Watch Along on YouTube
Have you ever wanted to be a fly on the wall for a real therapy session? The wait is over. In this series by 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!
This is the 5th Episode in the series.
Check out the first four episodes here:
If you're struggling with anxiety, episode five is for you. We'll work through breathing and thought stopping techniques, and identify the core beliefs that lead to anxious and intrusive feelings. You'll come away from this episode with useful tools to help you manage your anxiety.
We hope that by sharing Shelby's story, we can help others who are struggling with similar issues.
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!
Find out more about Joelle Maletis:
Learn More About Switch Research:
Disclaimer: Therapy Talks does NOT provide medical services or professional counseling, and it is NOT a substitute for professional medical care.
[00:00:00] I think I need to get out of the mindset of I need to do this right now. And I need to say, you need to go take a 10 minute walk and calm down because in that moment, I'm just so focused on the frustration that I'm not like thinking clearly anymore. And so I think telling myself like, Hey, you should go for a walk so that when you come back in 10 minutes, you're gonna have a better mindset and you're gonna have a better like solution.
[00:00:35] Hey Shelby, how's it going? Good. How are you doing? I'm good. Thank you. It has been, gosh, what, two weeks? Two weeks since you've seen each other. I know last time we had such a short flip, it was only a few days, which was, I think are really interesting. session to, go back and say, oh, I don't know what I have to talk about.
[00:00:57] And then so much unfolded from. And I think it was just really lovely what you came up with. So I'm really curious to find out, okay, now, two weeks later, what's it been like? And what are some of the differences and also what's on your list. I know you have a list of things. I do. I have it right here.
[00:01:16] It's weird, cuz yeah, you usually, I like doing my session two weeks apart. But nothing like major has happened during these two weeks. It's been like overall a really good two weeks. We've had really nice weather and I've been doing lots of activities. So that's been fun. I've had a few days where I've been feeling frustrated for no reason.
[00:01:35] I think when I get tired, I get really like frustrated. I just wanna be alone and just, I get irritated, so the other day, I asked my partner, Hey, is it okay if I just have some alone time? And he like made us dinner and stuff afterwards, so that was nice. But yeah, I just, I think I have a hard time asking, so I was glad that I stepped up and was able to ask for what I needed at the time, but I don't know.
[00:01:57] It's not fun when you're like feeling frustrated on those days, but overall the two weeks have been really good. So got it. So let's definitely put that on our list of things to talk about today. Did you have some other things that. You wanted to touch on, so I could just keep track of it as we're going through our session today.
[00:02:17] I wrote a list of the things that I've been doing technique wise that we've been talking about. And then I wrote a list of the things that I have not been really practicing that maybe I could try practicing just, or maybe things that didn't work for me and things that I prefer more over other techniques.
[00:02:34] Okay. Sounds good. Yeah. So things that I've been practiced. I think my number one technique that I've been enjoying is deep breathing. Okay. And what I I watched a few YouTube videos about it and maybe you'll have more insight cuz I couldn't find a really good tutorial. But basically I think that I was like pushing my lower stomach, like lower belly out too much when I was breathing in.
[00:02:58] And then I read a little bit about it and watched the tutorials and they said that you're not necessarily pushing your stomach out, but it's a little bit more like in your diaphragm. So I've been practicing that and it feels better for me cuz I don't feel like it's so forced, but yeah, I've been practicing deep breathing a lot and every time I get anxious about something, I go back to what you said that one time in our session where I was able to calm myself down.
[00:03:23] So yeah, that I use it as my reference point all the time. But if we could just maybe talk a little bit about like different breathing techniques. I don't know if cause I also saw this thing online and it said don't quote me on this. I'm gonna, I don't remember the exact way that they worded it, but basically say you take deeper breaths, then it's better for digestion.
[00:03:41] Whereas if you're taking like more, a quicker shallower breath say, then it's better for like anxiety. I'm not getting that. I, if you could explain maybe how it works. Sure. Do you, we, do you wanna take a break and work on that first before going on with your list? Okay. Yeah. Okay. I just wanna make sure we I get to everything and we don't forget anything today.
[00:04:03] So yeah, so we, I think we talked about it before, right? Where it's like pushing a big, giant reset button with that fight flight freeze response. And so we have the way our brain chemistry works and then our, and our body typically reacts. And so for some people, they will feel something physically first and then they'll have an emotional response.
[00:04:28] And for other people they'll have an emotional response and then they'll physically feel something. And for some people there's no rhyme or reason to it, they have both experiences just at different times, depending on and what that is. And so the way that our body deals with. Stress frustration, anxiety anything that we're logging in our environment, it doesn't even have to be conscious. Our chemistry changes, our heart rate goes up. And so with breathing, what that does is it helps push this sort of biochemical reset button. Does that make sense? Yeah. Okay. So when with like digestion, the reason why, like that deep belly breathing works is it brings more blood in ox.
[00:05:17] It brings more oxygen into the blood and more blood to those targeted areas. So if it's stomach and digestion, your blood's already gonna pool around your GI. And so what it does is it oxygenates the blood and that helps increase the way the body works or it's functionality.
[00:05:36] So it makes the body more functional. And so it, that's why it like works in all these different areas. So when it comes to anxiety and mental health stuff, it works because it slows down your heart rate brings in more oxygen and it dilutes some of those stress cam chemicals. So all the stuff that makes you go like this, that deep breathing starts to relax the muscles. And it's really just a biochemical response. And so there's a lot of, there's a lot more to it, but just to answer your question, that's why it works up for a bunch of different things. And then there's all different kinds of breathing techniques.
