By Chris Seiter

Published on August 19th, 2023

This is Tati Garcia,

She is a licensed professional counselor specializing in helping individuals with high functioning anxiety.

What’s high functioning anxiety?

Well, I had the pleasure of asking her myself:

One of the primary distinctions is that someone experiencing high-functioning anxiety may appear to be doing well externally. This could be someone who is successful, able to maintain a job, and can handle their day-to-day tasks efficiently. However, internally, they are grappling with anxiety. The symptoms can be consistent across different types of anxiety, such as overthinking, excessive worrying, and feeling constantly on edge or tense.

Honestly, Tati is a perfect guest to have onto our podcast because not only is our average client anxious,

Real poll proving that most of our clients have anxious attachment styles.

But she gave some incredible advice on how to cope with the anxiety you may be feeling after a breakup.

Important Things Tati Talked About On This Episode

  • What Is high functioning anxiety? 0:03
  • How high-functioning anxiety is related to attachment styles. 5:34
  • How to label your emotions? 11:42
  • Redirection technique to help with anxiety. 15:31
  • How does one manage to control anxiety? 25:04
  • Has anxiety gotten worse with the advent of technology? 30:07
  • How to deal with stress and anxiety. 36:58

Important Resources Tati Talked About

Interview Transcript

Chris Seiter 00:03
Today we’re gonna be talking to Tati Garcia, who is a licensed professional counselor and coach specializing in high functioning anxiety. She has 13 years of experience in mental health. And she runs the very popular YouTube channel slash podcasts calmly coping. So I just wanted to say thank you so much for coming on and doing this because we have a lot of anxious listeners, and I’m sure you can give them all kinds of tips.

Tati 00:27
Yeah, thank you so much for having me here. I’m excited to get into it.

Chris Seiter 00:31
All right. So high functioning anxiety, how is that different than just normal anxiety? What are like what, what’s the distinction between those two? Yeah, so

Tati 00:41
one of the main distinctions is somebody who is experiencing high functioning anxiety, if they appear to be doing well on the outside, so maybe somebody who is successful, who’s able to hold a job who is able to go about their day to day and often do it very well. However, on the inside, they’re really struggling with anxiety which you know, the symptoms can be similar regardless of what kind of anxiety is but it’s, you know, BB overthinking things worrying a lot, feeling on edge, and tense. Assuming the worst case scenario and situations, there can be a lot of physical symptoms that go along with that, like digestive issues, tension in your body headaches, shaking, and you know, it can, you know, the main difference is that with anxiety, just in general, it often tends to hold people back in avoidance. And so, you know, people, if there’s something in particular that you’re feeling anxious about, you might tend to avoid the thing and not want to do whatever it is that that thing is. So if it’s, you know, public speaking, you’re gonna want to avoid public speaking. But with high functioning anxiety, the fear and anxiety actually propels somebody forward into taking action, and into oftentimes overachieving or busyness and difficulty with relaxing. And so you know, somebody who has high functioning anxiety could potentially meet the criteria for a mental health disorder, but many times they because they are like, on the outside appear to be doing well. And other people may not recognize what they’re going through, it can be more difficult for them to seek out help, and they may not feel as understood.

Chris Seiter 02:40
So what’s really interesting as you were talking, so last night, I was doing, you know, the whole scrolling through Netflix looking for something. And I stopped on this documentary about this professional cyclist named Mark Cavendish. And he’s, like, known as maybe the greatest sprinter and like the Tour de France, like he would just went all the stages.

But he was doing really incredibly.

Chris Seiter 03:07
But then something, something happened, he got some sort of like endurance disease, I forgot the technical term for it. But he just continued, like, spiraled and pretty much exactly what you were talking about what the high functioning anxiety was, like him to a tee, to the point where he was avoiding getting any kind of help, he would just sort of double down and try to, over achieve to to accomplish those goals. So I’m kind of curious, like, this high functioning anxiety that you’re talking about. It’s not like someone just like wakes up and you know, maybe you’re like an anxious person to begin with. But is there like a slow progression toward the high functioning anxiety? Or is it just like, like a switch, like a light bulb? Going off?

