Episode 143 Dealing With Uncertainty And Anxiety (1)

Dealing with Uncertainty and the Anxiety it Creates

When you have a situation in your life and family and you don’t know how it’s going to turn out and if everything will go the way you want it to, that is uncertainty and will surely cause you some anxiety, maybe even some fear. The reactions we usually go to when we feel this way are not usually helpful and can even be harmful to ourselves or others. When we can begin to change our relationship with uncertainty and anxiety, we become a stronger, more capable and confident version of ourselves. And then our ability to handle more and more difficult problems increases.

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Full Transcript

00:03

If you’re struggling in your family relationships and nothing you do makes it any better. Maybe even gets worse. You’re in the right place. My name is Tina Gosney, your host as well as your family relationship coach, and positive relationship strategist. When you make peace with what’s happening inside of yourself, you’ll begin to find the peace you’re looking for in your relationships. This is the coaching your family relationships, podcast. Let’s get started.

00:31

Hey everybody, it’s Tina here. So good to have you here with me today. I was going to record a different podcast today. I got up today with a total intention of recording a different episode. But then I did my daily routine of my mindfulness meditation, which includes a podcast one of my favorite podcasts that I listened to. It’s a mindfulness and meditation podcast, that is called Mindfulness+ if you’re wondering. The host of that podcast is Thomas McConkie And he is a mindfulness meditation expert, I’ve actually talked about him and used some of his teachings on this podcast and in my coaching. And so if his name sounds familiar to you, it’s because I have done a lot of training with them and use a lot of his work in my own coaching and in my own life, as well. But I was listening to doing my mindfulness meditation this morning and listening to that and had another topic that really kind of came to my mind. And I think that’s the one I’m going to record today instead of the other one. So you’ll be getting the other one at a later date.

01:55

The meditation I did this morning with Thomas had to do with uncertainty, and with anxiety. And what he does is his podcasts are usually around 20 ish minutes. And the first 40-50% of it is a short lesson, a story of a lesson. And the last part of it is a meditation and mindfulness practice. And he gave a short lesson about uncertainty about anxiety, also gave an example from his own life, and then invited the listeners into a meditation with him.

02:35

And what he did in this meditation was to invite you to go back 10 years ago.

02:41

So imagine what you were doing 10 years ago in your life, and something that was causing you a lot of uncertainty what was happening in your life at that time, 10 years ago, which would have been 2014. What were the things that were going on in your life? Well, for me, 2014 was a really, really difficult year, I knew immediately, what was causing me a lot of uncertainty, and anxiety in the year 2014. We were dealing with a lot of really difficult family issues, there was a lot of uncertainty, I had a lot of uncertainty, I had a lot of anxiety, I had a lot of fear. And in those emotions that I was experiencing, it looked like a lot of me trying to control other people that I love. I was in a constant state of panic and fear. And so when he said go back 10 years, I immediately knew what was happening in my life. And it’s not so interesting to me, but might be interesting to you. It makes sense to me that when I did that I had a rash of emotions inside my body of feeling so much of how I felt 10 years ago with that uncertainty, the anxiety, the fear,

04:06

That desire to control the situation and to control people that came rushing back to me. And then he said, Okay, why don’t you just sit with that feeling that’s in your body because he knew that, you know, feeling would come into your body as you go back to a time in your life that was difficult and you’re experiencing difficult things. Then he said, let’s go back to today, what is causing you some anxiety, some uncertainty today? What are some questions that you have rolling around in your mind that your body is feeling very uncertain about?

04:43

Right now what I’ve been working on is a workshop that teaches you how to increase your intra personal skills, which is the way that you relate to yourself, your self esteem, that inner critic inside your mind, the way you’re really

05:00

Like to your own body. And I’ve described some of that today, and how it responds to difficult things. And this workshop will also teach interpersonal skills. How do you relate to others? How do you hold a boundary? How do you respond to another person from a grounded place? How do you stay in a conversation or a situation, or a relationship and not lose yourself in it? I’ve been developing a workshop, that I know that so many people need because no one teaches us how to do those things. I for so many years, struggled with so many of those things myself. And I have worked directly with so many people who need these skills as well. And here I am developing this workshop, and I have some anxieties about it. What am I what am I going to call it? How much should I charge for it? How do I set it up? And deliver it so that you can get the most benefit out of it? These are some of the questions that I’ve been asking myself. And I’ve been rolling around in these questions back and forth for weeks now, thinking that, Oh, I’m going to figure this out. I’m going to it’s like the answer is going to come to me.