[00:06:15] And so it is some somewhat of a trial and error experience. So if you're like, Hey, I tried a bunch of different things and some work and some don't that makes sense. And. What we notice is that when we're stressed out, frustrated, tired like hangry, we eat too fast. Our breath becomes really shallow.
[00:06:37] And so the more that, that we hold our breathing, the tighter we're gonna hold our muscles. So we have this whole like body or somatic response. Okay. So when you have those deep breaths, it helps you calm down. Does that, and I think I answered your question. Yep. Yep. So yeah.
[00:06:56] How, like how long should I be breathing in and breathing out? Cause I know there's a few different, like ways you can do it, but do you know what's which way is good for what? For example? Yeah. So rule, typical rule of thumb is between three to five breaths. I always say five is, is really.
[00:07:15] Good effectiveness. If you could do a few more than five. Great. So think about Hey, if I could do it five, five times in a row or five to seven times in a row that really is gonna help you reset. And so there's a lot of different techniques. The one I like the best is what we call box breathing, or four by four breathing.
[00:07:35] And basically it's a big belly breath in through your nose. And so one of the tricks is instead of breathing in through your mouth, you actually take in the oxygen through your nose. So it's a big breath and you fill, think about filling your lungs as much as you possibly can. Not so much your belly, cuz that when you have that belly, distends or you stick it out the breath isn't necessarily filling up your lungs.
[00:08:00] And so you're not getting as deep of a breath as you probably can. So filling up the lungs. So you count to four. So 1, 2, 3, 4, and then holding your breath. 1, 2, 3, 4. And then when you breathe out through your mouth. 1, 2, 3, 4, and then you wait. So it's almost like you're holding your breath again.
[00:08:24] 1, 2, 3, 4, you reset and then you do it again. So it's like breathing in, hold, breathing out and then rest. Okay. So two questions about that. What is the difference? Cuz I read breathing in through your nose helps filter the air but what is the difference between breathing out through your nose or out through your mouth and also oh yeah.
[00:08:50] Why the holding? Yeah. So breathing in through your nose it's they call it yoga, breathing or meditative breathing. So breathing in through your nose allows you to fill again it. When we breathe through our mouth, we shorten our breath. And so we don't fill our lungs all the way. So breathing through your nose allows you to completely fill your lungs.
[00:09:12] When you breathe out through your mouth, you're actually pushing out the air. So you're trying to get as much of the air out of your lungs as you possibly can. So think about it like a balloon, right? You fill it up as far as it can go. And then when let it go, or you open it up, you let as much of the air out as you possibly can.
[00:09:30] So that's the nose. In, through the nose, out through the mouth technique is more about lung capacity, instead of, so you're bringing thing with your diaphragm. You're correct. When you say that. But instead of thinking about it from our stomach muscles, we're actually thinking about lung expansion.
[00:09:46] And the reason that we hold is so we're not hyperventilating. Okay. Because then what happens is the more stressed out we are, right? Or the more anxious we are, the faster we're gonna go through that. So the hold is just a built in pause for you to slow down. That's that reset. So breathing in gives you fresh oxygen to your blood, holding your breath, gets your whole body to slow down.
[00:10:10] And what you'll notice is usually after three or four repetitions, You'll start to feel your body relaxed. Like your shoulders will start to relax. You'll probably relax your jaw. Or if you like, I furrow my brows. So like your facial muscles. So all of these little muscle groups, people will say they clenched their fists.
[00:10:29] So you'll notice that your body will start to relax, which is what you're after. And so that's that hold. And then the same thing with the holding at the end is really to try and continue to expel as much breath as you can. Okay. And then starting it over the process. You'll find if it works for you and the more you practice it the slower you can actually go.
[00:10:53] So that 1, 2, 3, 4 may be quick in the beginning, but over time, it'll, you'll really start to slow down. For me personally, I tell myself not necessarily to relax, cuz that can be a triggering word for people. But just, ease ease your shoulder. So hold your breath. It's just okay, ease, just ease everything.
[00:11:14] I close my eyes. Ugh. Ah, and then I, same thing. Ease, just relax my muscles before I take that next breath. And so that's that progressive relaxation that you're building into that? Is that still, I like that one. Yeah. I would say the I'm just writing it down real quick. I think the breathing is my number one that I've been enjoying so far.
[00:11:34] And then the second one is the muscle relaxation. And I try to do it at nighttime because often when I lay down at night, my stomach really hurts and it was crazy. Cuz the other night I was doing it and sometimes I'll start from like my head and go down to my feet. And then other times I was just focused on my stomach and I try to like, literally tell my stomach relax.
[00:11:53] It's all good. Relax your muscles. And I'll sometimes do like a self massage too. And the other night I was in so much pain and I was actually able to. Help with the pain, just from breathing and like visualizing and doing self massage. Oh, good. Yeah. That was, it was pretty crazy. Yeah. I can show you a different one too.
[00:12:13] If you wanna learn a new one. Yeah. Okay. Let's try the breathing before we go on. Just try it. Let's try it a couple of times together to see how that feels for you. Cuz that way, if we need to make an adjustment, we can, before you hang up and , I don't see you for a few weeks okay. So if you think about it, so like breathe in through your nose.
[00:12:32] So I'll count 1, 2, 3, 4, hold 1, 2, 3, 4. Breathe out 2, 3, 4, hold 2, 3, 4, again, 1, 2, 3, 4, relax. 2, 3, 4, breathe out. 2, 3, 4, relax. 2, 3, 4. How's that feel? good. I noticed though I took me a sec because I was breathing in my chest. And so I had to tell myself no, breathe through your diaphragm, yeah. So your chest is so think about filling your lungs. So it should feel like really heavy in, is it near my ribs that I'm supposed to be breathing into? Yeah. Or yeah. Underneath your ribcage? Yeah. Okay. Okay. Yeah. So for me it Fe it's more my PEX, he right in my chest and my sternum here than it is in my belly.
