (sings) Happy Birthday to ya. Happy birthday. Okay. Back to back to the regularly scheduled show. 

OFOSU: That was so sweet, Leah.  Thank you. August is also National Wellness month and every week we're giving ourselves and you a new wellness challenge. So these are quick tasks that can help you change your behaviors and help make wellness a priority in your life. Last week, Jessica Holzman from Study with Jess challenged us not to use our phones for the first hour of the day.

LEAH: Yeah, that was fun. That was really interesting. One uh, and Ofosu, and I both tried this, but before we talk about how it went. A lot of you actually told us how this no phone challenge went for you. So let's see what some of you had to say about it. And I'm gonna try to get your username right from at L Froning one - it was less stressful in the mornings.

 OFOSU: From, at Eureka L - a great way to detox.

LEAH: At Karen dot B dot Barnes - not good. 

OFOSU: At, Sannia said for me it was easy, but I realized I need a clock in my bedroom. Mm-hmm mm-hmm yeah. 

LEAH: Yep. At Anna bow 84, I couldn't do it. With monkey covering eyes, emoji.

OFOSU: at Vega for fan. Uh, they said, okay.

LEAH: At Alexa affirms, it's refreshing to create space in my morning routine for activities that clear the mind. 

OFOSU: Mm-hmm we wanna share a voice memo that we got from Megan Moritz. 

[Sound Effect]

So this is day three of no phone for an hour after getting out of bed. And it is really, really difficult, like addiction level difficult.

I'm watching the time tick away thinking about being able to look at it and what will be there when I do. Like a hit of dopamine opening, text messages, checking Instagram, tracking packages, seeing what I happen to miss in the past nine hours. It's not impossible of course.  But it is very challenging and I'm not sure I love it so far.

I don't feel amazing though recognizing the level of reliance independence I have on my phone is very interesting. The awareness alone has been eye opening. 

[Sound Effect]

Wow. That probably is the exact experience of so many people trying to do this challenge and recognizing like when, did this become such a powerful, uh, hypnotic addiction for me?

OFOSU: There's an emotional quality to that sharing to all of this sharing. Yeah. I mean, this challenge definitely brought up a lot for me. And, um, I recorded some of my experience also after that hour was up. So here's a couple of snapshots for, of, of what it was like for me. 

[Sound Effect]

Hmm, day one first hour without the phone.

This was awesome. I am going to continue to do this. I feel so. Uh, free I woke up, I took a walk. I, um, came back, made breakfast for the family. I think it extended for almost two hours, cuz I really was just like, what is the point of even going into the phone? 

Good morning. This is day two of no phone for the first hour.

And it has been delightful. Now we're aiming for progress, not perfection. So I accidentally, just by habit, reached for my phone when I saw an email that said, oh, what am I doing? I'm not supposed to be doing this. So I put it down. I didn't shame myself. And honestly, compared to how much I'm on my phone for the first hour accidentally skimming an email, not a big deal, no phone.

First hour of the day, day four. it's just feeling good and something that more and more, I feel like I can keep going, so, yep. Yep. 

[Sound Effect]

LEAH: Nice. Well, um, I recorded myself too after that hour's up and mine was a little different. 

OFOSU: You weren't, you weren't singing at the top of your lungs?

 LEAH: (sings) Day 2, no phone!  Can't say I did. 

[Sound Effect]

Here's how it went for me today. I took an hour after waking up to not look at my phone. And I would say the people who were most happy about that were my dogs because I spent a good, solid 10 minutes petting them. And they were so thrilled and I felt good, too. 

This morning when I spent time away from my phone, I hung out with my son and my dogs, and I felt like I was able to give them a lot more of my presence and tension today.  

Today I definitely felt more of the withdrawal symptom of wanting to look at my phone and I was curious about that feeling that like pull and I allowed myself to go deeper into where I felt it in my body and what were the sensations? And that seemed to help dissipate it.

[Sound Effect]

LEAH:  Yeah, I can't say it's been easy to keep it up for me. 

