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Have you ever wanted to be a fly on the wall for a real therapy session? The wait is over. In this episode of Therapy Talks, licensed clinical therapist Joelle Rabow Maletis is joined by special guest Shelby Tessier. You all have VIP seats to sit in on Shelby’s therapy experience!
In the first episode, we got to know Shelby and learned about thought stopping techniques she's using to combat her negative core beliefs. In this episode, we'll be learning more about Shelby's experiences with anxiety and stress, and how to use CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and breathing techniques to help cope.
We hope that by sharing Shelby's story, we can help others who are struggling with similar issues.
Thank you for joining us.
Joelle is a well-known author, keynote speaker, podcast host and psychotherapist. Joelle's expertise includes trauma, PTSD, eating disorders and military psychology. Her career highlights include being a guest speaker on authoring a Ted-Ed video on PTSD, ABC’s 60 Minutes: Beyond the Headlines, and several Outstanding Achievement Awards for Top Female Executive.
Joelle's passion is helping people find empowerment by discovering how to be their best (not perfect) successful self through authentic skills-based, self-discovery. As a psychotherapist, Joelle uses Solution Focused Therapy, Trauma Informed techniques like EMDR, Post Traumatic Growth, mindfulness, strategic inquiry as well as encouragement! Joelle's goal is to provide feedback and interaction that allows clients to grow through informed, healthy, and compassionate decisions.
Find out more about Joelle Maletis:
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Disclaimer: Therapy Talks does NOT provide medical services or professional counseling, and it is NOT a substitute for professional medical care.
[00:00:00] Can we actually talk about why breathing, um, like is helping me calm down right now.
It forces you to bring yourself back into some kind of equilibrium because you're getting more oxygen to the brain. And so it starts to dilute all of those chemicals when you breathe and you breathe out, you're starting to create that equilibrium.
[00:00:31] Hi, Shelby. Nice to see you. Hi, nice to see you. How was your week? It was good. Yeah. Um, started practicing some of the things we talked about last week. Um, nothing major happened. Like I said, I keep track of things that happened throughout the week, but nothing super major happened. There's just one main thing I wanted to talk about today.
[00:00:49] So. Great. Okay. What's on your list to talk about. And then before we kind of jump into that, we'll review some of the skills and how they worked for you from last session. Awesome. Awesome. Um, so this week, I just wanna talk about how, um, I, we kind of touched on it a tad bit. We just mentioned it last time, but.
[00:01:09] About, um, being really afraid and anxious about my own death and the death of my loved ones and just being super alert and, um, on guard all the time, whether I'm like walking down the street, um, or like in my house, if like the window's open at night or things like that. So just kind of how, how to deal with those, like intrusive thoughts of, you know, someone's gonna come in the house and something's gonna happen.
[00:01:33] Like just the bad thoughts that come into my mind. Got it. Okay. Okay. So before we get into that piece, catch me up to speed on you had four different techniques, you know, for the most part that we talked about, I know you keep a list of progress and, and how you were doing. You had a few journal prompts, the thought stopping.
[00:01:55] So where are you at with all of it? What worked? What didn't work. And, um, if it didn't work, why cuz a negative response in therapy is really important. It tells us sometimes that either a it's not a, a thing or B wrong technique. Okay. Okay. Um, so I went climbing twice, uh, since we last chatted. So the first time, um, I was climbing.
[00:02:20] I started to get afraid. I felt like the pressure because people were watching again. Um, and my friends was super helpful. She goes, think of something like nice and cozy right now, you know, instead of like being afraid, like think of like a hot cup of tea or like a nice blanket or something. And I yelled back at her, I don't wanna drink the tea and, you know, cause I'm all nervous, but, um, I was able to push myself to the point where I felt proud that I pushed myself.
[00:02:47] I went like a few meters higher, but then I got to the point where, um, it was just a little bit overwhelming. So instead of continuing to push myself, I said, you know what, I'm just gonna accept how I feel right now. And I think I'm ready to come down. And I was okay with it, you know, and I just pushed past the feelings of being embarrassed and the feelings of like disappointment.
[00:03:06] And I was like, No, it's okay. It's not about finishing today. It's just about being mentally and emotionally stronger and like working with that. So, yeah, so that was really good. And then the second time I went, uh, I finished it. I did the whole climb. It was very, it was like a really fun one for me. And again, I reach a point where I start to get afraid.
[00:03:26] It's a certain height I've noticed. And I noticed, I started to think about all these bad things that could happen, you know, and then just as I was writing before hopping on with you. I started writing about my experience and I realized that, oh, of course, if I'm thinking like all these negative things or scary things that are gonna happen, I'm going to get scared.
[00:03:48] So I, I, I just, I realized that, and I think I was able to stop myself in that moment though. I, I kind of caught myself. I almost went into like a daze and then I caught myself and I said, whoa, whoa, whoa. You know, don't think these bad thoughts, maybe just focus on something else. So my partner helped me think of, maybe I could, um, grab onto the rock as loose as I could, like don't grip as much as you can.