[00:13:32] Okay. Like the middle of your torso area. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. So just like I said, think about feeling that whole space up. And you notice like my body, my posture, my shoulders sometimes will come up with that, which is okay. And then when you relax, you're pushing everything down.
[00:13:48] okay. Yeah. You wanna try it one more time?
[00:13:53] Two, three, hold, breathe out. Yeah. Yeah. I just feel like instantly relax. When I do this technique. Yeah. So three, five times. And I, when I we're talking, I'm making a point to over exaggerate and go ha really loud when you're in, at home by yourself. Try that a few times, because it actually works when you're at the office, you probably don't necessarily wanna do.
[00:14:23] But you can do the same technique at your desk, is just breathe out through your mouth. And then, and you can smile and then do it again. So you can do this anywhere without people realizing what you're doing. Yeah. It's, that's the nice thing about it. Yeah. Cool.
[00:14:39] And I'll be excited to, hear Hey, did that technique work for you? That, like I said, there's a lot of different ones. So if that one is still not you're like, eh, it's okay. It's not better, then there's a couple of other ones we can try. Okay. Perfect. Then the progressive relaxation.
[00:14:55] One, what I would like you to try is to, when you think about the pain, I want you to give it a color and it doesn't matter. Whatever color you want you feel darker colors are or primary colors are easier for people to access green, blue purple, red, yellow. It doesn't matter. So I want you to pick a color and I want you to think about somebody taking a big, giant bucket of green paint, and they've just dubbed it over your head, right?
[00:15:26] From your head. You were just covered head to toe in green paint. And so when you're lying down, I want you to visualize at the bottom of your feet a drain. And so as you go through and you take your breath and you breathe out, I want you to imagine like you being washed clean right from your head all the way down.
[00:15:52] And so as you relax and you say, when you go through that progressive relaxation, right? Relax. So for me, I'm like, relax your forehead, relax your eyebrows, your, your jaw, cuz I CLA right. Your jaw, your chin, your neck. And I might turn my neck. Relax your shoulders, right? Relax your chest. So I go through each right body part, my arms, my elbows, my hands, my wrists, my fingers.
[00:16:19] So I do that. Take a breath, relax my stomach, my hips, my back, my glutes. See what I mean? I go through each body. So as you're going through each piece, I want you to imagine that all of that green paint with all of the pain is just washing down off your body and SWIR and visualize it swirling down the drain.
[00:16:44] So the pain is just gonna leave your body. It makes sense. It becomes that green paint. Yeah. I've never heard this one. It's like visualization with the progressive muscle relaxation. And you can practice it in the shower if you need, like the vis for visual and just Shamp your washing your hair, shampoo your hair and just imagine, right?
[00:17:05] That's all of the stress you said earlier in our meeting, frustration, you can do the same thing, just like all of the, just washing your hair and all of the gross, from working out or whatever it is all of that frustration. And then as it washes away, it's just washing off of you and watch the soap go down the drain.
[00:17:24] So you can do the same kind of progressive meditation is really what it is. And you practice it in the shower and then do that when you are lying down and see if that helps, like move that pain out. Okay. Okay. I like it. Yeah. Thank you. Yeah, you're welcome. Another one that I've been doing more frequently is being nicer to myself.
[00:17:49] For example, if I'm trying something, that I'm, or I'm not succeeding, I'm just kinda like you're learning. It's all good. Take a sec, you'll get it next time. Or you might not. And that's okay. Which also brings me to my next point is about like expectation. I've been trying to like lower my expectation and be like, you shouldn't know how to do this because you've never done it before, or yeah.
[00:18:11] You're still learning. And just talking nicer to myself is another big one for me. Good. How's that? Helping with the perfectionism. Peace. It's good. I like, and like you said, last time, it's not like these feelings are just gonna go away forever. They're still gonna come up. Like today I was feeling frustrated and one thing that I wanna start getting better at is taking a sec and going for a walk for a couple minutes or, like grabbing a glass of water because I just get so stuck and I'm like, I have to do this now I have to do this now.
[00:18:43] Or I'm just gonna go into a panic. It just needs to get done. But I think realizing that if I take a break from it and then come back to it, I'll probably be more efficient, so yeah, I've been more kind to myself, but I need to learn when to walk away and come back to it.
[00:19:00] So what's the message, right? When you're getting frustrated and stuck and you're like, I just need to walk away, but it's hard for me to disengage. Do you have. Yeah, I'm just like, I need to figure this out. I'm very if I need to know something, I'm very, now I need to know it. Now I need to figure it out now, why can't I do this?
[00:19:19] It's almost like a puzzle and I need to solve it and I need to do it right now or else I'm gonna think about it's gonna be on my mind. I feel like if I went for a walk, I'd be thinking about it. Hey, what's the solution. I just wanna know the solution to things. And so then when is it that, do you have the negative thinking when you can't figure it out or if you're not figuring it out fast enough, like when did those negative.
[00:19:44] Messages come in. So yeah, they don't happen right away where they used to last year, they used to happen like almost instantly, but because I've been more kind to myself I've been saying like, okay, take at least an hour or two and try to figure it out. And sometimes I even give myself like a full day, depending on what it is or a few tries.
