Dear Anxiety

By GoZen!

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Worry, anger, stress, perfectionism, body image: if you feel it, we want to talk about it. This is a show for humans of all ages about the difficult emotions we all struggle with. We share research-based solutions for the greater mental wellness of your whole family. You’ll learn tools for improved mindfulness, communication, self-awareness, and we hope you’ll laugh with us along the way. Join hosts Ed Crasnick, a comedian and Emmy Award winning writer, and Renee Jain, positive psychology guru and the founder of GoZen!

Episode Date
Renee Jain Interviews Dr. Justin Coulson

This week, we're happy share Renee's interview with Dr. Justin Coulson. Dr. Coulson is a respected and popular parenting expert, and is sought after for his advice on family life, relationships, well-being, and resilience. 

Aug 16, 2019
Post-Traumatic Growth

Are you not sure what post-traumatic growth means? That's okay, Ed doesn't know either. But, as he's fond of saying, thank goodness Renee is here. She describes the importance of finding value after challenging experiences, explains the contrast to post-traumatic stress, and together, Ed and Renee demonstrate some of the skills involved in helping kids find the positive hidden in the negative, while balancing the importance of allowing them space to feel their hurt.

Aug 09, 2019
The Pursuit of Meaning

Have you been searching for the meaning of life? Relax, you've finally found it! Well, you've found a podcast about meaning, at least. There are a lot of myths about meaning in life. Is it tied to work? Family? Helping others? Or is it something else entirely? Believe it or not, there have been studies done about what gives life the most meaning, and Ed and Renee are here to share some of that information, give you some tips for helping your kids find meaning, and maybe they'll help you find some yourself. 

Aug 02, 2019
Being a Realistic Optimist

Most of us know people who always believe, no matter the circumstances, that things will turn out just peachy! At the same time, we know people who breath constant doom and gloom and believe that the decks are always stacked against success. Of course, the truth usually lies somewhere between. Join Ed and Renee as they demonstrate tools for finding the balance between both extremes, and teach us all how to be realistic optimists. 

Jul 26, 2019
Belonging, Fitting In, and Acceptance

Science shows us that when we feel a sense of rejection, when we feel like we don't fit in, it activates the same part of our brain as physical pain. That means that when we lack a sense of belonging, it literally hurts. No wonder we all work so hard to fit in! But is "fitting in" what's best for us? It turns out that can hurt, too. In this episode, we discover the differences between belonging and fitting in, and we learn the meaning of real acceptance. 

Jul 19, 2019
Stuck in the What-If Loop

Humans have a unique ability to time travel in our minds. We revisit the past so we can learn from it. We try to predict the future so that we can be prepared. But sometimes, when we look into the future, we see too much uncertainty, and the result is a truckload of worry and anxiety. "What if it rains during the party? What if the food doesn't turn out? What if nobody shows up? What if nobody has fun? What if none of these people are really my friends?" Ed and Renee are master what-iffers, and all that experience has left them with a lot of tools for managing what-ifs, and focusing on what really matters. 

Jul 12, 2019
Further Procrastination Exploration

Some topics are too large to cover just once. In this episode, Ed and Renee dive back into what researchers call "intentional delay." They discuss when procrastination is good, when procrastination is bad, and when it's downright ugly. And for those of us still trying to fight our procrastinating demons, it turns out that forgiveness and self-compassion has a huge role to play in how we get stuff done in the future. 

Jun 28, 2019
Escaping The Over-Scheduling Trap

Remember long summer days as a child, when, in the best way, you had nothing to do for days, you invented games with friends, explored neighborhoods, and just got lost in the luxury of free time? Well, that sure went away fast. With our stressful lives, who has time to relax like that anymore? Not many of us, and even worse, not many of our kids know that freedom, either. These days busy schedules rule, but at what cost? Listen in as Renee and Ed discuss the high price of the over-scheduling phenomenon and share ideas about what you and your kids can do about it.  

Jun 21, 2019
Spotting Thought Holes

Our thoughts are notoriously inaccurate. We exaggerate. We misinterpret. We process selectively. So how can we tell the difference between the truth and lies? Renee thinks that understanding cognitive distortions, or "thought holes," is the single most important mental wellness tool a person can have. In this episode, she and Ed help us identify different kinds of thought holes, show us how we can get ourselves unstuck from them, and they host a game show with fabulous prizes.  

Jun 14, 2019
Self Love is All You Need

 Why is it so hard to be loved? We're not talking about being loved by other people; we all have people who love us. Why is it so hard to be loved by ourselves? Why is it easier to beat ourselves up than it is to have some compassion for ourselves? Why is it easier to say "I need to be better" than it is to say "I love who I am right now"? It's a love fest for Ed and Renee, as they discuss some scientific reasons for showing ourselves more love, reasons we're so self critical, and offer some tools more making it easier to be inwardly affectionate. Also, Ed sings! 

