Monthly Archives: June 2021

Podcast 49: 7 Attitudes of Mindfulness

Creating your Authentic Self

Podcast (Audio Only)

Anxiety Simplified and Joanne Williams are celebrating 1 year anniversary doing podcasts every week. I am offering a frameable print of the 7 Attitudes of Mindfulness for your desk to remind you of living mindfulness qualities.

These 7 attitudes can be life changing.

The 7 Attitudes of Mindfulness according to Kabat-Zinn

  1. Being Non-Judgmental- "Just noticing" SIT WITH IT
  2. Beginner's Mind- Approach each new task with an open mind.
  3. Non-Striving-Focus on the process, not just the outcome. "Life is about the journey, not the destination."
  4. Acceptance-Pathway to peace, and "it is what it is."
  5. Letting go- Releasing one's "grip" on a situation. Letting go generally results in a freeing response.
  6. Patience- With ourselves and others. Patience teaches us how to wait with grace. Love yourself the way you are.
  7. Attitude of Trust in the Process- "Life is about the journey, not the destination," Believe in a Higher Self or Source. It will happen when it is Supposed to happen

Start this practice today on a walk today.

Think about how "being in the moment" where there is no fear of sadness this can be practiced with each activity practice mindfulness in activities of daily living?



  • Think about looking toward the horizon during the walk instead of down at your feet.
  • Consider the art of breaking this walk down into slow motion, as if you are experiencing it for the first time (i.e., beginner's mind).
  • Standing tall, let your heel connect with the earth and allow the front part of your foot to point towards the sky.
  • Very slowly step down, shifting the weight from your heel to the ball of the foot.
  • Shift the weight from the ball to the toes.
  • Deliberately repeat this same motion on the other foot.
  • Continue taking this walk in this slow, deliberate fashion, observing each sensation with a new awareness. Let your walk truly be an exercise in mindful meditation.

This is by no means a replacement for therapy of any medical attention if you need it.  Always reach out and take care of yourself or if you are feeling like you want to hurt yourself, there is always someone standing by at 1800-273-8255 or call 911.

Or go to for an emotional support animal or a Psychiatric Service Dog to go with you everywhere.

Frameable Print of the 7 Attitudes of Mindfulness

Join us for Our next podcast: The Science of Mindfulness

See videos at

Podcast 48: Anxiety in Relationships

10 Keys to Help Relationships with Anxiety

Podcast (Audio Only)

We will discuss 10 ways to handle anxiety situations

Joanne Williams, LCSW discusses Anxiety affects on relationships. Don’t we all know the worrier in relationships and how they say they will do something and then change their mind at the last minute, after the tickets are bought? Anxiety can get between not only partners, but friends or couples and seem to control the entire experience.  It can be frustrating for everyone to the point where you don’t even want to do things with that couple anymore.

Do you know the couple that the one person in it is constantly worried that everything will not go as planned and they freak out in the restaurant at the waiter, because the meal was cold or the wine spilled? Or worse you made vacation plans 6 months ago and It is all planned and the couple pulls out at the last moment, because the women refuses to fly, for fear the plane will crash. You are left feeling like you are holding the bag for the expenses and feel now you have to scramble to find another couple which adds added stress on you?

This situation is being affected by anxiety, even when you may think it is just rude and irresponsible behaviors.  The fear is represented as a fear of dying IF SHE flys, worrying about things that haven’t happened or of the unknown, irritability can be a symptom where the person may fly off the handle at the least little thing, like wine spilling at the restaurant.  Or needing ridge rules to not feel out of control.

Do you experience irritability when you are stressed, or does your partner or boss. How does that effect your day or your work or your relationships? Not well as I have observed as a marriage counselor of 30 years.

We will discuss 10 ways to handle anxiety situations if that is a feature in your relationship.

Anxiety can stress any kind of Relationship, whether it is your marriage, coworkers, or family members. Some of the ways to help lower anxieties effect on relationships are making sure that you are doing everything you can to keep your own strengths, passions, values and lifestyle consistent. It can make you a happier person and less likely to be as affected by your partners, irritability or controlling ways.

