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Welcome to My Therapist Sez, an interactive experience enriching your most important relationships. I’m Don Welch. I’ll be your host and moderator as we present overcoming anxiety and depression.
Each of us experiences daily anxiety often leading to some level of depression. For instance, your bills are greater than your income or you have no choice but to take time off work to care for an ailing parent or child. Or your job is not going well and you’re anxious and whisper to yourself, “I believe I’m about to lose my job and I don’t know what to do about it.”
These are only a few examples of anxiety-filled situations preventing you from enjoying the peace and joy God intended. Anxiety is anticipating an uncomfortable life event. For example, anticipating the loss of your job, as mentioned. That is anxiety producing. Left without any way to resolve this anxiety, depression typically follows. Your emotions may scream, yes, I’m anxious about my possible job loss, however, I’m also depressed wondering if and when I lose my job, can I get another one?
Although, you may have never lost a job and hopefully you won’t in the future, the feeling of life without control or having a voice is common for most of us. Similar to losing your job, typically creating anxiety and depression. Managing anxiety and depression is a necessary life skill however. Throughout the Bible, God speaks of his peace as the true antidote for overcoming anxiety and depression.
In the Bible’s New Testament gospels, Jesus often refers to receiving his peace as the way to counter anxiety. Simply stated, peace encourages self-regulation, where we respond rather than react. While unhealthy anxiety management often induces or increases self-medicating behaviors like overeating, overspending, drug abuse, or impulsive anger while reacting to family, colleagues and friends.
During this broadcast, I’m joined by Dr. Julie Hayden, a licensed psychologist, Executive Director of Rhombus, clinical director at Genesis Recovery and psychology professor at the Graduate School of Behavioral Sciences in Southern California Seminary. In a few moments, Dr. Hayden and I will respond to your questions and hopefully provide you with practical anxiety and depression management skill application. Today’s event takes place before a live audience and live streaming while offering practical biblical solutions. It’s like having your own Christian mental health relationship doctor within the comforts of your living room.
I hope you will sit back, relax and take in these life changing insights. Please join me as we connect with a live audience in My Therapist Sez.
Again, thank you for being here at My Therapist Sez. Dr. Julie Hayden, welcome. So glad that you’re here as you present. Would you join me in welcoming Dr. Julie Hayden?
Dr. Julie Hayden:
Thank you. I’m very glad to be here. I’m excited to present on this topic, because as we will discover, and many of you know, it is something very common to many, many people and to Christians as well. I look forward to this. It will be an adventure because we could probably spend days or weeks discussing this topic and we’re going to try to fit it in a very short period of time. I’ve very carefully chosen some of the most important information I want to share to get right down to some tools that you can use when you leave. That’ll be my goal.
I’m going to go over some information at the beginning. As I’m going over this information, remember, you can go back and watch the video. If I go quickly, we’ll try to build a context and kind of speed through some information to get to the end where you have some tools and we can have time for questions. First, let’s just take a broad look at anxiety and depression and what we’re talking about. As Dr. Welsh has already discussed, they’re combined together often, sometimes anxiety leads to depression. Sometimes a symptom of depression is anxiety.
Very often, they can be intertwined. Sometimes they are separated. Every person might experience it a little bit different. This is just some broad topics that might … or symptoms that might be there that we would call anxiety or depression. Physical symptoms, you might have increased heart rate, you might start sweating, you might have a tight chest or difficulty of breathing. Sometimes people describe it as if you’re going to jump out of your skin. It’s a very uncomfortable physical feeling. You might seem like you’re on edge or hyper vigilant will be a fun word to use there.
You might have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, muscle tension, you might not even realize until somebody says, “Relax”, and you’re like, tense. You don’t even know how much you’re storing this tension in your body. Then of course, the racing thoughts. Sometimes people just describe it as they’re just coming 100 miles an hour, maybe you’re playing something through 10 different ways again and again. You’re just filled with thoughts often of worry and fear and what might happen and what if.
Depression is something that could be intertwined with the anxiety but also very different in that you might have persistent sadness, you might have lack of energy, motivation, you don’t want to get up, you don’t want to face the day. You might have increased or decreased sleep. You might have irritability or anger. What’s interesting about this is you’ll see in children or men when they’re depressed, they’ll be angry. Or when they’re depressed, for kids, they might be irritable so it doesn’t have to be sadness.
You might have hopelessness or helplessness or you feel like there’s no hope in the world, there’s nothing you can do to change your situation. You might have appetite changes where you eat too much or too little and then therefore gain weight or lose weight. These are some of the broad symptoms you might see with depression. I forgot one that’s very important, you might not be able to enjoy things you used to enjoy. That’s a sign that something is leading in the direction of depression.
When we continue on with anxiety and depression, I just want you to know if you have experienced this or you have loved ones that have experienced this, you’re not alone. It’s a huge problem in the United States. Just looking at anxiety, it’s the most common mental illness in the US affecting 40 million, which is 18% of the adult population. Also, only one-third of those with anxiety disorders actually seek help and receive treatment for it. Women are 60% more likely than men to have some form of anxiety disorder.
Anxiety affects one in eight children, so high statistics there as well. Nearly half of those diagnosed with an anxiety disorder also diagnosed with depression. They are connected. With depression, 16.1 million adults, which is 6.7%, of the population and remember, this is diagnosed, this is not all the people that don’t actually seek help to get diagnosed. Adolescents aged 12 to 17, 12.5%, have some form of depressive episode in 2015. Women are 70% more likely to have depression than men as well. The statistics show this is a huge problem in the US.
We’re going to look at three different factors but if you’ve attended My Therapist Sez, you know these are all intertwined. There used to be the debate of is it biology, is it nature or is it nurture your environment, and we know it is connected. You can’t separate these. There’s never a time your biology, your brain chemicals or your physical development is separate from your environment, they are always together. We also know as Christians, you can’t separate our spiritual side from our body while we’re here on Earth.
All three of these factors are intertwined and affect each other. We’re going to look at them separately, but it’s important to remember them. The first one’s environment. There’s many environmental factors that can influence you having anxiety or depression. I’m just targeting three of the most common. One is trauma, very specific trauma as a child. If somebody experiences parents going through divorce or abuse or domestic violence or a parent with an addiction, like alcoholism or drugs. If there’s some other kind of traumatic loss or experience as a child, how that brain develops, it’s more likely that person will struggle with anxiety and depression later on.
Also modeling, modeling is the most powerful way we learn. We watch our parents and we copy. A lot of times, when parents are struggling with anxiety and depression, you’ll see the children also. We’ll look at biology and there’s also a genetic link. Modeling is very powerful. If you hear your mom every day, talking about how negative the world is and what did I do to deserve this? It will impact you and you might have the same language as you grow up into adulthood.