[00:04:11] So that was my main focus. So I was able to, you know, stop thinking about all the bad things that would happen and then get more into my body and focus on something different T. So great, great job to always say 10 gold stars, you know, great job. I like, I'm curious to know, how do you feel about the first climb and then the second climb?
[00:04:34] Cause it sounds like you had some really great successes with each one. Yeah. I feel like there was probably less pressure the second time, cuz it was just the two of us instead of like a group of people. Um, and I think I'm just learning to work within like my limits and what works for me. And, oh, I've also noticed that I've been talking a lot to people about, um, Just the fear of Heights or the fear of being pressured or things like that.
[00:05:00] So anytime that I'm in a group of friends and it, it gets brought up, I'm always like, let's talk about that more, like what thoughts are going through your head? And I'm realizing that other people feel this way too. Mm-hmm and um, one of my friends said she always tell, asks herself, like. Oh, like why? Like I should be able to do this.
[00:05:18] And I said, oh my God, that's exactly what I'm going through. You know? So just to know that other people go through these emotions as well. And my partner too called me the other day and he says to me, I'm feeling really frustrated right now. And he's like, this I, you, I feel it too Shelby. Like it's, you know, it's not just you.
[00:05:33] And then we just chat about it and, uh, like work through it. So. It's understanding that it's like a normal part of life, you know? Yeah. And it's yeah, so that helps too, right? It's not just, it's not just me and in my head. Right. And that's not, not narcissism. I think it's just, we get so wrapped up in how we feel about our own experience.
[00:05:54] Right. We forget that. Oh, I wonder if there's someone else that's having, not the same, but a similar. right. Response or similar experience. So I love how you noticed the shoulds, cuz that's something we spent a lot of time last week talking about, you know, that should or woulda, coulda and using the thought stopping.
[00:06:11] So, you know, really. Implementing that catching yourself with the should and then implementing. Okay. Maybe if I stop and say, Hey, I'm proud of myself. I did a really good job and I don't need to finish. I can come down now, you know, was that, that identification and then reframing and using the thought stopping skills.
[00:06:32] So great work. Thank you. Yeah. I think another thing to, um, uh, Brene brown talks about like naming your values and going through them and choosing like two of them. And I've realized that learning is my number one value. So now I've been trying to tell myself, like, did you learn something, you know, in that experience, it wasn't about, like I said, finishing the climb or any of that.
[00:06:56] It's like, what did you learn during that experience? So I've been trying to view it from that perspective as well. I love that that's such a great that's great insight. And I think taking that kind of to the next level and being able to identify, okay, was it a positive, a neutral or, um, a negative right or, or difficult experience?
[00:07:17] Right. So kind of putting it okay. What category does it fit in? And then what did I learn from that? Because a lot of times when things are negative, we get a lot of information, right. We learn a lot from that. And then even if it's a, oh, I don't ever wanna do that thing again, or I don't, that's not a behavior that I, you know, Admire in others.
[00:07:38] So I wanna make sure that I'm not doing right, whatever that is. I think negative information helps us learn a lot. So for you, if you're saying like, that's what I value is picking out those little, you know, golden opportunities in every situation and saying, okay, what, what's my takeaway here? Right. You know, so one of the things I heard you say was you're noticing that you get to a certain.
[00:08:03] You know, certain meter number of meters or certain height. Right. And that's when that fear starts to creep in mm-hmm . So what you know, that, I think that's a really good place to talk about and then segue into what you wanted to discuss further about that fear of death and dying. Cuz it seems like those might be interwoven when you're climbing.
[00:08:24] Yeah. Oh, for sure. Um, so the height thing that's actually exactly when I get afraid is when I think I'm at the height where I'm gonna die. So if I'm at a height where I, I might break my leg or, you know, something like that, almost in my mind, I'm like, okay, that's gonna suck, but I can deal with it. But when it's.
[00:08:42] Oh, my God. I'm at a height where this is death height. That's when I start to go into like a panic mode. Um, and yeah, the whole, the whole being afraid of dying is in a lot of scenarios in my life. It isn't just with climbing. Like whenever I'm walking down the street, I'm afraid whether I'm alone or with someone.
[00:08:59] The other night was in bed and we usually leave the window open, cuz it's quite warm in the house, but we're on the second floor of a condo and it was really hot that night. So we left the patio door open and I couldn't fall asleep for like two hours because I was just picturing all these crazy scenarios.
[00:09:14] Like someone was gonna come into the house while we were sleeping. And um, yeah. So it's kind that, that anxious worrying and it, so it shows up that way right in the scenario with. Patio do or open or the, um, really kind of targeted anxiety about I'm gonna fall, like when you're climbing, I'm gonna fall and die.
[00:09:38] So it sounds like it comes in in two different formats. Does that make sense? Yeah. Yeah. Well, okay. Sorry. Can you explain that more in the two different. Yeah, just, it just that it's targeted where, you know, when you're in the middle of doing something like climbing and you say, okay, I've, I've hit a height where if I fall I'll die.
