Category Archives for "Anxiety"

Podcast 67: How To Overcome and Cure Sexual Anxiety

Sexual Anxiety Can Be Controlled

Sexual anxiety in marriage

Today we have a special guest Dr. Lindsey Brooks a sex therapist.  I will introduce in a minute.  

Dr. Brooks has her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, is a certified sex therapist turned sex educator and has been providing therapy since 2005. She is thrilled to now be bringing her knowledge beyond the therapy office into her Sexual Empowerment School where she teaches women how to build their own sexual self-knowledge, develop pleasure-positive mindsets, and learn sexual communication skills through her on-line 8 weeks workshops and resources.

How to overcome sexual anxiety

  1. She shares how developing a Pleasure-positive mindset can be an integral part of wellness. That for women pleasure is ok and welcoming. 
  2. Boundaries- Be clear before hand and discuss what You want, What You will do and what you won’t do. 
  3. Can be hard to separate emotions and sexuality with someone.  This is where hurt feeling and shame and anxiety can be there if you are not on the same emotional page when having sex.
  4. The Messages or script learned from religions, social media or TV and Misinformation have an impact on what we think is right or wrong, good or bad. You are either a good girl or a fun girl.

How to get rid of sexual anxiety

In her 8 week workshop Dr. Lindsey help to rewrite scripts for more of a pleasure mindset. 

  • Normalizing behaviors and emotions involved. 
  • Reframe Shame and what that person enjoys. 
  • Look at your own Values to guide you.  What feels right, . Not fear or shame.

Women deserve pleasure in sex and for it to be mutual and reciprocated, not one sided. 

Sexual anxiety treatment

She has a free Offering: 

Her course can be found at:

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. 

Go to our website for more on how to get certified for an Emotional Support or Psychiatric Service Dog today.  

Esaevaluation16  FB page at Joanne Williams Podcast videos to feel more in control of your life.

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

Podcast 55: The World Is a Lot Less Screwed Up Than We Think It Is

Podcast (Audio Only)

5 Classes of Worries and Ways to Handle Them

In this episode Joanne Williams, LCSW discusses how we see the world thru fears eyes and a way to change that lens.

Summary of today Podcast: 

  1. The World Is a Lot Less Screwed up Than We Think It Is
  2. Long-term trends look good.
  3. 5 Classes of worries and ways to handle them 

Today I want to share 10 things that are getting better in our world in an article by Concoda and How our chronic fears fall into five fairly distinct classifications: A. Gilkey a pastor in 1930.

  1. Worries about disasters which, as later events proved, never happened. About 40% of my anxieties.
  2. Worries about decisions I had made in the past, decisions about which I could now of course do nothing. About 30% of my anxieties.
  3. Worries about possible sickness and a possible nervous breakdown, neither of which materialized. About 12% of my worries.
  4. Worries about my children and my friends, worries arising from the fact I forgot these people have an ordinary amount of common sense. About 10% of my worries.
  5. Worries that have a real foundation. Possibly 8% of the total.

Gilkey prescribes: Limit worrying to the fifth group. This simple act will eliminate 92% of his fears. It will leave him free from worry 92% of the time.

Listen for any of these fear as hear the 10 things that are getting better in the world and how if you can keep focused and say to yourself, I will only worry about this issue, IF IT ACTUALLY is happening than using up valuable energy with 99% of worries never come true.

Sounds simple it is the hard part is changing the worry habit.  If you want help read my upcoming book how to stop worry in 5 steps.

Everyone is guilty of spreading negative vibes at some point — Think about social media, your attention is usually fixed on the drama of the day.  Or in the mass media matrix, the politics, and the social injustices for one moment, though it’s hard to believe, we have made decent progress as a species over recent history.

Here are the 10 Ten Global Trends: Every Smart Person Should Know

Ronald Bailey and Marian Tupy destroy the pessimistic narrative that the world is heading toward an apocalypse by laying out ten simple, yet powerful, facts showing humanity has progressed over the last few centuries.

Here is good news, start to direct your focus to what you want more of in the world, instead of the “car wrecks of messaging” vying for your attention.

  1. The global economy has increased by 100x.

Compared to, the 1900s, with the help of freer markets and rule of law, saw GDP growth rates average at least 3%. Tupy calculates GDP will increase to a whopping $1.1 quadrillion by 2100.

  1. Global poverty has imploded.

In today’s world of rampant consumer capitalism, it’s hard to believe that only two centuries ago 84% of the global population lived in poverty, earning almost $1.90 per day. But as The Great Enrichment spread gradually across the world, we managed to cut extreme poverty in half.

Now, the global poverty rate stands at 9.3%, and if this keeps falling at today’s pace, it will drop to roughly 5% by 2030. The United Nations also set the goal of abolishing extreme poverty for everyone, everywhere by the same year.

  1. We’re not running out of fuel.

Despite what some people claim, we’re not running low on any resource. In fact, the Simon Abundance Index reveals that almost every commodity increases in volume and availability the more we demand them.

Humanity has yet to run out of a single commodity, and we’re not even close.

  1. Famine has almost disappeared.

In 1961, the daily supply of calories stood at ~2,100, but now, this has risen to ~3,000.  “The world’s poorest region enjoys access to food.

Today, famines only exist in war torn countries and those experiencing droughts, but that could change in the future as relief efforts continue to improve.

  1. Democracy is smashing autocracy.

Following the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989, democracy has spread rapidly across the world, beating the communist and fascist regimes that had arisen since the 1920s.

Though now it’s still close, the world has more democracies than autocracies.

Using a scale from -10 to 10, where -10 equals tyranny and 10 equals a free society.

From 1989 to 2017, the number of “fully-fledged democracies”, a score of 7 or above, rose by 13%, while “fully-fledged autocracies”, a score of -7 or less, decreased from 39% to 11%.

6.We have more trees now, not less.

Contrary to popular belief, mother nature is beating deforestation.

In September 2018, a University of Maryland study found that the global tree canopy — the visible portion of the plant— has not declined but increased by 2.24 million square kilometers, an area bigger than Alaska and Montana’s landmass combined.

7.The world is much safer.

As technology has advanced rapidly in the modern age, dying from a natural disaster is now 99% less likely according to the International Disaster Database.

Since satellites give scientists a comprehensive overview of developing weather conditions, meteorologists have Doppler radar to measure hurricanes, seismologists use data to detect future landslide risk, and volcanologists listen to volcanoes to predict eruptions, most governments can act in time.

Interstate wars have almost disappeared.

In 2017,the RAND Corporation reported that, apart from a short period between 2014–2015, armed conflict worldwide has decreased dramatically.

Now, if we could just get the U.S. and China war machines to leave the Middle East and Africa, we may get closer to world peace.

  1. We’ve yet to become urban.

“No country has grown to middle income without industrializing and urbanizing. None has grown to high income without vibrant cities,” says the World Bank, illustrating how the rise of cities globally has helped improve human prosperity.