Jun 07, 2019
Renee Jain Interviews Dr. Tamar Chansky

It's a week off for your hosts, Ed Crasnick and Renee Jain, but Dear Anxiety must go on! We're happy to share with our listeners this interview with Dr. Tamar Chansky, a psychologist dedicated to helping children, teens, and adults overcome anxiety. Dr. Chansky discusses hallmark signs of anxiety, tips for role playing with your child (a Dear Anxiety favorite), and some games to help your child understand what their worry is telling them. 

May 31, 2019
Tolerating Frustration

Frustration is bad, right? We certainly treat it that way. When our kids get frustrated, we want them to stop. Immediately! Their frustration even frustrates us. As for ourselves, sometimes feeling frustrated fuels even more frustration. Well, if you've ever heard Dear Anxiety before, you probably know that "frustration is bad" isn't the whole truth. Renee and Ed explain what exactly frustration is, why we feel it, and how the feeling of frustration is really just the tip of an emotional iceberg. 

May 24, 2019
Putting Sleep Anxiety (and Your Kids) to Bed

Nearly everyone, kids included, struggles with sleep. In fact, the problem is so rampant, the Centers for Disease Control called insufficient sleep a public health epidemic. Anxiety kicks in, thoughts begin to race, fears run wild, and all we can do is stare at the ceiling. In this episode Renee recounts her battles with sleep, Ed ponders whether he's slept enough to be considered human, and together they share nine tools, strategies, and bits of wisdom to help you and your child when it comes to nighttime battles.  

May 17, 2019
Social Anxiety - Truths, Myths, and How To Work Against It

Your child seems afraid of being around other kids, and it hurts to see them struggle so much with friends. Why are they behaving this way? Are they just shy? Insecure? Or could this be social anxiety? What does that even mean? The first step in discussing social anxiety is to discuss what social anxiety is not. Social anxiety is not being an introvert. Social anxiety is not being shy. Social anxiety is not feeling a little nervous. If it's not those things, then what is it? Ed and Renee discuss the hard, disruptive impact of social anxiety on our lives and on the lives of our kids, and they introduce some interventions for managing it.

May 10, 2019
Passing Through the Not-So-Great State of Loneliness

How would you describe loneliness? Is it isolation? Disconnection? A feeling of not belonging? Whatever words you choose, we can all agree it hurts, and it hurts so much, it actually rises to the level of a public health issue. That's right, it has real, physical consequences! Researchers have come to some stunning conclusions, stating loneliness may be the health equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and that it's more dangerous for your body than obesity. In this episode, Ed and Renee help us understand what loneliness really is, what it is not, and how we can help ourselves, and our loved ones, navigate this dangerous and painful state of mind.

May 03, 2019
The Pain of Social Comparison

We've all heard that "comparison is the thief of joy." Still, we can't help but measure ourselves against others. We compare our jobs and salaries, clothes and appearances, relationships and families. Our kids to it, too, measuring popularity, grades, looks, athleticism, social media numbers. Social comparison isn't bad when we let it inspire us, when we recognize and respect the achievements of others. However, too often the comparisons make us feel inadequate, like failures, or just plain bad about ourselves. Ed and Renee have been there, and they know a thing or two about turning the tide on the pain of social comparison.

Apr 26, 2019
Renee Jain interviews Dr. Laura Markham on Anxiety, Anger, and Connections

Ed and Renee have the week off, but that doesn't mean Dear Anxiety gets a break. We're happy to share this interview with Dr. Laura Markham. Dr. Markham is a Clinical Psychologist with a PhD from Columbia University, and she’s also a mom who translates proven science into practical solutions for your family. In a conversation pulled from the Resilient Child Summit, she shares strategies for diminishing anxiety, anger, and fear in your child, and in yourself, too.

Apr 19, 2019
Overcoming Overwhelm

We've all felt it. That volatile sensation that just one more item on the to-do list, or one more job to do, or one more role to play, is going to put us completely over the edge. There's only so much we can handle, and any more will make our heads spin. Overwhelm. Ed and Renee have felt it, too, and in this episode, they show up with some tools for helping us, and our overwhelmed children, get control of our countless responsibilities, and our emotions. 

Apr 12, 2019
Failing Better: Mistakes and our Mindsets

Why do mistakes hurt so much? What is it about failing that makes us feel worthless, broken, and afraid to try again? Ed and Renee explain that we come into the world knowing that we learn by experimenting, failing, and repeating, but when we lose sight of what it takes to grow our minds, we become fixed and fearful. Listen in as they describe exercises to actually encourage mistakes, risk-taking, and a growth-mindset.

Apr 05, 2019
Happiness, Optimism, and other Skills

We're obsessed with happiness. Our greetings and wishes for others frequently include the word happy: Happy New Year; Happy Birthday; Happy Friday. Among the founding principles of the United States is the right to pursue happiness. Parents want their kids to grow up happy, and I’m sure that doesn’t sound like a terrible plan to the kids, either. So where do we get some of this happiness, and once we have it, how do we keep it? That's the tricky part. In this episode, we explore happiness, optimism, and positivity, and learn skills for cultivating those very feelings. 