06:15

And just when I think I have everything figured out, I’ve gotten clarity, I have some certainty. And I can sit with that for a day. And then it seems like the next day my brain says, Nope, that’s all wrong. Nope, everything that you decided yesterday, that is wrong, which I think is really interesting.

06:34

I have discovered, after weeks, I said, you know, weeks of asking myself these questions about this workshop, there really is not one perfect answer. There will not be a time that I have an epiphany. And the perfect answer to all of these questions, comes and lights up my brain. And I never question that answer.

06:58

I’ve been getting a lot of practice recently paying attention to what my brain is telling me and how it is handling uncertainty and anxiety. And not knowing if I’m making the right choice. I’ve been watching my brain do this. And I’ve really noticed some patterns within myself. This is really good information for me. Because when I see those patterns, and that typical reaction that I have to uncertainty, I also see how I react to the feeling of uncertainty in my body. And when I’m aware of this, I can begin to have a choice in how I react to it. Until I see the pattern and become aware of it. It’s not a choice, I would just go on autopilot. And I would think oh, that’s just the way things are. I don’t have any control over that. So this is what I was sitting with this morning, during this meditation with Thomas McConkie.

07:57

And as I sat with the feelings that had come up for me from flashing back to 10 years ago, and then fast forward to today, and to the last few weeks, I realized that this is not something that ever goes away for us, all of us are always dealing with a lot of uncertainty and anxiety in at least one area of our life.

08:21

I want you to think of the last time you were feeling uncertain where you didn’t have the answer to something. Maybe you have some uncertain things going on in your family right now. Just like I did 10 years ago, maybe you find yourself reacting from that anxiety from the fear maybe you find yourself trying to control how are you reacting to that anxiety? What does it feel like inside your body?

08:51

When you don’t know what’s going to happen and you feel that really intensely in your body or maybe not so intensely maybe it’s more of like a low grade hum and vibration that’s what I was feeling had been feeling a lot in the last few weeks is more of a low grade vibration and, and a little bit of just energy unsettled energy.

09:16

How does that feel to you? What does it feel like to you when you are experiencing that type of situation in your life, the uncertainty, the anxiety, maybe the fear of something the unknown, or the fear of not knowing how something is going to play itself out in your life.

09:37

You will react from how your body feels. It said the last few weeks I’ve been feeling this low grade hum and this little just a low grade of stressfulness in my body.

09:50

And I’ve noticed that I’ve done a lot of distracting myself.

09:55

What do you notice when you feel that way? We don’t, we can’t begin to change something until we become aware of it. So are you aware of what you do when you feel that way?

10:08

Well, 10 years ago, this is what I did. When I failed in my ability to control the people that I love, I distracted myself, I became very busy. I made myself busy with new projects that I dove, head first into. And then when I wasn’t busy with that I was distracting myself with technology with TV, or streaming something or with my phone. And as I was distracting myself, I also was raiding the pantry, every chance I got, I was going in for the food. And it was just anything to distract and numb the way that I was feeling. Because I felt so out of control. And so unable to handle the anxiety, the uncertainty and the fear that I was experiencing. I was distracting and numbing myself with many different things. Have you ever had a situation where you did the same?

11:16

I know someone who doesn’t do so much distracting as they do burying their head in the sand as far as like pretending everything’s fine, I don’t have anything to worry about here. It is like an ostrich burying its head in the sand, we kind of shove it away, I’m not going to look at that. If I bury my head in the sand, then the problem doesn’t exist because I can’t see it. Right? So we will tuck it away and pretend like it’s not there. That’s another way of dealing with anxiety.

11:48

I know another person who works themselves into a frenzy they go about and you can just imagine just picture a lot of frenziness, like what that word, what that word brings up visually for you, in your mind, going about trying to solve everything, trying to find answers right now I need the answers right now I have to control this right now. Because I just need to know and I need to fix it. It’s not okay for it to not be fixed. I can’t tolerate the feeling of not knowing what the answer is. It’s another way that we might handle this. But we will react to that feeling that is in our body.

12:30

So often when we get anxious, we what we do with that anxiety can create a problem for us. And it can create a problem for the other people in our lives.

12:45

What if it were just okay to feel that feeling of anxiety and uncertainty. And that in itself was not a problem? What if we could isolate that feeling inside of our bodies and separate it from the all the meaning that we’re making of the situation that we’re in in our life that is causing that emotion to be there in the first place?

13:14

Let me put that a different way. Because I just realized that might have sound a little confusing. When we have something happen in our life, we are constantly judging that as good or bad. This means something good. This means something bad. No matter how we are judging, that thought in our brain, that meaning that judgment that we are making creates the emotions that we experience in our body. And then we experienced that emotion in our body, we experience the meaning and the thoughts in our brain, and we experience the emotions in our body.