Then rewards, if you’re looking at how you learn, a lot of times, what you’re rewarded for, you keep doing. A lot of times, some negative comes you turn and you go a different direction. In this natural process of how we learn, sometimes there are rewards for anxiety and depression. Nobody wants somebody to ask them what good comes from anxiety and depression because we know the negatives, intimately. How it makes us feel, how difficult it is every day to experience this and go through life.
When anxiety and depression is severe, it’s very largely negative. The only thing is sometimes there’s a positive, a benefit. If you don’t recognize it, it can be very powerful in actually increasing the anxiety and depression. An example of a reward might be people’s attention or care. Maybe nobody shows up and talks to you, unless something like this is happening and they want to comfort you. There may be basically like side effect of a reward that you appreciate. Sometimes, there’s times where because of background, you feel like you don’t deserve good. When something negative is happening, when you have depression or anxiety, you actually feel more comfortable than if things were going good and you’re healthy.
It doesn’t make sense sometimes, but it’s still powerful motivator. You may feel you deserve to stay stuck in depression and anxiety. There’s these rewards we need to pay attention that may be actually increasing or continuing our anxiety and depression. Next is biology. We can go on for a long time. Anxiety and depression is extremely biological. It’s in our brain. It’s in our body. Bottom line is if you feel a mood, there is a chemical reaction. There’s a neurotransmitter from the brain telling you to feel sad, or happy, or whatever. It is a chemical reaction.
The important part is even though it is biology, we can influence it by what we do in our environment and the changes that we make and in our spiritual life, so we can influence it. It’s good to know it’s very much biological. There’s a couple key areas where this is showing in our biology. We can flip these later in tools to actually help us decrease anxiety and depression. The sympathetic nervous system is what we call the fight or flight response. If there’s something dangerous happening, our body kicks into gear to protect us.
Usually, there’s a real threat and so you are pumped full of adrenaline, you’re pumped again later full of cortisol, which is the stress hormone and it’s meant to protect you. You have the resources that you need to fight somebody or run away superfast. This can be a good response. The problem is sometimes we activate this response for everything, Starbucks is closed. I woke up and I don’t have my hairbrush. Whatever it is, we can activate the stress response and it impacts us. This is definitely common if you had trauma as a child and you’re used to that stress response always being activated, because the stress is always there.
As an adult, it may be more comfortable to stay always stressed, activating the system. Problem is it turns off your immune system and turns off your digestive system. You’re going to have health consequences, which is where we see some of the impacts of anxiety and depression. Also, it turns off your prefrontal cortex, which is your good thinking brain, which is problem solving skills, impulse control, it is the ability to see consequences for your behavior. If your stress response is activated, you’re not using your good thinking brain.
This is a very biological aspect of anxiety that you can see how important it is. We’re going to actually learn a tool to flip it, to turn it off so that you don’t have these negative consequences. Depression, bottom line is it’s a neurotransmitter also. Serotonin is largely implicated but there are some other neurotransmitters. That’s why medication can work for anxiety and depression. Doesn’t mean it solves the problem all the time. It may just give you a break. It may just remind you there’s another way to feel, but it is why it works is because it’s very much a neurotransmitter implicated in both of these anxiety and depression.
There is a genetic component. We can see this in families. If you had two biological parents with some form of mood disorder, you have a higher chance you will have this also. When they do these studies, they use twin studies, and they use twins raised in different environments to kind of see, okay, is this really genetic? Absolutely not a gene, it just is a higher propensity, a higher likelihood. They say it’s a genetic predisposition. Also, people just naturally have a temperament. Some of you may have children that it seems like right when they’re two years old, or five years old, they seem like they view life negatively. It seems to come natural just part of their personality.
Some of us naturally might have a personality that lends itself to thinking negatively or seeing the negative out of life. Also, outside medication and different kinds of substances can increase depression. Medication side effect might actually be depression. Also, alcohol or other depressant type substances can increase depression as a biological side. Spiritual factors, we know this. I’m going to go through quickly. We’re in a fallen world. Once Adam sinned and sin entered the world. We’re cursed. The world is cursed. Our bodies are cursed. They’re falling apart.
We have diseases. We have chemical imbalances. A part of what’s happening is always the impact of sin. It doesn’t have to be my sin cause anxiety. It could be sin in the world, because we are cursed is one big factor of why we struggle with all of these in the first place. We also have satanic influences. Somehow, there’s a real spiritual war happening every day. We don’t always know what this looks like, but we do know it exists. We also know we have a sin nature. We have a battle inside us every day where just our natural drive to do evil is in us and it’s always fighting the Holy Spirit, who has ultimate power to conquer any of this, but it’s yield into the Holy Spirit. We have this battle this war inside us that’s happening. That’s a huge factor as well.
Biblical perspective, the reason I want to share this real quick is because I think one key thing you can do to change anxiety and depression is have a biblical worldview. Because in our society, a popular concept is that you deserve to be happy. Go get it. You deserve to be happy. Even in the Christian community, it’s do this checklist, all that God wants you to do and you’ll be happy. That’s nowhere in scripture. We can have joy under trials. If you take time to look at this later, bottom line is what we can expect out of this world is suffering.
If you go into the world or wake up in the morning in the world and you know sufferings coming, get your armor God on, get ready for it. Here it goes. It’s a part of every day. You might have negative things happen, you might have suffering, and there’s purpose for it, and good will come out of it, and God will use it. That’s completely different than if you’re sitting there in the morning like what is wrong with me? Why have I done all my Christian checklist and I have anxiety? What is wrong? That can actually increase and fuel anxiety and depression.
A biblical perspective that it’s okay to suffer, good things can come from it. It can create perseverance in you. It can create you to be a person ready for whatever God has planned for you in the future. Just to take a tangent for a moment, there are some great people and leaders that have come within our society. First one comes to mind is Abraham Lincoln, who struggled with depression. Some would say bipolar, definitely times of being suicidal. He would describe it that it made him a wonderful leader because he was intimate with pain. When all the charismatic leaders would back down with resistance, he’s like, “I know this, I don’t have to fear it,” and he could walk through it.
Pain didn’t have to stop him. He can do what he believed he needed to do without being stopped by a feeling like depression. That type of thing is important to remember that even if you don’t have relief from anxiety and depression, you can still do amazing things in life. Hopefully, we’ll have relief, but it’s important to remember.
Okay, let’s dive into what to do. There’s targeted changes. I’m going to go through these quickly and I’m just going to list what to go home and try. Number one attitude. Okay, we’re going to look at attitude. With attitude, just remember, you can go ahead and flip the slide. Just remember with attitude, you have more influence over than you realize. When you wake up in the morning and it just comes to you naturally to be overwhelmed or grouchy, sometimes with anxiety and depression, if the person is miserable, everybody else is going to be miserable too. It’s just a side effect of it.