[00:20:05] And it's when I reach a peak where I feel like I should be getting it by now, it's okay, you've been working at it long enough now you've been so patient with yourself. Why aren't you getting it? And then I start to get hard on myself again. Got it. Okay. So it's, those should statements that really start to creep up.
[00:20:22] You said, oh, you sh you should be getting it by now. So what does that tap into if you don't do it right then. So it says core belief, statements, anytime like that stuff comes in, like those should statements, it's all of those core beliefs. So what do you think that says about you?
[00:20:42] If you don't get it fast enough, then I'm not good enough. I forgot about this one. I forgot about this technique. Yeah. I there's so many, I'm gonna write it down. Okay. If I can't get this that means, that sounds, yeah. Yeah. It's if fill in the blank right then that mean, what does that say about me?
[00:21:07] Okay. So you're like, okay. I, so what you said is I should have gotten this by now. Or I should get this by now. So the fact that you aren't what does that mean? What does that say about you? Maybe that I'm not smart. Okay. And that I'm not good enough. I'm not, I don't have, I don't have talent.
[00:21:25] I don't have skill. Okay. And so then what, so if you're not good enough, you don't have talent. You're not smart enough. You don't have skill then what does that mean? What does that say about you then? I'll never succeed or I'll never be where I wanna be. Okay. And then what, so if you're never, where you wanna be, then what does that mean about you or what I feel like I'm gonna be disappointed in myself.
[00:21:52] Okay. Yeah. So disappointed. Do you feel like you'd be a failure or not necessarily that word. In that task, in that area. Yeah. But not like a failure at life. Okay. So do you feel like that's the, that's the bottom of that, like then you're disappointed or dis or is there something more there if you were disappointed in yourself, then what would that mean?
[00:22:22] What would that say about you? That I'm not good enough. okay. Does that go back to then if I'm not good enough, I'm not lovable or is that not the right thing? I don't think in this instance, cause what I'm thinking. The specific topic I'm thinking of right now is more like work related is more like design and photography related okay.
[00:22:45] So if I'm not good enough, then. I'll never be where I wanna be. Like, I just wanna be a certain, I just wanna keep growing. I won't be accomplished. I won't be taken seriously. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. I'll be embarrassed. Okay. Cause sometimes I look at my old work and I get really embarrassed I'm like, wow. That was really not nice.
[00:23:09] Like why did you do that? And then I tell myself, okay, you are learning like, everyone looks at their old work and probably thinks that it's okay. But yeah. Okay. So yeah. Oh, sorry. Go ahead. No, I was just gonna say so, so then what, okay, so you're embarrassed. Give me like, what's that laundry list.
[00:23:28] Remember making it conscious, helps you use the skills to start getting unstuck. So what else? Embarrassed. Not good enough. Not where you wanna be. Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, I wonder if it goes, did we talk about this? How I went through my values? I don't remember. Okay.
[00:23:48] And I determined that learning was my number one value although I'd still be learning, even if I was technically failing, but I'm trying, what I'm trying to get at is maybe what I, where I, why I get so frustrated is cuz like I'm learning all these things, but I'm not like moving forward, but I am in the grand scheme of things.
[00:24:08] Just not at that moment maybe. So I don't like feeling stuck. I don't like feeling like I'm not progressing basically. Okay. So it's not enough, right? Yeah. Or oh, I know another thing that frustrates me. It's I need help. I'm like, can someone tell me, I just, I need a really good tutorial.
[00:24:26] Like I watch a lot of tutorials. I just, I need sometimes someone to just sit with me and to be like, I'm very like, step one, step two, step three type of person. So I just really need someone to tell me the steps slowly. I need to break everything down so that I really understand. Okay. So I wonder if it's the, do you feel like and I'm not saying in the, in your current job, at, at all, just in general with situations like this, when you're learning something and you're feeling stuck, do you feel like nobody and know that's an extreme statement, right? Nobody's giving me what I need or like I'm not, I'm not deserving of knowing more is there something in there about how you show up in the world?
[00:25:10] I give people a lot of me, but I'm not getting something back or is that not necessarily? No not in, not with this instance. I do feel like that's sometimes in other instances, but not with this one, not with this one. Okay. No, I think I'm just like, yeah, I don't know. I think I'm just like, I feel more, I feel like more new to it, and I have so much like freedom and it's really nice and I'm just like learning as I go, basically. So sometimes I don't always know what I'm doing. Got it. And so then that results in this okay, I don't know what to do. I don't know who to ask. I'm stuck. I don't, like that kind of and then I'm not gonna get where I need to go.
[00:25:52] Do you feel like you're gonna disappoint like your team? Oh yeah. Okay. Yeah, definitely. It's the people pleasing that's coming. Oh yeah. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. I just wanted to feel like the best that it can be, yeah. So it's here's the thing is that if you were in charge of your team, and people were coming to you and they're like, Shelby, I can't get this. I'm really stuck. You probably would give them all the grace in the world. Yeah. But you're not doing that for yourself. So what's that about? Not being patient. Okay. Yeah. The thing is too, if I remember I feel like I always end up figuring it out, I feel like I'm resourceful enough to figure things out and I've been in situations before where I'm like, wow, I'm never gonna get out of this.
[00:26:45] I'm gonna be stuck here forever. And I'm never gonna be able to fill, figure out these colors or, these fonts or whatever it is. And then I figure it out and, sometimes like I was saying, sometimes it's not the best thing ever, but I know I put a lot of effort in and again, continuing to learn.
[00:27:03] So then in line with that value, right? What would be something in the moment that you could get yourself unstuck? To help you switch gears where you're, you can say, okay, I know getting some water, doing some deep breathing, taking a walk. Like I have all of these skills. I know work for me.
