The thoughts we have in our minds can heavily influence our emotions, and our thoughts are often affected by what we surround ourselves with. An environment that constantly produces thoughts that provoke anxiety within us can sometimes lead us to depression. Our guest today is someone who has masters the art of overcoming anxiety by understanding how our brain and body work. Brian Sachetta, the author of ‘Get Out of Your Head: A Toolkit for Living with and Overcoming Anxiety,’ joins us today to talk about his ten-step process to overcoming anxiety.
Brian started his professional career in computing as a graduate of management and computer science. After college, his background in computer science led him to explore parallels between computer systems and the human mind, ultimately creating his first book, which gives readers practical strategies for overcoming anxiety. We start the conversation with his perspective on his approach to writing and what motivates him as a writer.
A dilemma that many of us face often is getting fixated on things that make us worry or things that trigger us. When we keep thinking about things that trigger us, that can lead to elevated levels of anxiety. When you continue this behavior in an infinite loop, it can ultimately induce depression. Brian talks about how we can get out of this loop of dogs and avoid anxiety and depression.
In his book, Brian outlines ten steps we can take to strategically control the factors that contribute to anxiety. These ten steps cover several aspects and behaviors that are crucial to controlling anxiety, including how our body functions come into play, thought patterns, how our focus contributes to anxiety, and living in the present moment. Throughout the episode, we dive into each of these steps and how to implement them in our lives to overcome anxiety.
[2:00] Distilling Different Ideas – Brian explains that distilling different ideas and coming up with the right, meaningful message in the right context to put out for his readers and listeners is what motivates him as a writer.
[3:30] Comorbid Commonality – Upon asking to throw light on the book, ‘Get Out of Your Head, a toolkit for living with and overcoming anxiety, Brian is currently working on, he explains that it is all about the interrelatedness of both, anxiety and depression. Hence, he has included researches about the two diseases as well as mental health in general.
[22:00] Looping Thoughts – Brian explains that when one is worried about something that triggered them, they get into their heads about it and think about it even more, which further leads the trigger to react and result in some physiological reaction. Hence the concept is when one starts to worry, they start to create or intensify some reactions going on in their bodies. Looping thoughts is therefore looking at a fear that we have and kind of thinking that we can solve it and continue to focus on how to solve it.
[49:26] Ten Steps – Brian highlights that the first half of his book consists of the ten steps he developed, more like ten things he likes to do when he finds himself in an acutely anxious situation in which he finds himself fearful.
[50:15] Breath – He delves deep into the first step of the process, breathing. Brian how our nervous system responds to threats, how it relates to anxiety, and what we need to do to activate our parasympathetic nervous system to help with anxiety.
[59:15] True Importance – Another thing Brian points out is the value of determining the true importance of what’s making you anxious.
[1:06:55] Potential Outcomes – Brian talks about step three of his process, which is to evaluate the potential outcomes and reconnect to the ones you want
[1:11:30] Shifting Focus – When we’re focused on negative thoughts, we’re allowing them to affect us negatively. Step four of Biran’s process is about shifting one’s focus from negative to positive since the longer we focus on a thought, the more power it has over us.
[1:24:55] Empowering Way – Brian explains that we want to have things at our disposal that can help us get from one state to another, meaning a negative, or a depressed or an anxious state, from all the way down the ladder. We talk about why we want to have something that’s going to take us from that state up a couple of notches on the ladder.
[1:32:00] Get Back to the Present Moment – We sometimes drive ourselves overthinking about our fears, and that can become an unnecessary trigger of anxiety. Brian dives into how we can avoid this by being in the present moment.
Connect with Brian:
Book on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2HSnqpo
Articles of Brian: https://medium.com/@brian_sachetta