If you deal with this in the family, you know this. Nobody’s wanting to impact everybody around them, but it’s happening. Attitude is a big part of that. A tangible tool is gratefulness. If you wake up first thing in the morning and you just desperately list all of the things that you’re grateful for, it changes your mood slightly. It may not be something drastic at the beginning, but I’ve watched people be transformed just by that simple at time of listing what they’re grateful for in the morning. Also, if later on in the day, you just have these moments of life is doomed. Stop. I don’t care if you feel it or not list, list everything that you’re grateful for that you appreciate that you have better than you could have that you have what you don’t deserve.
Be stubborn with your attitude. It may seem difficult, but try it. Go to the bathroom, look at yourself in the mirror and slap your face and say, “Come on, pull it together, knock it off. You do not need to be so grouchy. Stop it. You could do this. You could do this.” Talk to yourself. Cheer yourself. Try to take more initiative, that stubbornness, hopefully, if you have that stubbornness, use it for this and try to improve your outlook on life right at the beginning of the day. Your attitude, so gratefulness and be stubborn.
I’m going to skip the fear one and we might be able to come back to it but let’s move on. Emotions, how you feel. Don’t be scared of them and don’t trust them. Two important sides of this. Ready? You don’t have to be scared of it. What I’ve seen with people with anxiety especially sometimes depression, it’s so overwhelming, they’ll do anything to make it stop. If you are desperate to make the feeling stop, you’re already trapped. You don’t have to fear it. This is going to seem scary to those that truly have severe anxiety especially.
If you were trapped feeling that feeling from head to toe and you couldn’t get out of it for 10 minutes straight, do you know what would happen? Nothing. It can’t hurt you in and of itself. That may seem simple, but I’ve seen it be powerful when people recognize that. It can’t hurt you in and of itself. It will just feel awful. It will feel terrible and I wouldn’t want you to feel it. If you felt it, it can’t hurt you in and of itself. There may be slim times where it’s something like a true heart attack, so I don’t want you to not consider it, if there’s some kind of physical problem there.
Just the feeling in and of itself is a sensation that comes and goes. It’s a chemical reaction. Don’t be scared of it. If you can sit with it and go through it, get to know it, learn about it, you’re going to be demystified by it and it might be a little bit more to easily handle … you may be able to handle it a little bit more easily.
Don’t trust it. What I mean by this is try to bring truth to your emotions. Just because you feel jealous doesn’t mean your partner cheated on you. Just because you feel miserable and that you’re worthless doesn’t mean you are. Try to bring truth to it. If you’re a believer, you can bring biblical truth to it. If you have a strong feeling, judge it. Is this accurate? Are my emotions true? I put the reference to Jeremiah reminding that our heart is deceitful above all things. We should not just jump and trust every feeling and emotion we have, judge it with truth, look for evidence for it.
Next would be thoughts. If there’s any one key thing you can change, this is it and I’ll teach you how to do it. Bottom line is thoughts, how we interpret things, how we look at people, the judgments we make. This impacts us greatly, our emotions and our behaviors. I do believe it’s possible to control your thoughts, but it will seem impossible. One reason I believe it’s possible is because Christ told us to do it. In scripture, we’re told to keep our thoughts captive and we’re told what to think on.
I believe it’s possible. I’ll tell you how I’ve seen it work for people to gain more ability to control their thoughts. The first step, if you were going to try this, try to take control of your thoughts, especially if they’re negative or filled with worry. First thing, maybe one or two weeks, pay attention to your thoughts more, think about your thinking is what I say. If you make a judgment, what am I thinking? Oh, interesting. That’s what I’m thinking. Everything you do. Think about your thoughts.
What judgments are you making about people? How are you interpreting situations? Just pay attention to what you’re thinking. Say that goes one or two weeks. Then, you move into bringing in a question. How else can I think about this? You practice this. If you’re going to change something you’ve been doing for years, it’s going to take a long time and practice. For another couple weeks, you’re thinking about your thoughts and then you’re saying, how else can I think about this? That guy’s a jerk? How else can I think about this? Maybe he’s grouchy, maybe he stubbed his toe. I don’t care what the other aspects are.
Any other perspective is valuable because basically, you’re training your brain to be analytic right at that moment, not just go with what comes first, but to actually decide eventually how you want to think. How else can I think about this? Do that for a couple weeks. Next, move into actually choosing your thinking. If you practice this enough time, you’ll have this opportunity that grows in your mind that you’re always filtering and thinking through stuff. Naturally, you might go to something negative and you stop and you think, am I really a failure? No, that’s ridiculous. It’s not true.
That’s how you would change your thinking. This is going to be difficult. It would take a lot of practice, but it is possible. I have watched people comeback in jumping for joy, that they were so amazed how much more influence they could have on their thoughts than they thought and how that impacted the rest of them with anxiety and depression.
Again, compare it with truth. Behaviors, fake it till you make it. Okay? This may seem silly, but it works with anxiety and depression. There’s a lot of behaviors you can do that would improve but the problem is, you don’t want to. Nothing in your body or in your motivation wants to do the behaviors so it’s easy to get stuck to not do those behaviors. Do them even if you don’t feel like it. I’ve got a list here, but an example is exercise.
Exercise can help. I don’t care how you feel, you figure out how to exercise. Do the behaviors even if you don’t want to. Also, walk around like you’re happy. If you walk around like you’re happy, you’ll actually increase your happiness. This is going to seem silly at first, but try it, experiment, be adventurous, especially if you’ve had this for a long time. What’s the harm? Dive in and try something new. That’s the other aspect is do something new. I don’t care if it’s some hobby you’ve never tried, talking to a random stranger.
I actually don’t care what you do, do something new. If you’re stuck in a rut, like anxiety and depression, doing something new can break your free just a little bit. Do something new. Don’t do it alone. If you need to seek help, you have therapists that you can find and talk to, pastors, other spiritual leaders. If nothing’s working, there’s more things to try so jump out and find a person. Go seek help and do it together with another person who has more options for you to work with. In the very end, just remember, if you have anxiety and depression, there’s still wonderful great things out of life that you can experience.
You have more ability to influence it than you realize, and as it decreases and you kind of grab your life back a little bit, you’ll see how you can have more influence over your thoughts, your how you’re feeling than you realize in the first place. That may take you years, it’s worth it, little by little tackle it. That’s all in the concept of with God walking with him through scripture and gaining wisdom from him as you walk through this.
That’s my 20 minutes or so of what I could give you that would be the best of go try this. I’d like to get feedback and questions and see where we go from there. Thank you.
