Ep #34: Worry and Anxiety and Divorce | Becoming You Again Podcast
Worry and anxiety are two of the most common feelings that show up during divorce. Why? Because we are unsure about what our future will look like once this relationship is over and that fear shows up through worry and anxiety. The worrisome and anxious thoughts can take hold and we can find ourselves trapped without the ability to move forward, make decisions, trust ourselves, or believe that we can live a good life on the other side of divorce. Listen in as I teach you two simple things you can do immediately when the worrisome anxious thoughts show up, so that you can move out of the spinning thoughts and actually feel peace exactly where you're at right now. What you'll learn in today's episode:
How our brain works when it comes to survival.
The truth about worry and anxiety.
The first simple step to neutralize worry and anxiety.
The second simple step to feel peace in this moment.
The lie that anxiety and worry don't want you to know.
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List to the full episode:
If you are exhausted from spinning in the worrisome anxious thoughts about what might come after divorce, I can help. You don't have to live your life this way not knowing where to turn and ending each day filled with overwhelm and mental and emotional exhaustion. I can teach you how to handle this so effectively that your worry and anxiety will feel like a distant memory of someone you used to be. Schedule your free consult by clicking here and let's get you started on becoming the new version of yourself.
Featured on this episode:
Interested in the Divorce Betrayal Transformation? Learn more here.
Are you lost and confused about who you are after divorce? Don't worry. I've got 51 Ways to Get to Know Yourself Again. Click here to download.
Want to know first hand how Karin can help you with your specific problems and create an even better life than when you were married? Click here to schedule a free consult.
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Full Episode Transcript:
Welcome back to Becoming You Again. I’m your host Karin Nelson. I’m a certified divorce confidence coach and this is the podcast where I teach you how to reconnect with yourself, create emotional resiliency and live a truly independent life, so you can have an even better life than when you were married.
Hi, welcome back to the podcast. I hope you are all doing pretty good, and had a nice weekend. I’ve been having some fun on Instagram lately creating some very fun reels. I previously had been very resistant to making reels because I thought you had to know how to dance to make any good reels or tik toks, and here’s the thing; I like to dance, I’m just not very good at it. I like to move my body to whatever the beat is in the music but I wouldn’t say that I’m the most coordinated person when it comes to dancing. But then I realized that you can actually make reels and have them be entertaining and have them be fun and have them be informative and you don’t even have to dance. So I’ve been making reels and it’s been super fun. So if that sounds like something that you want to come and experience with me then you should definitely come follow me on Instagram. You can follow me at @karinnelsoncoaching and watch my silly, fun, sometimes informative sometimes reels. So that is what I’ve been up to over the last couple of weeks. What are you ladies up to? Drop me a DM on Instagram and let me know. I would love to hear what is going on in your lives besides divorce, right?
Okay. So let’s jump into this week’s episode and I really wanted to cover anxiety and divorce because anxiety is very common when it comes to divorce. So I really wanted to dedicate an episode to this topic of anxiety specifically with divorce and give you some guidance to help you cope with the anxiety and the worry that often shows up as you are going through a divorce.
I’ve been reading this amazing book by Russell Kennedy called Anxiety Rx. Rx we all know stands for prescription and so it is basically like saying this is the anxiety prescription. And I am going to be teaching some things that he talks about in this book, and also some things that I use with my coaching clients as well as I go throughout this podcast.
I’ve talked about this before in previous podcasts but one of our brain’s main functions is survival. To keep us safe and alive. And long ago during our ancestor’s days survival meant being on high alert for anything that might harm you. You are looking around. You are scanning. Uh oh, did that bush move over there? That could mean there’s a predator, let’s get somewhere safe. The brain was always scanning for danger and then being rewarded for being fearful because that fear is what kept you alive. Dr. Kennedy also talks about this same idea in his book and he calls it the fear bias. He talks about how in modern times, like today, we still have this function of our brain and its job is to keep us alive, but because we don’t have the same types of danger and threats (for the most part anyway), our fear bias has gone from protecting us from a real threat and has morphed into a worry bias that is designed to protect us from imagined threats. And that is the difference here, right?
Now of course, fear is still something that is helpful to us in the modern day, of course. Like if we are hiking in Alaska and there is a bear chasing us that fear is going to kick in and keep us as safe as possible, right? Or if we are walking down an alley by ourselves at night or not even an alley, just a dark street, and we hear someone come up behind us walking and we are alone our fear bias is definitely going to kick in to try and keep us safe. So I’m not saying that this fear thing is bad and terrible and it should not be a part of her lives. Of course, it still is there to protect us. But we just do not have as much worry when it comes to our own survival in today’s day and age that we did, our ancestors did years and years and years ago – thousands of years ago. And as Dr. Kennedy is talking about this in his book he is mentioning that it has now morphed into this worry bias that is now trying to protect us but it is protecting us from things that are imagined. They are not real threats. But our brain thinks that it is real. And this is a really interesting dynamic because the more we worry and the more we believe that this worry is protecting us from something that might happen in the future, what’s actually going on is we are threatening our own emotional wellbeing because worry leads to more worry which creates more anxiety which creates pain for us in our lives right now in the moment.
Now if you are a worrier or if you have anxiety I don’t want you to think that there is something wrong with you, because there isn’t. There’s truly nothing wrong with you. Your brain is working perfectly actually. It is doing exactly what it has been evolutionarily primed to do which is to keep you safe and keep you alive. But the worry and the anxiety is also causing you unnecessary pain and so I want to help you control your worry and your anxiety to a greater degree so that you can feel less emotional pain moving forward especially as you are dealing with your divorce.
When you are experiencing anxiety what’s really happening is you are having a lot of thoughts, which is what the brain does right – it gives us lots of thoughts. All day long. So many that we can’t even register or recognize most of them. Right? But with anxiety you are having lots of thoughts about the future – about what might happen, about what could happen, about what you think is possibly going to happen – and then what naturally occurs is you give meaning to this story that you made up in your head of what might happen by looking at the past and what has occurred previously in your past. Those two things combined, the past experience with the future story, that creates anxiety and worry which leads to a feeling of alarm happening inside your body. And then all of that creates often a feeling of incapacitation, a feeling of stuck, a feeling of I cannot move forward from this. I don’t know what to do. It’s that vibration of alarm inside your body that causes so much physical pain and that is mixed with the thoughts of worry and the anxious thoughts about the future and you feel trapped and unable to move past the worry and past that anxiety.
So let me give you an example of what this might look like. Let’s say you’re in the middle of your divorce. Your ex wants to sell the house and split the money, but you are living in the house and you are feeling anxious about what might happen if you have to leave. So as you’re thinking about selling the house your brain offers you all kinds of thoughts like it’s going to be really hard to find a place to live, especially one that is going to be big enough for me and the kids to be comfortable. Rent is really high right now so it’s going to be difficult to pay for rent. I’m going to have to find a second job to help cover the rent costs and then I’m not going to be able to see my kids as much. My ex is going to be living this great, fun, amazing life because he makes way more money than I do and I’m going to be stuck working constantly, I’m never going to see my kids. I’m going to be living in this apartment that I hate and my life is going to be the worst.