While you’ll find most innovation, growth, and money in cities, this actually helps the planet. It’s hard to fathom how city dwellers produce a smaller carbon footprint than people living in rural areas, but it’s true.

And as the other 3 billion people who still live in rural areas keep moving to the city, this will continue to improve.

  1. There’s more to go around.

You’ve probably heard that a decreasing population is bad for the world — and especially bad for your stocks, shares, and real estate. But there are many upsides too.

As Tupy and Marion state, “falling child mortality rates, increased urbanization, rising incomes, and the spread of political and economic freedom” correlate with families having fewer children, which also creates more reproductive freedom.

Wolfgang Lutz, a demographer at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, predicts the global population will peak at 9.8 billion in 2080 and will have dropped to 9.5 billion by 2100. This one is for the grandchildren.

  1. It’s still scr*wed though.

And it always will be. That’s how the world works. As new injustices and atrocities emerge every day, we’ll never be content or satisfied.

That’s the way we think. Our minds make it happen. Negativity and availability bias, psychological fallacy means we love to consume the bad over the good. It results from a cognitive shortcut to enable quick decisions and judgments. 

Maybe we’re too privileged. Maybe we have it so great that when most of our problems disappear, we tend to create or seek out new ones.

And sometimes, we focus so much on the negatives that we forget we have it better than ever.

We can’t dispute that the ten trends Tupy and Bailey have outlined proving we’ve progressed as a species, but we’ll never let go of how we believe the world is descending into chaos.  

We know it’s not all doom and gloom. We know the world is a lot less sc*rwed than we want to believe it is, and, deep down, this will keep us going in the back of our minds; for now, at least.

It is a choice to consume news and then evaluate it to see how it can serve you. Instead of create fear. We are creatures of drama, but for today, choose to see the world as ½ full?

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.

emotional support animal or a Psychiatric Service Dog

Check out the videos of the podcasts at

n this episode Joanne Williams, LCSW will discuss Top books on Emotional Intelligence Tony Robbins 'Unlimited Power' and Esther Hicks 'Ask it is Given' and comments on how the Words we use Matter and Joanne explains Where our Beliefs come from.  An interview with Cara Lumen about the importance of the words you choose on your Beliefs.

Summary of today Podcast:

  • Quotes from several books that are known for Emotional Intelligence
  • Looking at Beliefs, thought patterns and how they affect our life
  • Learned Helplessness from a Shocking rat experiment
  • Our Emotional Brain and how it affects our thoughts and emotional reactions and how to reroute to our Belief Center
  • An interview Shaman Cara Lumen who discusses Beliefs and how words we use are powerful
  • Question for today is? Where do beliefs come from.

Abraham in Esther Hicks in the book ‘Ask and it is Given’, says our beliefs are just thoughts that we think over and over again repeatedly until we believe those thoughts.

Where do these thoughts come from that turn into Beliefs? Their source must come initially from our parents, our household, or family members were the first impact of words or thoughts that we ever heard. On a conscious level, it would seem to be the case that they come from our immediate surroundings. 

Do you believe the same kinds of things that your mother and father believe? Or have we changed our beliefs? I would say yes because most of us have similar, maybe not exactly, but you'll hear many say, as we get older, Oh my gosh...I sound exactly like my mother or my father. Whether we like it or not, that does seem to be the case.

Then we develop coping skills or ways to problem solve in our life circumstances.  We all have to figure these kinds of problems out. But, from a child’s viewpoint.

I learned about brain development through Graduate school to be a licensed counsel, but I am no means a neurologist, nor an expert on the brain.  But, I do understand that the emotional brain that is developed starting at 6 months before our rational brain, which starts to develop with rational analytic kind of understanding starting at 12 years and it keeps developing  even until 25 years old or 35 years old. No wonder males must be 25 to rent a car. And the insurance industry has higher rates for males under 25 yr. old.

So, if our emotional brain starts at 6 months and we use it figure out how to get our needs met. We cry and wait to see if someone comes.   We can have an emotional reaction if we get our needs met or if we don’t get them met.   What happens, if no one does come when we are hungry? What do you think that little brain does?  Or if that little brain has pain instilled when it does cry to get it needs met? You can see that many things are happing in our little brains that could affect it.

What do you think's going on emotionally in a household at 6 months old?  Siblings loving on you or they could be abusing you. Your parents could be loving you or they could be neglecting you. You can almost understand the emotional response to each of these one of these situations on brain development.  I understood as I learned about childhood development that there is such thing as learned helplessness. This could start to happen even to A baby or even a person later in life.  Because of our emotional responses to situations.

In this experiment about Learned Helplessness from Graduate School, there were experiments with rats, that were used to see their response to a Surface with one half that is electrified, and the other half was not. One rat could go between the two sides and get off of the electrified surface and of course they would feel better. The other rat could only stay on the electrified surface and couldn’t get off it.

It was not enough electricity so that it would kill the rat it was just painful and at some point, because the pain did not stop they gave up trying.

This is where the term learned helplessness came about. At some point you give up when things are just are too painful and it things don’t get better or stop. There seems to be no way out we just stopped trying. How sad is that to give up or succumb to a life experience because you can’t figure a way out.

Can you see how victim thinking could start very early when there is no way out for a child under age 12, when you don’t have the cognitive abilities to discern or figure out options. Or how personality disordered can start to manipulate the situation to get your way, If it works then you repeat it, maybe through life.  If if doesn’t work what happens to that child?  Maybe they lash out, get angry and believe that the work is not a safe place to live. 

This one Belief can make or Break a child’s view of the world.  Is it a safe place or not?

I remember being at seminar with Tony Robbins, the great Motivational Speaker, 35 years ago and He had just written his first book was ‘Unlimited Power’, he said that 90% of our beliefs are formed by the time we are 8 years old and 95% of our Beliefs by the time we are18 yrs.  That is a means what we belief when we young stick with us for life.

No wonder they call it the formative years.

Aristotle the Greek philosopher once said “Give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man”

So what can we do about changing our Beliefs?

  1. Understanding these Belief points can help you understand why people do what they do and believe the things that they do. It might make you more compassionate and help you understand how to respond. Maybe you don’t respond to their reaction, you respond to what they may not understand.
  2. I hope this Helps you to be kinder to yourself and to understand where your beliefs are coming from. It’s a child’s view. Maybe that is why you are the way you are and if you don’t like it, be aware of it and Change it.
  3. Beliefs are just thoughts that we have thought over and over again until we believe them.
  4. You can change your Beliefs by being AWARE of them. Notice what you’re your thoughts are to change them or notice your emotions which are your internal guidance system is showing you your emotional reaction to your own thoughts.
  5. This is what my ACT method is based on. That you can start for free on my website anxiety Be aware to change the thought feeling combination. Then be consistent until you change the belief.
  6. Being Aware of your thoughts is key to be able to change them. Since if these started as a young child, you aren’t aware of them.
  7. Tony Robbins recommends: Change your physiology, standup if you are siting. Change the room you are in. Get lower or higher in relation to a person you are conversing with changes the dynamics. Or Change the meaning your attribute to a thing.  Tony Robbins said change words of angry to: “I am peeved.”  How can you stay angry when you say the word ‘peeved’? In his book ‘Unlimited Power’ create new metaphor for the situation or emotion in your life to change it.
  8. Change your focus- Give a negative emotion 90 seconds then change it to a positive one. Mel Robbins, 5 seconds.
  9. We will hear know from Cara Lumen who has the Deeper Song community as a spiritualist and Philosopher on the way our words effect the way we look at the world so we call can enjoy more.