Tati 03:52
Yeah, that’s a good question. I mean, that’s something that’s hard to say I what I’ve noticed in the clients and students that I’ve worked with is that there tends to be similar characteristics and personality traits that those with high functioning anxiety have, like, you know, being somebody who is hard working and somebody who is reliable and persistent. And so the kind of those traits that will result in like continuing to take action and keep going. However, you know, they’re like, any other personality trait or like any other mental health disorder, like it falls on a spectrum. And so, you know, there can be differing degrees to which people experiencing it, experience it and there can also be different contributing factors. So it could be you know, the way that somebody was raised, and you know, they were maybe in school did really well and we’re a perfectionist and focused on getting the best grades and then you know, kind of continued with that approach into adulthood. You know, it could be something that is gradual. I don’t know if there’s necessarily like, kind of a flip switching overnight. And oftentimes, it is the thing where many people don’t really recognize that they’re struggling with it, because they just feel like, well, this is just the way that I am. Because this is how they’ve lived their life for, you know, whatever period of time.

Chris Seiter 05:34
So, in our coaching practice, we study a lot of attachment styles, you know, we look at the kind of behaviors that people’s exes are exhibiting and the kinds of behaviors that our clients are exhibiting. And what’s really interesting is something that you said about the high functioning anxiety is they tend to avoid confrontation or things that I think will trigger their anxiety. But I’m curious, does that have anything to do with you know, like, typically, with the insecure attachment styles you have, like the dismissive avoidant, and the priyad, anxious, preoccupied, you know, the fearful avoidant and everything? Do you? Do you like tend to find that people with high functioning anxiety or avoidance or preoccupied, like, have you done any research on that? Or is that just there’s not enough?

Tati 06:24
That I’m not aware of? And I and I think that as far as I know, now, I’m no expert on like attachment styles or anything. But the way that people behave in relationships is oftentimes, like there can be parallels, of course, but you know, I think that it’s it’s not necessarily correlated with the types of personal or individual mental health stroke struggles somebody have has, of course, I think there can be contributing factors and reasons as to why somebody behaves a certain way in a relationship, but I think it’s it’s really rooted in like, you know, attachment theory says, In those early relationships, yeah, that somebody has with a parent or caregiver or, you know, other adults in their life. That’s going to result in, you know, the way that they are experiencing other relationships into adulthood.

Chris Seiter 07:39
Yeah, I mean, that that seems to track were one of the things we notice is that a lot of the exes that we study tend to have very avoidant approaches to the breakup. Whereas a lot of our clients tend to be on the other end of the spectrum where they are just trying to problem solve. A lot of times you have to get them out of the mindset of, hey, I want my ex back and start like saying, like, hey, stop being so codependent, let’s work on you being sort of independent. So I’m curious, someone who has high functioning anxiety? What are some of the tips or coping mechanisms that you often work with? Like if someone were if I were to sign up? If I have high functioning anxiety? Let’s say I do I have high functioning anxiety Totti? Fix me what what are the top tips that you would give me?