[00:09:57] So there's that fear. So it shows up in that way, when it's something very specific that you're doing where you're not afraid in the beginning, but then you become afraid. And then the second scenario you mentioned was something like. Leaving the sliding door open and then not being able to go to sleep because you're worrying right.
[00:10:16] Or, or you're starting to have anxiety about something bad happening. Yeah, I think, oh, if I could've, I'm worried, I'd be in the situation where I would say to myself, oh, if I would've just shut the door, that bad thing wouldn't have happened. Okay. So that should or would've could have stuff right. Yeah.
[00:10:34] Yeah. Yeah. So. You know, sometimes things like this are rooted in our past experiences. Right. Um, and sometimes that's early childhood stuff mm-hmm and other times it's rooted in something specific. So if you've, you know, fallen climbing before, right. You're it makes sense. You would have that kind of fear continue to resurface.
[00:10:58] Right. So, um, with the fear of death and dying, do you find that. Comes in all the time and what I mean by all the time. Right. I know that sounds super dramatic, but I'm saying that for a reason, right? Where everything you do, there's this split second where you feel like, um, if I do this, all of these things, these bad things are gonna happen, I'm gonna die.
[00:11:23] Somebody I know is gonna die. So is that coming up in, in all of your experiences or most of your experiences. Or just targeted ones. I would say not all of them, I would say every day though. Okay. Yeah. So couple times a day, a couple times a day. Okay. So do you know exactly like those few times what they are, or is it random?
[00:11:48] Um, there's definitely scenarios that will make me more anxious, um, than others. So, uh, walking like on the street, Again, whether I'm by, especially if I'm by myself, but even if I'm with someone, um, especially at night, I get like really worried or if there's like strange people walking by or like that, I don't trust just, I don't, I feel like strangers are hard to trust in general, cuz you just never know.
[00:12:13] Um, and then, oh, well actually I had to hike in to get to the climb and I was by myself cuz I showed up late and um, I walked past a girl and usually I'm okay with females. Like usually I don't worry as much, but even then in my head I thought, oh man, like maybe she she's gonna hurt me. So I kept looking back to make sure she had gone by and she was really nice.
[00:12:34] She smelled to me and, and everything. Um, and like I said, usually I don't get that panicky with female, but I did in that moment. Um, and then I also was really afraid of bears when I was walking. I like thought I heard a bear grow and I just like, started running. So, um, yeah, animals too. I just, I just feel like I'm always on alert.
[00:12:54] Like I'm always on edge. I always feel like something's bad's gonna happen. Um, and then with other people, I really feel it when my partner is like driving to work or like driving long distances. I'm always just stressed that something bad's gonna happen to him, like in the car. Okay. And so, so things like that are coming up, like you said, two, three times a day.
[00:13:15] I just wanna make sure that I'm understanding correctly. Yeah, yeah. I would definitely say like every day, two to three times. Yeah. Okay. Got it. And so, um, I know that we we've talked a little bit before, um, and so kind of thinking about your trauma and, and only, you know, talking about what makes. Sense for you right or comfortable in this moment.
[00:13:41] Um, when you talk about walking down the street, is there anything that's happened for you that you would identify as trauma with that specific thing? Right. Were you mugged before or, or harmed in that way? No. So nothing specifically in that scenario has happened. Um, but so I started reading the book. Um, the body keeps the score, which you recommended, and he talks about how, if you've been through trauma, um, you kind of are on edge because if you can't trust the people who are supposed to protect you, how can you trust like a stranger?
[00:14:15] Right. So that's kind of how I feel like, how can I trust a stranger? Um, when I, I don't know them and I don't know what they're capable of and with all the bad things that happens in the world, I think I'm just really stuck on that. And I say, well, it could happen to me, you know? Cause I mean it can, so I don't know how to accept that.
[00:14:35] There's bad things in the world, but like my heart's starting to race. Sorry. . Okay. Okay. Yeah. Take a deep breath. Good. I know you have some water with you. If you wanna take a sip of water that would help.
[00:15:07] Yeah. Got like shaky. Mm-hmm take another one. Just one more. That's that reset button we had talked about last time. Good.
[00:15:15] Yeah. Okay. What are you, what are you feeling right now?
[00:15:23] I think just like shaky. Yeah. What else? Give me the laundry list, please.
[00:15:40] Well, I just, I don't know. I just, like I said, I, I think I get stressed because I don't know how to be safe and on guard, but then also not let it like take over my life with anxiety. Yeah. So stay in your body. I know it's really uncomfortable. What are you feeling physically in your body right now? So hearts phrasing mm-hmm and then I feel like really shaky.
[00:16:05] Okay. Um, you can take a big breath. I feel sweaty. yeah.
[00:16:19] Keep breathing. You can have your water whenever you need it. Okay. Thank you.
[00:16:34] Good. What, what emotionally are you feeling? Not why, but what, what are you feeling? Um, anxious. Afraid, um, worried. Okay. What are you worried about right now? Or what are you anxious about in this moment? Right. I guess I didn't realize that just talking about it would send me into like, kind of like a panic.
