This is a solo episode where I’m answering your top questions that you sent in on Instagram.
- How to set healthy boundaries
- How to boost your self-worth
- How to switch off and sleep well
- Finding your purpose
This episode is sponsored by Kloris CBD. Get 10% off Kloris CBD oil when you enter the code ‘calmeryou’ at www.kloriscbd.com
CBD oil and public speaking anxiety https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3079847/).
This episode is also sponsored by Dorset Cereals check out their range at www.dorsetcereals.co.uk.
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Chloe Brotheridge: Hello and welcome to the ‘Calmer You’ podcast this is Chloe Brotheridge. I am a coach, I’m a hypnotherapist and I’m the author of the ‘Anxiety solution’. My latest book ‘Brave new girl, 7 steps to confidence’. So, today I am doing some quick-fire Q&A’s, because I’ve got a lot of questions coming through on Instagram. I thought I would spend a bit of time giving quite short and sweet answer to as many questions as I can.
Hopefully, whether or not this specific question and whether or not these specific questions are relevant to you, hopefully the advice will be something that can relate to you in your life as well. So, when it’s podcast, when I talk about everything from boundaries to self-worth, to sleep anxiety, to fear about the future, finding your purpose health, anxiety, morning routines, SID and a few other things as well.
If you haven’t already, I want to invite you to come on over to calmer-you.com/free and enter your email address. I will send you weekly podcast updates and also my ‘Anxiety Busting Toolkit’, which gives you tools to manage your own anxiety and become a ‘Calm You’ version of yourself. So, you can just head over to calmeryou.com/free to grab that now. This episode is sponsored by ‘Kloris CBD oil’.
Everyone in the anxiety world is talking about CBD oil. But if you don’t know what it is CBD is a non-psychoactive compound, found in cannabis. It’s used as a food supplement with promising evidence that it actually helps to calm anxiety. One study found that it reduced anxiety during public speaking and the link to this is in the show notes. It’s also believed that CBD oil could help manage pain, such as period pain by reducing inflammation. I’ve been taking Kloris CBD for the past few months to help with period pain and PMS and I think it really helps. I love that Kloris take great care to source the best quality CBD.
Only using the finest organically derived, natural ingredients and they rigorously test their products for contaminants and most CBD brands don’t do this. CBD isn’t a miracle cure for anxiety but it could be really useful as a food supplement to include in your routine and I love using it. Get 10% off Kloris CBD oil, when you enter the code ‘Calmer You’ at Kloriscbd.com, that’s Kloriscbd.com.
Anxiety and dating
So, let’s just get straight into the Q&A. So, the first question that came in was about anxiety and dating. Let’s be honest, dating is gonna bring up all our stuff because it is so intrinsically linked to our fears in lots of ways. It’s linked to our fear of rejection, you know of not being good enough so many of us have this. The pressure that society puts on us to have a partner and settle down. So, there are a lot of reasons why, this can be an anxiety provoking experience and yet it doesn’t have to be.
So, my main advice when it comes to this is, to really look after yourself and do what you can to enhance your own self-esteem. While you’re going through the experience of dating. What can you do to make you feel good? That might be about scheduling in lots of self-care. That might be about really focusing on positive experiences with dating that you’ve had in the past. It might be about asking your friends and family to remind you about your good qualities and about the wonderful things that you have to offer.
Whatever it is just making sure that, you’re building yourself up before you get out into the world. Secondly, when it comes to rejection, you know we’re all gonna get rejected at some point in our lives in our dating. It’s absolutely inevitable. Even Jennifer Aniston gets rejected even supermodels get rejected. We all do and it’s not actually personal. Trying to remember that, we all say no sometimes. There were some people that we don’t necessarily like and it might have nothing to do with that other person.
It’s a personal preference, they might reminders of someone that we dislike. We might just not be that into them actually we can take that so personally when we’re on the receiving end of that. Yet, so often it isn’t really personal. One of my favorite tools around this is to reframe any anxiety as excitement. So, you might have heard me talk about this study before where, it was done at Harvard Business School. They got two groups of participants and they told them, ‘right, you got to go and sing don’t stop believe in by journey.’
