How to Handle Your Pandemic Stress And Anxiety, With Psychologists Dr. Elena Welsh and Dr. David Burns

How to Handle Your Pandemic Stress And Anxiety, With Psychologists Dr. Elena Welsh and Dr. David Burns

Illustration for article titled How to Handle Your Pandemic Anxiety, With Psychologists Dr. Elena Welsh and Dr. David Burns

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We’re finding out how to take our stress and anxiety down a notch today with help from cognitive behavioral professionals Dr. Elena Welsh and Dr. David Burns. Listen to hear these 2 professionals provide tips on how to tame your anxiety using specific CBT methods, why it is that we tend to go down these anxiety spirals in the very first place, and how to alter our thinking and realize much better outcomes.

Dr. Welsh is an LA-based psychologist who concentrates on a wide range of anxiety, mood, and depressive disorders, and is the author of The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work Book for Panic Attacks Dr. Burns is a leader in CBT and is the author Feeling Good: The New Mood Treatment, and most just recently Feeling Great: The Revolutionary New Treatment for Anxiety and Anxiety.

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Highlights from this week’s episode

From the Dr. Elena Welsh interview

On how CBT works:

[T] he fundamental property behind CBT is that your thoughts, habits, [and] your feelings are all adjoined. [R] eally, you can intervene at any point. [I] f you alter your habits, it’s going to have subsequent modifications for your emotions and your ideas. If you alter your thoughts, you’re going to have modifications in your behavior and your feelings, so just that whatever is adjoined. So CBT in terms of, again, where we’re trying to make changes. Generally it begins with looking at the thoughts and behaviors. Especially with disorders like anxiety, a lot of times our thought patterns are what kind of kick-off this waterfall of then physical symptoms, because our body is prompted to believe we’re in danger. If we can even do a little bit of modifying of the ideas that instantly come up in kind of worry-provoking or distressed circumstances, then you’re kind of once again, moving consequently your habits and your emotions and your physiological reaction.

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On how to calm yourself down when you begin to feel anxiety setting in:

[W] hat’s happening with all our stress-related diseases is, “I’m concerned about losing my task, losing my house, being homeless …” My body thinks that’s truly taking place. My body’s like, “oh, we’re in threat. Go nuts.” And that’s where the stress hormonal agents are launched. Your heart may begin pounding. You feel that sort of shortness of breath. So simply comprehending what’s taking place physiologically when you fret, I believe is a truly practical tool … Some people discover their physiological signs initially like their heart rate. Some individuals discover their thoughts. So whatever you see first. Anytime you discover yourself kind of getting activated in that method, just even keeping in mind, “OK, my body thinks I’m dealing with a genuine danger. Let me take a deep breath.” That instantly induces the part of your brain that slows down the fight or flight reaction and kind of starts to calm you down. And even saying aloud or type of believing to yourself, “whatever’s OKAY right now. I’m having a concern thought about a future event.” So literally sort of narrating what’s taking place for your brain then helps everyone sort of work together. And then you can relax a bit.

From the Dr. David Burns interview

On the common misunderstanding about inspiration with regard to anxiety and anxiety:

[P] eople utilized to think, “Oh, those individuals who are battling treatment, they appear stuck in their anxiety. They want to pity themselves or they have secondary gains. [T] hi want to attempt to get attention from people.” And that’s how therapists, considering that the time of Freud have been thinking of resistance and why people get stuck in depression. There’s two issues with those analyses. To start with, they’re really hurtful to individuals. They’re insulting … So they do not help anybody. And most of the time, they’re not even true. And what we’ve found is that people get stuck in anxiety and also anxiety and relationship problems and routines and dependencies for different reasons, but individuals get stuck in anxiety and stress and anxiety since your signs are in fact the expression of what’s most lovely and amazing about you.

On the very best way to be supportive of somebody experiencing stress and anxiety or anxiety:

[M] ost people don’t know how to help a loved one. They try to cheer them up or tell them to remedy their distorted ideas. Which is never going to be effective. And what you need to find out is thoughtful listening … You understand, it’s just listening and offering assistance rather than attempting to cheer someone up or toss assistance at them.

To hear more practical suggestions from Dr. Welsh and Dr. Burns, provide the complete episode a listen.

Have any feedback or concepts for future episodes? Want to be featured on the show? Leave us a voicemail at 347-687-8109 or send out a voice memo to [email protected]

Episode Transcript

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