I am so excited for you to hear from my friend, Lynn, in today’s episode. As a leader in her field, she’s going to be able to help you look critically at your current stress levels and give you tangible takeaways on how to bring those levels down. So without further ado, let's hop into the episode with Lynn.
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/163
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- Stress response system (7:39)
- Some stress is good (12:09)
- Activation, relaxation or deactivation (14:22)
- Dealing with chronic stress (15:29,17:14)
- Meditation (26:18)
- Do anything with rhythm (29:45)
- Listen to and trust your body (30:25)
- Emotional Freedom Technique/tapping (34:25, 36:36)
You're listening to Biceps after Babies radio episode number 163.
Hello and welcome to Biceps after Babies radio. A podcast for ladies who know that fitness is about so much more than pounds lost or PRs. It's about feeling confident in your skin and empowered in your life. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke, a registered nurse, personal trainer, wife, and mom of four. Each week, my guests and I will excite and motivate you to take action in your own personal fitness as we talk about nutrition, exercise mindset, personal development, and executing life with conscious intention. If your goal is to look, feel, and be strong and experience transformation from the inside out, you, my friend are in the right place. Thank you for tuning in, now let’s jump into today’s episode.
Amber B 0:48
Hey, Hey, Hey, welcome back to another episode of Biceps after Babies Radio. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke. And today I have on podcast, Lynn Jimenez, and we are talking about stress. And this may seem like I don't know kinda of a boring topic. To me, stress is like, I don't like stress, but I don't really want to spend time talking about it. But this episode was fascinating to me. And I just feel like Lynn does a really great job of breaking down some of these complex subjects and topics into something that is so applicable and executable. So sometimes when we get into the realm of a topic, like stress that has so many layers and so many complexities, we talk a lot about the theoretical stuff. And that's great, that's really important to understand. But we never move into the realm of like, okay, that's great, but like, what's my first step? How do I actually take this concept and actually make it actionable? And that's what Lynn does a great job of, is taking this concept of stress and stress reduction and actually putting it into concrete metrics. That's probably why I like it. If you haven't figured out yet, I really like metrics and feedback, and like the science side of things. And so she does a really good job of being able to create metrics, when you are thinking about stress, and being able to quantify the stress relief techniques to make sure that they work for you. And she gives some really good ideas about, by the end of this episode, you're gonna have some really good ideas about how to start testing and trying and figuring out what works for you in terms of how to bring that chronic stress that so many of us are dealing with. And like I mentioned in the episode has become almost normalized in our society, how to bring that chronic stress levels down, so that you are performing better and that you're feeling better and that you're reducing that anxiety that has crept into life for so many of us.
Amber B 2:52
Now, one reason I'm really excited to introduce Lynn to you is because she's actually a real life friend. So I met Lynn at our CrossFit gym. And she used to do the morning class with me. She doesn't anymore, she's smart. But that's where I first met her and kind of got to know her, and consider her a friend. And then I learned more about what she does on the professional side. She's a licensed clinical social worker, and what she does in terms of her understanding and research on the topic of trauma and stress relief, and being able to incorporate that. And it just was fascinating to me. And I knew immediately I was like once I figured this stuff out, and how an expert she was in her field, I asked her to be on the podcast, and she graciously accepted. And so I am so excited for you to hear from Lynn as a friend of mine, as someone who is a leader in her field. And as somebody who is going to give you some really tangible takeaways from this episode, so that you can start looking critically at your current stress levels, whether it is working for you and your life, and if it's not giving you some really tactile ways to start to bring those stress levels down. So without further ado, let's hop into the episode with Lynn.
Amber B 4:11
Hey, Lynn, how are you doing?
I'm doing so good. So excited to talk to you.
Amber B 4:16
It's gonna be so fun. So Lynn, I've already told you a little bit about Lynn. But I am excited. Because I know Lynn personally and because I know what amazing work that she does. And so I'm really excited to share her personality with you. But then also the information that she's going to be giving us is going to be so important. So welcome to the podcast.
Thank you. I love what you said about my personality because I have boatloads of personality.
Amber B 4:38
You have so much personality and it's one of the things that I love about you and I feel like I've gotten to know your personality more and more when I see you outside of the like 5:30 hour at CrossFit. It's like-
nobody has a personality than-
Amber B 4:53
I feel like I got to know you a little bit and like the 5:30 class and then when I started seeing you outside of that time I was like, Oh, she wakes up.
Yeah, yeah she's not a zombie all day. It's amazing.
Amber B 5:05
It's amazing how that works. So for our listeners who have just been introduced to you for the first time, tell us a little bit about you and what you do.