Obviously, this is kind of nerve-wracking to do in front of your peers. One group they said, ‘tell yourself you’re excited. Write yourself little notes get excited and really reframe this experience there’s something exciting and positive.’ The second group they said, ‘take deep breath try and calm yourself down you know visualize calmness.’ You know what? The group that told themselves I’m excited, felt better, felt more confident performed better than the ones that were trying to calm themselves down.
Now that’s because anxiety and excitement of very closely linked emotions. So, when it comes to dating how can you tell yourself, I’m excited? See it as an opportunity and adventure, a chance to meet someone, a chance to have a new experience. When you treat to like that, it will feel like a more positive sensation, when you’ve got those butterflies before you go off on your date.
So, someone else is asking about, ‘what to do first thing in the morning when you wake up and you want a ball of anxiety?’
I hear this all the time from people that the morning can be a peak time for anxiety and that could be for lots of reasons. Firstly, our levels of cortisol are highest firstly in the morning, so that could play a role. Secondly, it might be that you’ve got a stressful job or you’ve got a lot to do during the day. It can seem overwhelming; you’re thinking about everything that needs to get done. Perhaps, you need to go to you know different parts of town, different meetings it can seem very overwhelming.
So, I think the morning time is such a crucial time for having some tools and techniques in place to ensure that you can calm yourself down and you can make the best of the day. The thing that I love to do and I find it makes a massive difference for me is, to exercise in the morning. So, it a basic obvious tip, but when you exercise, you’re getting out of your head, you’re getting into your body you are using up some of that cortisol, some of that adrenaline. So, it’s not just pumping around your body and you’re producing those feel-good endorphins.
So, there’s loads of reasons why exercise in the morning is really helpful. Apologies to anyone, he was not a morning person I’m a morning person. So, it doesn’t bother me too much to exercise first thing. But even if you’re not a morning person, I would suggest trying it out for a couple of weeks. See how it feels, see what impact it might have on your level anxiety. If it makes a big difference, then maybe that will give you the motivation to really continue with that.
What other things you can do in the morning to ensure that you have a calm day ahead? It might be things like making sure that you have breakfast, so that your blood sugar levels are balanced. Because having blood, low blood sugar can make us feel anxious. It’s a trigger for anxiety because we might get a bit dizzy. We might feel a bit shaky. We might feel you know uneasy and we interpret low blood sugar as anxiety. It can cause that feeling of anxiety to spiral. So, having a good breakfast could be really helpful for you.
Some kind of morning practice. I do my ‘Transcendental Meditation’ every single morning and it makes a big difference for me. So, trying to have some form of meditation in the morning. I think is invaluable as well.
The next question that came in was, around boundaries. So, I talked about this a lot in my book ‘Brave New Girls’. So, if you want to learn more about right, you can check out the book. But boundaries is basically about letting other people know what is and what isn’t okay with you. For lots of us, from an early age we’ve been taught and trained to not listen to ourselves to put up with things to be good girls and boys and to keep other people happy. So, we’re not very good sometimes that even knowing what it is that is okay with us and not okay.
Secondly, we’re not very good at communicating. In some ways, it’s just about getting into the habit of asking yourself, ‘How do I feel about this? Is this a yes for me or this a no for me.’ Starting to really tune into your body and notice what feels like a yes, what feels like a no. For me, yes feels expansive it feels exciting and a no, I get this sense of contraction almost a sense that I want to run away. So, I’ve got much better over the years I’m really tuning into that and listening to whether something is a yes or a no for me. So, that I can communicate that to the other person.
When it comes to communicating it, I think one thing that’s important to mention is that it’s not always easy to talk about your boundaries. Particularly, if you have been for example to your family members. The person who always says yes and always drops everything to help out or lends people money or offers to cook or offers to drive. Suddenly, because you’re exercising your boundaries more, you’re actually starting to say no more. You’re starting to say that you’re not going to be the one to take on all the extra work.
Other people might not like that at first. It might be a bit of an adjustment period at first while other people get used to your boundaries. What’s really important in that case, it’s just to try to stand firm in the face of other people maybe being upset or angry or irritated. Just coming back to why it’s important? Why are you setting this boundary? Is it to look after your own mental health? So, that you can give from an authentic place of love and not obligation and guilt. Is it, so that you can really look after your own mental health?