Tati 08:31
Yeah, so first, it’s addressing like the underlying root causes, and and looking at what is getting you in this place and keeping you stuck here. And a lot of times, that’s going to be emotional awareness, and just like a general understanding and recognition of how you’re feeling. You know, many people, unfortunately, it’s not something that we’re like, taught in school or educated on how to recognize and process different emotions, and especially if somebody’s going through a breakup, there can be a lot of emotions present. And it can be very challenging and destabilizing and unsettling. And, you know, studies demonstrate that just the act of labeling your emotions actually helps to deactivate the, how strong you’re experiencing them. So there’s a part of the brain that’s called the amygdala that’s responsible for you know, the anxiety reaction, but also for strong emotional reactions. And so when people just are able to name an emotion that they’re feeling, it actually how strongly the amygdala is activated in the brain decreases. So that is kind of like one small thing that seems like might not make a big of a deal but in the long run that can really help Just in general, being verbal about how it is you’re feeling or getting it out in some way. So maybe it’s writing things down in a journal, you know, when you can get what’s in your head out, that can really help you to understand more what’s going on inside and help to give you more of a sense of control as to what you’re going through. And then it can be something that you can look at, what are the thoughts, what are the beliefs that you’re having a lot of times with high functioning anxiety, also, with somebody that’s going through a breakup, there can be a lot of negative thoughts and limiting beliefs that people have. Maybe it is, you know, with a breakup, somebody might be personalizing things and saying, like, This ended, because you know, it’s all my fault. You know, I could have done something differently. And so, you know, with somebody with high functioning anxiety, there could be this belief that I’m not good enough. Or there’s, you know, something wrong with me, or, you know, they maybe they have something coming up, and they think, the worst case scenario about the situation. So, one helpful step can be to look at your thoughts, and actually question them in NSS, do they actually match the evidence in the situation? Like, if you were to take a third person’s perspective, is this actually an objective way of looking at things and oftentimes, when we’re in a state of strong, heightened emotions, our thoughts are, tend to be very exaggerated and often focused on the negative, especially when you’re in a place of anxiety.

Chris Seiter 11:42
Yeah, there’s a lot of negative self talk, unfortunately, that we see in our community. What are your thoughts on? So like, you mentioned labeling your emotions, and I’m assuming, like you mentioned, labeling your emotions, and then you mentioned sort of just getting your emotions down. But I kinda want to go back to the labeling emotions aspect. Is that a specific act that you’re just doing internally, like a lot of self slash shadow work, where you’re trying to figure out like, Okay, I’m feeling I’m having this irrational thought right now? Or is that something when you’re labeling your emotions, you need to actually write it down in the journal to actually make it? I don’t manifest it, or in some way, what is there, I’m assuming writing it down would probably be the correct approach.

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Tati 12:30
Yeah, and you know, there’s no right or wrong way. I think for a lot of people writing it down helps. But everybody’s different. Not everybody likes to write things down. And I like to recommend a tool called the emotions wheel, you can just Google it. But basically, it’s kind of like a visual representation of different emotions. That can help you to identify how you’re feeling. And really, what that does is, it’s just validating when you can see that and label that and recognize that, and it’s a way of helping you process it, and work through it. Because oftentimes, people will tend to have like their go twos for how they’re feeling. And it’s really just like building the vocabulary, of an awareness of how you’re feeling, because then that will help you to better understand yourself. So then you can better understand what tools to use. Because if you’re feeling frustrated, the way you’re going to cope with it might be different than if you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed. So

Chris Seiter 13:40
let’s say you are feeling really, like one of the behaviors that I noticed a lot of our clients is they’re obsessing about what their ex is doing. And what I tend to tell them is, when you go through a breakup your cortisol, like spikes, like insanely, and cortisol is associated with stress. So the stress often makes you more anxious. And the more you engage on social media, or spy or do things like that you’re actually keeping your cortisol in this elevated state. So my challenge when I’m coaching people is trying to get them out of this negative feedback loop where they’re constantly going. Maybe they see their ex on a date. Oh, horrible. And it’s just like, they’re, they just kind of keep coming back from it. How do I get them out of that cycle and maybe redirect them onto something a little bit more positive?