[00:27:22] It sounds like it's getting there that sometimes you're getting hung up in. And what would be something you could say to yourself to help you move to a place where you could get unstuck? Yeah. Okay. That's a good question. I think I need to get out of the mindset of I need to do this right now and I need to say, you need to go take a 10 minute walk and calm down because, oh, this was really interesting.
[00:27:48] I think I read it in the book and it basically said that you can't think of two things at once. So if you're feeling frustrated and you're thinking like, oh, I'm so frustrated, I'm never gonna be able to figure that out. You actually can't focus on the solution. So in that moment, I'm just so focused on the frustration that I'm not like thinking clearly anymore.
[00:28:08] And so I think telling myself Hey, you should go for a walk so that when you come back in 10 minutes, you're gonna have a better mindset and you're gonna have a better solution. Okay. That's great. So what would help you remember, like a post-it note on your computer? What, a note on your phone?
[00:28:27] Building in a just a break, like every hour, get up and take five minutes of just do some deep breathing, go to the bathroom, get something to drink, get some fresh air, whatever it is, like how would you. Be best served by that. I don't think, I think the last solution okay.
[00:28:46] Be like giving myself five minutes every hour. Plus I already heard that's actually a really good way to work. Is taking those breaks. Like some people do I don't know, three minutes, every 20 minutes, some people do five minutes every hour. So just maybe testing and playing around with what works for me.
[00:29:02] Cuz yeah, I just get really consumed by it and then which, most of the time it works, but then in the frustrated times then I need a break. Yeah. And then you're stuck. And so that's when that kind of anxious, it's the same muscle as anxiety. So it's that anxious, spinning that starts to happen.
[00:29:20] Yeah. Even just setting, setting your alarm on your phone or your watch or something where. Every 55 minutes it's okay, go get up and get some water and developing the habit. So this is where habitual behavior is really helpful. So you do the same thing all the time, get up, whatever.
[00:29:39] Like for me, it's usually okay, get up, go to the bathroom, wash my hands, get some water, go back and sit down. Like I have this routine that I do, whether I'm in my home office or if I'm in my office, seeing clients, they laugh because it doesn't matter how late, I'm running. I always go to the bathroom, wash my hands, take a few breaths.
[00:30:00] And then I open up the lobby door and I'm like, I'm so sorry. I'm late. And it's just an ongoing thing now. But I do that in between every client. It helps me reset and put things in a box and just say, okay, I'm done with this part. And I'm gonna put that over to the side. And now it's time for me to focus on something else.
[00:30:18] So that kind of ritualistic kind of habit is super helpful in situations like this. So you just get used to doing it that way. When you're feeling frustrated, you start. Go, you gravitate toward, wait a minute. I know the skill I can do this thing. Makes sense. I wanna combine it with stretching.
[00:30:37] I'm just gonna write it down. Perfect. Like five minutes. Every hour to stretch. Yeah. Okay, perfect. Perfect. So I've also been doing a little bit of Pilates for my stomach pain. Yeah. Haven't been doing as much as I want, but about twice a week for 20 minutes. So nothing crazy, but I think it's still good.
[00:30:56] And I read something else about starting a habit is like starting small and being realistic. And I feel like I do a lot of other things. So twice a week is working for me. I've been actually having a lot of stomach pain lately though, like the past three days and like a lot of acne for some reason.
[00:31:12] So I don't know why, but that's been a little bit. yeah, just weird. Have you talked to your primary, just your primary care, your general doctor about it? No I it's weird. Every I'd say once a year I have like worse acne than usual when I was younger, I had really bad acne. And then I went on like Accutane and it went away and now I'm on some more what's it called?
[00:31:36] Not like internal, but the topical . Thank you. Yeah. Yeah. But yeah, so it could have something to do with cycle and hormones and all that, but I dunno. Yeah, I would I always like to make sure everything is. All the organic stuff right. Is okay. And so if you notice, like it's continuing, I would say for another five days or another week or so it would be worth just even if you have, however, you reach your primary doctor just to check in.
[00:32:07] Cuz I always hate to say, oh, if this is behavioral, when if you're having stomach pains, we wanna make sure that's, not behavioral only, we roll. Anything that yeah, it feels different than I think than behavior. Like something more like internal. So that's a good call to check with my doctor for sure.
[00:32:27] Yeah. That I am not, so I don't wanna give, I don't wanna give you medical advice. I'm not a doctor. What's wrong. Oh yeah. And then I was doing a little bit of grounding exercises, but mostly just physical so far. I haven't really gotten into the, what do I see? What do I smell? What do I hear? I've just been focused on like more tactile.
[00:32:50] So that, yeah. If it's working for you, right? The thing about this stuff is if it works, keep doing it until it doesn't work. There's so many techniques. And then you find another one that works. You don't necessarily need to have. Seven different grounding exercises.
[00:33:08] It's too hard to remember, right? Yeah. So find something that works and then just keep doing it until it doesn't work. So if that's working for you right now I would try at night though, I would really try that deep breathing and progressive relaxation in combination, the way we talked about to see if that helps with some of the pain relief.
[00:33:29] Okay. And then during the day, yeah, when you're in your head, we talked about this, I think in the very beginning, right? Remember anything that's tactile in your body? Those deep breaths, fresh air, something cool to drink, taking a walk, washing your face, anything that, that gets you out of your head when you're in your body and you feel like your stomach's hurting, you're holding your muscles really tight.
[00:33:52] You're short of breath going into not why, cuz that'll get you spinning, but okay. What do I need to do next? So really using that method of titrating between your body and your brain and that'll help with that grounding piece. Okay. Okay. It's actually hard to remember to be like, okay, how am I feeling?