Okay, so I'll give you kind of like the professional stuff first, and then I'll tell you a little bit about myself. So I am a licensed clinical social worker. So I'm a therapist, I have worked with lots of different people with lots of different concerns. I used to work in the education system. And so when I was there, I worked with a lot of students with trauma, that has been the bulk of my experience. So I'm really comfortable dealing with very tough stuff. And then I went into more comprehensive school districts. So your typical K-12. And I started seeing a lot of kids with anxiety. And so I got really curious about that, and started diving into the stress response system. Because it really explains the continuum of responses and symptoms that I was seeing. So now I say that my specialty is stress response system activation, which includes daily stress, anxiety, depression, and trauma responses. I love talking about these things, it really lights me up not because I love that people have experienced trauma. But I think it just gives people an understanding of why they're stuck where they are, I saw the personal side of me and why I love this work is I've had plenty of trauma adversity in my background, I was very disconnected from it from a really long time, it was just my own way of managing it and moving through it, it was a very much an adaptive response. So I've done a lot of work in my own healing, and to be able to share both my experience and professionally like what I know to be true and help people find their way through their own healing is probably one of the things that I love most about the work that I do.
Amber B 6:47
I love that. And I feel like this is such a timely conversation on so many levels, but I feel like the last couple years of life for most people have been a very stressful time for the kids, for adults. And I think you're exactly right, that when we start to understand the basis where this is coming from, it ceases to be this unknowable thing that just kind of happens to us. And instead, we can start to understand it a little bit better and work through it and move through it. And, you know, I think having somebody to be able to walk you through it is going to be really helpful for people who are listening. So you mentioned the stress. What did you call it?
The stress response system?
Amber B 7:29
The stress response system?. That's some big words. can you kinda just like, let's just walk us through on like a, you know, fourth grade level of like, What do you mean when you say stress response system.
So it's basically our nervous system. It's how our nervous system, you know, our brain, kind of nervous system works together to process information. So you'll see neuroscientists talk about stress in certain ways. And then there's kind of clinical people who talk about stress in certain ways. But we're all speaking the same language. And so some people will say nervous system, and other people will say stress response system, it's essentially the same thing. But when we're looking at it from a clinical lens, we want to understand how biology is impacting our behavior. And so it's not so I don't get into the nitty gritty of like, all the, the neuro chemicals, I really care about, like, what is happening in your body, what basic understanding do we need, so that way we can help you adapt, because what happens when people when we have increased levels of stress, whether it's daily stress, where whether it's maybe some unusual circumstances, or adversity, or traumas or more long term, chronic stressors, we have this physiological response. And then we learn, we try to figure it out, right? Like we have these adaptive responses, we try to navigate our environment as best as we can. Sometimes we do a great job. And sometimes we do the best we can and it doesn't feel that great. And I think what you were saying earlier about how everybody's experiencing stress is true. Like if we were doing the best we can all of us are doing the best we can, with the amount of stress that all of us are under sometimes we start seeing these holes that are best, maybe could be a little bit better, and that there's areas for improvement. And so this is a really good opportunity, if you want to look at it that way to start working on some of those holes.
Amber B 9:26
Yeah, it's almost like those holes have always been there. And they're just now kind of being exposed. for some people. And that's why we're seeing, you know, higher rates of anxiety and higher rates of depression and higher rates of people feeling stress, but I think it's, it's like, those didn't just appear they've been there. And now you're just being made aware of them. And now that you're aware of them, we can actually spend some time and energy and effort into filling those holes. So that in the long run, we're not continuing to deal with this whole time.
Yep, I would imagine for most of your audience because, like more health and nutrition, like if, like when I was younger, and I'm sure a lot of people experience I could get away with eating in a certain way. And then as I got older and my body changed, my needs changed, I cannot get away with eating the same way that I ate when I was 16 or 22. Like I have to change. And it just revealed, my like, the change in my body has revealed the eating patterns that I had and how they don't work for me anymore. So I have choices, I can either choose to respond to what the truth of my body needs, or I can shut it down and just go about my merry way.
Amber B 10:33
Yeah, that's right. So I feel like we have a really negative connotation with the word “stress” in our society right now, in general. It's like we don't use, we don't use the like, stress as like, I'm stressed! Like it's a great thing, like when we're talking about stress, it's usually in a negative connotation. But can you kind of talk a little bit through that stress response system, because it isn't, it isn't always negative. And there is a purpose behind that system. And there's a line to which it's helpful. And then it becomes unhelpful. So can you kind of walk us through? Like, from a physiological perspective, what is the purpose of even having a stress response system? And how can it work for us, and then when does it become that point where it now doesn't work well for us?