Mar 29, 2019
Social Media, Screen Time, and Families

92% of teens go online daily. Of those, 52% are online several times per day, and 26% are online almost constantly. Are parents' statistics any better? Not really. Yes, mobile devices certainly have our attention, but why do we spend so much precious time staring at screens? What value do we get from social media and technology? Can we use these tools in more constructive ways? In this episode, we learn that when it comes to technology, sometimes it's not about getting the right answers, but about asking ourselves the right questions. Join Ed and Renee in their conversation about making more mindful use of our devices. 

Mar 22, 2019
Meditation: The Art and Science

Most people know what meditation is: cross your legs uncomfortably; get rid off all your thoughts; enter a trance-like state. Right? Um, no. In this calming episode, Ed and Renee debunk some widespread myths about what meditation is and is not. They describe the real science of the practice, how it affects our bodies and our minds, and how we can easily incorporate it into our daily lives. If that wasn't enough, they guide us through some simple meditations right in the episode, leaving us all in a better, more peaceful place.

Mar 15, 2019
Climbing out of Depression

Rates of diagnosed depression are on the rise for people of all ages, especially teens. How bad is it? According to a report by Blue Cross Blue Shield, in the last six years cases have increased nearly 50% for millennials, and more than 60% for teens. Could anything make those numbers worse? Try imagining the number of cases that go unreported because children, teens, and adults alike feel they have nobody to talk to about their suffering. Ed and Renee have experience battling their own depression, and they’re here to say that even if you haven’t yet found the ability to talk to another person, you can always talk back to the voice of depression itself. 

Mar 08, 2019
Anxiety, Stress, and the Way We Think About Them

Anxiety is debilitating. Worry robs you of happiness. Stress is a killer.

I can’t imagine anyone reading this would disagree with those statements, and that’s exactly why we’re so lucky to have Ed and Renee! In this episode, they propose that one of the best ways to manage our anxiety and stress is to, well, change the way we think about our anxiety and stress. Of course, that sounds a little too good to be true. Like, seriously? I’m just going to think something and it’s going to change my life? Yes, that’s the idea, and it’s backed up with real science! 

Mar 01, 2019
Ending Negative Thought Parades

It feels like negative thoughts have a living, physical presence. They travel in groups, often gaining speed and momentum, following one after the other. They can surround us, cage us, keep us up at night like obnoxious neighbors. We spend a lot of energy fighting them off, like an infestation of pests. Luckily, Ed and Renee know these feelings well, and they’re here with strategies for … wait a second … allowing them? How can that be right? Listen and find out!

Feb 22, 2019
Leaving Procrastination Station

If you asked your child if they'd like to do homework right now, or wait until tomorrow, can you predict their answer? What if I said you could skip work today, then make up the time next week? Not one of us is immune to procrastination, even when we're motivated to do something. We know we should go to the gym, but we're sure we'll have more energy later. We need to write that report, but it'll only take a few minutes and we can do that on the bus in the morning. In this episode, Renee and Ed get "sciencey" and tell us why we all procrastinate, why it has nothing to do with being disorganized, and what we can all do to get things done without delay.

Feb 15, 2019
Defending Against Panic Attacks

Your heart is beating out of your chest. The air is gone from your lungs. Your body is rigid and you're sweating through your clothes. The first of your racing thoughts: you're having a heart attack. But that's not it. It's a panic attack, and when it's over, there is relief in the fact that you're okay, that you'll live, but that relief is quickly replaced with more dread. Because... now what? What's wrong with me? What if it happens again? Is there anything I can do to prevent it? In this special episode, Renee shares her personal experience with panic attacks and, together with Ed, discusses the science of these very real, very painful events that affect millions.

Feb 08, 2019
Befriending Your Body Image

Wait, why are we discussing our bodies on a show about mental wellness? A person's view of their own body is often tied directly to their self-esteem, and their self-acceptance. Now consider these facts:  53% of 13 year-old American girls are unhappy with their bodies; 50% of teen girls and 30% of teen boys have used unhealthy weight control techniques; 95% of people with eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25. Yikes! This is a must-listen episode, in which hosts Ed and Renee address how we all think about our bodies, and how we can improve those thoughts.

Feb 01, 2019
Battling Self-Criticism using Self-Compassion

We've all had those horrible thoughts: I'm not good enough; nobody likes me; I'm so stupid sometimes. That's the harsh voice of self-criticism. It's hard enough to hear it in our own heads, but when we know that voice is in our children's heads, it hurts even more. So how do we fight it? Enter self-compassion! Listen in as Ed and Renee unlock secrets to turning thoughts from foe to best friend. 

Jan 25, 2019
Transforming Anger for Kids

Kids got anger? Forget anger management, let's teach kids to use their anger as a positive catalyst for change. Using research-based strategies, you may just discover that it's easier for our kids to change their habits than it is for us. If that's not enough, you'll learn Ed's "one line" to change your life. 

Jan 18, 2019