[00:34:12] Physically, cause the other day I was tired and I was talking to my partner. I'm like, I'm feeling tired, but I don't even know what I'm feeling in my body. Like, why do I know I'm tired right now? Am I just saying that? And we had a big day, so it makes sense that I was tired and then he go and he was really good at describing it.
[00:34:28] He's my I'm tired. My eyes feel heavy. My muscles feel weak. I don't know. He said a few other things, but I had a hard time, like naming physically how I was feeling, even though I knew like emotionally how I was feeling. Do you feel like in that moment, did you feel numb or did you feel like, I don't mean out of body oh, you're having this out of body experience out of body.
[00:34:50] Meaning there's this disconnect. So some people will say, I feel like I'm watching myself, like in a movie other people will say like I just. I don't feel like I physically don't feel anything. I just feel flat. When I'm tired, I definitely get quiet. I don't really, yeah. I don't feel like the out of body.
[00:35:11] Yeah, a little bit more just neutral, like just, yeah. Tired. Don't really wanna chat, so if, so it's more of the emotional exhaustion with the physical exhaustion. So like your body's tired, but you also become emotionally tired. Yeah. I think I honestly get more emotionally tired than physically tired.
[00:35:29] Yeah, I think cuz I'm so like chatty, I just need sometimes like a minute to just not chat and just be alone. And I never used to be like that when I was younger, but I just feel like every year I get a little bit more okay, I need some time to almost re like just recharge. Yeah. So I think it's, like a lot of times people ask okay, when does that become a problem?
[00:35:51] And so I think. Really what you're tracking is if you're starting to isolate where you're saying like, like not, Hey, I'd some alone time from my partner, which is totally normal where you're withdrawing, where you don't wanna spend time with your partner. It's not just, Hey, I need a few hours or I need a day or whatever to rejuvenate.
[00:36:12] It's that I, I don't wanna be with anybody. That withdrawal. Okay. And the isolation. And so you're looking for something that's more severe where you're noticing you're withdrawing and you don't wanna interact with people. So I think that's when then things like this become an issue.
[00:36:30] So for now it just sounds like you're getting a much, I think steadier handle, on what you need emotionally and physically. And so yeah, as you're getting older and you're doing more therapy, you're learning like it's okay for me to actually take a time out. The sky is not gonna fall, okay. And and then the strength and right. Sort of the self-esteem to be able to do that. Cuz you said it was really hard for you to ask him like, Hey, I just need a little bit of time, but you get 10 gold stars. Cause that is really hard. And so being able to do that and then taking that time and like he didn't get mad, he was lovely made dinner.
[00:37:08] There wasn't a big fight. Like I said, the sky didn't fall. And so going back to those moments of Hey, I asked for a little bit of time. it wasn't an issue. He was lovely about that. I felt better after having that time is, those are good things. And so look at that juxtaposed to, I just wanna pull the covers over my head.
[00:37:30] And not get out of bed for a day or two. Then we go, all right, wait a minute. Is it exhaustion or is it something different? Okay. I'm glad you told me like the signs to look for, cuz I don't feel like that's where I'm at all. Yeah. And so now that like you're framing it in a more positive way than I was in my head.
[00:37:48] I think that I'm like, oh, okay. Yeah, this is totally normal. And okay. Cuz it's not like I'm isolating, I just need an hour alone for once in a while. Yeah. OK. Yeah. And it's, especially when you. You live with your partner, right? Or you have roommates or whatever, there's times where you're like, I just need some quiet time and it has nothing to do with the quality people always say, does that mean my relationship is bad?
[00:38:12] It's no, not at all. It has nothing to do with the quality of your relationship or anything about you or your partner. It's just when we're with people all the time. We need some quiet time and that's healthy to rejuvenate those aren't bad things at all. And so there is a little bit of research.
[00:38:30] It's interesting about if you're. In more introverted that alone time helps you rejuvenate. And if you're more extroverted being around, people helps you rejuvenate. And it's not uncommon for partners to have just have different ways. And so part of it is just learning what you need for yourself.
[00:38:49] And you might have a little bit of each where sometimes you feel super energized being with people and other times you're like, I just need it quiet, it's weird cuz I, I feel en like I'm definitely more extroverted, but I feel more energized. Like I feel energized when I'm with friends and with people, but then after I hit that kind of wall where I'm tired and I just need time for myself, to just not chat at all.
[00:39:13] So it's I don't know if I'm in the middle or yeah. And it's totally normal. And so I think you did a great job of being able to say, Hey, this is what I need. And then taking a little space and the gold star moments are when you did that for yourself that's the huge piece.
[00:39:31] And I joke with, Hey, the sky didn't fall, but for me, that's the measure, right? It's cuz if the sky's gonna fall, I have a really big problem. And I need to do something about that. So sometimes it, it feels like that though. It feels like it's so big, the sky's gonna fall.
[00:39:46] And so sometimes that's a really good way to build perspective of, it's hard for me to ask. And so even just naming that, Hey honey, it's really hard for me to ask. I'm really exhausted. And I wouldn't mind. Lying down, reading a, or just going and reading a book or taking a walk and then the trick is coming back.
[00:40:06] And saying, could we check in an hour or, Hey, could we have dinner together and watch a movie? So the other person on the other end of that relationship, whether it's work, it's romantic, it's a boss. Isn't feeling like I did something wrong. So you book your book ending, right?