Yeah, so okay, so the brain's job, and if somebody is like, super into neuroscience, they might come at me, but I'm just gonna boil all this down to the most simplest of concepts. The brain's job really is to keep us alive, like we want to survive, right? Like that is kind of our number one goal in life. Survival looks a little bit different these days. Survival looks, you know, like we're not running from dinosaurs anymore, or like, some people still, some people struggle with food and shelter scarcity. But a vast majority of us don't have those issues. And so our survival is things like, Am I getting into the cost of going to get into the college that I want? Do I have the job? Can I get that raise? Can I move into a bigger house into a nicer neighborhood? Those stressors can elicit the same response.
So going back to what the stress response system does, it's constantly scanning our environment for threats, again, because it wants to keep us safe. So some stress is good, we actually need stress. So I appreciate you saying that not all stress is bad, because it's not that we actually need stress in our life and small tolerable doses. So that way, the system can become calibrated, as a clinician often will talk about, like frustration tolerance. And that's an important skill. And that aligns nicely with the stress response system, because we have to learn how to manage challenges if we were to live in some sort of bubble. And we would never experience any sort of difficulty, that would actually be to our detriment. Honestly, living in a bubble would be difficult. So there's really not a situation that I can even hypothetically come up with where you would have just like rainbows and unicorns around you all the time. But we do need to experience stress, we usually do that over time, in developmentally appropriate ways, in small tolerable doses. So if you think of a baby, when they are, an infant will cry when they're hungry, that is distressed, right? That is a stressful experience for them. The caregiver, hopefully, if you have an attuned attentive caregiver will come and respond to them. And then they regulate and so they're kind of reliant upon their external world, their caregivers to help them learn how to regulate and self soothe. And then over time, they build the capacity on their own.
For some of us, we don't get those experiences. That's where trauma and adversity comes in. And so our stress response system, I'm saying ours, because I was part of this, my stress response system was overly sensitized, I didn't have my caregivers sometimes would help me self-regulate, and sometimes would not because of their own issues. So mine was a little bit disorganized, I was primed for somebody not going to come and help you through this, your feelings are too much, the world around you isn't safe. And so I learned that I needed to constantly scan the environment and try to keep myself safe. So that's kind of like when one of the ways in which it goes wrong. But overall, if you just kind of have these challenges throughout life, they'll gradually get bigger, and you will gradually build your capacity to deal with stress.
The other thing that a lot of people see and this is more, it's pretty common. I mean, a lot of people have trauma that they don't recognize or adversity that they're not recognizing. But if you were to take that off the table what we have with a lot of people is this constant like challenge or this like desire to get ahead and in that like desire to get ahead, we take on a lot and then we have increased stress response system activation over time, because we are always under stress. Like we see it all the time where people are like, Okay, I gotta work 60 hours and I'm going to the gym and now I'm like, coach, my kids soccer and I'm like volunteering in the community and there's no time to rest, because you're just going going going, that all is going to come at a cost. your system is not meant to run at a sprinter's pace in a marathon period of time, it needs some time to, you need to have that relaxation response or that parasympathetic nervous system functioning, you need the balance of both systems working together. So you have this activation, and then you have this kind of relaxation or this deactivation.
Amber B 15:29
So one of the things that was coming up for me as you were sharing was somewhat of a normalization that I feel like we have with stress in our lives, where it's become very normalized to do all the things that you just said, right? That's,that's the standard is like, you should have a job and you should have children, and you should be able to be PTA president, and you should be able to, like, volunteer on the weekends and like, it's like, normalize that, like that's the way that life runs. And if you can't hack it, well, then there's something wrong with you. And rather than looking at it and saying our bodies were never meant to be under this chronic stress, for a very long period of time. So one of the things that I think would be helpful for me, and I assume for a lot of people listening, is how do we reorient to figuring out when we've crossed that threshold? Because I think for a lot of us, that chronic stress has become the new baseline, and it's become the new norm. And we don't even recognize it as we're in a stress response, because that's just how it's always been. And we don't have that contrast for like, remembering what it was like, before we were PTA president, and we had a job, we have kids, and we had a spouse and like all of the things that we all have on our plate. And so I'm reflecting on my experience in my life and wondering, how do I measure that? How do I gauge it? How do I know when I've gone too far? And, so that I can address it, right? And I think when we know we're beyond that we can address it. But the sneaky thing is when we don't know that it's something that we need to address. So how can we know what information can you give us that we can start to use as reflective in our lives? If this is something that maybe has been there, it's been a hole that we haven't seen, and it could use some repairing.