It will make it easier for you to stick to the relationship rules that you agreed on without emotions and stick to the facts.

You also need to communicate your own anxieties to your loved ones. If you are afraid about the next meeting or event you should tell your loved ones. It is much easier for them to understand why you may need to leave early or easier to make a plan together.

Giving your loved ones information about your needs in a particular situation helps them to be more understanding and supportive. There are many ways to help lessen the anxiety you or they feel, including using medications and exercise.

It is recommended to use anxiety calming behaviors regularly to build a practice you can rely on.  Sometimes routines and feeling prepared are some of the simplest ways that can be a huge relief, then be sure to share them, with a friend that you do things with to share the support.Anxiety symptoms may vary from person to person, and there are symptoms that may occur in different situations.

If you have anxiety in your relationship at just the thought of having a conversation with them or your partner's family, avoidance or fear because you don’t know what to say something, can blow up into a major issue, if not honestly discussed you can feel vulnerable.  Work as a team to figure it out, instead of avoiding. Clarity always clears the air and can lessen anxiety when you feel understood and supported.

The symptoms of an anxiety or a panic attacks can occur when you allow your anxiety to fester and not be addressed. It can include symptoms of shaking, sweating, heart palpitations, muscle tension, fear and concern. A panic attack can appear like a medical emergency or totally out of proportion to an observer and to the person having the panic attack, it can feel like they are going to die.  So, if you or your partner have panic attacks, it is a big red sign that internally, you are not handling stress or situations well and then the anxiety is having a chance to build up, instead of learning ways to intervene before they blow up into a panic attack that then you fear they may occur and start a loop of anxiety that is harder to stop.

It is advised to consult with a professional therapist if you're experiencing more than these, like agitation, nightmares or hyperactivity, these can be symptoms of overwhelm, from a deeper unresolved issue of a trauma. These symptoms can be tamed with learn skills to handle the anxiety before they blow up into a panic attack.

 10 keys to helping Relationships with anxiety that is a major factor

  1. Do not try to live your life without a support. Find a good therapist, good friend or work mates or a partner in your life to reassure you and will help calm you, if you are the anxious one. Don’t blame yourself for feeling insecure, truly inner self confidence is something that is built within and it was meant to come from the outside first, by a primary supportive person.  If you didn’t receive it from your family, you may need to find it from a professional until you can build those inner skills.
  1. Make sure you have conversations with your partner that are from your adult self, not your wounded child. Your adult self is more able to be more grounded in facts and less emotional. Being emotional is fine to show your concern or vulnerability to get to the heart of the matter, but if it impedes a problem-solving conversation, if is not helpful. Learn to know the difference with kindness to yourself.
  1. Your partners needs to be informed about what you are experiencing or when your anxiety, is heighten to work out a plan for it.  It is always good to ask your partner if this is a good time to discuss what you are feeling with them, instead of just throwing this at them unless they are willing and able to discuss it with you at that time.  or schedule time with their therapist. If building skills is needed; then learning first yourself and then to practice them together before an event or a non anxiety producing situation as part of a good communication plan that can produce understanding and support.
  1. Have couples therapy sessions as scheduled to work out boundaries and rules that you both agree on and can follow to lower stress about the unknowns. This is important because you cannot do it on your own, you have already proven that. You need help to work together and be honest with yourself about what you need as you face your fears.
  1. It is recommended to see a therapist that you trust, but the therapist is only the coach you are the players on the field, it is your responsibility to make the recommended changes and report back to your therapist what worked or want didn’t work, to make the change to the next play until it works for you. 
  1. You are a team member, treat each other like you want to succeed in your game of life.5.  Find some simple relaxation activities that you can do together, either by playing a game or by taking a walk in the park. You should combine it with something that you like to do together, like watching a movie or enjoying a meal, to create happy secure times, so when the harder situations come you both can work together.
  1. Check out the Vagus Breathing podcast # 45 for a very simple 4 and 8 breathing pattern that can calm immediately that calms the Vagus Nerve.
  1. 6.  Be honest with your partner and tell them what you are feeling. For example, if you are having some doubts about a situation, tell your partner so he or she can give you reassurance or the clarity you need to make a better decision.  This is the # one thing anyone with anxiety is wanting, reassurance and to know it will be ok and a good way to start is with getting clarity about how to resolve the issue or make an agreed upon plan.
  1. 7.  Let your partner know ahead of time, about something that you are planning, pressure or short notice to get ready will add more pressure on them that will increase their short fuse, irritability and anxiety.Let your partner know if you are having some doubts about the plan, before hand, so that they can help you with preparations or what is bugging them, or you about it, so that it can be worked out, so you can let it go to enjoy the occasion.
  1. Do not expect you partner to make you happy or to feel calmer, that is your responsibility, not theirs.
  1. 9. Let your partner know, if there are changes you want to make to the plan that would lower your anxiety.
  1.  Be prepared to make mistakes! It is all about trial and error. You need to acknowledge and accept that some things will not go as planned, be flexible and change your mindset if it is ridged, to look at it like an adventure or a challenge. Not the end of the world if it doesn’t work out perfectly or exactly as planned.