[00:40:22] Hey, I need this thing and not, but. I this other part of us and me is important too. Okay. Yeah. So good job with that. Thank you. It's so funny cuz I forget that it's oh, that is good. So thanks for finding that out. Okay. But, so you mentioned the out of body experience part and I find when I'm sleeping at night and this happens like almost every night I go to say scratch my arm or like I move my body and it doesn't feel like it's me so I don't know what that's about, but it scares me sometimes.
[00:40:57] Cuz I'm like, like what's hot. Why am I like tripping like this? You know what I mean? And I don't know if it's maybe because I'm about to fall asleep. So maybe I'm a little bit more in like a kind of trance, but have you heard of that before? Yeah. Do you feel like do you try and move your body and you can't like, do you feel like you're.
[00:41:15] Paralyzed in it. Not really paralyzed cuz I can still move it, but it feels numb. Like it feels like it's not really my leg, like my leg or my arm isn't attached to my body or it's not me scratching. Okay. And is it only when you fall asleep or do you notice, like if you wake up in the middle of the night, it happens then?
[00:41:34] No, I think it's only when I fall asleep, cuz I'm a pretty sound sleeper. If I wake up in the middle of the night, I'm, I can fall asleep right away, but I did have it happen one time. And now I'm wondering actually if my iron levels are low because I had it one time when I was working and it was during the day and I felt like completely, I was in a dream.
[00:41:52] I just didn't feel like me if I like touched my arm it didn't feel like I was the one doing that. So yeah. Maybe I should get my iron checked. Yeah. I mean it could, that's what I'm saying. Like the organic, like it's I think it's worth talking to. Your medical doctor first, just to make sure everything is copacetic and going the way it's supposed to before we say maybe there's something more behavioral.
[00:42:16] It could be some sleep stuff. And it's part of just how your brain processes in those moments. It could be, like you said, like there could be some medical stuff, iron vitamin D electrolytes, if you're dehydrated, there, there might be more of a medical explanation. And your doctor would be the one to address that.
[00:42:34] It also could be some trauma stuff about falling asleep. If I think what would be really helpful is to just keep a log when you notice that's happening. So with try that progressive relaxation and then. See if it happens, cuz I'd be really curious to know if it happens without that progressive relaxation, but when you're, cuz that progressive, relaxation's all about being in your body.
[00:43:01] And even if you don't finish the exercise, if you fall asleep before it, before you finish, it's fine. So I'd be curious to know if you don't notice it when you're doing the relaxation. And you do notice it when you're not doing the relaxation. That is right. So I think we need a little bit more information.
[00:43:21] But yeah. Okay. okay. So yeah. Cool. It's have you ever felt like you tripped or you fall when you're starting to fall asleep? have you had that experience? Yeah, I know. Yeah. I have had that. That's the, and I actually jolt, like I'll actually move my body. Yeah. Some people have it pretty regularly and other people have never experienced it and they have no explanation for why some people do that.
[00:43:48] And other people don't. So it could be something like that where that's just sort of part of your starting your REM pattern. That's why I'm saying, I'd be curious to know if that progressively relaxation piece keeps you in your body when you're starting to fall asleep. Yeah. Okay. Even the other day, because I'm scared of Heights.
[00:44:09] We were watching a movie and this girl was like on a beam and she was like scared to fall. And I thought I fell and I like jolted forward. My partner was like, are you okay? I'm like, I just picturing him fall pictured falling, cuz you know, I'm like empathetic. So I just picture myself in that person's shoes.
[00:44:26] And then I pictured falling and it was so scary. you were in the Mo like you were really in it. Yeah, I was in it. I was invested. It's so weird. yeah, I think too, like one of the things I've loved about our sessions too, is just like the realization that not everything is weird or wrong or abnormal. Like a lot of times it's yeah. This is just who Shelby at. This is who you are. There's nothing actually wrong, there's little things that we're doing to fine tune some of it. Yeah. And so keeping that too in your focus. yeah, you were just totally invested in the movie, whether it was really good or you were just for whatever reason in it we don't have to pathologize that and say, oh, that means that there's this thing, yeah. Cuz sometimes I do find it hard to differentiate okay, is this just like natural, normal? Or is this weird? Yeah. Yeah. So the pathology piece is when you notice there's a pattern and it's interfering with your daily life and living. So if you said to me, yeah, I did that. And then I didn't sleep for two days and now I'm afraid to go climb.
[00:45:38] Then I go, okay let's take a look at that. So when it's really interfering with your quality of living. That's when it's okay, this is a problem. Whether it's a little problem or a big problem, that's really what you're looking for is it happening often enough where it makes me unhappy or it's interfering with my quality of life?
[00:45:57] Kay. Kay. I like that as a reference. Yeah. Awesome. Cool. I feel like we talked about the frustration, but is there more there that we should take a look at today? I don't know how an hour always goes by so fast also. it's so crazy. What okay. Anything else about frustration? Actually I remembered what you said, which is nice.
[00:46:23] Like when I was climbing yesterday, there was a climb I could do. And I noticed I got a little bit frustrated and I just remember what you said. You said, like this isn't gonna. Completely disappear. It's just how quickly you can overcome it. And so then I was like, okay, what do I gotta do right now to overcome this?
[00:46:39] So then I talked to my friend about it and like she told me she gets frustrated too. And then I felt better. And then not cause I want to get frustrated, but just because to know it's a natural part of life. And then I took a few minutes and then my partner gave me some feedback on what to do.
[00:46:54] And then I tried again and I had the expectation of it's okay. If you don't get this that's what I told myself. And then I did it and then I had a really good session the rest of the day. So yeah, another gold, another 10 gold star moment. Excellent. Very good. Yeah. And for you, that validation, right?