Yeah, so I first want to just normalize that experience, because that is, most of the people that I work with, and myself included, we've had that same experience where we it's just like one more thing that we add in one more thing that we add in. And then at some point, you look back and you're like, how did I get from this place 10 years ago to this place now? like I don't, I didn't even see it coming? It would be easier if it was just like, for lack of a better example, you get in a car crash, do you recognize a stressor, right? and it's like big and it's in your face, you move on. But normally, it's just like the slow build up. So it's sneaky. So what I usually teach about this is, I love a good emotional thermometer, I'm going to kind of verbally walk you guys through it. So if you were to draw a vertical line on a piece of paper zero is at the bottom of that vertical line 10 is at the top zero is you being calm. 10 is you being the most intense version of your stress. So the thing that trips people up about stress when we talk about it, stress is just how we respond to stressors. So stressors are things in our environment, or inside of us. Stress is our experience that is completely subjective, making it really hard to talk about, but also really important to understand. So as you and I talk about stress, the thing that will help us bridge the communication gap is if I can be really descriptive of what stress is for me.
And you can be really descriptive of what stress is for you on this thermometer, as you start from the 0-10th place, you're either going to go incrementally 1-234-567-8910. And you're going to distract, describe what each of those things look like. So for me, when I was really anxious, and I had anxiety for like 15 years, and I've probably not been anxious for about too. But at the height of my anxiety, it was rage, like when I was out of 10 it was rage, like I literally punched walls, because I was just like, so I was so out of control. And like there was just so much activity in my body. That's where it is now. Now my 10 looks kind of like crying and withdrawn, it's changed. So there's a lot of relativity to it. And it's a fluid kind of thermometer. But if you go through each of those points, you will just write what stress looks like. So I will always cue you to look at thoughts, feelings, behaviors of physical sensations in your body. And the first time you do this, you probably will, you're gonna have lots of holes, you're gonna be like, I don't know what a five is. You could just break into thirds high, medium and low. So 0-3, 4-6, above the six. And you're going to describe as much in as much detail as you can what that looks like. So at a 0-3, I might just be concerned, I might start noticing that I get a little muscle tension, I might notice that I start kind of thinking I don't have enough time to do things, I might start avoiding some tasks that I need to do. 4-6, it's going to amplify that response. So I start, my house starts getting messy, I start having sleep difficulties, my chest always gets tight when I'm stressed or anxious, I might start becoming easily frustrated or easily bothered. And then when I'm at that high place, I'm gonna be very short tempered, I withdraw, I'm disorganized, I avoid stuff, I spend way too much time on social media, I probably do that and 0-10, to be quite honest. So that's how you start recognizing it, that I love to just write it and actually write it out. Because that slows the brain down a little bit. There's an app that I've kind of looked at that Yale University developed. But I think apps sometimes make us go too quickly. And so I personally will always teach you to write it down and get to know yourself a little bit. I've done that activity over 100 times with clients. And every time I do it, I get to know myself a little bit better. So the way that I can describe my experience becomes richer and fuller, based on who I am at that moment. So that is one of my favorite ways, if you'll start noticing the more that you do it, you'll start recognizing the things that you do. So if you can become aware of what kind of check engine lights are your indicators for stress, then you can adjust it really early. 0-3 is really the zone that you want to stay in. So 0-3 is normal daily stress, that's where you kind of engage in self care practices. So am I working out? Am I eating healthy? Am I spending time with friends? Playing board games, going skateboarding with my kids, those are all things that I love to do to keep my stress level low. Once I'm starting, and I can pretty much navigate through my life as is when I'm in that 4-6 range, my stress is creeping up. And so I have to be really conscious of that. So when I'm in that 4-6, I start reducing the demands and placing on myself, I will move stuff on my calendar if I can. So if there's stuff that can wait a week or two weeks or three days, then I will move it to that time, I will, I might clean my house, I might leave my house messy depending on what it is that needs to be priority. So I really look at prioritizing my time. And then I increase what is self care, but really at that point is self soothing. So it's how am I going to regulate myself, how am I going to bring my stress levels down. And then when I'm at 7-10, or like a 7-10 or 6.25-10, then I'm going to take as much as I can off my plate and I'm going to be very aggressive in my self soothing as much as I can do as throughout the day, I'm going to just do practices and activities that help reduce my stress, that reduction is not going to you're not going to go from a 10 to a 0, you're not going to go from a 7-0. Most often you might have some like there's some practices that I love that really reduce anxiety pretty quickly. But most often with your normal practices, it's going to take time when I'm at a 10, I have to it's probably like a 6-8 hour process, maybe two days to continually bring myself down and I'm going for walks I'm talking to friends taking baths, crying, dancing in my living room seeing gain, I'm doing all of those things to get myself back down there. It's not as easy as like, let me go for a walk, listen to some birds. And now I'm happy and back to a place where I want to be.