Join the Conversation

Our favorite part of recording is answering your questions, from Face book at  Leave comments in the comment section, we will answer on a Podcast on that subject.  So, listen for your question.  Or share it with someone who may be helped with that answer. 

Our next podcast: Quotes to Overcoming obstacles with Meredith Alexander.

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Podcast 54: Can Marijuana Help Anxiety

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Podcast (Audio Only)

3 Ways to Calm Anxiety

Joanne Williams, as a 30 years Mental Health Professional after Looking into studies, if components of Marijuana could help with Anxiety. She Does not support marijuana use or use of substances in general, since they are covering up symptoms, instead of resolving them.

I recommend finding ways to resolve your anxiety and get skills or strategies to reduce it without substances for a lifetime of better coping.

As a 30-year veteran therapist. I do get asked all the time, my views or opinions on this question.

I have taken seminars on this subject and the data came back that there is no clear evidence that Marijuana helps anxiety itself.

I think what is clear that is can make anxiety worse, since it is a hallucinogen, and can make you have see things, that are not “normal” or go on “trip” that can be very scary or create paranoia.

The other issues, I see is that brain development continues until age 25 in young adults, and any substance that affects the brain, can be detrimental.

This article goes into more details: Does marijuana help calm anxiety? Weighing the benefits and risks — and whether it’s right for you? By Madeline Kennedy- There is evidence that the CBD compound in marijuana may help treat some anxiety disorders, though research is limited.

Though many people report smoking weed to treat their anxiety, the drug could actually make anxiety symptoms worse for some people.

Research is scarce about how marijuana can affect anxiety symptoms like irritability, muscle tension, and excessive worrying. For some people, marijuana may even increase anxiety.

But a 2015 review of 40 preliminary studies on CBD found that this chemical may play a key role. The researchers said they found encouraging, preliminary results that concentrated doses of CBD oil, when taken regularly, could be an effective treatment for a host of anxiety disorders including:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

Even if the restrictions on marijuana were lifted, and researchers could use it in their studies, there’s another problem.

Both anxiety disorders and marijuana sensations are individualized. So, marijuana may help one person with their anxiety but not another.

Someone with generalized anxiety disorder symptoms like difficulty sleeping may have a better reaction to marijuana than someone with panic disorder who fears losing control.

Even worse, using marijuana could enhance symptoms of anxiety for some people, says James Giordano, PhD, a professor of neurology and biochemistry at Georgetown University Medical Center.

“Some are overly sensitive to the ‘activating’ effects of THC, and this can induce anxiety, rather than reduce or relieve it,” Giordano says.

Latest research: A 2020 study found that higher-potency cannabis may increase the risk of anxiety associated with marijuana use.

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 at Joanne Williams FB page at esaevaluation16

Check out podcast videos at

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.

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 49: Attitudes of Mindfullness

Creating your Authentic Self

Welcome to Anxiety simplified Podcast. I am Joanne Williams, and I am here to share powerful strategies I have used myself and with my clients as a 30 year MH professional to lower anxiety, simply, that you can use too as we Bring this right into your own home or car, we hope this makes your life just a little happier and less stressed. And We really want to thank our Loyal listeners that are making this possible.  So enjoy.

I’m offering a gift to celebrate out 1 year anniversary of during podcast every week I am offering a printable print of the 7 Attitudes of Mindfulness you can print off and have in front of you or on your desk to remind of some qualities, I think we all seek but few find in our Harried American lives and coming out of covid I see that we need more peace in our minds than ever to do a reset on what is important in your lives that can be practiced in the moment or as you go through your day.

These 7 attitudes can be life changing and in Podcast # 50, my celebration of one year of doing podcasts I will do an actual explanation behind it and the medical research of how it works and a demonstration of how to put this altogether in practice. 

 Today I will go over Kabat Zinn ‘s 7 attitudes to use them in a simple task.

The 7 Attitudes of Mindfulness according to Kabat-Zinn support overall wellness. These seven primary attitudes are the foundational fruits of mindfulness practice. By internalizing them, a variety of other attitudes can flow into our lives. Friendliness, gratitude, gentleness, curiosity, non-attachment, non-reactivity, happiness, and creativity as all possible outcomes with practice. Others can include attunement, persistence, confidence, and willingness. Being more in harmony with another human is an especially vital skill for helping your self to feeling less stress and more internal peace, no matter, if the kids are driving you crazy, internally you have a quiet place to be, as chaos is all around you. 

 Being non-judgmental of one's internal processes is at the heart of mindfulness practice. Non-judging refers to thinking, feeling, or responding without the influence of an internal sensor or critic. Non-judging is an attitude of "just noticing" thoughts, emotions, or whatever may surface as relevant. Non-judgment, however, does not endorse behaviors that put oneself or others in harm's way. For instance, consider a recovering addict who is experiencing an intense craving to use a substance following a stressful day. Non-judgment does not advocate that the person should just go out and use, which would certainly be harmful.

Rather, non-judgment encourages the person to just notice the craving, pay attention to it, SIT WITH IT and be with it in a spirit of non-judgment.

Mindfulness, especially if practiced regularly, helps us to become more patient with ourselves. Patience teaches how to wait with grace. By cultivating this attitude, one can not only learn to defer instant gratification, but also to be gentler with oneself when shame-based responses attempt to sabotage. 

Thus, mindfulness practice is a way to RETAIN maladaptive cognitive and emotional responses like anxiety or depression while being gentle with oneself.

The mindfulness attitude that can significantly impact this retraining of the brain is "beginner's mind."

Beginner's mind is approaching each new task with an open mind. Think of the sense of wonder that a child attempting a task for the first time may experience. With this attitude, one can remove an expert's mindset and refrain from living on metaphorical autopilot. 

Practicing any activity with a beginner's mind is also a very effective way to practice non-striving: thinking, feeling, or acting with focus on the process, not just the outcome. The name of this skill confuses many people, because Western culture tends to associate non-striving with giving up. Non-striving does not imply laziness or sloth. 

Non-striving is an attitude that encourages one, even in work, to refrain from fighting so hard. In non-striving, whatever happens, happens. Consider the saying, "life is about the journey, not the destination," which epitomizes the spirit of non-striving.