In therapy with couples, Once I hear blaming, resentment and anger, I know this couple has waited too long to get help.

Don’t wait, ask for help, ask for what you need to be happy to create a happy relationship and along the way you will build skills that you can use in other situations to create more happiness around you and your loved ones.

This is by no means a replacement for therapy of any medical attention if you need it.  Always reach out and take care of yourself or if you are feeling like you want to hurt yourself, there is always someone standing by at 1800-273-8255 or call 911. Remember to Share the Love.

Or go to for an emotional support animal or a Psychiatric Service Dog to go with you everywhere to give you the support you need.

See the videos of the podcasts at

Podcast 47: 11 keys to Healthy Relationships

Even if Anxiety is a Major Factor

Podcast (Audio Only)

Joanne Williams explains from a therapist perspective some of the most common obstacles and remedies for healthy relationships.

Today's podcast is part 1 or 2 Part 1 about 11 keys to creating healthy happy relationships at home and work.

Part 2 or next week’s podcast will be about how anxiety can be an obstacle in relationships and 10 keys to creating and keeping a health relationship.

Why are relationships so hard?

Is your relationship like the Taylors in Home Improvement where everything works out and everyone laughs and loves and takes care of each other’s needs and live happily ever after or like the TV show of ‘Sheldon’ the spin off from the Big Bang theory, with eccentricities all over the place and having to accommodate what you might think are whackco ideas because anxiety controls another part of your partners life and it affects your relationship . 

Maybe things changed since you married or after having children or since Covid.  And if you are looking for answers, I will bring you some answers.

If your work with a boss that blames everyone except himself and doesn’t take any responsibility to right the ship without creating systems that we all can understand and use as a team to play by the same rules.? All of the situations can be helped using the 11 keys to creating a great relationship.

Does it seem like Anxiety tends to follow you wherever you go?

It does, we tend to seek out familiar or what we know and understand from our families or upbringing.   So you may already have more skills than you think and know and understand friends or partners or bosses with anxiety, better than you thought. 

Our early childhood experiences shape our later relationships, romantic and otherwise.

As infants, we develop an "attachment style" that reflects how we relate to our early caregiver(s), reflected in a "secure", "anxious "anxious avoidant" or "anxious ambivalent" (either "resistant" or "passive") style.

Attachment anxiety can produce specific behaviors in the course of developing a romantic relationship: seeking closeness, seeking comfort and support ("safe haven"), seeking security to be able to explore the world.  Do you recognize your style or your partners, needy, insecure, maybe controlling with ridge rules, all these are from anxiety.  

But we tend to be drawn to a partner with similar issues, or family backgrounds in the beginning, in the “love is blind time phase”  it is the similarities, the familiar comfort

Does this ring in bells think back? And now it is 2 years into the relationship you have moved in together or have children and are married. Oh no! what do I do.