OFOSU: No.  (laughing)

LEAH: Like I never need my phone again. (laughs)

OFOSU: Yeah, just kidding. I did stick with it for a little bit and then Gradually, I just reverted to old habits, but actually listening to this and remembering how free I felt makes me want to go back to this. Because for me reaching for the phone, first thing in the morning, it just sends me into this negative spiral of stress of things that need to get done, posts that I need to post or comparing mine on social media.

LEAH: I think this exercise, this challenge was less about, okay, now you have to do this for the rest of your life and this is day one of day, forever. And more about just recognizing the pull that this has on you.  Recognize, bring some mindfulness, bring some awareness around how reliant you are on your phone.

And I do have to say, even though I still look at my phone in the mornings, it's not as much after doing this challenge, like it has really helped me just make that little distinction like, oh, okay. I can be a little bit more mindful about what I consume and when I consume and how much I'm consuming.

OFOSU: Yeah. One thing I can definitely feel is when I have been on my phone too much, it's like, I can feel it physically now. My body just gets into this overload vibe where it's time to put the phone down.

 LEAH: Now it's time to move on to our last challenge of the month. We're gonna wrap up with a really fun one. 

OFOSU: Thank you all so much for sharing. This was really, really cool. And thanks for participating and sharing for real, for real. So, yeah. Thank y'all!

LEAH: This week's challenge is coming from a guy I'm really excited to talk to. His name is Josiah Fraser.

You might have seen him on social media by the name ‘guy with the hair’, and here's a little taste of what he does. 

JOSIAH: I don't know what the mother I'm doing. Most of the time I put a fake smile on and tell the world I'm fine, but deep inside, I wanna hide what the - I really feel cuz everything feels so up and I don't know what's real.

So if you feel that nobody really gets you that's okay. But you should know that you're not alone. I struggle every day. You owe it to yourself and your mental health to get some rest, cuz you are stronger than you think. And when you have supported people in your life, then you can strive to be your best.

LEAH: That's so cool. Basically he sings a new song almost every day about how he's feeling, whether it's anxious or inspired or frustrated with the world. And he just makes whatever it is, sound super fun and manageable. Uh, and he has songs about mental health and self love or dating or insomnia or road rage?!  Uh, lots, lots more. And here he is with us today. Hi Josiah.

JOSIAH: Hey!  Great to be here with you guys. 

OFOSU: We're super stoked to have you here. Super, super stoked to have you here. The work that you do is very near and dear to my heart on multiple levels. As an artist, as a rapper, you know, translating my experience into rhyme is basically my life, but also as a meditation teacher with a specific sort of focus around self-compassion and self-kindness, and you have so much of that.

And so I just feel super seen anytime I hear any of your music or visit your page, I really, really love it. So just thank you for that work and making it relatable and making it feel good, cause it's really hard work, but when you can frame it in the type of way that I, I think our challenge is gonna lean into it, softens the edges of it and makes it accessible.

And that's, it's super, super important. So. What is your challenge for us? Josiah, let the balanced community know.

JOSIAH: All right. So my challenge to you and the Well Balanced community is to take a verse and write a verse, uh, from the melody that I create. And I'll give you an example. If you haven't heard my stuff. 

Uh, so here it is, it says, uh, I am freaking beautiful and that's what I believe there's nothing in this life that I cannot ever achieve.

Right. So it's simple, it's pithy, but at the same time, it's very therapeutic and very cathartic. Um, and so I feel that our minds can be trained just like our bodies can.

And so I feel if you train yourself with self validation and self-love.  So that's my challenge to you guys, is to write just a verse, just a simple, uh, you'll see the positive outcomes in the real world outcomes of that. I promise. 

OFOSU: That is awesome. And, and that sounds super fun. The melody is really sticky.

I think you know, part of why, you know, the stuff that you've been making is so compelling and, uh, important to people.