Thank you very much. Dr. Julie Hayden, licensed psychologist in the State of California. Thank you so much. That was so practical and so helpful. I want to dive into a question. By the way, if you have a three by five card, please raise it in the air. Some of you are texting me. I do have a text here from someone I believe who is in the audience. We have those who are texting us via live streaming.
Here’s the question and it ties right into what you were talking about. The question is, would you talk a bit about the different physical manifestations of anxiety and depression, which you did, and then what are things you can do to manage them or make them go away? You just talked about that. Are there any other things that we might just talk about just manifestations that you’ve seen in your patients or clients? I know I have as well, just things that you’ve seen. We’re going to try to respond to most of these questions if we can tonight. Would you talk a bit about the different physical manifestations of anxiety and depression?
Sure. As far as the list, we talked about it. Thinking of others, I just can remember people describing tingling sensations even, anxiety more than depression seems to be very physical. They don’t like how their body feels and their mind … this ties with the depression, but I’ve heard people say, “I just want to crawl into a hole.” “I just want to disappear.” “I want it to stop.” “It’s very intense.” Those are some added things I can think of is just that we talked about the thoughts, but it’s nonstop.
Why’d you do that? I don’t know. What was he thinking? I wonder what he was thinking when he said that. It’s just running it, running it, round and round again. Should I have done that? I hope he doesn’t think that I meant this. It’s just nonstop, no break. It’s funny because every once in a while, I’ll meet a person that says, “I don’t think much.” I’m like, “I can’t even imagine, that would be so wonderful just to have a break in your mind.” With people with severe anxiety, especially, there’s no break. That’s something that stands out as common.
That is a very common one. It tends to ruminate. It’s constantly going. Then sometimes, you’ve mentioned it before, there’s a tendency, if we grew up living with anxiety. Some of the people listening tonight or during a later viewing of this may have grown up with a very anxiety ridden environment. If so, you’d already mentioned, Dr. Hayden, that there’s a temptation or a tendency, if you will, a predisposition, for that adult to create more anxiety, because that feels normal and natural.
One of the things you talked about here was when you talked about attitude and then you were talking about think about your thinking. You helped us to see that we need to sometimes stop. This is why the Bible so frequently talks about meditating on the word of God. It gives us the opportunity for the Holy Spirit to speak to us, for us to hear it, and then to be able to respond rather than react. What you’re saying is so common in the patients with whom I’m privileged to work, that their anxiety has been with them for forever that they’re not used to living without anxiety.
Therefore, they may be predisposed, again, to create anxiety moments. Actually, we call it meta-thinking, that’s thinking about thinking. You’re stopping and you actually illustrate it, and that is the attitude of gratitude. Attitude of gratitude. Maybe in the morning, I don’t know of many people that walk up in … they wake up and they’re just excited about their day. Maybe there are, I remember I was a freshman at Point Loma Nazarene. I was kind of the kid that would wake up that way.
Finally, my roommate, I’d start talking to him and he said, “Why don’t you just shut up in the mornings? I mean, I don’t want to hear you talking.” I just love to talk. Of course, I’m doing that for a livelihood. With that is that attitude of gratitude is causing you to be able to stop and maybe even list things that you’re thankful for.
Yes. What I’ve seen when this has worked for people, it’s almost like a desperate prayer. They wake up desperate to list what they’re grateful for, because by the time they’re done, their thinking is just slightly better. It gives them that chance that head up for the rest of the day.
Yes. Someone asked this question. Alcohol is the only thing that helps me deal with anxiety. The question was, is this medicine? Alcohol is the only thing that helps me deal with anxiety. I just want to mention as you’re thinking about that question, that a person who has not learn to self-regulate, that’s a person who can actually, you were saying, you’re using a little bit of CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy, Dr. Aaron Beck, who devised this, created this concept that’s widely used.
That is, to be able to think about rather than moving to a catastrophic feeling slash thought. It’s being able to stop and think. Typically, if we’ve lived with anxiety so long, we’re always reactive rather than responsive, which means that we may not know how to self-regulate and so we’re prone to potentially use something. It could be drugs, medications, it could be, for me, it would be ice cream or some kind of food that seems savory. It actually feels calming, but it may well not be in the long road, long term.
Alcohol is the only thing that helps me deal with anxiety. The question is, is this medicine? I know you have a response.
It depends on what you define as medicine. Alcohol, there’s anti-anxiety medication, there’s a variety of things that can make your subjective feeling of anxiety stop for a moment. None of them are evil in and of themselves. What has control over you is a big factor. With alcohol, especially sometimes there’s long term consequences to your health, possibly to other things depending on how it’s used.
I work at Genesis Recovery so I see some extreme consequences sometimes from alcohol, so it can be dangerous. It doesn’t have to be. One aspect is, you don’t need anxiety necessarily. It’s there as a byproduct of something. What alcohol is doing is just putting a pause button on. As soon as you stop drinking, it’s there. As soon as you stop the medication, it’s there. It has not disappeared. I believe there is hope for healing so you don’t have to experience anxiety every day.
I’ve given you some tools that I’ve seen work, but it will probably be a lot more extensive that you would have to work with somebody to conquer it. I believe it’s possible because I’ve seen it. At the same time, if for some reason, it just wasn’t and you had a, maybe now it’s a level 10 anxiety and you went down to level five, I wonder if a five is okay. I think in our society, we think we better be a zero or what am I going to do? That’s another thing is to build up the tolerance for uncomfortable.
It starts with kids. Building up a tolerance if it’s uncomfortable, if you don’t like how you feel, it actually doesn’t mean it’s harmful. Alcohol, there’s a danger if you just stop drinking. There’s a physical danger that you’d have to be very careful. I’d wonder if there will be another way without alcohol, not immediately but eventually. Then, again, it may not disappear, but would it be manageable? That’s initial thoughts I have.
You’re talking about tolerance, let’s talk about it for just a moment from a couple different angles with one is the tolerance to be able to embrace pain or difficulty. Being able to tolerate a level of pain, say you’re exercising and you just want to stop and yet you’re thinking, I have another three minutes of exercise, so I’m going to stay with it. I’m learning a healthy tolerance.
When we talk about certain medications, that creates a different type of tolerance, the body because it’s a pseudo way of the neurotransmitters, your normal opioids within your system, that actually lowers your blood pressure, gives you a sense of pleasure and well-being that you will need more of the same to get the same tolerance. In other words, to tolerate the pain where it’s masking it or decreasing it. We have to be careful with that with certain medications where it will cause us to have more events of self-medicating rather than self-regulating, which is self-regulating is creating those healthy tolerance moments. Am I correct?
