How do you talk to yourself? Are you as kind and understanding of yourself as you are to everyone else? We know that our thoughts lead to our emotions, but what if you could change your thoughts before they had a chance to impact the way you feel? The conversations you have with your inner jury are the most important conversations you have, and the way you talk to yourself can help or hurt you as you deal with all of the emotions, including anxiety and depression and especially in the current climate of COVID-19. My guest today is full of valuable advice to help you thrive through this difficult time and to recognize the power of truly feeling all of your emotions. I’m joined by cognitive behavioral therapist and host of the Your Anxiety Toolkit podcast, Kimberley Quinlan, to talk about refining your inner voice, celebrating your emotions, and how to recognize if you have anxiety or depression or if you’re just feeling stressed out with all that life is throwing at you.
Today we discuss —
Understanding the thoughts that lead to anxiety and depression
- Errors in our thinking about how we exist in our lives include irrational thoughts about the world and include black and white thinking such as “I have to be perfect” or “I am a fool.”
- Errors in our thinking about our sense of coping, such as “I can’t handle this” or “I won’t survive this,” often lead to depression.
- Your thoughts have a great impact on your emotions, but you can control their power by addressing the things that you do have control over.
Correcting your self-talk
- Use power statements such as “I will do the best with what I have” or “I will use this opportunity to master what I’m going through.”
- Using a compassionate and understanding tone with yourself will make a huge difference in the outcome of an experience.
- Being self-critical is demotivating, not inspiring.
- Employ a “kind coach” to validate your pain and encourage you, along the way.
- Remember specific instances of difficult experiences you’ve thrived through to help you thrive again.
- Recognize the difficulty of experiences to help correct your thinking about current challenges.
- Little tweaks in the tone you use with yourself can make a huge difference in how you experience your day.
Celebrating all of the emotions
- Fight, flight, or freeze is a natural response to stress and anxiety, but you have to keep each of them in check in order to keep moving forward.
- Fear and sadness are celebrated emotions that encourage safety and connectedness to others, but anxiety addresses not only dangers but the possibility of dangers in everyday situations.
- If we don’t experience the hard emotions we can’t truly celebrate the positive ones.
- There is a lot of loss associated with COVID-19 and it’s essential to experience the grief.
- Don’t disregard your feelings, rather accept what is and validate what is happening for you right now.
- Our brains are malleable and reversible, which means we can change our brains to think better thoughts than they naturally tend to.
- Mindfulness means being present and aware in this moment without judgment.
- Petting your cat or taking a shower are examples of valuable mindfulness.
- Quality interactions come from genuine connections.
- If you can’t make connections with loved ones, find connections by being mindful and present in this moment.
Kimberley’s book recommendation is How to Love (Mindfulness Essentials),
by Thich Nhat Hanh.
Kimberley’s song choice is “True Colors,” by Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick
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