The final three attitudes of mindfulness are also ideal for enjoying the journey without letting the stress of reaching the destination trouble us. 

First, there is the attitude of trust, or having belief in some unseen entity, such as another person or group or the internal self. One can also practice trust in an outcome that may not be obvious during the journey by believing it is there and it will be reached when it is supposed to be reached.

The next attitude is acceptance, or coming to terms with reality no matter how harsh or unpleasant it may be.

Practicing acceptance can be a pathway to peace, and it does not imply one must "like" the reality in order to discontinue fighting. Acceptance is internalizing the attitude of "it is what it is." Finally, there is the attitude of letting go, or releasing one's "grip" on a situation, emotion, person, thing, or outcome. Letting go generally results in a freeing response (or at least the beginnings of one). This response can clear the path for wellness and growth.

By practicing tuning in to your self first, we all can be more effective a friends or family members nonverbal signals and sense any subtle shifts in energy or relational dynamics. 

  • Can have Connections with others 
  • No Shame or fear which disconnection, or no feeling of I am not worthy. 
  • Being Connected is being vulnerability to another
  • There is a Sense of belonging and feeling worthy in that vulnerability that allows connection.  Because they believe they are worthy.
  • Have the Courage to tell you own story of imperfection. 
  • Being authentic, to feel your own personal worth when you connect with other whether in business or at home. 
  • Or Do something with no guarantee to feel authentic in the skin you are in to practice and see your reactions or defenses that pop up that are protecting you from your own inner feelings or fears.
  • I will leave you with a way to 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?



  1. Think about looking toward the horizon during the walk instead of down at your feet.
  2. 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).
  3. Standing tall, let your heel connect with the earth and allow the front part of your foot to point towards the sky.
  4. Very slowly step down, shifting the weight from your heel to the ball of the foot.
  5. Shift the weight from the ball to the toes.
  6. Deliberately repeat this same motion on the other foot.
  7. 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. Remember to Share the Love.

Podcast 46: 7 ways to Go from fight-or-flight into rest-and-digest within minutes told by scientists

Podcast (Audio Only)

Calm yourself within minutes with a Simple Breathing Technique that is the key to wellness

In this episode Joanne Williams, LCSW discusses the Vagus nerve and how to use to it to lower BP, heart rate, depression, anxiety, PTSD and other stress responses. And dozens of other medical issues.

Summary of Todays show: 7 ways to increase your Vagus nerve activity Go from fight-or-flight into rest-and-digest within minutes told by scientists

We will do an actual demonstration of how to activate this critical nerve to help you calm yourself automatically.

This is the most important Podcast I have ever done because I think it is THE answer to stress and anxiety.

I have been studying the Vagus nerve for almost a year.  Once I heard about its possible calming effects on anxiety, PTSD and depression, I was hooked to find out more.

I shared a clients almost magical results.   

“The mysterious nerve network that quiets pain and stress — and may defeat disease.” 

This is about activating a complicated system of a network of nerves that connects the brain to the heart, the gut, the immune system, and many of the organs. That system is known collectively as the vagus nerve.

These nerve networks act as lines of communication between the brain and the body’s many systems and organs. Some of the cranial nerves interpret sensory information collected by the skin, eyes, or tongue. Others control muscles or communicate with glands.

Experts have linked its activity to symptom changes in people with migraine headaches, inflammatory bowel disease, depression, epilepsy, arthritis. The more science learns about the nerve, the more it seems like a better understanding of the vagus nerve function could unlock new doors to treating all manner of human suffering.

These are some of the medical conditions relation to the Vagus nerve: from an article How to go from fight-or-flight into rest-and-digest within minutes, as told by scientists in another study by Alan Trapulionis

  • We know that the Vagus nerve cools down the inflammatory responses
  • We know that the vagus nerve helps strengthen our memory
  • We know that the vagus nerve controls our heart rate
  • We know that the vagus nerve releases the ‘chill out’ hormone
  • Vagus nerve can help with Vasovagal syncope
  • Better blood sugar regulation
  • Decreased risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease
  • Generally lower blood pressure
  • Better digestion due to proper production of digestive enzymes
  • Fewer migraines
  • Less depression
  • Less anxiety (they naturally deal with stress better)

Pick almost any common medical condition that’s made worse by stress or inflammation — everything from arthritis to inflammatory bowel disease — and there’s research showing that vagus nerve stimulation can help treat it or relieve its symptoms.

While some aspects of vagal activity, it’s clear that the nerve is the governor of the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps control the body’s relaxation responses.

In simple terms, heightened vagal activity counteracts the stress response.

Silberstein says that heightened vagal activity slows heart rate and also switches off inflammation, in part by triggering the release of immune system calming chemicals. Acetylcholine a calming hormone.

The Vagus nerve may actually be what they call “the missing link” to treating chronic inflammation that can cause a variety of other issues— like high blood pressure, migraines, digestive issues and any inflammatory related things like arthritis etc.—all without medication!

Apart from being able to relax faster after stress, people with a high vagal tone have overall better functioning internal systems including:

  1. Humming-
  2. Speaking, Singing and laughter.
  3. Wash your face with cold water
  4. Yoga
  5. Meditation
  6. Increase Good Gut Bacteria
  7. Breathing deeply using your diaphragm

For all its complexity, the vagus nerve seems to have a relatively simple role: to calm us down.

Otto Loewi, a Nobel prize winner, first discovered the “chill hormone” acetylcholine during a medical experiment.

In 2018, two researchers from the Netherlands have found that slow-breathing techniques with longer exhalations stimulate the vagus nerve. “Longer exhalations” means that your exhalations are longer than your inhalations ad this allow the chill hormone to be released.

In a set of inhales though the nose to the count of 4 and exhales out through the mouth to the count of 8 -4 times as one set.  One study I read said that doing this  1 set 3x per days or 25 sets in 8-9 days can actually get the Vagus nerve to continue to secrete the calming chemical automatically, but why would you stop a great habit and feel calmed on demand.

Practice this 4 and 8 breathing to help it calm you.

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.

From this article in Medium by Markham Heid titled Dec 19, 2019·5 min read   Science Confirms That the Vagus Nerve Is Key to Well-being

Join us for Our next podcast: Relationships and Anxiety

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Podcast 44: Isolation Struggles with Covid from a College Students Perspective

How Emotional Support Animals (ESA) and Psychiatric Service Dogs (PSD) can help the struggle of Loneliness and add more meaning and Purpose during Isolation

Podcast (Audio Only)

The summary of today show is a very timely subject of how to cope with the struggles of isolation in a the times of the Pandemic.

Interview with my guest Nicole Cimmarusti who is a college student at UC Davis in California studying Psychology. She interviews Joanne on how Covid 19 has impacted people in general and client with Emotional Support Animals  (ESAs) and Psychiatric Service Dogs (PSD).  