[00:17:05] Okay. Yeah. So on a scale of zero, it's not there at all. And five it's the worst you've ever felt. Where would you say right now that anxiety is for you? I find rating so hard. um, maybe like, uh, I'm feeling better ever since we started doing the breathing techniques. So mm-hmm um, before that, like a 3.5 and now I'm at like a 2.7
[00:17:32] Okay. That's that's fair. So take another breath.
[00:17:40] I want, you know, you can roll your shoulders. Blow your head. Can, can we actually talk about why breathing, um, like is helping me calm down right now? Yeah. So before we get into the why, cuz that's the, that's your coping mechanism? So every time I ask you, Hey, I want you to feel it. Notice how you go right into that.
[00:18:01] That deflection right. To go into the, your coping and mechanism, which is in your head. So right now I'm, I'm forcing you as uncomfortable as it is to stay in your body for just another few seconds. Right? Take another breath because what you're learning is that you can calm yourself down. So, this is gonna be what we call your resourcing or your indexing event, which is you can do it.
[00:18:27] So notice how you are calming down. Right. That's cool. yeah. So take another breath.
[00:18:37] Excellent. So let's, rerate that as hard as that is zero, not at all five worst you've ever felt. Well, if I was at a 2.7, I feel like I'm at a 2.4. Okay, so I keep breathing. Right. Good. So notice you can take control of that worry and anxiety, cuz it got really bad, really quick. Right. And overwhelming. And now we're bringing that back down.
[00:19:07] And so your goal is, is that rating scale will help you bring it back down with that breathwork and. Getting to a zero is impossible for almost everybody with most things. Right. So if you can get down to a one, you know, between a one to a, a two, 2.4, like, okay, we're getting back to some, you know, equilibrium that makes sense for you.
[00:19:32] Every person is different, but what, you know, just talking about you, right? So notice you're starting to calm back down, right? . Yeah. So I'll answer your question. The reason why it works is what, what you noticed happening is the minute you started talking about it, your fight flight freeze response. Went on.
[00:19:54] And so it basically is going danger, danger, danger, danger. And so it's hyper sensitive for you. You've got it trained really well and that's important. And so it's important to, to understand and appreciate that part of who you are because it's, what's kept you safe. If you didn't have it, you wouldn't be tracking P potentially dangerous events.
[00:20:20] And so you wouldn't be paying attention to it. And so, you know, a, a lot of different, um, animals. More than just mammals and humans all have that mechanism and it's tuned at different levels based on our experiences. So for you, based on your experiences and the trauma, it's highly tuned. And so you're hyper aware, we call it hypervigilant.
[00:20:44] So if you think about it as, um, like a dimer, like a light switch, Means you have the light switch all the way on. So something happens and you flip the light switch on, and then that causes the heart racing. The tears, the sweatiness becomes harder to breathe. right. You notice that you're getting, you get a lot more flustered.
[00:21:07] Your body language changes a little bit. Am I having those physical symptoms? Because my body's trying to warn me that something bad is coming. Yeah. Okay. Yeah, exactly. And so when that mechanism gets flipped on, you have a dump of a, of a bunch of different stress hormones. In fact, some research has shown there's more than 30 of them.
[00:21:28] So you basically, you flip the light switch on your whole body floods with that. Emotion emotional response, but also biochemically. So that causes that physical reaction makes sense. Yeah. So the, an so very long winded answer, the reason, reason breathing works is it forces you to, to, um, bring yourself back into some kind of equilibrium because you're getting more oxygen to the brain.
[00:21:59] And so it starts to dilute all of those chemicals. That's. The science behind. So when you breathe and you breathe out, you're starting to create that equilibrium. Okay. Do, um, do you know if animals also can do the, this breathing technique? To calm animals shake. So if you've ever seen deer, you know, when deer gets scared, they start from their head and they shake all the way down to their tail.
[00:22:28] Oh. So, um, typically animals will, will shake my dog shakes a lot and he, I find he has pretty bad anxiety. I wonder if that's why he does that. Yeah. So you shake when you're scared, but you, but also animals will shake to calm down. And so, um, it, there is a technique where you can. You know, literally shake like the Taylor swift song.
[00:22:50] Right. You know, um, it, it works. It's just, it's much harder to, to access sometimes. So breathing is really good. So your indexing event is going to be this experience where you started to panic a little bit, have that anxiety creep up. Right. And you were able to get yourself calm back down. Okay. And so the more I practice this, I'm guessing the easier it will get, right?
[00:23:16] Yes, exactly. The more you practice it, the easier it'll get. And so the, your coping mechanism is to go into what we call intellectualization. That's why, when you start to spin, you're like, well, why, well, why? Well, here's all the details. And part of it is you're trying to stop the physical feeling in your body, cuz it's so uncom.
[00:23:39] Mm. And so I'm trying to push it into my mind so that I don't have to deal with it physically. Right. And so that's why you said last time don't go over like the why's right now. Just focus on like calming yourself, physically. Exactly. Accepting the emotions physically. Okay. And is it helpful if I name the, like how I'm feeling physically?