Amber B 23:07
It's really, really good. So those self soothing techniques that you have talked about that you know, are your go to. Are those just things that you have trialed and errored? If someone's listening to that, and to be like, I don't really know what my self soothing techniques are, how would one go about figuring them out? Do you just try some and see how it is where you end up on that scale afterwards?
Yeah, so okay, so if you're doing your thermometer, and I would love to, honestly, for those of you listening to this, pause the podcast as you're listening and do actually do that activity and continue to do it. So typically, on the right side of my thermometer, I'll write my feelings, thoughts, feelings, behaviors, physical sensations for each of those levels. On the left, I write what coping skills, or resources or tools, like it's all the same language, but what am I going to do to bring myself down, this serves as a reminder, if you need to remember these things, and you're not kind of in in sync with yourself yet, take pictures of it, post it on your mirrors, put it in your car, at your desk at work, like whatever you got to do to remind yourself when I'm at this place, here's what I need to do. But it is trial and error like I do when I run my group, so I do some work at an Addiction Treatment Center. My groups are meditation and yoga based. And I'll run us through a yoga sequence and everybody has a different response to it. Some people are like, Oh my god, I love this pose. Other people are like, nope, this wasn't for me. I can't settle myself. This was too slow. I need something faster. So we really have to start getting to know ourselves. I can't teach anybody. I don't believe that it's effective to teach people to just follow a set of practices. I think people really have to take those practices and then feel into their body and get to see like, did this work for me? If yes, awesome. I'm putting it on my list. It's something I'm used to. if it didn't work for me, is there a way that I can adjust it and adapt it? So it might work. I used to hate journaling, I could not journal to save my life. And then I was forced to do it in my yoga teacher training. And now I love it. But I know when I need to use journaling, I did it for like six weeks every day. And then after that, I was like, ah, now I can see how to use this tool based on where I'm at. So when my head is really foggy, or have a lot of racing thoughts, I'll journal to just clear out some space and kind of get myself centered again, my yoga practice changes based on what I need, but initially, I just had to start doing it to get in the habit and to kind of get a feel of like, when I might use it.
Amber B 25:30
I love that. And I love that. You don't have just a prescriptive way to do it. Because I think you're totally right, some things are going to speak to some people and some things are and I what came to mind, as you were saying that is, is the practice of meditation. And I think that like there's so many people who love meditation and like to preach meditation, and I feel like sometimes people who don't find value in meditation are like, What's wrong with me? like meditation is like the answer, like, this is the way to do it. But I just as you were talking, it just opened my mind to like, it doesn't have to look a certain way. You can mess around with meditation and figure out what works for you. Or maybe it doesn't work at all. It doesn't mean anything wrong with you. It's just like, you know how to find what is going to take that level down for you on that scale.
Can we talk about meditation really quickly? Okay, so this is like one of the things I talk about all the time in my groups, I'm like, okay, so who has a meditation practice? and like, in my groups, maybe a couple people raise their hands. I'm like, cool, I'm gonna explain to you meditation, and then I'm going to have you guys raise your hands again. And so meditation, often people are turned off by it, because they think it's like sitting in a, like lotus or something sitting and they have maybe like their hands. And like in yoga, it's called a mudra. But some sort of hand gesture. And maybe there's some yoga type music playing. It's like this whole experience, right? That works for some people, people who are highly anxious or have trauma responses. So have that fight or flight activation a lot. That is really difficult. You might get there. When I first started yoga, I went into Savasana. So it's like the pose at the end, where you're just laying there all quiet. And still, I hated it. It was two minutes. And I was losing my mind. Because I had a grocery list running through my head, I had 1000 things going through my head, and I was like, This is terrible. Why are we doing this? Six months later, I was like, this is the most amazing experience. I love this, I'd never go, I don't know what relaxation feels like. So I will always teach that meditation is anything that's going to kind of help you be aware, but also bring you back to yourself, which is kind of gray and ambiguous, but I'm going to explain it a little bit. So meditation can be anything that you do that you find joy and I have clients who finish first on meditation, work on cars at a gentleman who installed flooring, painting, dancing, drawing, being out in nature, walking, working out, taking a shower, brushing your teeth, anything can be your meditation, if it gives you that feeling. A couple things to consider is if you are feeling kind of hypo aroused, so you're just kind of like depressed, low motivation, then your meditation practice should probably do something that brings you up a little bit, get active, go for a walk, move your body a little bit, if you're feeling highly aroused, then you might want your meditation practice to be something that's going to calm me a little bit. But it doesn't have to be as jarring as sitting in stillness, like bringing some movement into it, chanting, or doing something that is going to make it feel soothing and comforting, but not so, so far away from where you currently are. And you're kind of in your body with that emotional state.