Nicole started off by sharing why she wants to do her paper on emotional support animals and how they can help with the feelings of Isolation through the pandemic and ways to cope better.

We discussed working with ESAs and PSDs and how it can help with anxiety to fly. Joanne works with clients who need an Emotional Support Animals (ESA) or a Psychiatric Service Dog. (PSD) and the difference between them.

ESAs need to help with a daily functioning, like sleep, concentration or socializing and the law is now only for housing and it is under the FHA.  

The law for PSD is under the Americas with Disabilities Act (ADA) and they can go anywhere with the person.  The dog needs to be “trained” to do a task to help them with their psychological diagnosis.

Suggestions to help with isolations for building daily habits to not let drama take your focus off your goals and to focus forward on solutions, instead of focusing on problems.

How to get a Psychiatric Service Dog, and how to get a Emotional Support Animal.  Find a dog at a shelter that matches your energy level and emotional needs to calm or comfort you or helps by noticing your anxiety is rising that come over and calms your anxiety or depression. Dogs can help with isolation during the pandemics.

Connecting with others is really important for dealing with isolation, reach out in other in any way that will.

Suicides have increased because of isolation call the hot line 1800-273-8255. Reach out to a professional. There is a current Shadow Pandemic with mental health issues rising.

Campus resources for counseling. But less access because of demand. Interns are not allowed to do in-person sessions because of Covid.

Some of the interview questions she asked and we explored in the podcast.

  • How has the pandemic affected the need for emotional support animals?
  • What’s the difference between an ESA and PSD and who qualifies?
  • How has the pandemic affected your business of certifying with emotional support animals?
  • More personally, how have you been coping with the isolation of the pandemic and what would you recommend for people struggling?

Nicole and Joanne described the affect of isolation and losses from the Pandemic.

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 check out other videos of the podcast at

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.

Join us for Our next podcast: How to keep what happen in Vagus, in the Vagus nerve

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Podcast 43: 15 ways to Improve Your Sleep

Sleep Better Even having Insomnia because of Anxiety

Podcast (Audio Only)

Joanne Williams discusses How lack of sleep can affect your health and 15 ways to Improve your sleep and 3 ways to help you sleep better, even with anxiety interferes with you good sleep.

Sleep is a necessity and yet we seem to treat it like not getting enough sleep will come without consequences. The research will challenge you on this, sleep is necessary for good health.

We will share15 ways to make sleep better, and how do deal with ruminating thoughts that go around and around in your head at night, that interfere with good sleep.

Sleep deprivation is when you don’t get the sleep your body and mind needs, and it is It’s estimated to affect around 1/3 of American adults, have a problem that has only worsened in recent years.

Lack of sleep directly affects how we think and feel. While the short-term impacts are more noticeable, chronic sleep deprivation can heighten long-term risks of physical and mental health problems.

10 reasons why you want to figure out how to get better sleep-

  • Sleepiness Causes Accidents. ...
  • Sleep Loss Dumbs You Down. ...
  • Sleep Deprivation Can Lead to Serious Health Problems. ...
  • Lack of Sleep Kills Sex Drive. ...
  • Sleepiness can be one symptom of Depression. ...
  • Lack of Sleep Ages Your Skin. ...
  • Sleepiness Makes You Forgetful. ...
  • Losing Sleep Can Make You Gain Weight.

The effects of sleep deprivation and sleep deficiency can be serious and far-reaching.

Acute sleep deprivation or short term- raises the risk of unintentional errors and accidents. Drowsy driving, which involves slowed reaction time and the risk of microsleeps, can be life-threatening.

60% of adult drivers reported driving while drowsy in the past year. Survey data from the CDC indicated that one in every 25 adults had fallen asleep behind the wheel in the past month.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2017 drowsy driving led to at least 91,000 crashes, resulting in roughly 50,000 injuries and 800 deaths.

People who are sleep deprived are more likely to struggle in school and work settings or to experience mood changes that may affect personal relationships.

Chronic sleep deprivation- long term, can contribute to a wide range of health problems.

Sleep plays a fundamental role in the effective functioning of nearly all systems of the body, so a persistent lack of sleep creates significant risks to physical and mental health:

  • Cardiovascular disease: Sleep deficiency and cardiovascular problems including high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
  • Diabetes: Insufficient sleep appears to affect the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar.
  • Obesity: Research has found that people tend to consume more calories and carbohydrates when they don’t get enough sleep.
  • Immunodeficiency: Sleep deficiency has been shown to lead to worsened immune function, including a poorer response to vaccines.
  • Hormonal abnormalities: Sleep helps the body properly produce and regulate levels of various hormones.
  • Pain: Sleep-deprived people are feeling that their pain is getting worse. Pain may cause further sleep interruptions, creating a negative cycle of worsening pain and sleep.
  • Mental health disorders: Sleep and mental health are closely intertwined, and poor sleep has strong associations with conditions like depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.

Given these diverse and important impacts of sleep deprivation, studies have found insufficient sleep to be tied with a greater overall risk of death as well as a lower quality of life.

On a society-wide level, the impacts of sleep deprivation are enormous. sleep deprivation has been calculated to incur hundreds of billions in added healthcare costs as well as over $400B in productivity losses per year in the United States alone.

Here are 15 Ways to sleep better BY MICHAEL MARTIN SEPTEMBER 3, 2020  You Think Sleep Issues Are Part of Normal Aging

At age 40 or 60, you need the same amount of sleep as you did in college.

1. You're Getting Less Than Seven Hours

According to Gallup, the average American sleeps 6.8 hours nightly, and 40 percent of us sleep less than six hours a night. Adults, need seven to nine hours.

2. Shut Down Screens An Hour Before Bed

"Wind down by reading a (paper) book, writing in a journal, or chatting with your partner."

3. Don’t Drink Late-Night Cocktails

Researchers have found that alcohol shortens deep (REM) sleep, which makes sleep less restorative. Stick to one to two drinks nightly, and don't use booze as a sleep aid.

5. If You're Snoring

It can be the sign of a serious health problem: Namely, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). During OSA, breathing can stop for as long a minute, before your brain wakes you up to resume breathing. It's also exhausting. talk to your doctor.

6. If You're Using Sleeping Pills- think again.

You shouldn't need to rely on meds to get to sleep, even over-the-counter drugs. Some studies have linked the use of hypnotic (sleep-inducing) drugs to an increased risk of cancer and death.  Instead figure out a new way to relax and slow your mind.

I did a survey of my clients and the #2 Challenge with having anxiety was getting good sleep because of difficulty of shutting off your brain.

3 Ways to Shut off your Anxious mind:

Learn ways to Let Go of the worry thoughts that are not processed in the day, that are affecting your sleep if you are a chronic worrier.

For instance, If you're still hashing over a conflict or a meeting at work that you didn't say what you felt you should have said.