[00:23:58] Like we just did. Yeah. It it's helpful if you can, if you can do that, because again, your, your coping mechanism, your defense is gonna be that. Well, why, well, why, well, what, you know, what can I do? Why is it happening? I don't understand. Let me pick it apart. Let me talk about it. And that'll keep you spinning in that anxiety.
[00:24:19] Oh, that's my coping coping mechanism right now. interesting. I didn't really connect the two. Okay. Okay. Got it. So now I'm trying to switch into a new coping mechanism, which is okay. So the first thing he did was, um, name kind of felt how I felt in my body and then named how I was feeling in my body. So I said, sweaty, palms, racing, hard, et cetera.
[00:24:41] And then third was to name emotionally how I was feeling. I said scared, anxious, and then to focus on my breathing. Yep. Okay. And notice how I didn't, we stayed away from the details. Okay. Okay. So, and you said, look at the why's when I get home or like, I, I talk about it after, after the experiences complete.
[00:25:03] Right. Um, what about after I've calmed down? Like, is that an okay to talk time to talk about it or will it kind of send me back maybe into an anxious. It just depends on, on what it, and on what the event was that triggered, triggered it. So what happened was just by talking about the situation, right. That was the trigger.
[00:25:27] And so it triggered you into that fight flight freeze response. So that's what a trigger is and, and how that works. Right. And it, it's not logical, it's not rational. And a lot of times it's not conscious. So the goal, a lot of times with trauma work and with, with these kinds of, um, worries and anxieties around death and, and fear and how that creeps in all the time for you, um, it's rooted in trauma.
[00:25:56] And so. What we wanna do is we wanna make those triggers conscious when they become conscious. Now, you know, you're like, ah, okay, when I start talking about this, I'm going to have a response. That's how my body and my brain process. So I know that that's gonna happen and I can start using my skills. Right.
[00:26:18] So it doesn't become, um, it doesn't start to feel like it's out of control. So right. The point that I wanna bring back to is that noticed how well you stayed in control. Okay. Right. You did it. good job, Shelby. Yeah. Great job, Shelby. You stayed right. Notice how you stayed in control. Okay. You were able to, to feel it, to stay in your body for a few seconds.
[00:26:46] Use your breathing and calm yourself down. Right. And stay in control. Okay. Yeah. Um, so I think a part of me is worried that if I let this, um, you know, if I let this go a little bit, say I'm walking down the street, then what, if something bad happens to me? You know? And I wasn't aware I wasn't on guard. You do you know what I mean?
[00:27:09] I do. And so, so some of that's that trauma right experience. And so. For you, the trick is that we actually don't wanna get rid of it. Like if I said, Hey, look do this three times and it'll never happen again. You wouldn't be safe in the world cause you need that protection MEChA, all people do, right. That, that protection mechanism, some people call it their intuition.
[00:27:32] I joke and say, it's my like Spiderman. I say, it's my spy sense. Um, we need that to, so we know like, Hey, this is dangerous or there's something that's a little off. That's why like that a light switch analogy. So if you think about it and it turns on what you wanna do is bring it down. You don't wanna turn it off.
[00:27:54] Okay. Right. So you want it, so you're actually aware, and maybe when you are walking outside by yourself or you're hiking by yourself and you know that okay. You know, yeah. There's more risk with these situations. So you wanna be more hypervigilant or more aware than you normally are. Um, but when you're out with a, with a big group of friends and you're outside walking down the street and you notice that you're worrying, that's a good time to say, Hey, okay, maybe I can bring this down a little right.
[00:28:21] A little bit, like I don't need to be on high alert. So part of what we're learning is to start to use. That mechanism a little bit to your advantage instead of it turning on and then staying on. So it turns on and it's high all the time. Makes sense. Yeah. Yeah. Cause I would like to ideally be, um, cautious, but also not with the anxiety that comes along with it.
[00:28:48] Right. And so, so. Thought stop. Like the, the skills we talked about last time, right? The thought stopping and the reframing, um, become really important. So if you stack the skills that you learned last week with this one that you just learned and you're like, Hey, I know I can do this, cuz I just did. Right.
[00:29:06] That's again, remember that's your gonna be? Your indexing event is I know I can do it because I did it. So. Take a couple of breaths and then really doing what we would say situational awareness look around. Right. Okay. Am I by myself? Do I have my cell phone? Do I have my car keys? Do I? How far away from, you know, home or, or safe place am I, um, do I need to make a call because I'm not safe or I'm not feeling safe or am, or am I starting to worry?
[00:29:42] I I know that this is one of my triggers. Right. So notice how I'm using that word. It make sense. So if you go through and you're like, I'm fine, I'm fine. I'm really feeling anxious. Right. Then. It's that? Okay. Take a breath like that thought, thought stopping, stop. Take a breath. Reset. Can I bring some of the anxiety down and you're gonna still keep walking home, right?