13:50

And can we just separate for a few minutes. This is what we were practicing this morning. And this meditation was to separate the meaning that caused the emotion to happen, that feeling in my body to happen in the first place, and just deal with the feeling in the body.

14:08

When we can do that, we can learn how to manage our own anxieties, our own fears, our own desire, our own brains desire to find certainty and to have to have answers right now. When we can do that, and we can just deal with the feeling in our body. We are developing a deep, strong root system in our own lives.

14:40

Years and years ago my husband and I in our first home we had a tree in the front yard that was a Jacaranda tree. Now the Jacaranda tree grows very quickly. It has very shallow roots. The roots are wide, but they’re very shallow. They don’t go very deep. And the branches are not very very strong. And in the summertime where we lived, we would have a lot of really strong summer storms. And those storms would be a lot of wind, a lot of rain. And those Jacaranda trees, it was very common to see them down during those storms, or at least to have lost a branch or two.

15:25

Because those trees do not have deep roots, it’s easier for them to lose part of themself or to have the whole tree topple down, because the root system is not deep.

15:40

Well, a tree with deep roots doesn’t get blown over when the storm comes.

15:47

And we want to be like a tree with deep roots. I googled what is the tree with the deepest roots. And Google told me that the tree that they have found with the deepest roots, was a wild fig tree. In fact, those roots they said were at least 400 feet deep. That is crazy. That is crazy deep. Imagine how strong that fig tree is. Those roots are going down 400 feet. Imagine if you could be a person that had roots that were that deep.

16:22

When we get deep roots, we are more grounded.

16:28

We have more confidence in ourselves to handle difficult situations. 10 years ago, I was like that Jacaranda tree, I was spread wide, but not deep.

16:43

And in the last 10 years, I’ve been working on getting those that deep root system to become more grounded, and more strong in my ability and my capacity to handle the difficult situations that come.

16:59

Now, just because we develop these deep roots doesn’t mean that life becomes easy or that we won’t have problems anymore, because that will never happen. It does mean that when we develop those deep roots, that our ability to handle, whatever comes in our life, that ability increases our capacity to handle the uncertainty, the anxiety, when we don’t know what’s going to happen, when something really difficult, or maybe even mildly difficult is happening. We are better equipped to not be blown over in that storm. That increases.

17:41

Now our brains will always pick up on what is not certain. It’s always actually searching for uncertainty. It’s designed and programmed to seek out problems and to find certainty in those problems. Our brains love the black and white like there is a short answer here. This is the answer. There is no other answer. There’s no gray, it’s just black and white. Our brains love that. It doesn’t produce a person with deep roots when we allow our brains to just take off in the black and white thinking. Because we’re always going to encounter things that are not black and white. That can’t be black and white, there will always be situations in our life that will be uncertain that maybe don’t even have an answer to them.

18:38

And uncertainty is always going to cause our brains to freak out a little bit. Because it loves the black and white it wants to have a certain answer. So we are more safe. It just thinks that we are more safe that way. And our brains want us to be safe. Have you noticed that when you find an answer that you’ve been looking for, and you feel some relief, just think about a time where you’ve been searching for an answer and then it comes to you and the relief that you feel when something is resolved. When you don’t have a question in your mind anymore about how that thing is going to turn out. And you feel that relief?

19:18

How soon is it that your brain will then find another thing to stress out about you’re going to fixate on something else, your brain is just going to go try to find things that dangerous spots where it needs to be aware of so that it can keep you alive as long as possible. It’s going to find something else to be uncertain about and you’re going to experience that all over again. There is never going to be an end to uncertainty in our lives. Our job is not to find all the answers to everything and try to control people and situations and manipulate things so that we eliminate

20:00

The uncertainty and the anxiety. Our job is to manage our response to the uncertainty and the anxiety that will always be present in our lives.

20:12

We need to change our relationship that we have with uncertainty and anxiety. And when we can begin to do that, we are developing deep roots, we’re not going to get blown over in this storm, we’re beginning to unlock that key to success in our life. In so many parts of our life.

20:38

I am developing this workshop which will go into handling uncertainty and anxiety that is part of the workshop that I’ll be doing. I’m not ready to release the details of that but just know that’s coming up and I’ll have an invitation soon.

20:55

Bear with me for another week or so until I get all the information out for that. But if this episode is something that you feel, I need some help with that then want you to make sure you come back and visit this podcast again in the next few weeks to get the details about that workshop and how you will be able to join them. Thank you for being with me today. I will see you next time

21:30

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