Learning letting go skills of the What if’s, what if I would have said this or that or the ruminations of the thoughts that are going around and around. Instead refocusing these thoughts on peaceful calming thoughts to instill that feeling in your body to relax. 

Learn progressive tense and release of different muscle groups starting at your toes to your head that has been shown to not only reduce your physical muscle tension and stress, but it also refocuses your thoughts on your body.

Add a breathing technique of counting your breathes in through your nose as you count to 4 and exhale to the count of 8 and patterns of a set of 4. This is a profound relaxer because it stimulates the Vagus nerve to excrete a relaxing chemical acetylcholine.

Create a nightly practice of a meditation. You could put on a headset, listen to some music

This building new habits of releasing the worry that you can actually build ways you can use to shift these rumination to a more peaceful place.

7. Make your Afternoon Nap earlier or not at all

Just don't doze too long — anything over 25 minutes or so will put you into a deeper sleep and make it harder to wake up. Snooze too late in the day — say, anytime after 5 pm — and it may be harder for you to hit the hay later. Or try not to nap during the day at all.

8. Don’t  Sleep On A Full Stomach

Eating a full meal too close to bedtime increases your risk of acid reflex and indigestion, which can lead to snoring or insomnia. Eat dinner at least three hours before bed. If you need a late-night snack, stick to something light.

9. Change Your Pillow

Your pillow should be washed every six months and replaced every year or two. The reason to wash: Dust mites. These microscopic critters (and their waste) can worsen allergies and asthma, impairing breathing and therefore your sleep.

10. Wash Your Sheets More Often

Experts recommend washing your sheets at least every two weeks, weekly if you suffer from allergies, asthma or eczema. To prevent dust mites from inhabiting your mattress, use a protective cover. Wash it every two months.

11. No Sleeping With A Pet

Man's Best Friend is causing your worst nightmares. 53 percent of people who sleep with their pets have disturbed rest and abnormal sleep patterns, because of their four-legged friend's restless behavior (or the real estate they take up).

12. Get Enough Exercise

Getting as little as 10 minutes of exercise a day has been shown to lead to better shut-eye, warding off sleep-inhibiting conditions like sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome

13. If You Toss And Turn

Experts recommend that if you're having trouble getting to sleep, get out of bed after 20 minutes.  Do a calm activity, like reading a (paper) book or listening to music until you feel sleepy. Avoid screens.

14. Don’t Sleep On Your Stomach

Many stomach sleepers experience pain because that position twists the body out of alignment. You have to sleep with your head turned to the side, which makes it hard to breathe and puts strain on your back and spine, raising your risk for neck problems or a herniated disk.

15. You're Sleeping Too Much

Sleep is vital for health as we age, but there can be too much of a good thing. Oversleeping has been correlated with an increased risk of dementia. Stick to nine hours, max, and wake up at the same time every day.

I hope this helps to relax to sleep better and will your health and lower your anxiety.

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 check out more at

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

Join us for Our next podcast: What Happens in Vagus, stays in Vagus, when you learn how to use the Vagus nerve to calm you.

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Podcast 42: 3 Solutions to Manage Social Anxiety

What is Anxiety costing you? More Than You Think.

Podcast (Audio Only)

A help guide learning new skills and adopting a different outlook if you feel socially awkward

3 Solutions to manage Social Anxiety

In this episode Joanne Williams, LCSW discusses solutions for social anxiety and how it starts, it is not your fault.

What is anxiety costing you?  A relationship, fun and excitement that promotion you were overlooked for? 

We humans are very social creatures; other people are important to us.  As we all know from personal experience, human relationships can deeply affect us, emotionally; they can either enrich or complicate our lives.

Not surprisingly, the roots of our anxiety may lie largely in our childhood: 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 avoidant" or "anxious ambivalent" (either "resistant" or "passive") style.

Those who have a responsive caregiver who meets the infant's needs tend to develop a "secure" attachment style (happy at caregiver's appearance, upset at his/her departure, empowered to explore the world and connect with caregiver).

Those who have a responsive caregiver who fails to meet the infant's needs can develop an "anxious avoidant" style (indifferent to caregiver appearance, unreactive to departure, detached- little exploration or connection with caregiver).

Those who caregiver isn't reliably present can become "anxious ambivalent".  If the infant feels is unable to influence the caregiver, then can become "resistant" (showing anger at caregiver's appearance); if not, they can become "passive" (helpless).

Relationships can be the cause of a great deal of anxiety.

Conversely, healthy and personally-satisfying relationships can work wonders in reducing anxiety caused by many life-challenges.

Adults with Secure attachment tend to be high achievers who enjoy exploring and don’t overly fear failure.  They have good relationship skills (communication, conflict resolution, etc., and don't long tolerate unsatisfying relationships.

Secure adults tend to partner with other secure adults.  (In relationships, one Secure partner is enough to stabilize a relationship.)  They see sex and intimacy as a single thing, and they share initiation and enjoyment of sex.

Anxious-Preoccupied adults seek high levels of intimacy and approval, and can become overly dependent on partners.  They have low trust in self and others, are emotionally expressive and impulsive, and are sensitive to separation.

Anxious-Preoccupied adults can overreact and can read too much into situations, resulting in self-sabotage.  They often partner with Dismissive-Avoidant partners.

Dismissive-Avoidant adults are highly independent, and seem to avoid attachment and commitment.  They see themselves as self-sufficient, often distancing from others, and suppressing their feelings.

Dismissive-Avoidant individuals often feel good about themselves, while distrusting others. They prefer low-intimacy sex, and don't seem to much enjoy physical contact.

Fearful-Avoidant adults desire close relationships, but they are often uncomfortable with intimacy.  They tend to mistrust their partners, seeing themselves as unworthy of love.  They suppress their feelings and avoid intimacy.

Attachment anxiety can produce specific behaviors in the course of developing a romantic relationship: seeking closeness, seeking comfort and support ("safe haven"), seeking security in exploring. It's normal to feel some attachment anxiety in the course of developing a romantic relationship.

How our relationships can affect our level of anxiety:

Close relationships with family, friends and romantic partners affect the onset, course and treatment of anxiety disorders.

Having no close friends is significantly associated with GAD, social anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, and specific phobia.

Dissatisfaction with familial or marital relationships is associated with GAD and some phobias.

One's relationship status (single, married, divorced) plays into how the quality of one's relationships with family, friends and romantic partners affects potential anxiety disorders:

For single or divorced individuals, poor relationships with family or friends is associated with generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia and agoraphobia.

Married people with anxiety disorders tend to have higher divorce rates, and are more likely to be single. Adults with anxiety disorders are less likely to be married, and more likely to divorce.

For married people, poor relationships with family or romantic partners is associated with generalized anxiety disorder and PTSD.

Marital distress may be causally related with anxiety disorders (GAD, social anxiety disorder, PTSD).Wives with anxiety disorders perceive their husbands as having a role in their anxiety, and vice versa.