Tati 14:29
Yeah, I think when when somebody gets in that obsessive cycle, it’s because our brains are information seeking and we don’t do well with uncertainty. And so you know, when somebody is experiencing a breakup, that’s a huge level of uncertainty, a huge level of destabilization. And like you mentioned, like stress levels, cortisol levels go up and so what we have to do in that type of situation is start to just even recognize when somebody engages in this behavior. How is it making them feel? Because oftentimes there can be the urge that okay, I just need to see how my ex is doing or check in or, you know, because now there’s been like, breaking communication, so you have no level of understanding of what’s happening with them. But kind of assessing, okay, is this actually helping? You know, if we look at this is kind of the obsessive behavior. It’s, it’s not OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder, but it’s kind of like, it’s a trait of OCD. And so it’s what happens with OCD. And again, I’m not saying that these people who are going through breakups have OCD, but like, the way that the behavior works is that you know, you have an obsession, you have these thoughts, that, okay, I need to check or do something in order to decrease my anxiety in order to help me to feel better or more certain about the situation, and then you engage in the checking behavior. And that helps to relieve the anxiety for a little bit, but actually, it it prolongs it in the long run. And it just maintains the anxiety. And so what’s really important is to look at what is again, like getting to the root, like, what is driving that urge and that obsession and that desire to check? And assessing? What are the fears, worries, thoughts that the person is having? So maybe it’s, you know, I’m worried that they’re moving on without me, you know, I just want to make sure that they’re okay. And so sometimes just looking at, what are those thoughts and worries that are going on? And asking yourself, is checking actually helping? Or is it just making things harder, because many times, it’s just, it’s just confronting you with that situation. And it’s going to, again, like prolong those difficult emotions that the person is experiencing?

Chris Seiter 17:12
Is there something that they should be doing, like, recognizing, like, once they recognize, okay, this is not maybe the most healthy use of my time, is there some sort of redirection technique that you tend to recommend to people?

Tati 17:29
I think it can depend on the person. You know, one thing that can be helpful is when you find that it’s hard to recognize your thoughts and change the way you’re thinking when you’re in this anxious state of really worrying. And it’s hard to think about anything else, that’s when it can really help to go into your body. And what I mean by that is doing things that are going to bring your focus into your body, in the present moment help to calm your body physically, because what those things are doing, it’s helping to reverse that stress response, like you mentioned, the cortisol release. And when we’re in a state of anxiety or body goes into fight or flight. And so your body is in a state where your heart is beating quickly, you’re breathing more shallow, you know, you’re looking out for danger. And so something as simple, even though it’s probably been said a million times before, like just take a deep breath. But it can be very helpful in those situations, the important thing is to take a deep breath all the way into your belly and slow the exhale. Because when you slow the exhale, like and what I mean by that is like, slowly exhaling out and making the exhale longer than your inhale, you’re activating your body’s relaxation response. It’s the parasympathetic nervous system, but it’s basically the opposite of fight or flight. And so doing that is then going to calm your body, which in result will help to calm your mind. And so sometimes, you know, taking a few deep breaths isn’t going to automatically gets you out of a state of anxiety, it could be maybe setting a timer for five minutes, or doing things like guided meditations or yoga or, you know, going for a walk or anything that’s basically going to get you out of your head and into your body. And, you know, maybe leaving the phone behind and kind of not scrolling through social media.

Chris Seiter 19:37
That’s a hard thing to do for a lot of people. What do you have someone who is like not buying into that concept, because I completely buy into it because like, if you’re looking at it from a chemical level, you’re just combating the cortisol heightened state with more chemicals to kind of bring it down so you’re doing things that are going to kind of, you know, chill your body out, but what if you have someone and I’m thinking you’ll one person in particular I coached a couple of years ago, they would just not buy into it. What do you say to someone like that?

Tati 20:09
Yeah, I think there’s a lot of people. It’s funny, I was just talking about this earlier. That, you know, there’s some people who as many times as I tell them to, like meditate, like, I promise, it’s, it’s helpful. And you know, they just don’t want to do it. And that’s fine, because everybody’s different. So if that’s the case, then maybe for some people, it’s doing something more active. You know, maybe it’s like I mentioned, going for a walk or exercising. Because actually, you know, when your body goes into that state of anxiety, your body is getting you ready to move to be physical. You know, sometimes there is that freeze response, where we kind of get stuck in action. And yes, yeah, exactly. But a lot of times, it’s, you know, there’s blood pumping to your extremities, you’re either ready to fight or run away. And when you don’t use that energy, it can build up in your body. And so, exercise actually, and studies have shown that especially cardiovascular exercise, like going for a run is just has been found to be just as effective as antidepressants. And I know when you say when I say antidepressants, a lot of people think depression, and they are used for depression, but they’re also one of the number one medications used for anxiety. And so anything that’s going to get you moving is another way of like, getting into your body and like releasing that energy that might be building up.