Amber B 28:41
I love that. Thank you for going over that. I even just appreciate that not one size fits all when it comes to meditation because it is like, I think there has to be candles and certain music playing. And you have to be in a position and just broadening that definition of what it can look like allows people to be able to experiment and see what actually does speak to them. Your goal isn't to meditate. The goal is to get your stress response down. And, you know, whatever you need to do to get there is the right way. It's like there's not one right way to get there. So I love that. What are some other ways that we can work on to reduce stress? Or what do you know, if someone is at a loss, and they're like, I don't even know where to start? You mentioned walking, you mentioned meditation, you mentioned, What else did you mention? Like what are some common things that maybe people would like the basics of like, what can I try to test out thinking about, okay, where's my stress? do XYZ things and then reevaluate if that brought my stress down.
Yeah. So if you're all at a loss, the number one thing that you can do is anything with rhythm. So the brainstem is soothed by rhythm and so if you bring in any sort of rhythmic activity, and that it can be a whole host of things. Breathing is rhythmic, walking is rhythmic, riding a bike, bouncing a basketball, rocking in a chair sitting on those big exercise balls and bouncing up and down. What else? Painting is very rhythmic.
Amber B 30:12
So I'm sitting here shaking my leg, which is like something I've done like my whole life. Is that like a self soothing technique? I've always just bounced my leg. And over and over. But as you're thinking, I'm like, I feel like it's like, it is like the rhythm of it.
Yeah. Does it work for you? Do you feel like this is helping you regulate? Then yeah, So it's interesting, because a lot of times our body is going to tell us what we need. And then we have been trained to deny what our body needs to sit still, right? And so we don't listen to our body anymore. So part of mindfulness and meditation is just listening, again, listening to what our body is, if you have a lot of energy in your body, and you need to move, then move, whether it's move your leg, get up and walk, like, tap your fingers. Like there's a you have to look, I know, it's like context appropriate, and you know, situational, but the more that you can kind of get outside of the box and say, like, Oh, I can't do this, or I can't do this and find out what can I do, you're gonna feel a lot of freedom, and you're going to find ways that will just naturally kind of reduce that activation.
Amber B 31:14
Yeah, it's so good. Because I feel like the, the time that I was raised in and that a lot of adults were raised in was a very prescriptive, like, this is the way that you do it, and you sit on your chair, and you don't move any and you have to be at a desk and like, it's like, this is the way to be successful. And what I've seen as my kids go to school is that they are widening that understanding of maybe we shouldn't have everybody ignoring their bodies. all day long. And so I see things in my kids' classrooms, like not having chairs, but rather having different types of seating arrangements. And so a kid can pick whether they want to sit on a bouncy ball, or they want to sit on the high chair or low chair, or even when I was at my kids class, at back to school night, the teacher was saying often, they will have work time. And she will say, you can sit wherever you want to sit, if you want to lay on the ground, if you want to go out, you know, right outside the classroom, if you want to, like wherever your body wants to sit in whatever position you want to do your work in. And that's fine, that's great. Like, yeah, listen to that and follow through that. Whereas I feel like if we tried to lay on the ground and do our math homework, back in the day, our teacher would have yelled at us, like you have to sit at your table with your desk and the certain chair and that way. And so I see that, that we're kind of evolving in our understanding of hey, we've raised a bunch of people who like, we're taught to ignore their bodies in a lot of different ways in food and in fitness, like stress. And like all these things we were just taught to like to do it a certain way to ignore our bodies. And that hasn't really worked, it hasn't really produced a lot of really high functioning adults who are able to take that feedback from their body and do something different. And I see those tides, starting to shift in the way that we're like, Hmm, maybe, maybe we shouldn't teach kids to ignore their bodies, we should teach them to start to listen to it and trust their bodies.
Yep. And just like, find what works, right? like otherwise, we get this kind of white knuckling. And we've become really rigid, because it's like, I have to, I have to be in control. And we're spending all this effort and energy, trying to control our bodies. Whereas if we can just lay on the floor and do our math, now we can focus on the math, because we're not trying to just like, we're not worried about getting in trouble or not moving our body and not you know, like not getting our name on the board. We're just like, cool I can get my body a little free, I can bounce on the chair, I can land this beanbag. And then I can just do the math in a way that is comfortable for me. Or if we're adults, like, look at the spreadsheet, review a report, whatever it is, stand up, sit down, whatever it is that you need, if we can listen to our body a little bit more than we can start finding those things that work because otherwise I'm just giving you a list of here's some tools that worked for most people, and you're back to that square one of like, let me journal but I don't like journaling. It works a little bit, but it's not fully working or let me go for a walk. I hate walking. There's something about this that I'm hating and you're not into that experience. So I'm all for like, do whatever you want.