[00:30:09] Or wa walking, wherever. So you're still moving in the direction you need to go. You're still paying attention, right? You're you're so you notice how you have control, cuz that's the key here is that you stay in control. Right? Right. So notice how you have control, but you're paying attention to what's around you because maybe what you come up with is, you know what, this is not safe and I just need to call for Lyft or I need to call a friend or, you know, um, I need to do something different.
[00:30:38] Okay. Right. Does that make sense? Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Um, in regards to like the feeling, the like thoughts that keep coming up on the daily about, um, something bad happening, um, how, how are some other like ways I can deal with the actual thoughts? Like, you know, is it, I have to go do something to not think about it or what kind of stuff can I do with that?
[00:31:02] Yeah. So I would say, you know, really try that, that thought stopping technique first and see, and again, either what we just did or what we did last week. If you can get some of that to start working a little bit quicker for you. Right. And then it's okay. Is this something I need to worry about right now?
[00:31:25] Yeah. Is this something I need to worry about right now? And if the answer is yes. For whatever reason. Okay. Then what do I need to do next? What do I do? I need to go somewhere, call somebody, call, you know, like, I don't know. Right. I don't know what the situation would be or is it no, this isn't something I need to worry about right now.
[00:31:48] Um, my partner said he would text me when he got there. Um, you know, it's, it's gonna take him another hour to get there, you know? And so if I Haven. Heard from him, like in an hour and 15, then I'll call. Okay. And this will all get easier. Right. The more I practice it, like, I hope that eventually, you know, I won't have these thoughts and that I can just go about my day and focus on.
[00:32:14] Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I don't, I don't wanna say you'll you won't have them. You'll never have 'em right. I think the goal is more about when I do have these thoughts, it'll be easier for me to redirect myself. Okay. Right. So it, so if I notice, oh, wow. Okay. You know, Joe, I'm really like saying to myself. Right.
[00:32:32] Okay. I I'm really worrying right now about this thing. Take a breath, you know, stop. Is this something I need to worry about right now? No. Okay. What do I need to do next? You know, I've got a call in an hour. I need to prepare for that thing. Okay. Go do that. Right. Me talking to myself. Um, and it happens all the time.
[00:32:55] I teach this stuff. Right? So like the idea isn't that it'll never happen. It's when it does happen, you're starting to catch it sooner. And, and it's easier for you to notice when it's happening. So it's not getting to the point where you feel that heart racing out of control tears. I can't like I'm starting to really have.
[00:33:19] Severe anxiety that's stopping me from functioning. So that's the goal is it, it happens less often. And when it does happen, you're able to reset quicker from it. Okay. Yeah. Cuz I always think if I, the amount of time I spend worrying, if I could just redirect that time into something different, you know, I think, yeah, that would be very beneficial for me.
[00:33:42] So I noticed when we're talking that there's, you know, little, little teary. Are you feeling I'm okay right now. You're good. Okay. I just wanted to check in before we can, because they're always there. It's always, it could happen at any time. um, um, one more thing I actually wanna talk about cuz it's occurring.
[00:34:03] Yeah. Um, so tomorrow I'm going to a volleyball tournament. And it'll be my second beach tournament I've ever played in. Um, so the friend I played with last time, it was my first time playing with her and we just, we just met each other a few weeks ago and she's super lovely and great, but she's a little bit fiery on the court, right?
[00:34:23] And so when we're doing good, she's really like energetic and strong. And I find I'm a little bit quieter. Um, and also I was very anxious, but when we're not doing so great, I find she's a little bit like fiery. So I don't know always how to. I don't like, I don't know how to respond to that. Or like at one point I, I, again, I almost started like crying, but I kind of said, no, it's okay.
[00:34:46] Like, it's all good. And I'm very hard on myself. Mm-hmm so I find having another person hard on me is just like a double whammy mm-hmm and it's a lot for me to like, deal with emotionally. But what I realized outta this experience was that if I'm expecting someone else to. You know, be, um, Supportive, even in the bad moments or even when I'm not doing so well, then I feel like I should expect that from myself.
[00:35:16] So when I like, cuz I talk very mean to myself, if I'm not doing well and how can I expect someone else to, you know, encourage me in that way, in those bad moments when I can encourage myself. So I'm actually hap happy like it happened because that was a big realization for me. Um, but yeah, so we're playing again tomorrow and like I said, super sweet and everything like that.
[00:35:37] Like, she's great. But I just, I am a little bit worried that maybe if I'm not doing so good that, um, the it's just too much pressure. So I don't know how to respond to that or how to deal with that. Do you feel like that's something that you could talk to her about? So I actually did mention it, uh, during practice one time, um, I said, Hey, is anything bothering you?
[00:35:59] You just seemed a little quiet in the last game. And she said, people have told me this before. Like, I know I'm very like fiery and I know that, um, if I'm not playing, if we're not playing well, I'm just not very into it. So it is something I've talked to her about before. Um, but I also think she's like very competitive too.