Chris Seiter 21:40
Yeah, to be honest with you. My own personal experience with this is anytime I’ve grown incredibly anxious, the only thing that’s ever worked for me is going on a bike ride for like, 50 miles so that I am so dead by the end of it. I don’t, I literally just stopped caring about what I was worried about before. You’re just like dragging home, you know? So I’m curious, is there like? Do you need to go that insane? Because like, it works for me, I’m not sure that’s the maybe the most healthy thing to do. But what works for me is like going out there. And just pushing myself to such a level that where you just don’t care about what you are worried about anymore. Is there like a CERT is that I guess what I’m asking, Is that healthy? Or is that unhealthy? What?

Tati 22:24
Well, I mean, I wouldn’t say it’s, it’s unhealthy. It depends on your fitness level, you know, yeah, that’s gonna go out and ride 50 miles. For some people. That’s nothing, you know, and for some people, it would be like, you know, kill them. So, you know, so I think it depends on that. And also, you know, is it sustainable, because then, like connecting this back to high functioning anxiety, there’s the tendency, when you’re somebody who wants to go all in on something and like, give 150% to get in a place of burnout. Because of that, because you’re continuing to try and do and stay busy and do more. And so if you’re like overdoing it with things, then that’s not necessarily going to be good, because everybody needs the rest to recover. Yeah, that

Chris Seiter 23:10
makes total sense. You know? And that kind of brings up an interesting point, which is someone who’s a high functioning, has this high functioning anxiety, I’m assuming this whatever coping mechanism you need to have needs to be some sort of repeatable working thing, just based on their nature. Do I have that? Right?

Tati 23:30
Yeah. And I think that it’s not just that there’s like one way of coping, it’s gonna depend for different people. And I think if I can say, kind of to add on to that, and I think this applies also, with somebody going through a breakup, kind of an overarching message that I like to share is being able to practice self compassion. And that is the act of being kind to yourself. You know, somebody with high functioning anxiety tends to have high expectations be really hard on themselves be really critical. Somebody who’s coming out of a breakup maybe is being hard on themselves and wondering, where did I go wrong and beating themselves up? And so when we practice self compassion, a lot of people think that, Oh, you’re being too kind to yourself, like you’re letting go and not trying anymore. But really, studies find the opposite, that when we’re able to be compassionate to ourselves, we’re actually better able to cope with failure, and better able to overcome adversity and difficult experiences. And so, something as simple as asking yourself, okay, how would I speak to myself if I were talking to a friend, because many times it’s easier to be kind to yourself, or it’s sorry to be kind to a friend than it is to be kind to yourself. And so kind of using that practice as a way of trying to be more understanding and compassionate with yourself because oftentimes when we’re hard on ourselves, that goes back to like the negative self talk. It’s not helping, and it’s just making you feel worse.

Chris Seiter 25:09
Okay, so let’s switch gears and take some of the questions that I got from the community. I think there’s five here that I have. Okay, the first one you might have already answered, but just to make sure that someone doesn’t yell at me for not asking it, I’m gonna ask it to you. Besides training and doing more sports, how does one manage to control or even overcome anxiety? Are there any tricks or book recommendations you have?

Tati 25:37
Yeah, so actually, one book that I just read pretty recently, is called good anxiety, I believe, by Dr. Wendy Suzuki, but she goes into like the neuroscience of anxiety. And what she explains in the book, and what’s also supported by neuroscience research is that there’s two ways to address anxiety. So one is through the amygdala, which I was describing before, that’s that part of the brain. That’s, it’s the primitive, just automatic reaction that’s going to go into anxiety before you’re even maybe even consciously aware. So like, if you’ve ever woken up in the middle of the night and seeing like, a shadowy figure and your heart starts to be, then you realize it’s like a jacket hanging on your door or something. I’ve definitely had that happen.