The question here is, another question is, what are some tools for stopping the running thoughts in the middle of the night? This is so common, isn’t it? I’m very sorry that’s happening because actually if you do not or I do not or Dr. Hayden or any of us, if we do not get good rest, actually, the symptoms look like depression. I remember misdiagnosing early on in my practice people with depression. They had all the symptoms of depression. Then, I begin to ask, really, a paramount question. That is, how is your sleep and nutrition? Which you mentioned both.
If we do not get our sleep, so you’re in the middle of the night and you have these running thoughts that actually could lead you into depressive episodes or situations or even long term depression. What are some things that would help us with this, Dr. Hayden? Some tools for stopping the running thoughts in the middle of the night.
You’d have to experiment a little bit. Depending on why the thoughts are there, if it is something you’re worried about or something you’re problem solving, I have seen journaling, writing it down, talking about it out loud to God. It’s more about the talking out loud that helps. Some things to basically quiet what your mind is so worked up about. You’d have to practice and see what works for you. Also, when you’re dealing with stuff like that, taking deep breaths. I know it seems silly.
Remember that fight or flight response? When it’s activated, a lot happens that’s hard to control. To turn it off is tricky. If you get more oxygen to the brain and you lower your heart rate, physically, it’s telling the body, hey, you can come back down now. You might trick the other system into turning on to turn off that fight or flight. When people teach relaxation therapy or meditation or mindfulness, these kind of concepts of taking deep breaths, paying attention to your body, possibly praying, those forms, you’re slowing your heart rate, increasing your oxygen level. You might actually turn off that system. That’s something.
Lastly, I would say sleep hygiene. Can you try to develop a routine like drinking tea, anything like that, to improve your ability to sleep? Also, don’t be so scared of it. The fear of, oh no, I’m not getting enough sleep. Oh no, my mind’s racing. It can increase it. Just say, who cares? Don’t worry about it. My thoughts. These are cool thoughts. You’re probably really genius and it’s just working out something in your mind. The more stress you place on stress, the worse it is. Who cares? I’m just going to give myself three hours to work up.
The next night, it might be two hours. The next night, it might be one hour. The less worried you are about your patterns of anxiety, I believe, the easier it is to conquer it. That’s one suggestion is not worry about it so much.
Yeah. Some people will say that once they maybe get out of bed, so you’re trying to sleep in bed and they get out of bed and move a bit, that sometimes that distracts them from their thinking that’s overwhelming them. Because oftentimes, with anxiety, there is that ruminating piece that you continue to think about something. Others will say, maybe take a hot bath or something that’s relaxing. Turning on the TV is not the best. Many people will say they’re doing that. The way the brain works, there’s a sense where it’s trying to figure out what’s going on by the noise and who’s saying what on the TV, even though we say we kind of zoned out. That is not the best thing to do.
Dr. David Levy helped us in the previous My Therapist Sez, the neurosurgeon, who helped us with that. Those are the kinds of things. Deep breathing is so important. People forget that when they’re in bed because it may feel a little unusual to deep breathe when you’re prone, I mean, you’re lying down. The fact is that if you think of a little baby, if you see a little baby, their little tummy, if they’re on their back, we’ve all seen little babies, little tummy rises because they breathe correctly. They don’t have the anxiety we tend to have typically. Their little tummy rises.
What’s important is you can put your hand right on your abdominal area and make sure that you breathe out through your abdomen, your tummy if you will first and then breathe up into your chest. Then, breathe twice as long out that you breathed in. You exhale twice as long as you breathe in. Dr. Hayden was helping us to see if you have the sympathetic system, your nervous system, that kicks in the fight flight freeze. The parasympathetic system will actually respond, as what you were saying, and help us to lower the cortisol levels, lower the adrenaline and actually cause us to begin breathing more deeply and normally, because we’re now without oxygen.
Once that oxygen, as you were saying, as we are absorbing that and that can be done just by good breathing, focusing on breathing. The beauty of breathing also is a distraction. It’s used as an intervention, which means that if we’re ruminating, our thoughts are ruminating and we begin to breathe deeply and healthily, we’ve now distracted ourselves from the thoughts that keep us ruminating. I think that’s what you were talking a little bit about.
There’s a next question here, does a traumatic event, even if it’s lost in memory, predispose you to anxiety and depression? You talked about trauma as one of the major issues.
That’s a great question.
Yes, it can. It doesn’t mean it does. What we’ve seen of early trauma is that it can change the physical development of your brain. You’ll have a lot of consequences later. It could be anxiety and depression. Sometimes it’s addiction, you may be predisposed to do the same thing where if you came from a family of violence, you might actually be a violent person with your family. Even though we see that pattern, we also see the exceptions where we see resiliency and the brain actually healing itself.
What’s funny is, a lot of the healing has seemed to happen through healthy relationships, which I think is interesting, because when we get saved, we have a relationship with God. There’s a lot of healing possible. You have two sides of that. One, yes, it can definitely impact because you could have a physically different brain than an average person. At the same time, it may not because you may be resilient. As much study as we have been able to do on the brain, there’s so much we don’t understand. It’s amazing and complex, so we call it resilience.
We could never tell you who’s going to be resilient or why, but the brain can heal itself. It just depends. We have seen that as a very strong trend in brain science that trauma at an early age will have a significant impact on adult functioning. That’s one reason therapy can be beneficial because, again, that relationship and teaching a person how to have healthy relationships can actually heal the brain in a lot of ways.
Isn’t it the beauty the way God made us to be in fellowship, good fellowship, true healthy fellowship, that the healthiest people on the planet are people who are in good relationships. You’re here tonight or listening in because you want to have good relationships. The beauty is, God said, I want to have a pure relationship with you, a deep one. That’s when Jesus said, I’m going to have to be with the father, so the Holy Spirit, the comforter could come and live within us.
He already created us to be in relationship, when you think about it spiritually. This next question comes from, looks like a Biola University student. Maybe they’re up in LA right now or maybe they’re here. The text is, “Hello. I’m a 20 year old student at Biola University. I’ve been diagnosed with ADHD, generalized anxiety disorder,” those are two different disorders. “Then, major depressive disorder.” Three, so attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, then generalized anxiety disorder and the major depressive disorder.
Usually, by the way, someone that has an anxiety disorder has not necessarily a complimentary disorder, but has another disorder. If I’m anxious, I’m most likely maybe depressed. I use the illustration that if I lost my job, I would obviously be anxiety ridden because I lost my job. I might also be depressed because I’m wondering, can I get another job? There’s a comorbidity. There’s a tendency for both of them to coexist. This person is asking this question, “You’re the first person who has hit the nail on the dot in a public presentation. My question is, what is the best way to respond to those who do not understand?”
I think the person is asking, Dr. Hayden, who do not understand maybe ADHD, generalized anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder, of which this person is afflicted. “I’ve had people,” I’m still reading from the text this question, “I have had people who will say that my faith is not strong enough. Then, I should confess my anxieties to the Lord. Many Christians do not look at this from a holistic view and generalize it to one thing or another. What is the best way to respond to those who do not understand?”