[00:36:17] So in tournament it's even more kind of pressured. So yeah, it is something I definitely brought up. I, and I told her that I'm sensitive and like I've been going to therapy and all of that. So I was super open. got it. Did she ask like how she could best support you or do you know like what she could say or what would be helpful for you?
[00:36:36] Well, I actually said, you know, because you are so energetic when we're playing really well, and I'm a little bit more quiet. I said maybe in the times that, you know, we start to go down, maybe I can be that supportive, like person who lifts us up again. Good. That's a great, great solution. And was she open to hearing.
[00:36:56] Oh, yeah. Like super open, um, like super nice. So she was definitely open to hearing that, but again, I think it's just like, she maybe goes into a different mentality or mindset when, uh, it's competition time and maybe I'm not doing so well, so yeah. I just, I get really anxious, you know, when there's like a pressure to perform.
[00:37:14] And some people like my partner, he actually like likes being told, oh, you're not gonna be able to do that. He's like, oh, I'm gonna show you where I I'm the total opposite. If you say that I, I get small and I say, oh, like maybe they're right. You know, I really need that support that you got this, like, come on.
[00:37:33] But again, like now I'm realizing that if I expect this from other people, I should be able to give it to myself. Yeah. So, you know, part of it is, is that reframe right? That you're talking about and, and being able to, to kind of coach yourself along and speak nicely to yourself. And, and it's so much harder to do that in your outside voice to other people right.
[00:37:57] Than it is internally. So what do you think. You need in those moments where, okay. She's maybe you aren't playing you as a team, right. Or not playing well. Um, and she's getting quiet. What do you think you need in those moments either from yourself or from her or both? Well, I think ideally, um, if I was relying on another, like an outside.
[00:38:22] Person, I would want her to continually gimme that support even in the moments that we're not doing so well, like the same support she gives when we're doing well. But I mean, you can't always rely on other people to give you what that you need in that moment. So if I were to rely on me in those moments, I would want to just be able to separate myself because we talked about this last time a little bit, but.
[00:38:43] I really, um, absorb everything everyone else is feeling. So as soon as someone else starts feeling something, I can feel it. And I just need to be able to separate myself from that and be. Okay. Maybe we're not like just being accepting. Maybe I'm not playing so well right now, but the more pressure I put on myself, the worse I'm going to perform.
[00:39:02] So I just need to shake it off. I need to relax and I just like need, I need to have fun. Like I'm honestly there to have fun. I, I don't care if we, we win, you know, I, I wanna learn again, my value. I just wanna play more so that I can learn and be better. OK. So I dunno, I dunno how to separate myself from other people's emotions.
[00:39:23] Yeah. So I think part of it is, is saying exactly that to yourself right before the game. Right. And, and using that as your visualization. Okay. What's my goal. What do I wanna do? How important is winning? Um, what am I here for? And then being able to, when you notice you're being super negative, right? Use those, those reframing techniques thought stopping techniques of, okay.
[00:39:49] Stop. This is not helpful. Um, much harder to do when you're in the midst of, of playing a game. Right. So if you're like playing and you're getting negative, it's, it's really hard to try and implement, Hey, do all of these therapy techniques, right. You know, different, different than if you're, you know, hiking or you're sitting at work where you can take, you know, 30 seconds or whatever to try to reframe.
[00:40:15] So, um, Try the thought stopping piece as far as just like, okay, stop right. Focus on the game. So see what you need. You, you might have to play around with what words work for you. Everybody's different, but you really wanna like, it's that redirect, right. Of, okay. Stop being negative, redirect, focus on the game, focus what I'm doing, you know, focus on what I'm doing.
[00:40:41] Right. Um, you can go back and analyze it later. Okay, right. Um, cuz it it's, I think, especially in a competition situation, right. You're coming in and expecting yourself to be able to implement some of these high level therapy techniques while you're also trying to perform and compete is really tricky.
[00:41:05] Okay. Okay. Yeah. So, um, I think doing some, some. Guided meditation work or visualization work, like imagine yourself playing the game before you play it. So maybe you wanna get there a little bit earlier. Okay. So you can spend like two or three minutes to just, you know, sit in the sand and, and close your eyes and, and take a few minutes to run through like a practice game and, and, um, Get your nerves, you know, and that anxiety calm down a little bit, using your breathing with that visualization.
[00:41:40] And then when you're in it that stop refocus, like, what am I here to do? You know what I mean? Um, I'm here to have fun and we're here to win. Right. Okay. What am I here to do? We're here. So create the mantra. You know, I, um, will often say, um, okay, play hard, play strong. And most importantly, right. And who, you know, whatever person I'm coaching will say and have fun to the point where sometimes it's an eye roll.
[00:42:09] Right. Um, but it's something like that. Creating a mantra, like play hard, play strong, and most importantly have fun. Okay. So. Putting something in where you have this really quick soundbite that can help you refocus. Does that, does that make sense? Mm-hmm yeah, I really like the visualization vis oh my God.
[00:42:28] Visualization part of it. Um, so I'm excited to try that. Yeah. Yeah, because it's it's, I think what'll happen is the more you practice the skills in other areas, especially climbing because you can slow down and really implement your skills. When you're climbing, you'll be able to transfer that to, um, To your game.