Chris Seiter 26:26
Unless you’re watching like some sort of ghost story on a small iPad and keep looking or like some sort of serial killer documentary, you keep looking over your shoulder.

Tati 26:35
Yeah, exactly. And, and the way to address that is through the physical route, like I mentioned, so you know, this person mentioned exercising, but also could be, you know, especially if it’s before bed at night, a lot of people have trouble sleeping because of anxiety, because they’re overthinking things. It can be calming techniques, like, you know, listening to relaxing music, or podcast or listening to a guided meditation or something like that. And then the second approach is through the cortex. So that’s the part of our brain that’s responsible for, you know, all of our cognition, like our thinking or decision making, our impulse control. And so that’s looking at the way you’re thinking about things. And so things like just starting to bring more awareness, to your thoughts to the way you speak to yourself to, if your thoughts tend to be focused on the negative, just starting with recognizing that can help you to combat anxiety, because, you know, once you start to recognize why I’m really hard on myself, where I really focus on the negative, then you can start to change and challenge those thoughts. And something simple, I recommend to people is just like writing, making a paper with two columns. In one column, you write down, what are the negative and anxious thoughts or the negative self talk? And then in the other column? How would you replace these thoughts? We can go back to thinking of what would you say to a friend who was saying this? Or how would you look at this more objectively? And realistically,

Chris Seiter 28:17
I love that. I love that. All right, ready for the next one? This one’s a little bit of a long one. All right. I have always been an anxious person. I think a lot. I overthink, I bite my nails trying hard to stop. I usually don’t sleep well, because the second something is not going how I like in my life. There’s this hamster running nonstop in my head. But I want to live free of that in a near future. So what can I do?

Tati 28:46
Yeah, I think a lot of people can probably relate to this. And one thing so you know, a lot of what I already suggested, and I think one thing is connecting back to that uncertainty that I was talking about before. With anxiety, it’s this fear of uncertainty, or the unknown, or what could go wrong in the future. And so easier said than done, but something that can be kind of like an underlying practice. And, you know, sometimes I like to make post it notes as like reminders for myself if there’s something I want to focus on. And one thing that I think is helpful a lot of times with anxiety is focusing on what you can control and then letting go of the rest. And so maybe like writing this down, as opposed to No, I choose to only focus on what I can control because like I said, it’s something that you need to constantly remind yourself of, because it’s easier said than done. But you know, many times anxiety comes from Oh, what is he thinking? Or, you know, what if I did the wrong thing and the situation is something you can’t change anymore or what What if, you know, I look stupid when I run into my address on the street or whatever?

Chris Seiter 30:07
Like a fear of the unknown in the future? Sometimes I see a lot.

Tati 30:12
Exactly. Yeah. So bringing that focus back to, okay, I can’t predict what’s going to happen in the future. I can’t control what my ex is thinking about me or what he’s doing. I can only focus on, you know, the way that I’m thinking about things and the things that I’m doing.

Chris Seiter 30:28
I’m curious, have you ever read meditations by Marcus Aurelius? I have not, but I’ve heard of it. Okay, so a lot of what you’re talking about, like the coping mechanism of only focusing on the thoughts in your head, and like focusing on what you can control. That’s, like, straight from him. But what’s really fascinating about Marcus Aurelius is he wrote meditations. Okay, so the Italians or the Romans had their own language, but they were, they were like, in love with the Greeks. And so Marcus Aurelius wrote, meditations by himself in Greek. So no one would read it. And it was just like a private journal to them. So like, you know, like, some of the journals that you’re talking for our clients to, to do as a anxiety coping mechanism. This was literally his journals. And you can actually see these meditations. He’s talking a lot about, I had a really stressful day today, but I didn’t let it get to me, I only focused on so it’s really fascinating that even someone from ancient Roman times was using this and it’s actually he was considered one of the greatest men of his time. So if you don’t, if you don’t buy into what, to what talks he’s talking about here, I mean, literally, it’s, it’s there. And also, I think it’s interesting, because a lot of the anxieties that you I mean, that we are all struggling with in this day and age, people back then had it’s a very human nature thing. So I’d actually kind of get curious, do you think anxiety has gotten worse with the advent of social media? Because I definitely do think it has.