I’d like to as you respond, Dr. Hayden, you already mentioned it and I appreciate it so much that we’re mind, body and soul. The fact is the way God made us, just because we have depression may not have anything to do with our spiritual life. In a sense, we may be right with God and yet we’re plagued with depression or anxiety. Typically, depression, if it’s carefully diagnosed has a biological root and so does anxiety, which you just said. How would you respond to this person, who I think is really asking the question, if I can get it back up.
I think it’s an excellent question and it’s actually dear to my heart because so much of psychology, when people start studying why people do what they do and biology and the brain. There’s a biblical truth that’s there because God created us. He created us, first of all, so there’s all that truth. Then, we sinned and the fall and the curse has happened. He’s aware of all of this. All of this pursuit of figuring out why people do what they do and how do we fix this? I believe there’s a biblical truth through all of it. That is information.
I believe that’s information accessible to anybody, but many people do not have it. What I do in my personal business, Rhombus, is try to figure out how to get this information to more people. Because depression, you can make yourself depressed if you wanted to, just sit there and start being grouchy and thinking of all the bad in the world so you could make yourself depressed. You could actually change your brain, your physical brain, if you wanted to, you could work yourself up and be anxious. That’s not what people do most of the time.
There is biology there because of how God created people and then sin affecting that. I would just say, people need information and education. Maybe this person is a person that can study it and find a way to communicate it so more people understand it. I think just out of her story, too. I love bringing the positive side not to minimize what people find very difficult. I’ve struggled with some of this myself.
To remember how God uses things, I call ADHD entrepreneurial disease. Okay. There’s sometimes an intelligence that shines through. There’s sometimes creativity. Definitely with depression, you may have an ability to see things more realistic than average people. You can definitely have empathy and a very powerful way where you can connect with another person’s pain. When somebody has never gone through depression, they’ve never gone through that level of pain to even know how to connect.
There’s so much value out of all of this that I try to bring that side as well. I appreciate the question, but that’s the thing. I was thinking of Paul too. We don’t know what Paul’s thorn in the sideways, but we know he had it and God wouldn’t take it away. God said, “My grace is sufficient. There it is.” I believe whatever that is, there are times, we have stuff in our life that we can’t make disappear and we have to figure out how to live life with it. It has nothing to do with our sin. Sin will eat you alive. It will deteriorate your health and your mental health. We know that also, but it doesn’t mean it has. I just think it’s education, people need to know more of this information.
For this 20 year old at Biola University, it may be difficult because someone may be trying to spiritualize an issue that, as you said earlier, we have the component of biology and environment, there tends to be a balance between the two. It’s difficult oftentimes to know where some things have originated. Hopefully, there would be more empathy for the person that has asked this question. That can be very difficult for people. Yeah.
Yeah. Yeah. There’s another question here. This one is a little longer and it really creates a story here that I think is very helpful. It’s the question for tonight’s My Therapist Sez and this person says, “I suffer from depression and anxiety and feel I manage fairly well with antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds.” There’s a combination of both. Those are two different sets of medications, anti-anxiety, anti-depressive medications. “My issue is that my husband also has difficulty managing his emotions, constantly expressing his frustrations and anger.” You talked a little bit about this, that there can be a tendency to start just ruminating and cycling on a negative way.
Actually, could you talk for just a moment, why would we do that? I’ll go right back to this question. Why do we tend to ruminate again on those negative feelings? What happens to the person that constantly or chronically, that means continuously, tends to do this?
You probably could answer that in several ways. The first thing I think of is people are addicted to their own chemicals.
There’s a chemical reaction happening when you’re angry or you’re negative, that can actually be very addictive. It’s a habit. It’s something you’ve always done. Your dad did it, you watched it, this is what you do. It’s what’s allowed, like for men in anger, you’re allowed to be angry, you can’t be crying in a corner. There’s a lot of aspects of that sometimes so you might see it differently in men versus women or children. It becomes an addiction, a pattern. That’s the first thing I think of why we get stuck.
For example, that pattern, that addiction, so say I’m a little boy and I watched my dad get really anxious, and so I become anxious at that moment, he may not know that I’m becoming anxious. Therefore, I find myself when I’m around my dad anxious. Then, when I grow up to be an adult, there’s a tendency when things aren’t going well that I become very anxious that I might even create that anxiety because it gave me a sense, I wanted to be with my dad. I’m making up the story, of course. I want to be with my dad and therefore, because it’s already an indelible DNA within us to want to have a good relationship with our parents as best as we possibly are able to that I might be addicted to that anxiety that I was exposed to early on and so I’m perpetuating it without knowing it.
That’s why the thinking about thinking or thinking about your, not you, but about grouchiness or why am I saying this? I need to think on these things as Christ said on the positive things. I might become addicted to that. That’s what you’re saying?
Is that correct?
That actually changes the chemicals within the person’s body. The person asking this question said, his approach to most situations, she’s speaking I believe her husband, is usually negative seeing the difficulty rather than being optimistic and even hearing us through before reacting. Obviously, they’re mentioning I guess they’re … We attend your class. I teach a class here at Skyline church for couples. I’ve had family therapy in the past, not with you. Maybe that speaks of my low level of skill. Anyway, but his inability to control his frustrations and reactions has taken a huge toll on our family.
I fear we have passed on our anxiety to our children, could be like I was just mentioning about the young boy and then becomes to model that later. That fear we have passed on our anxiety to our children, which compounds the problem. I’m literally on a max dose of Prozac and a mid level dose of … I can’t read it here, to cope myself. My husband mentioned his stress to his doctor several years ago and was prescribed only 20 milligrams of Prozac. I personally don’t think it is enough. I don’t even know if he actually takes it as prescribed, 20 milligrams would be of more lower dose, if you will.
While he admits his issues are a problem for the family and often apologizes, I’m at the end of my rope for the children’s sake. Our family has become a family of yellers and are argumentative. It’s not normal and frankly, it just compounds everyone’s stress. Please mention this during your session tonight as I’m sure we’re not the only ones. I’d love to hear your input or advice. P.S., we talked about your class definitely helps us and we get such great examples and how to fight fair and help and how to express our feelings. The question is here is but we still have a long way to go. Do you think my husband should consider discussing additional meds so he can cope better?
It’s a wonderful question. It kind of took us through a story of life that’s painful. It may even be descriptive of a little bit of your life as well. The question is, should we work on medication? What should we do at this point?