For young adults, friends can provide more emotional supports than do parents, and parents can produce more conflict than friends.

High anxiety can cause a person to seek safety and support from others, which can strain the relationship with those others.

How we (mentally) "see" the world can affect our anxiety:

Peoples' cognitive style (way of interpreting past occurrences and projected future consequences) can provoke emotional disorders.

Perceiving a threat can cause exaggerated focus on possible signs of a threat, causing anxiety. Negative life-events can exacerbate this anxiety.

Many early-life negative interpersonal experiences (e.g. parental separation, discord, unavailability, or trauma) can predispose one to anxiety.

Negative perceptions of romantic relationships can cause anxiety.

How our social connections can affect our anxiety:

Exclusion from social groups can have many adverse effects.

People seek out inclusion in important or valued social groups, motivating much of social behavior.

Exclusion from social groups can induce social anxiety, jealousy, loneliness, shyness and depression, often in concert.

Social anxiety is more common in those with low self-esteem or insecurities.

For adolescents, high social status, solid friendships and dating relationships can protect them against social anxiety.

Conversely, exclusion or aggression or troubled best-friend relationships promote social anxiety.

Adolescents may offer useful lessons for adults:

Belonging to high-status groups can boost self-esteem and reduce loneliness.

Victimization by peers (exclusion, aggression) can increase anxiety.

High-quality friendships can reduce the impact of low peer acceptance.

Positive close friendships can reduce social anxiety, while negative friendship interactions can increase anxiety.

Positive romantic relationships can reduce social anxiety, while negative romantic relationships can increase anxiety

 The #1 challenge I found from a survey I did to anxiety, was in social situations. If this is you, You are not alone,  The CDC is reporting that depression, anxiety is increasing to nearly 50%. of the population right now.

Without tools or skills to bounce back better with resilience, this is going to be another very long year and we have been socially isolated too long and my have lost our social edge.  

The definition of Social Anxiety is if you feel uncomfortable or anxious being in one or more social situations, where you feel exposed to people looking at you or expecting something from you and you fear you will say the wrong thing and be embarrassed or feel unwanted by others and this provokes anxiety. So you avoid situations or feel the need to just endure it.

If this is you….

The good news is, these are skills you were meant to learn in your family and you can learn them at anytime in your life.   I am going to give you some tools to learn some skills that you missed out on.  But, will you dare to use them?? Or will your excuses keep speaking louder than your will to learn some skills and enjoy more of life.

You could look at social anxiety like you are supporting your own anxiety habit? An anxiety thought habit. Because you spend so much time thinking about ways to avoid feeling insecure, it has become a habit to avoid the feeling of insecurity.

Like changing any habit, the best way is to replace it with a new one.  And the replacement is learning the skills needed to feel confident.  

How does anyone learn how to be socially confident?   They just do it and practice it until they feel comfortable doing it and find success and satisfaction from doing it.

For extroverts who are 75% of the population, it is easier because they get energy from being around people.  Where an introvert has energy sucked out of them being around people.  But, there are way to manage this.

You could save so much more energy, if you can flip this habit around to reassuring thoughts instead of negative catastrophic ones.  Like…I hate that, or I will die to face them. Change it into, I will check it out and promise to stay for 15 minutes, and leave, if I don’t find the people interesting. But, I can have a good time, if I choose to.

I did a survey with my clients and there were 3 anxiety situation that were the most challenging that I want to offer solutions for.

They were #1 anxiety was in Social Situations, …sleep issues with ruminating thoughts that interfere with getting to sleep and anxiety interfering with achieving goals were the others, I will go into those at a later time.  Today we will focus on Social situations.

Generally, one of the reasons that you have anxiety is because You are looking at situation, through a lens of I can’t or I will be embarrassed if or What if this happens or don’t know what to say. Does that sound about right, then here are some things to look at.

Do you care to much about how you look to other, or if you will be accepted or liked and are overthinking this situation.  Learning confidence skills can lower that need, because you do feel confident.  Start to like the person you are and care less what others are thinking since you can only control one of these situations.

Learn emotional skills Or Emotional Intelligence, to keep up with the many changes happening in the world will help you be ready for changes, in many different situations, at work, in relationships or socially.  Emotions are your friends once you know how to use them, they are actually telling you what is needed.

 But, I think everyone can get up to speed with the emotional intelligence needed with a few skills that you need to master with practice.

So, I want to ask you again, what is anxiety costing you?  Have you thought of it as a real cost?   It might be larger than you think, because of your insecurities, lasting friendships or more? 

The worst thing I hear from clients is they have just give up and giving in to the anxiety and just say no thanks to friends asking them to do things and avoid doing things that would make their lives better?

If this is you, You are not alone,  The CDC is reporting that depression, anxiety is increasing to nearly 50%. of the population right now.

Without tools or skills to bounce back better with resilience, this is going to be another very long year.

So, I will offer 3 skills for solutions to Social anxiety to put this under your control.

What I want to offer first is just a simple mind set shift that you can practice.  Know that eight out of 10 participants in a study felt some level of insecurities, going into a meeting or a new social situation. They’re checking their teeth for spinach. They are seeing if their hair is okay.  So, know that almost everyone is feeling some level of insecurity, so you are not alone. It is normal.  Start to look at this differently. You are fine the way you are.

First-Start to notice what you are thinking about before going into the social situation. Check in with yourself and see how you are feeling about yourself do you feel like you look good, prepared and looking forward to it?   .

Check your attitude about the situations.   Are you feeling confident or insecure before going into it?  If not, then get prepared and make sure you look good and are feeling strong.  Are your shoulders back, is your head up high, or are you kind of slouching into the situation? 

Know that 50% of your communications is body language. All of these things are broadcasting to everyone how you are feeling, without being aware of it.   As you come into this meeting, are you open and interested and saying hello, or are you just being quiet and staying back.  

All of these can be the difference between insecure and secure. 

Have you noticed as some people enter, they light up the room with their energy and people are drawn to them right away or the opposite, have you noticed that some people come in like a black cloud is following them and people are moving away from them.

This is your attitude conveyed with your personal energy entering a room.  This is something that you can control and project Confidence with practice.

Start today by preparing your energy, by holding your head high, shoulders back, Put a smile on our face that shows genuine interest in going to the meeting, it shows I'm interested in you and what you have to say.  This can be fun to play with to see the different reactions.

You can build a plan before you go to a social situation.  Start to Notice the kinds of thoughts that are ruminating around in your head, they are usually worry thoughts.  You can put them behind imaginary doors and say later to them.

Then can start to look at some new habits of letting go of the What if’s, what if I would have said that or the ruminations of the thoughts that are going around and around, by learning to stand up for your self with a good come back that can will show respect for yourself

or tells the other person to stand down, to feel more confidence. 

I wish parents would teach these to the shy kids so they don’t freeze up and instead stand up for themselves.

Like, Clearly you’ve got problems…

I thought you were better than this..