Tati 32:13
Yeah, definitely not one. Okay. One thing is that separate from social media, what you’re saying the reason anxiety has survived is because it has been helpful for survival. You know, anxiety, just as essence is helping us to avoid threatened danger. And so those traits are going to be passed down, because the people who are more cautious are typically going to survive more than the people who aren’t. Obviously, that’s a generalization, but like,

Chris Seiter 32:39
no, no, right? Yeah. Like it’s a law of the wild, you know, out there, like you’re, you see a lion or something, you’re gonna run that exactly the that’s that that’s the function I think it’s supposed to play but social media. What you have to say, sorry,

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Tati 32:56
yeah, no, no, that’s okay. I think, definitely, because, you know, one thing with social media is now we have access to see, you know, how many hundreds of 1000s of billions of people’s lives. And so that can result in things like, you know, comparison itis and, because especially because of social media, people are constantly sharing like that highlight reel, they’re not sharing the struggles, they’re not sharing the failures. And so you’re comparing your day in and day out to everybody else’s kind of, like pristine life that they’re choosing to share. So, you know, there’s definitely the tendency to then compare yourself to others to feel like you’re behind to feel as though you need to do more to keep up. And then there’s the separate fact, of just the constantly having access to all this information in, you know, on a smartphone, that it’s not inherently a bad thing. But you know, sometimes people can become addicted to it, and then start to go to social media or go to checking their phone as a way of avoiding uncomfortable emotions or thoughts. And so they don’t learn how to actually sit with them and be with them, which is an important part of being human. You know, sometimes we need to just be with how we’re feeling. Sometimes we just need to take some space and time away from like constant inputs and information in order to process and work through what’s going in our mind. And when we don’t have that when there’s a constant kind of bombardment of information. It’s going to result in you know, my opinion, more anxiety, more depression, just more mental health struggles in general.

Chris Seiter 34:48
Yeah, I think, at least the line of work. I’m in dealing with a lot of breakups. I actually think social media. It’s like a double edged sword. People can use it really he effectively after a breakup, but in most cases for the clients, I find it just exacerbates their anxiety because they’re constantly checking. And to kind of, to kind of segue into our next question, this person asked, what are some methods to help regulate anxiety during these pullback periods with my ex. So what she means by that is like, things are going well, she’s trying to reconnect with the ex after a breakup and then boom, out of the out of the blue, he just pulls back, or she just pulls back and doesn’t want anything to do with them. How does she regulate that anxiety that she has? If that happens?

Tati 35:35
Yeah, yeah, I think what can help in that kind of situation is kind of what I was just touching on, but just being aware of how you’re feeling like this. seems simple, but it can be really challenging sometimes just like, sitting with and experiencing your emotion. Where do you feel it in your body? A lot of times anxiety can show up? Because our emotions are physical, they’re experienced by our physical body, not just in the brain. Okay? Do you feel anxiety in your chest? Do you notice there’s a tension? Do you notice it’s harder to breathe, you know, like just bringing awareness of what you’re feeling? Because then the saying is you need to feel it in order to heal it. And so if you can feel and tune into that and recognize what am I feeling physically? Also, what are the thoughts that are coming up? Maybe there’s fears like, he’s never going to want to talk to me again. And so maybe you’re focused on the worst case scenario, bringing it back to Okay. Is the worst case scenario, likely? And if it did happen, could you cope with it? And you know, a lot of times we fear that with with, like, what these worries are, we won’t be able to handle them because they’ll be too bad, or too devastating. But the reality is that you’ve handled this before, and you can handle it again.