LEAH: I like how you're saying that these songs have been a form of therapy for you and they're therapeutic. Can you tell us a little bit more about it? What's an example of a time when one of your songs helped you process a difficult emotion or challenge you were going through?

JOSIAH: So there was one specific time. It was maybe like the beginning of this year and I was live on Instagram. What I do in my lives - I talk with people from around the world. I just have them one by one. And like, I just talk with people about their struggles, about their highs, their lows, whatever.

For some reason, I felt the anxiety building in, in that life in particular. And sometimes I've had to shut down lives. I've canceled lives that I had scheduled because my anxiety just gets too much. And you know, people that follow me, they know that now, like they're like, okay. Yeah. Like, you know, whatever.

So that one in particular was overwhelming and it got really, really bad. And so when I told them I was on the live, I was like, I love you, but I have to get off. Like I, I'm not okay right now. And, and so I got off the live and I sat there for like a good half hour just in silence. And then this depression overwhelmed me.

I don't know what it was. It was just incredible. And so what I did in that moment was I wrote, and I got my phone out and I have a dumb little notes thing that I that's where I write all my songs. If you saw it, you could scroll through a year's worth of just songs and like, and I wrote a depressing song and then I went and recorded it that night and then released it the next day.

And the messages that I got over the coming days after from around the world from people that it resonated with. So it's a twofold thing, right? Like for me, it's therapeutic to write the song itself to actually get it out there. And that's the way I channel that energy. But at the same time when I get those messages and sometimes I post them. The really like heartwarming messages of, you know, people it really resonates with. That's also that second part of therapy for me, that really just fulfills me and helps me realize that even though I'm in a dark place, if I can inspire anybody at any point is just the most fulfilling thing that I could ever achieve in this life.

LEAH: Yeah. I think it's super helpful when we also like to express ourselves and can be so in touch with what it is we're feeling like you were in that deep depth of the darkness and to encapsulate it in words, it's almost like you're giving it a voice to be yeah. Felt in a compassionate way. And you're like letting it release versus just like trying to deny and resist it and deny and resist it. And then it just stays inside us.

JOSIAH: I was always raised that, you know, you keep it suppressed. It's fine. You're okay. Like, you're just sad. Like everything's fine. And so I had that mental, you know, cognitive place of like, you know, okay. I just have to ignore it, you know?

And so over these past four or five years, I've really come into a place of like, no, I need to deal with it. I need to accept it. I need to work through it. And this is, uh, I found I've been, I've been very fortunate enough to find a way to work through. 

OFOSU: Okay. So I've been sitting here working on one of these in my head.

Okay. Let me see if I can say it out loud. Sometimes my anxiety can get the best of me is just a small part of my mind and not the rest of me. 

JOSIAH: Hey, my man. Yes, dude. If you want the login, you can just take my thing and do it. No, you can do it cuz that's great.  Like that's exactly it. And I love that and I've gotten videos from people that have. To the tune and like, like, this is how I deal with things now. And like, That's incredible dude. Like, and it's awesome.

OFOSU: So I'm co-teaching a mindfulness retreat at Spirit Rock right now.

The talk that I gave to the parents today was floor to ceiling about self love, but I'm here with my oldest daughter and we were having a conversation about how to work with affirmations because a lot of times affirmations are just excuse my language -it's corny as hell. Yeah. So like, and, and I would never talk to anybody, any human person.

Right. You know, with those types of phrasing. So my daughter was like, we gotta come up with fun ways of talking to ourselves so that it actually sticks, you know? And, and so exactly this feels so connected to that. This is like a non corny cool way to like, basically it's the same principle of a mantra and an affirmation, a hundred percent just in a way that, that like actually would, you know, stay with you.

Yeah. Okay. So anyway, um, Leah. 

LEAH:  Oh, God. I mean, now listen, I was, I have not been sitting here thinking about how to do this, so -

JOSIAH: I'm not ready. 