I think most people in relationships live a life of quiet desperation. Because they never learned what to do or how to have a healthy relationship.

I repeated what I learned from my parents’ relationship, marrying my junior high sweetheart, who was an alcoholic Maine fisherman and I was desperate to get out and I didn’t know how. But, I figured it out and did.

I had to spend my own money to pay for therapy for years, to get enough emotional skills, by building inner self securities that I never received from my family to get out and not make the same mistake again in my next relationship. 

If this is you, don’t blame yourself, this is all part of a grander scheme to have a healthier life for the next generation, if you are willing to look at ways to make the needed changes for yours and your children’s sake.

But, why are relationships so hard.  There are no rules books to play by and nature has a bit of trickery in it too.

When You fall in love with someone, or in lust, as my husband likes to calls it,  and you think it will always be this way, you only see rose petals, candles and hear the soft music playing in your head and the fantasized movie set of the fabulous wedding, perfect house and beautiful children. But, then, the record scratches and you wake up.   No one told you how hard this was going to be, to make this happy picture happen, you may have just thought it just happens and live happily ever after without knowing how to do it..  Then discontent and disillusionment sets in.  Is this a nasty trick?

Nature actually does trick us to fall in love, with a chemical endorphin, the same chemical that allows moms to bond with a baby, or when we see a puppy with those big eyes, it trips this chemical Oxytocin, a warm melty feeling of euphoria.

Then after about 18 months, it wears off and you see things differently.  It is like you wake up from a wonderful dream and reality sets in.  And you actually see each other’s flaws that were never an issue before.  Love is Blind when Oxytocin is involved.  It is like we are drugged for a while, long enough to make commitments or marriage arrangements, and some people,  when they wake up feel disoriented or tricked. And The blaming can start. You See your partners flaws for the first time.  You think Why didn’t I see this before?

Many times a couple will marry, with traditional vows and then realize that they haven’t discussed what each other actual want; about personal choices, like child rearing, of dividing up of chores around the house or financial responsibilities.

Many couple ASSUME, that the other person knows the way it should be, the way  “ I like things”, because their mother or father did it that way, they assume everyone understands that is way it “should” be.  Expecting things to be done the way that your parents did it, is usually a kiss of death.

You need help to change entrenched habits that you may not even see, until your partners points them out in any unsupportive way and you never learned how to fight fair and use words to express what it is you need and the downward spiral starts.  

Without clear communication to clarify expectations, couples can slowly descend into arguments, blaming and assuming.  None are very effective tools.  And nowhere does it spell out about making sure each person gets their needs met first. 

WHAT do you mean by making sure you are getting your needs met first?

How can anyone at home or at work be happy if they aren’t getting their needs met.  How can you continually give to another if your needs aren’t met first?   Like the flight attendants says, put your oxygen mask on first before you help someone else.  Since if you don’t put yourself first, you would die, without oxygen.  Same in a marriage.

This is one of the most misunderstood concepts I see working with couples as their therapist. Make sure your needs are met first, by yourself, not by the other person, before trying to please someone else.  This will start a win win situation for both.   Or make sure that there is a “2 way street” of give and take so no one feels taken for granted or taken advantage of or not heard.

And it is what I see as the #1 issue in relationship failure.  Thinking you are to give to EVERYONE else first. As mothers especially. Or that it is somehow your responsibility to make sure everyone else is happy.  You cannot make anyone happy or sad.  It is up to them. And them alone. 

And if you are with someone who expects you to make them happy.  This is a no-win situation because at some point that person will get angry and resentful or shut down and passive aggressive acting out will start.  Like affairs, avoidance, or shutting down.

Don’t give up, get help, read a relationship book, go to counseling, alone if your partner doesn’t want to.  One person in the relationship getting happy, can shift the dynamics.

Or  You could rework your unspoken contracts to make sure that you both agree that you are each responsibility for your own happiness. And roles in the relationship and the other deal breakers before it is too late.

Breaking your unwritten agreements.

Plenty of couples draw up pre-nuptial agreements but very few sign off (officially) on the things that are deal-breakers for them, such as cheating, untreated addictions, using joint funds without discussion.