Medication can always be an option. One problem with anti-anxiety medication is they’re often addictive. Sometimes you stop one problem to get another problem. There’s definitely a lot of tools besides medication. A lot of times, people will go in that direction first and see how it is. One specific benefit of medication sometimes is to feel what it would feel like to not have anxiety to give you hope because you may have never felt non-anxious. What I hear out of that story, two sides, one is what can she do about her husband’s lack of motivation for wanting help? That’s difficult.
If somebody doesn’t want to seek help, it’s not a lot you can do to push them in that direction. I would actually link that up a little bit to an addiction, where if he was drinking too much or he was doing something like that that was negatively impacting the family, what would she do? She’d have to go through that decision process to figure out if she thought it was harmful to the kids or not. What would you do to protect their kids? It may seem extreme but actually it’s not. It’s definitely doesn’t have to be that extreme, but it can be when there’s a lot of anger, aggression, anxiety, intensity, it is important to understand the negative consequences to children.
With that sympathetic nervous system pumping you full first adrenaline then cortisol. Cortisol on a person, in adult, will stop your immune system, stop your digestive system, stop your prefrontal cortex so there could be health consequences. On a child, their brain is still developing and that’s where you have that long term negative consequences, because their brain will develop different than a person that did not have stress in childhood. We’re not talking about a stressful day, we’re talking about consistent stress.
Bottom line, I’ll teach parents that if the kid is stuck in a stressful environment that they can’t escape, there is brain damage. That parent usually will turn around and figure out how not to scream anymore. Parents figure it out. If I paid you a million dollars, would you figure out how not to go to that level? Usually that yes, okay, I get it, it’s possible. Sometimes, it’s not realizing how significant the consequences are. Once a parent realizes it, they’re much more motivated to change. I think increased information might be one aspect to help the husband. Again, you have to be very delicate when you’re trying to teach another person what to do.
Work with somebody else maybe not … I just think it could backfire. You have to be delicate if you’re trying to increase motivation on another person.
Part of two things. One is the particular medication is there’s several questions about pharmaceutical medications that making it very simple yet it’s not is that sometimes if you’re continuously ruminating, that’s cycling, and you’re never quite getting out of anxiety, that certain medications, if they’re monitored and carefully prescribed, are able to help you have a reprieve so that you can begin to experience take the edge off, if you will. Where you can begin to experience the ability to have non-anxiety moments. That can be very helpful because that would be very insightful for a person.
Secondly, when you were talking about children and their brains changing. For example, if we have a six year old and they’re developing, six year old, who’s being exposed to quite a bit of anxiety. That six year old is in a very concrete stage, so they believe your God and they believe that they can fully trust you. They’re going to fully trust you by the nature that God put in them until you prove them differently. If all of a sudden there’s anxiety, so they’re not being nurtured, now they’re being proven that I can’t trust my environment.
If I can’t trust my environment, my anxiety goes up, right? If you remember 911, when 9/11 happened, I still remember I was in Kansas, I’m still licensed there. It was in Kansas and we all knew within a month that we were going to have post-traumatic stress disorder people. We had to wait a month, 30 days, working on it. The whole point was that there was tremendous fear that we were not going to live through this. It was very uncomfortable season, if you noticed that. If you put that back on a child that’s needing to be nurtured by the parent, but the parent is anxiety ridden, therefore the child has anxiety, what happens? Help us with that.
They develop some level of defense so their brain is changing, it’s not growing, as it should be because they’re in a very defensive, they’re very fearful. The sympathetic system is engaged maybe constantly, is that what you’re saying?
Yes. Two things out of that. One is just the brain development, the physical brain. If we took a scan of the brain of a kid that hadn’t had trauma and one that did, they would look differently. That’s one area. Then, like you described is the aspect of when you’re young, you learn, is the world safe? If I try hard, will good things come? The core values inside a child that they’ll live off of, whether they’re hopeless about life, why try because nothing ever works out or it might be difficult, but I’m going to keep trying. Those come from early years.
That sounds like what you’re talking about too, is just the messages they’re receiving out of that. It also reminded me and this is not … an anxious and depressed person doesn’t need more guilt. Okay? Try to take this as educational and not as a weight on your shoulder but there’s a selfishness to anxiety and depression also. You’ll see it in families where that anxious and depressed person or angry person has the center of attention for that time. All the kids are walking on eggshells trying to figure out how to make mom happy, how to make dad happy, how to not have this person explode on me or be sad.
That’s so much weight and pressure on kids. When you’re able to stare at it for what it is, hopefully, that motivates you that much more, to not just give up and sink into it, but fight. Even if it took you five years, even if it was difficult, fight the fight to improve your level of depression and anxiety. I would just jump at that one tool would be assertive communication. An anxious person and depressed person might start yelling and screaming at a person, it had to do with this topic way over here, but they’re taking it out over here.
Instead say, I’m feeling extremely anxious. I don’t know why. I’m sorry, I’m anxious. Just throw it out there instead of pretending like this person did something wrong and you’re yelling at him for it. Or, if something happened, trying to think, okay, why am I so anxious? Then, telling the person, my boss said something negative, I can’t get it out of my head. I’m not trying to take this out on you. I want you to know what’s happening. Try to start identifying and being very honest about it, rather than, I would say, maybe passive aggressive. The ways that it might seep out on everybody when it’s truly a different issue that’s happening.
Assertive is direct communication rather than the passive aggressive which you’re going around which we tend to do. We may have seen that during the Christmas season if you’re in a family where we say, we sweep it under the carpet, the old adage. We don’t really deal with it. It comes down in two days or three days or six months or a year later, but we really don’t deal with it.
Assertive means that the person has a voice. Say you have a child and you feel like your anxiety has become theirs. There is a way to work with that now and maybe that child’s become an adult. That is what you just said, I believe Dr. Hayden is that you allow the person to have a voice. The voice is assertively rather than … aggressive is yelling, screaming, assertive says, I’m really uncomfortable with what I just heard you say.
Or Dr. Hayden could say, I asked you a question up front here, you would say, “Don, I think I’m a little uncomfortable with that question, I don’t think I’ll answer that question.” That would be assertive and healthy. Correct? I hope you don’t do that tonight. Anyway. Okay. Aggressive would be forcing the other person that lowers their ability to have a voice. One of the best methods for lowering anxiety in families is to nurture the other person. That is to allow the other person to have a voice.
You would say, “Dr. Hayden, you said you’re uncomfortable with that, would you be willing to tell me a little more about that?” I’m actually validating that you have a voice, right, by even asking that question of you. That can be done in a family. Actually, if you have a child, there may be some of us here that you have an adult child and you go, “Oh, wow, as they’re talking about this, I’m feeling as though I created that anxiety in my child.” You can actually start working on that now and say, “Hey, I’m working on some things. Would you allow me,” this is your adult child, “Would you allow me to try to listen to you, work on listening to you and then if you don’t mind, I’ll try to validate you.”