Chris Seiter 36:58
So typically, to kind of piggyback off that, feel it to heal it, concept. I try to tell my clients that it’s okay to feel stress, and anxiety and everything like that, but it’s not okay to dwell too long into it. So one of the I’m actually just want you to check my strategies. So I’ll be happy to alter it if it’s wrong. But I tell people to get like a timer and set a 15 minute timer and then just allow themselves to feel everything during that 15 minutes. But then when the 15 minutes up. All right, let’s focus on this other thing. Let’s kind of move on with their day. Is that an effective approach? Or can you improve upon? Or is that like, cool, that got the Totti stamp of approval?

Tati 37:40
Yeah, no, that’s, that’s definitely effective. I’ve suggested that to my clients, like the way I’ll frame it is, you know, set this time of day aside to just worry about things. And then you know, that can actually be effective, because then you’re, rather than having these emotions, worries and thoughts going traveling with you throughout your day. If they do come up, you could say, alright, now I’ve set aside this time to work through these things, and I’m going to address it then. Because you’re right, like, if you dwell on it too long, then it’s kind of turning into this can turn into this downward spiral of, then you’re just feeding into the anxiety.

Chris Seiter 38:20
Yeah, I guess it takes a lot of discipline to be able to combat the high functioning anxiety, because a lot of this is like self methods, you know, there’s nothing like, there’s no computer program or AI program that can kind of keep you in check. It’s all happening in here. So I think it takes a lot of discipline and courage to be able to do this. Okay. Last question. What are some good ways to maintain composure in stressful situations?

Tati 38:48
Yeah, so I think that it’s a good question. It’s gonna depend on the situation, but you know, one thing can be having, like, what are your and let me backtrack, like, first, it could be to understand in a non stressful situation, what is it that you enjoy doing to relax or de stress? Because when we’re in a stressful situation, it’s going to automatically be harder to access the tools that we use, because you’re in a state of stress. And so you’re not thinking about, okay, what can I do to cope with the stress, you’re thinking about? How can I survive this situation? So I like to recommend that people practice the tools that they’re going to use in stressful situations when they’re not stressed. So that, you know, it’s the same way it’s like building a muscle the same way you would go to the gym, in order to like build your muscles and become stronger. You’re building your muscle of accessing these states of relaxation and de stressing. And so, if it’s in a stressful situation, and of course it’s going to help to be Eat something that you can do like around other people. So maybe it’s just like taking those deep breaths. Or maybe it’s before you go into the stressful situation, just, you know, setting a timer for five minutes and doing some deep breathing or doing a guided meditation, or I’ve recommended to clients with social anxiety in particular that like, Okay, before you go into this situation, let’s write down some, like positive statements that will help to prime you and put you in a positive mindset. So maybe it’s, you know, depends what it is. But if you’re going to an interview, maybe it is preparing as much as you can for the interview, and then also writing down you know, I’m going to focus on doing the best I can. That’s not a great one, but just like kind of anything that

Chris Seiter 40:53
that’s why Yeah, I mean, a lot of these a lot of these questions are just, we’ve already kind of answered them, you know, like like so anyways, Tati, you have a podcast slash YouTube channel. But you also coach and you have a few courses, why don’t you tell us a little bit about your coaching practice in your courses?

Tati 41:19
Yeah, so first of my podcast YouTube channel, you can find it on both is called calmly coping, and I speak there more about high functioning anxiety. So if that resonates with you, then you will find I have this point more than 150 episodes over there. And then I coach, high achieving professionals with you know, performance executive coaching to help them to achieve their potential and stop fear, anxiety and burnout from holding them back so they can live a more calm, balanced and confident life. And, you know, I also teach my curriculum in my online course calm, balanced and confident. And I have a an online community for high achievers experiencing high functioning anxiety, the calm and ambitious community.

Chris Seiter 42:07
So if you’re listening or watching this and you’re interested in checking out her podcast, or any of the coaching practices or the courses, I’m gonna have a link to those in the show notes. Or I guess the YouTube description or if you’re in the community and the little community thing, but there will be a link in there. But I just wanted to say thank you so much for coming on and doing this.

Tati 42:30
Yeah, thank you so much for having me. It’s great conversation.

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