So, really trying to come back to your why. Why you’re making that change, can help to motivate you and give you that inspiration to carry on and keep going.
The next question that came in was around ‘self-worth’. To be honest this is such a massive topic. I talk a lot about this in the ‘Anxiety Solution’ and in ‘Brave New Girl’. I’d probably say a lot of the ‘Anxiety Solution’, is about self-worth and self-stay. Because from my own experiences and the experiences are people that I have worked with, it really is at the root of a lot of our anxiety and a lot of our uncertainty and our worries. When we don’t feel good enough, when we don’t feel valuable, when we don’t feel that we’re worthy we’re more likely to hold ourselves back.
We’re more likely to doubt ourselves, we’re more like to worry more like to feel scared going into situations. So, working on your sense of self-worth is so key. I think one first step to start to change this is to change the way that you speak to yourself. Now the way that we speak to ourselves is one of the most important things I believe in our lives. We really have the power to make ourselves miserable by beating ourselves up about things. Telling ourselves things that we would never say to an enemy, let alone someone that really should be our best friend.
So, bringing it back to being your own best friend is such an important step when it comes to growing your self-worth. Awareness is the first step to that, actually just noticing, how am I speaking to myself today checking in with yourself. Really noticing what am I saying to myself did I really say that how did I really call myself, an idiot. Do I really would say oh I’m fat ugly? When we become aware of these things then we can start to change them. Then we can start to really think about, what would I want to say to a friend who was in this situation.
We can start to speak to ourselves in that way. You’ve heard me say there so many times if you listen to the podcast regularly. But honestly, I think we can hear it enough we constantly need that reminder to be kinder to ourselves. So, that’s my main piece of advice when it comes to self-worth.
The next question that came in, was around Sleep Anxiety. So, this is a big topic. Sleep and anxiety are linked not everyone with anxiety struggles with sleep. I meet lots of people who sleep really soundly but during the day you know worried and can’t switch off and can’t relax. Yet it does often go hand in hand. Because you are somebody that is overthinking in the day you can be also somebody that gets into bed and that overthinking just can’t switch off. What I hear from him insomniacs a lot is that, when you get into bed there can be a sense of dread and anticipation about expecting that you’re not going to sleep well.
Feeling nervous I’m feeling worried that you’re not gonna sleep well and that in turn fuels the anxiety and makes it harder to sleep. So, one thing that I always say to my clients who struggle with sleep is, just a reminder that resting with your eyes closed. Allowing your body to rest allowing your eyes to rest is not as good, but someone once told me 80% as good as being asleep. So, if we can take some of the pressure off ourselves when it comes to getting into bed and wanting to fall asleep.
If we need to say to ourselves right, resting in my eyes closed is almost as good so I can just allow myself to be awake. I don’t need to fall asleep; I’m still resting and that’s okay. If we can be okay with that we take the pressure off and we allow ourselves just to rest and you know what having that attitude means that you’re more likely to fall asleep. But it’s got to be starting with taking the pressure off of yourself.
Other things that can really help are, listening to our guided relaxation. Like the one that I give away on my website at Calmer-you.com/free. Listening to a meditation, listening to an audio book to help to distract you. One thing that can really help is reading before bed. Reading not the news, not your phone, not social media but reading some light fiction. The twenty minutes or so before you want to go to sleep. Just to help you to distract yourself from whatever might be going on your life just to help you to, yeah let go of the day. Unwind and escape into a world of witches and wizards and sort of thing for example definitely recommend that.
Okay, so the next question that came in was about fear of the future. What do I really want this person is asking? I don’t know, what do you want? Have you really asked yourself this question and spent time? Asking yourself this question in a structured way and it might be that, if it’s available to you working with the coach. But that’s a life coach or whether that’s someone like myself that helps with anxiety and confidence, can help to ask the right questions. So, that you can really figure out what’s important to you and what it is that you want.