Do you have many friends if you are treating me this way.

You really need to get some help, you are Out of control.

Clearly this is not about me…

  1. Start a daily practice of meditation. Proven to lower blood pressure and create better letting go and calming skills. letting go the worry, instead of holding on to the stress will help in the long run. Because you are either building up or accumulating tension or releasing it. these are skills that pay a huge benefit to shift these rumination to a more peaceful place when you learn letting go skills..
  2. Is it worth it to make these changes? Sometimes when you really want something, you will make the changes. One study showed that you could be losing $105K, per year, with lost promotions, or not being to speak up for a rent reduction, or getting a better price buying a car. or What is fear costing you if it is getting in the way of a relationships that you really want. So they may need more exploration and practice to address them.

This is something I see consistently with my clients, they are more focused on what they don’t want, instead of what they do want. What I hear is….I don't like the way he does this,  I would never be with that type of person. I don’t like… And then more complaining about not getting what they want to have?

Think clearly about the kind of person you do want to meet, what are the qualities you are looking for, not what you don’t want? What would that new job look like?  Your focus on your goal is critical to getting to it.

It is Like driving a car looking backwards, but expecting it to take you where you want to go, and then being mad at yourself, for not getting there.  Maybe you haven’t taken the time to truly think that through.

So there is much more that I would love to be able to offer you around this and Cut your losses of what anxiety is costing you with my professional abilities. I feel with my 30 years’ experience, to help you to get to your goals, to have better sleep, feel more confident in social situations in my private sessions.

Find more Way to Challenge negative, unhelpful thoughts that trigger and fuel social anxiety, replacing them with more focused re assuring thoughts.

Learn how to safely Face social situations with increased confidence over self-doubt.

Remember to practice the skills we shared today to feel more joys in your life.

You can contact us at or 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. By for now.

Our next podcast: Vagus Nerve- the secret calming chemical

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Podcast 40: 9 Ways to get Unstuck when you Feel Hurt or Betrayed and Can’t Forgive

Hurt to Acceptance Using the Sedona Method

Podcast (Audio Only)

9 ways to get unstuck when you feel hurt, betrayal or overwhelmed.


  1. How to Change your focus from hurt to happiness.
  2. Focus on what you want next in your life to move on
  3. Focus on a lesson learned to not repeat again.
  4. How could be better off from experiencing this?
  5. Use your Intention for the Long term instead of on the short term
  6. Don’t blame anyone or yourself- Take responsibility!

In my counseling practice I am seeing more clients feeling overwhelmed, from all the things happening this year.  Some may not have not had the emotional energy to grieve their losses.  So, we are holding on to more unhealthy feelings than we need to.  

One of my clients came to me and told me she felt that her sister had really hurt her badly over a co-friend situation and the sister choice the friend over her. There has been a rift, or strain since.  This has been 5 years now. Covid has made it feel like it was time to come back together as a family, but her sister really didn’t seem to care about coming back together.  So we will talk about ways this sister, we call her Clara, might find some relief.

9 ways to let go and get out of feeling Stuck.

-Ask-Do you REALLY want to change this situation and or ready to Repair the Relationship? or are you enjoying the blaming and pointing outside of yourself?  This is the 1st step you Must ask. If you must really want to change this situation Or you won’t. Period.  It is always Your choice.

1.Notice what you are focused on with your own thoughts in this situation without blaming the other?

Are you continual focused on how the person hurt you, revenge thoughts, hate or destructive feelings?

Or are you focused on solutions to repair, understand, willing to forgive or let go?  Only you can answer this.

This client, Clara, did decide to let go of the hurt and betrayal she was feeling but didn’t’ know she could affect this, herself. If her sister wasn’t part of it.

Sometimes in therapy, or in couples therapy, even if just one person coming to the session, can change the dynamic, because THEY let go and then they can move forward and feel better about the situation themselves  or they look at this situation differently and they make themselves feel better about it, so they act differently to the other person and It even seems to change the dynamics in the relationship, when one person feels happy and has let this go of the issue. Even if the other person never does.  

  1. Increase your focus on what it is that you actual want as the outcome, instead of what you are mad about or being RIGHT? Write down what you want to happen as a solution.

This client Clara just wants to feel better about her sister.

  1. Feel where in your body you feel this when you talk about the situation?

Sit with it for a time and feel it and let is wash over you until it is gone.  Get up walk around, shake it off and then feel it in the body again. It is amazing when we just take a moment to feel something, we can let it go.

  1. Write out what you are stuck on with the person- Are you still hating the way that person speaks about you? Write out what you feel you are stuck on and write a new ending to this story how you wish it had ended (no one will know any ways, it’s your story)
  2. Is this feeling or situation within your control to change?  If this decision IS within your control:

Do you think the situation with Clara is under her control or not? Most might say no.

Consciously choose a new way to look at the situation, maybe from their viewpoint, choose a new scenario of why this happened.

If this issue doesn’t feel within your control-Put it UNDER your control

Take your power back from whomever you gave it too.  Understand that you had to play a part- even unknowingly or even if you were too young to understand. Maybe you could not do it then, but you can take your power back now.

Take 100% responsibility and No blaming anyone or yourself for this happening and that puts it back under your control to change the outcome.

Clara didn’t feel it was within her control, but as we talked about it, she could put it under her own control, by deciding to feel happy no matter what.   Stop blaming her sister and stop writing negative things on social media about her to friends.  That can stop the progress of more hurt feelings.

  1. Let Go -Now to be freed from the effects of this issue and this person. I know it is- Simple to say- maybe not Simple to do but when you are ready to let go. You will decide too, and the way will come clearer, how to resolve it.

Many times, The other person may not even know they hurt you.  Don’t waste any more emotional energy or pain on them.  Its time to let it go.

7.Here is a simple easy method you can try right now.

The Sedona Method- developed by Virginia Lloyd- Ask these 3 questions?

  1. Could I Let go? Of course, you could let go-If you choice too.
  2. Will I let go- this is the big ask?? If not why not? If you can’t figure this out by yourself then it is therapy time to ask for help. Please reach out, we can refer you to someone of maybe you want a session with Joanne to work this out.
  3. When will I let go? Right NOW!

If the feeling returns, because they might,  just ask. Could I let go?  Would I let go? When?  Until it does.

  1. You can send vibs of happiness and joy to that person that hurt you, no one needs to know. As a blessing of happiness for yourself, because you will feeling better for doing it it. No matter what someone does to you, you can send this love. Then this is under your control and you will feel better for doing it.
  2. Choose to feel good no matter what, Show happiness about your life, that is the best revenge of all. Being happy no matter what.

This is by no means a replacement for therapy of any medical attention if your 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

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Remember to use and practice the skill we shared today, to feel the Joys of life. And go to our website for more on how to get certified for an Emotional Support or Psychiatric Service Dog today at   Remember to Share the Love.

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