OFOSU: First of all, I have the luxury of many years of rapping and writing. Right. But Leah, but 

LEAH: I, I, can, you got this? So tell me, how does the, how does the, the melody go again?

JOSIAH: So, it's like, it's called an earworm and that's not the scientific term for it, but it's actually a series and compilation of notes that, like scientifically, can get stuck in your head. And that's like a perfect example of that. 

LEAH: Okay. Okay. This is gonna be rough. [OFOSU:You got this]. Okay. I go on social media so I can post about my work and all the things I do.

And. [laughing] No.  Wait, that's not good.

OFOSU:  It’s really good. 

JOSIAH: Are you kidding me? That was awesome. That's really good. Okay. And I think that comes from a place of genuinity. 

LEAH: There's there's, there's something, there's a hook that I'm trying to get to, but it's gonna flip, but I, I haven't got figured out. Okay. All right. 

I love and hate social media ,because I have to use it for working for the things I do, but I don't wanna get sucked into a hole. [laughing] That’s not rhyming at all.

JOSIAH: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. 

LEAH: Okay. Something about, it's something about like the love, hate relationship with social media, like having to use it, but also like not wanting to get sucked into a hole and not losing myself.

JOSIAH:  So what you can say is you, uh, you don't want to abuse it.

OFOSU: Yeah. You don't want to abuse it. Yeah. Yeah. Or not get sucked into it either one. 

JOSIAH: Yes. Yeah. That's it. Yep. Perfect. Mm-hmm and I think you, I think you both have just proven that, like it, it's, it's something internal and inherent in all of us that wants to have a voice, uh, to speak about ourselves and to, to resonate with other people.

And, and I think that just giving us, uh, a seemingly silly little song or a melody. You can channel something great. And I think you guys are a testament to that. I think that's great. Yeah. 

OFOSU: This has been super fun. Josiah, can you please give our listener the challenge one more time? 

JOSIAH: Yeah, a hundred percent.

So, uh, my challenge to you and the Well Balanced community is to create just a short pithy verse of the melody that I use, it's self affirmation and self love. That's the subject. And, uh, and as I said, I gave you guys an example, but I'll sing it one more time. 

It's - I am freaking beautiful. And that's what I believe there's nothing in this life that I cannot ever achieve.

And so. It sounds simple. It sounds, uh, maybe seemingly insignificant, but I promise you, I promise you as me as living proof as someone that struggles every day, it does help and, uh, slow and steady wins the race. And so please, please just love yourself. 

OFOSU: Thank you so much, man. It's wonderful to connect with you.

JOSIAH:  Great to talk with you!

LEAH: I think I thought of my, I think I thought of my verse now do it, do it, do it. Okay. They say that social media is everything and more, but when I go inside of it, I'm sucked into a hole. 

JOSIAH: Dang. Get her record label. Let's go!

LEAH: I feel more accomplished. I feel like more of an artist now.

JOSIAH: You absolutely are officially an artist.

OFOSU: Yo. Hey y'all if y'all wanna check out more of Josiah's work, please go follow him on Instagram, TikTok, all the socials at guy with the hair official.

Uh, we've got links to his stuff in the show notes. So please check it out. Thanks guys. 

LEAH: And to you listening, I can't wait to hear what rhymes you come up with. So email us a voice memo, sharing your rhyme. How it may affect your mood to do it. And then you can submit a response to us via social media.

We'll be putting out a post during the week on Balance's Instagram story and our Facebook and Twitter asking you to share it. So look out for those and be sure. To submit your response to us. You can find our handles and email in the show notes.

OFOSU: And we'll be back next week to reflect on this month of wellness challenges.

And we'll talk to clinical psychologist, Amy Tran, about how to take small experiments like this and turn them into long term behavioral changes. 

LEAH: If you wanna stay up to date with our show, and I know you do - you can listen and follow wherever you get your podcasts. We're everywhere. Apples, Spotify, Amazon music, and more.

OFOSU:  Until then take care.  Be kind to yourself, have fun rhyming and we'll chat again next week.