Because life can be pretty overwhelming, we have a lot of options and that’s a wonderful thing in lots of ways. But it can be overwhelming because there’s a lot of choice or lots of us as well are perfectionists. We believe that there is out there one perfect solution for us. One perfect career choice or life choice or life partner out there. If we do not obsess enough about what might be the right solution, we’re gonna miss what’s right for us. Or the right thing is gonna passes by, but I’m also mind over this quote, ‘if it’s for you it’s not gonna pass you by, you’re gonna find it’. So, just really having that trust.
So, how can you really start to drill down into what is important to you? What is important to you? This is something that when I’m working with people with coaching is very central to the questions that I’m asking them, typically in the first few sessions. So, that your goals are really linked to what is important to you. What your values are? What matters to you? What likes you? What gets you excited? It’s amazing how, very often we don’t know what really matters to us. So, ask yourself some questions.
What do I value in my life? What has to be there in my life? Even asking questions like. If I only had three years to live, what would I want to do? How would I spend my time? I’m really starting to explore some of these questions and other things that you could ask yourself might be. If money was not an option, what would I do? If I could do anything, what would I want to do? Asking yourself these questions and I really suggest getting a notebook and a pen and doing a bit of journaling about this. Can really help you to open your mind to what’s possible, because we put all these constraints on ourselves.
We think, ‘oh perhaps not for me or I can never do that or haven’t got the money for that.’ But that really limits our thinking. When we’re really thinking about what we want and what we want to do with our lives, it’s so important to expand our thinking as much as possible. So, that it doesn’t mean we have to go and do those things, but we’re just allowing ourselves to explore all the relevant options. All the things that we could want to do and then we can narrow it down at a later point.
Another question, which kind of links into this with someone wrote in about having anxiety over a lack of purpose. I think there’s a lot of pressure in certain ways to find a job, that is gonna be something that really fulfills your life’s purpose. While I think that’s amazing and something that should be pursued or can be pursued. It kind of puts a little pressure on us and we negate the fact that we can actually do a job that is reasonably fulfilling and it pays the bills. Actually, we can still find our meaning and purpose in other areas of our lives.
We don’t necessarily have to try and find a job that for fills us in every way. Because there are lots of different ways that we can have a lack of, have a sorry a sense of purpose in our lives. So, thinking about your life so far and what are the experiences that have really stood out to you as being really meaningful to you. Have there been things in the past that have given you that sense of purpose? Another question you can ask yourself is. Who else do you look at and think; I really admire them I love what they’re doing. I’d like to have a little of what they have.
It might be that you think right in the past that was this time that I volunteered and I found that so fulfilling. I loved connecting with people. I loved helping people or it might be that, once you I don’t know borrowed your neighbor’s dog or looks after a neighbor’s pet. Asking yourself this question just reminds you of how meaningful that was for you. So, reflecting on those two questions and just see what comes up. Because it might be that there are things that you’ve already done or things that you can create that other people are doing. That you can add into your life to give you a sense of meaning and purpose.
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Chloe Brotheridge: Okay, so someone else has written in asking about health anxiety. Again, such a massive topic and I get a lot of questions about health anxiety. I have to say, it’s such a yeah, I just have a lot of compassion for anyone who’s struggling with that. Having experienced it myself in the past. I know how horrible it can be. My number one tip is, do not feed the fears. Step away from Google, step away from the NHS website. Because the more you read the more you research, you think to yourself that you are going to be calming yourself down by finding out more and reading.
But the reality is that you end up just feeding the fears, you’re fueling the compulsion to check to research to seek reassurance. This reassurance seeking that we think is helping us actually ends up fueling a need for more reassurance. So, I highly recommend if it’s available to you. Stepping away from Google, putting a ban on researching of symptoms. Really trying to, I know it’s difficult but avoid getting reassurance from other people as well. Because perhaps, your partner or your friends your family members are people who you will frequently go to and ask for reassurance and ask for advice.
Perhaps, you go back to the doctor again and again hoping for reassurance and more tests. But unfortunately, this can just feed the fears. The next thing that I want to say about health anxiety is to try to relax with whatever symptoms you think you have. To try to surrender to whatever sensations you have. Because what can often happen with health anxiety is that, you read into every little tingle, every little ache pain, headache, bit of discomfort. The body will always, nearly always have some weird sensations going on.