[00:42:52] And when you're playing something that's much faster paced and then more competitively true. And with a partner because when you're climbing, I like you're alone on the wall. Whereas when you're playing volleyball, you're relying on your partner and your partner is relying on you. So. There's there's a big difference there too.
[00:43:09] Yeah. And, and more, and you know, like you said, it's, it's a new partnership. You've only, you know, played what once together. Right. So I think, see how this one goes too. And then having those open conversations, like, you know, Hey, this is what I think we did really well. And here's what I think, you know, we, as a team can practice and, you know, um, thank you for saying blah, blah, blah.
[00:43:30] That was super helpful for me. Or, um, Hey, I noticed when you say this. It pumps me up and I feel like, like, I feel in the zone more or, or, you know, what can I do for you? So like, I think having those give and take conversations. Okay. Um, you'll get to know each other a little bit more too. And, and you'll figure out sort of your, your chemistry on the court and you know what I mean, how you feel about it and how you play, you'll be able to, you know, time your game a little bit better.
[00:44:01] Right. So all of those things. Start to, to come into play. It'll give you more thinking time to be able to use the thought stopping and the redirect and the positive talk that positive self-talk um, the more you play play with her, I think. Okay, perfect. Yeah. Thank you. Yeah. It's tomorrow. So I'm happy we're talking about it now.
[00:44:22] Good. Yeah. You, you notice kind of it's all interrelated, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah, no, for sure. There's so many like themes that show up in different ways in my life. I think. right. Exactly. So, so, and then, and this, the more you remember the, the trick for you is gonna be the more you're aware of the different triggers that come up subconsciously and you make them conscious, then you know, that, that how to prepare for that.
[00:44:51] So, you know, you know, walking alone, outside right. Is going to be a trigger. And so the idea ISN. For it to be, not be a trigger. Right. So think of visualize that light switch the trick while you're walking down the street is to bring it down, you know, look around. Am I okay? You know, is there any undesirable folks around that are giving me that, that internal stuff that maybe, maybe I need to take a different path?
[00:45:19] Maybe I need to call a lift or is it something that, that I'm just feeling nervous and I can, I can move past this, right. Okay. Okay. Thank you. Yeah. Yeah. The, I think the fear of death and dying and people that you love. Dying. Right. It's it's all interrelated. It's a different, I've said that a lot today. Um, that's I guess the theme of our session, um, I think a lot of it is, is similar kind of response.
[00:45:52] Right. And, um, sort of the same manifestation of anxiety it's just showing up differently. Does that make sense? Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Okay. how are you doing? So if you were to rate it zero, not at all five worst you've ever felt, where would you be? Um, like a two. Okay. cause you know, after talking about all this stuff, it's still like, it's still a lot, but I feel good for like getting it off my chest, cuz I really like communicating and talking about it and trying to practice some of these, um, skills.
[00:46:29] Um, but yeah, I feel a lot better than. Like half an hour ago when we were in the middle of talking about what makes me anxious. So I feel good. Good. So let's check in with your body. Like, what are you noticing? Give me the laundry. I always say gimme the laundry list and I sound so bossy, please. Um, all the things that you're feeling in your body right now, Well, I actually noticed that my sweaty hands never really like went away.
[00:46:54] They maybe were a little bit less sweaty than before, but I find even last session, they were sweaty the whole time. Yeah. So that, um, and then my heart's not racing anymore. Um, well actually a little bit, but not nearly as much as before. And then. I don't know. Other than that, I feel, I feel good. I feel calm.
[00:47:18] Good. And emotionally, what are you feeling? Not so much thinking, but what are you feeling. Um, well, I actually feel excited because I , I feel excited that we talked about this and now I have like some skills that I can go practice. And I just, I feel more confident for tomorrow too. Like I'm not, I'm not as worried.
[00:47:37] I'm just more looking forward to it now. Um, and I feel, I feel proud. I feel proud that I'm here and just like taking time to, um, learn new skills and just talk about, yeah. What. Sorry. I'm gonna lost for words now. I, yeah, I feel proud. Good. Excellent. So you've got, you know, you've got some new, some, some new skills, right?
[00:48:02] Kind of this, this, you know, next level, um, for you to try out and then keep doing what you've been doing. Notice what works, what doesn't work, what you like, what you don't write. Like I'm glad the, the body keeps the score book is working for you. Um, it it's, it's a. Can be triggering. So, you know, please give yourself permission to either not listen to or read it that day or read less of it for me.
[00:48:30] It's it's I can do about 30 minutes at a time. Um, Then I try and do a little journaling after, which helps me sort of process some of, some of the material. So, you know, take care of yourself if it's, if it's a super anxious day that day, maybe, um, backing off a little bit on the book. Um, but it's a, it's a great one.
[00:48:51] So I'm glad you're, you're picking that up and great work for today and I'll plan to see you next. Thank you so much. All right. Talk to you soon. You.