Amber B 34:04
Will you talk a little bit? Yeah, of course. Right. Will you talk a little bit about EFT because this is one that I've only recently started to hear about and I know it's something that is a tool and a technique that you utilize and I just I'm curious, like there's a lot of curiosity for me about it. Like what it is, why it works. So can you just kind of go into that for anybody who maybe that's a new term for them as well.
Yeah, yeah. So and by the way, we still need to do a session because I know you understand there's nothing like I'll explain it but there's nothing like experiencing like, I just, I okay, let me explain it. So EFT is Emotional Freedom Technique. It's commonly known as tapping. So I and this is not to toot my own horn, but I'm going to I guess I'm going to toot my own horn. I'm certified in it. And so I always want people to be cautious that a lot of people will say that they do tapping or they do EFT and they might they but they might have taken like a two hour course or like a weekend course and next week. is just different from the level of skill and the practitioner is different. So I'm throwing that out there. EFT so when you're tapping, more of like the western scientific way of explaining it is there's studies that show that it reduces cortisol and that it kind of initiates that relaxation response. So stimulates the parasympathetic nervous functioning. When we are working one to one with a client, we're getting into individual events that support let's say, anxiety, so they're like, I really want to reduce my anxiety, we'll go into specific times where they have felt anxious. So maybe three weeks ago, when I was on a boat, I was feeling really anxious, I thought the boat was gonna, I think boats capsized, right? but the boat was gonna capsize, I was just feeling so anxious, I had this, I felt like I was gonna have a panic attack. So we hide, we focus on that event, we bring down the anxiety, just from there, recalling the moment. Basically, what it's doing is taking that memory, uncoupling the emotion, and then putting the memory back without that negative emotion. So it's really powerful. And then the more that we do that, clients will notice that if they're presenting issues of anxiety, when they go into other memories or experience, or they think about future events, their anxiety, the general anxiety comes down, because they've worked on the events that kind of supported that anxiety. Does that make sense?
Amber B 36:23
Yeah, it does. Um, can you kind of walk through, I think I have a sense of like, when you say tapping what that actually means. But if someone who's like, “I don't even know what she's talking about Tapping” Like, what does that actually look like?
Okay, thank you. So tapping, so you're working on. So there is, this definitely is one of those emerging sciences, it's more in the woowoo, for sure, I love to play in that area. And I love like, kind of like playing with the edges. So I'm super comfortable there. I love the art of clinical work. That side of it is we're working on the meridian system. So when we have a negative thought, it creates a block in the energy channel. And so by tapping, and I'll explain the tapping points, we're removing that blockage, and we're allowing the energy to flow. So what you're tapping on is, there's actually more points, but typically, what you go through is the side of the hand. So you would take your like four fingers on one hand, it doesn't matter which one, you tap the pinky edge of the other hand, and then we'll typically have like, some verbalizations that go with it. So it might be like even though I was thinking about that time on the boat last week, I'm feeling so scared right now I feel it in my chest and my shoulders, I still deeply and completely accept myself. And we would do that three times. And then you go up to the top of the head, kind of where your center part would be. And then there you speak on the emotion and the physical sensation. So it'd be, I'm feeling so scared right now he goes top of the eyebrows, I'm feeling so scared. And you're doing this with your fingertips. So it's kind of like acupressure, because you're using the pads of your fingers to tap on these points, you go to the sides of the eyes, you go underneath the eyes, underneath the nose, underneath your bottom lip, to the collarbone, and then just underneath the armpits like on a woman, it would be basically your bra line. And then you take a deep breath. And you'll check to evaluate if the intensity of the emotion has come down.
Amber B 38:14
So is it also bringing in some of that, like rhythmic movement that you talked about that helps with her sympathetic nervous system as well? That's why you have like a cortisol decrease.
Yeah, it's interesting. that science, there's more science coming out behind it. So I'm really curious, like, what we're gonna understand about what's happening. But yeah, we're simply feeling-
Amber B 38:31
I always love that like a cross between like the woowoo and the science because I'm a big science nerd, like, you know, I love the science and I love the research. And I always love when those two things can kind of come across each other. Right? Like, there's been, you know, meditation was like, it has been a practice for like eons. And there's a lot of now research that actually supports from a scientific perspective that Yeah, like meditation, also, from a scientific perspective works. So I'm always so curious when those two worlds kind of collide and we can actually start to like, see, hey, these things that we're doing and we have an explanation for him. But we also can see that they actually really do work and who cares if it's woowoo.