It doesn’t matter what your agreements are, as long as you are both clear about, and okay with, what it means. For example, who will do the main parenting job and who takes which part the responsibilities for it or is it expected to be shared 50/50?

Here are 11 things you can do starting today to change your relationship to communicate better and build back the trust in each other,  if you practice it.

  1. Decide that you want this relationship to work. Instead of talking about how it won’t work.
  2. Be so happy when your spouse calls or texts you. And When you or they walk through the door, be soooo happy to see them. This one thing will rock their world.
  3. Treat each other like a million-dollar Stratovarius 100 year old violin. Cherished, special, no one like it. You adore each other and act that way to each other. I know, it won’t happen 100% of the time, How about 25% of the time, that would make an impact.
  4. Communicate the way you want to be communicated with. Low tone. No emotion, facts only of what you need to get your need met. Don’t let it emotions build up. If you or they do. Let them stomp off. Make a rule that you must say to the other first.  I will be back and we will work this out and name the time.  (Must be in the same day) I suggest within a few hours, once you cool down.
  5. Never believe that your mate would EVER EVER INTENTIONALLY do or say anything to hurt your or say something bad about you. Choose to not believe it.
  6. Treat each interaction like a deposit in the bank of love or as a withdrawal, according to the other person. You want you love balance to grow and be more than your withdrawals. When you take a hit you balance with stay over -0- Make sure you continually make deposits.
  7. Create win wins interacts every chance you can and every situations. A win win is when you both feel you have won something and feel satisfied and heard. Once you met your needs first, you have more to give to the other person and you feel a win already and can give to the other to create a win win for both.

8.Crave out a sacred time for the two of you to be together, even if it is coffee on the porch, no kids or distractions. Just the two of you. This gives you reconnect time and time to focus on what you feel in love with in the first place.

  1. Always always always say what you appreciate about your partner at least 3 times per day, for cooking, cleaning, taking out the garbage, or taking the kids to school. And FEEL IT and MEAN it. This is transformational.
  2. Have Patience and see your partner for the sacred son or daughter of source that they are. See them like the angels see us. Perfect the way we are.  Unconditionally. No conditions of when we love them, no matter what they do. Whether they please us of not. They are with you for just the right reason. You just need to find it.
  3. Understand that there is some higher reason you are together. I believe that you made a contract in heaven to come down with a group of souls and the one that drive you the craziest are probably the ones you wanted to learn the greatest lessons from, for your advancement as an enlightened being and can learn the greatest lessons from, if we stop blaming them and appreciate what they have to give us.

Learn how to get your needs met.  Don’t’ wait until the anger and resent are seeping out, get counseling, get a book, go to a seminar or retreat and learn how to have a happy relationship, to have a happy life and the most important thing of all is to teach your children how to have solid happy relationships.

Focus on the good of your partner and what we love about each other, and we work together in our counseling sessions.

Cherish each other and appreciate each other everyday, reconstituted your contracts too figure how to negotiate to help each other get their needs met.

Don’t blame or complain, always go back to appreciating your partner or what you fell in love with to focus on, instead of the flaws and faults.

I broke the mold of abuse and poor relationships in my family with 2 successful happily (as Possible) married adult children raising 4 amazing healthy grandchildren.  I now get to observe and see the fruits of my emotional labor to change my families’ dynamics of poor relationship skills.

You can create happy relationship for a lifetime, nothing is ever perfect or as you think it “should be” with learning to accept and have patience and never blame or assume that it is anyone’s responsibility for your own happiness you can do it.

Reach out if you need counseling, this last year has been brutal on some relationships.  Grow from the pressure instead of having it weigh you down.

This is by no means a replacement for therapy of any medical attention if you need it.  Always reach out and take care of yourself or if you are feeling like you want to hurt yourself, there is always someone standing by at 1800-273-8255 or call 911. Remember to Share the Love.

You can contact us at or to find out more how to get an Emotional Support animal for housing or a Certified Psychiatric Service dog to go anywhere with to feel the calm.