It’s so natural for that to happen and 99.999% at the time these little symptoms that we all get you know from time to time day to day are completely harmless. They go away by themselves and yet what happens in health anxieties that we read into them and our imagination goes wild. So, really getting into a practice of just trying as much as possible to accept any little sensations or quote-unquote symptoms that you might notice. Surrender to them and tell yourself, it’s gonna pass. Really try not to overthink them or weed into them too much or catastrophize about them.
Catastrophization as when your mind goes for the worst-case possible scenario. You imagine all the things that could go wrong, that is a very common symptom of anxiety, and sometimes just labeling, “Right, I am catastrophizing now, I’m thinking the worst”. Chances are this little headache is going to go away by itself. Just lastly, if you have house anxiety, definitely get some help for it. You don’t need to struggle with this alone, it is something that can be treated, whether or not, you come in and see a hypnotherapist. Whether you go and look into CBT, you speak to your doctor about getting a referral to CBT. Please do go, and get some help. Because, it’s a horrible thing to suffer with. You don’t need to continue to suffer in that way.
So, I really hope you’ll get some help. The next question that came in was around, ‘anxiety from big life changes.’ So, whether that is break heart, whether that’sleaving uni, moving job, moving home, and all of these things. Any kind of change can trigger our anxiety, because change means moving away from our comfort zone, and it means going into the quote-unquote unknown. That can seem scary, and yet how many changes have you gone through already in your life. That have turned out okay, chances are you already done like moved home, you’ve already grown up, you’ve been born, and you’ve learned to read and write, walk and talk, and you’ve done all these things that at the time would have seemed like really new experiences.
Yet, here you are having survived a hundred percent of the challenges that you’ve faced so far in your life. Again, I think it comes down to embracing the unknown, trusting that you have everything you need within you, that you actually built for life. I’m always saying this to my clients, and reminding people that as human beings, your ancestors have survived incredible challenges. Ice ages, having to move across continents, surviving droughts and famine, and weather changes, and all that survival instinct, all that resourcefulness is within you, it’s in your DNA.
So, you can handle a breakup, you can handle moving home, you have 100% got this. Please try to remember that you are much more capable, and amazing than you think you are. So, the last question that I’m going to answer before I leave it for now, and let you get on with the rest of your day is about SID in autumn ‘Seasonal Affective Disorder’. So, we don’t know what this is, it is something that happens often in the autumn, and in the winter caused by a lack of sunlight. It might produce symptoms such as having a lower mood, having less energy, feeling depressed, feeling more like to be anxious, and yeah so, it’s really linked with the seasons. So, autumn and winter, what’s really important with SID is to try to get that sunlight exposure. The best time of day to expose yourself to the sunlight is actually first thing in the morning.
So, getting out in the morning for your exercise, having a run, having a walk, walking the dog, walking to the bus on your way to work, that are all ways that you can just be getting that sunlight, in your eyes in the morning. It has the effect of regulating your circadian rhythms, and ensuring that things are all functioning in the way that they should. So, please do get outside. Another thing to remember is that in the UK, most of us are deficient in Vitamin D, and that’s because we miss a lot of Vitamin D from sunlight, and a lot of us, not getting enough sunlight.
This is particularly for people who have darker skin, or people like me, Sun Dodgers basically, who were fight to 50 and burn really easily, and don’t get much sunlight. Vitamin D supplement is really important, especially in the autumn and winter, and vitamin D has been linked to our mental health. So, we really want to make sure that we are getting enough. So, recommend you take a supplement.
So, I really hope that you’ve benefitted from these questions and answers. Come on over to Instagram, and let me know what you thought of this, come and find me at Chloe Brotheridge, and I would love to hear from you. As always, if you have enjoyed this episode, I’d be so grateful if you would leave me a review. So, that other people can find the podcast and can spread the word, and please do subscribe to make sure that you’re getting all the new episodes as they come out weekly. I hope you have a wonderful week ahead. I’m sending you lots of love, and hope you’ll tune in again.