Yup, yeah, it's starting there. And now we're gonna we can all draw from it. It's really powerful. I was just doing both of my groups today. Instead of doing yoga we did EFT and it was so amazing. Like, it's amazing what's connected. So I you know, I was working with one of my clients and he was just nervous about he's in treatment center and he was nervous about going home and part of that nervousness was like how do I navigate an airport setting because that has normally been a situation that is difficult and I just go to the bar and drink and so we kind of work through it and he every time I was like okay, so tell me the scene that you're seeing in your head and it went from I was I'm I panic, I go to the bar. I'm drunk taking shots too. I panic, I go to the bar and I'm drinking Dr. Pepper too. I don't even go to the bar, I just go grab a Dr. Pepper and sit at the terminal and I'm calling some friends and like that, that is a very powerful and a very quick transformation for somebody who has struggled with that situation. And there's been so many times in their lives where, and this is for all of us, where we keep repeating the same pattern of behavior, we're just like, ah, I just want to move through it like, when am I going to feel successful? And if we can even imagine that success in our mind, now we have the confidence and the competence to navigate that situation in real life.
Amber B 40:25
Yeah, that's so so good. This is awesome. I'm so excited. And we're going to do a session. So maybe I will talk about when this podcast comes out, maybe we can do it before the podcast comes out. In that way I can talk about it on Instagram and kind of share a little bit about that experience. But I'm excited to test out that EFT. Awesome. All right, Lynn. Well, if somebody is interested in learning more from you about the things that you're talking about, about stress or wants to work with you, how can they find you?
so I'm on most socials at Connect Flow Grow. So my website is www.connectflowgrow.com
If you want to work with me one-on-one like EFT, then there is a contact form there. I have a very limited number of one-to-one spots, but I do take some clients for EFT. And then I'm on Instagram, Facebook, TIkTok and LinkedIn as Connect Flow Grow, I'm most active on Instagram, TikTok, we have some fun stuff on there and like ways to reduce stress. And actually we have like a whole mindfulness A-Z. So there's some fun little ways that you can start building in mindfulness and like meditative practices that you might not have been considering.
Amber B 41:36
And then you have a program coming up too, right?
Yeah, so I am doing lots of different things. But the bulk of the work that I'm doing is really around stress and teaching people some foundational skills. So I'm going to be opening, launching again in a couple weeks, I don't know when this podcast is going to air.
Amber B 41:54
It would be around the same time.
Ooh, okay. So, in the first week of October, we're going to be launching again, and what is going to be available is going to be our 21 day stress challenge. So it's kind of like our foundational course to teach you about the stress response system, help you really get acquainted with your stress and then get you practicing some skills to reduce stress. And then we are starting a membership. And I'm really excited about it because there are lots of things, lots of access points for us to help manage our stress, sleep, exercise, nutrition, mental health, healthy relationships, and mindfulness. And so this membership is going to have masterclasses and all that, and all those areas. I'm going to be teaching people EFT and we're just gonna have fun and really work on things like, what is supporting our stress and how do we reduce it.
Amber B 42:41
That's awesome. And we will put a link to that in the show notes. So if you're interested in going and signing up for the challenge and hearing more about managing your stress, I highly recommend going in and signing up. Lynn will take good care of you.
Amber B 42:56
Awesome. Thanks so much, Lynn, for coming on to the podcast. I really appreciate you sharing with everybody about stress. And I feel like I learned some stuff and I'm excited to hear what other people took away.
Yeah, I can't wait.
Amber B 43:08
I hope you enjoyed that episode. I will say I am really excited Lynn and I after we hit stop on the recording, we set up a time for me to do an EFT session with her. So I will be doing that before this podcast launches. And I will go to Instagram and I'll share my experience. I'll share what I thought and what that experience was like. I've never had EFT done on me. I've seen it and I've heard about it, but I've never had it done. So I'm kind of excited to experience it and be able to share that experience with you guys and kind of walk through what it did for me and helped me with in my life. So if you're interested in that, head over to my Instagram, I'll post it probably I don't know, there will be a mode that I'll post it. I don't know if it'll be in stories or my feed is alive. But I will figure out some medium with which to share my experience. So go head over to Instagram and you can find that.That wraps up this episode of Biceps after Babies Radio. I'm Amber now go out and be strong because remember my friend, you can do anything.
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