[00:47:12] That ex external validation from your friend is so helpful in those moments where I know I'm not I know I'm having an emotional reaction. I just need some help, like processing that in this moment to move forward. The more you know about that, the easier it is to tell your partner too Hey, this would be helpful for me in these moments.
[00:47:33] Okay. That way, if you don't have a friend there, you're able to give him some instruction of, this would be really helpful for me when you notice that I'm getting frustrated. Or if I'm visibly frustrated and I'm articulating that, like this was what would be helpful is that kind of problem solving and validation.
[00:47:52] Cuz I seem to be able to reset pretty quickly and get over it. Try the same technique with work stuff. See if it works right with like, all right, I know I can do this. I'm just frustrated. I'm gonna take a break. I wonder if you own it a little bit, if that'll help you. Okay. Re do you push that reset button?
[00:48:13] Like when you were climbing and that's such a huge milestone too. I'm not trying to be dismissive, like that's awesome. Cause you said, the climbing thing has been a big deal for you. Yeah. Yeah. I've also been trying to use eye statements and they're hard. I'm like, oh my God, how can I reword this to not use the word you so hard?
[00:48:35] Yeah. But cool. Like it makes cuz because it also makes you think, so it makes you pause to be like, oh, should I even say this? Is this, and how can I say it in a polite way? Yeah. So it's so hard. It and all of this stuff. That's that, to me, I think when I'm trying to practice this stuff, it makes me the most frustrated.
[00:48:59] it's so simple. The concepts are so simple and it is not easy. If it were that easy, then you would be able to do it. We all would be able to do it. It, and so to me, that's frustrating when it's I see what I'm supposed to do and I can't do it. So sometimes just little mantras like that, of okay, it's simple.
[00:49:21] I understand it. It is not easy. So I need to give myself a break and try it again. Or come back to it or whatever. Do you think it's not easy because we've built a habit over X amount of years or because emotions are just so strong. Both. I think it's, we learn habits from. The time we're born.
[00:49:40] And so some of it is stuff you've been doing longer than you've had words for. And the older you get, the more you start to understand your patterns. But it's stuff you've been doing forever and other things are things you've learned to cope. And so part of it is why would we get rid of things that we use to cope to make us feel better?
[00:50:02] We wouldn't, that, that doesn't make any sense. And so we have to learn the new coping strategy before we can be willing to get rid of the one that we know doesn't work, cuz that's easier. It's easier to do something that makes me feel better. Even though I know that's not super healthy, Okay then it is to keep failing at trying to learn something new because eventually I'll get it right.
[00:50:25] But in the moment it doesn't feel like that. And it's uncomfortable. It's physically uncomfortable. It's emotionally uncomfortable. So then why would I do that? So I think some of it is self-preservation right. It's just the way that the human brain works and it gets in her way, all the. Yeah.
[00:50:41] Yeah. That, and that was another thing that you said that I always think of too, is, when I'm worried about something, and walking down the street or whatever, I keep remembering the fact that you said this has kept you alive this far. And then it makes me realize like, oh, wait a second.
[00:50:55] I'm not like crazy. Or I'm not, overboard. I'm literally just trying to protect myself. I'm like, and that's okay. So it's just like the acceptance of, this has kept me alive and I'm just, yeah. Trying to be safe, do you feel like that helps calm down in those moments or.
[00:51:12] Yeah. Yeah. Cuz because not only was I in a panic, but I was also judging myself. I was also like you, why do you feel this way? You shouldn't feel this way et cetera. But now after you said that I'm like more accepting of it. I'm like, oh, of course you're gonna feel that way. And I'm, and then I can let, at least that part go. Yeah. And the goal is the same thing with the climbing. Is it? It's not that it's gonna just disappear or not ever be there again. And you wouldn't want that, because it is what keeps you safe. The goal is that it doesn't happen either as often or with the same kind of intensity and that you're able to redirect it.
[00:51:48] Oh, there it is. No, I think I'm okay now. And I keep walking or I look around and I'm like, Nope, I probably should call an Uber. Like those decision points. And so it doesn't it's not that it just goes away. It's that you don't feel like it owns you. I like it. And my partner always looks at me.
[00:52:06] He goes, dimer switch. Shall we dimer switch? Like you talked about , he's so funny. He literally always says therapy terms now. Cause I tell him like all these new terms and stuff. I love it. That's adorable. Yeah. You're doing awesome. Yeah, this just really great work. And then keep a, if you wouldn't mind, keep a log of the times where you're like, I did this really well.
[00:52:32] And then the time where I didn't do this well at all. And then. What like what was going on emotionally or what were my thoughts around that? Or those should statements. And let's see if we can keep paying at that and cuz I feel like that's working really well for you. How do you feel about it?
[00:52:50] No, that's a great idea. I'm glad that you mentioned that. I like it a lot. Yeah. Okay. And you feel like this has been going okay and yeah, no, I was just gonna say thank you so much for all your help. I feel like I've learned tons of techniques and I've been able to put them into practice and see what works for me and I have a list now of like I mentioned, breathing is my number one and then I liked the muscle relaxation, et cetera.
[00:53:14] So yeah. Thank you for teaching me all these techniques. Of course. Yeah. And don't be shy if there's something that you're like, okay Joe, no, I don't want you to do that again. Or I wanna do this. Like you're not hurting my feelings. If there's something that you want to make sure that we are at least having that conversation.
[00:53:31] So I don't know how to do it. I can at least direct you to, to the resources or somebody that can too. So that's an important part of the process. Thank you so much. No, I'm very happy with everything. Cool. I will see you in a few weeks or next week. I think I'll see you next week. Okay.