That’s actually nurture. Most people, if their parent were asking that question, even if they avoid it would say inside, I would love that, because it’s the fifth commandment. God said, the one with the promise that actually we are to love, honor our father and mother. If we’re able to do that, we actually have a better life. He said elongated life, a longer life. The key is that that might be a way to do that with a child that’s now an adult and you feel badly about what has happened.
Do you have any other comments about that? Anything else?
No, I think that’s good. That open discussion, even at young kids, because kids are concrete and they take messages away. Sometimes they think it’s my fault. I am a bad person because they keep making my mom angry. So to say, Johnny, I have stress. I get all nervous and anxious. Sorry about that. If I do it, tell me I’m doing it.
You come up with a term, it could be any term, some kind of way to have it in language. Just say, “I just want you to know it’s not your fault. You’ve done nothing. I just am having a hard time.” Something like that. For some reason, this popped into my head and because I really want everyone to have tools, I’ll just say it real quick. Noise canceling headphones, okay, you can get noise canceling headphones and really look like a dork. You might just do this for home.
When people have severe anxiety, a lot of sounds trigger them, sometimes even physical sensations or clothes trigger them. It’s really intense. At home, especially with kids, or if husband is screaming, noise canceling headphones can really just take that little bit of an edge off.
Yeah, that’s really giving you a reprieve from all the stimulation. High anxiety, we even have patients that they actually cannot wear certain clothing because it actually creates more anxiety for them. That’s pretty common. What you were saying makes sense, is to try to find a place for reprieve. Asking people in your life to be able to voice their emotional intelligence, great book 1994, Emotional Intelligence. You’ve also referred to Dr. Daniel Levine. Levine. I’m not sure if which one it is. Is it Dr. Levine?
That’s what I thought.
That’s what I thought. He’s somatic medicine where he will look at how we carry that anxiety in our cell structure. It’s becoming aware, this is the thinking about, becoming aware that you’re listening to someone, all of a sudden, your shoulders are going up and they’re tensing. Just being aware of that, you’re thinking about what am I experiencing as I listen to this person. I love this person, however, when they talk about these kinds of things, my back begins to get really tense, my legs tense up, is to be aware of that.
Then, find ways when it’s beginning to tense up to relax. That can be difficult, but you have to have that awareness, I think, to begin with. There was one other question here, we’re just about ready to wrap up. The question here it’s another text. Excuse me, “How can someone snap out of the fog or dizziness that anxiety brings?” I know we’ve talked about this, but this is such a great question. It’s a great question. How can someone snap out of the fog or dizziness that anxiety brings?
All of a sudden we find ourselves there, what would you advise, Dr. Hayden.
Sure. A couple things. One is to believe that you can, sometimes it feels so overwhelming when anxiety comes, you just shut down and go right into it. To believe you can. That’s why I give the silly example of staring at yourself in the mirror, get some water on your face and say, “Come on, pull out. Let’s do this. We can do this. We don’t have to go into this.” Yes, pep talk. Have you given your all, soldier? Whatever you can come up with to motivate you to go for it.
There was something else I might have forgotten now what I was thinking. What was the question again?
The question is, yeah, how … I kind of interrupted you, sorry. How can someone snap out of the fog or dizziness that anxiety brings?
You’re talking about even making if you go in front of the mirror and actually talk to yourself, actually, I begin to giggle because I’m kind of funny looking. I kind of giggle and I start … actually that will actually help the sympathetic system to decrease by the parasympathetic. Have you ever seen someone that giggles a lot at the wrong times? Sometimes, it’s a sympathetic response. They don’t even know it’s an involuntary response to try to bring the parasympathetic system in to lower my anxiety.
Sometimes, just getting in front of the mirror. In fact, I tell my students, if you don’t have anything to laugh about, do this, get up in the morning. Right when you put your feet on the floor, out of bed, stand right in front of the mirror, and you’ll have something to laugh about. When you laugh, and when we laugh, it’s actually good medicine. We’ve heard that before. It actually does and triggers the parasympathetic system that engages the lowering of the anxiety. I may have gotten you off track because the question was, how can someone snap out of the fog or dizziness that anxiety brings.
Number two is go through it. Remember, it’s not the end of the world if you’re feeling anxiety, that’s very normal. You are human. You’re going to have a huge range of emotions. Some are good and some are not. To de-escalate or demystifying anxiety. If you’re feeling it, it may be okay, wait it out. See what it brings as it hits you. As you feel it, pay attention, pay attention to your thoughts, your body, what you’re experiencing. See if you don’t just go right through it and in 10 minutes you feel better. In an hour, you feel better, maybe not 100% but you feel better.
The more you do that, the more you’re going to get to know your body. What is the anxiety telling you? What’s happening? There’s something going on in your mind, what you’re believing about your life, who you are. Get to know it more, dive in instead of around.
Thank you. Would you join me in thanking Dr. Julie Hayden for being with us this evening? She is so practical. I appreciate it. I don’t know many people who are in the psychological field who had a biblical literature undergrad, which is what I had. You can see how she’s able to collaborate between biblical concepts and psychological and beautifully does that. I thank you for being here this evening.
Beautifully done. I want to mention our next My Therapist Sez, we’re just about out of time, we have two minutes left. Our next My Therapist Sez, you can see this Dr. Mickey Stonier, from the Rock Church. It’s called God in the midst of your brain. Actually, he’s in your pain. God in the midst of your pain. Thank you. Have a lovely soul that helped me out of that ditch there. Yes, God in the midst of your pain. I always love my students that help me when I misspell or mispronounce things. Thank you so much.
God in the midst of your pain, he’s actually has written a book and he’s going to be talking about that. He has a doctorate in marriage and family therapy. Wonderful person that’s going to come and help us. That will be in February. If you put that on your calendar for February 7. We’d look forward to being with you right here in this auditorium here in San Diego. Thank you again, Dr. Hayden.
I so appreciate you being here with us this evening. We’ll have a word of prayer and then we will close for this evening. Heavenly Father, thank you that we can talk about, not just talk about, but inculcate your truth within our lives. I wouldn’t want to be in this field of psychology, if I didn’t know you first and then also be able to collaborate with biblical truths because all science originates from biblical truth, from your word, from your heart. Thank you that we’re able to combine them in this unique My Therapist Sez, now almost 10 years in service, serving others, and helping them in their very important relationships.
Thank you for your presence here this evening. Thank you that you’ll go with us, those who are listening in through live streaming or others who may be listening to this at a later date. We pray that your Holy Spirit would speak your truth into each and every life that is impacted by this presentation. We give you praise this evening and thank you. In Jesus’ name, amen. Thank you so much. God bless. Have a great evening.
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