It can be so discouraging to feel like you're not making any progress in your anxiety recovery journey, despite using all of the tips and tools. If you feel like you're not making progress, I want you to know that you're not alone! For so many years, I thought I would never heal from anxiety. I tried everything, and it felt like nothing was working. But with time, practice, and lots of courage, I healed from panic disorder and agoraphobia! And I know you can, too.
Morgan Starr-Riestis is the creator and counselor behind Mind's Eye Guidance. She runs a private practice and has worked in the clinical mental health field for the last decade! Morgan takes a holistic approach to healing anxiety, which I love. And today, she's joining me on the podcast to talk about feeling stuck in your anxiety recovery journey! So let's get into our conversation.
Why You Might Not Be Experiencing the Healing You're Working So Hard For
"Why Am I Not Recovering From Anxiety?"
I started off by asking Morgan why she thinks that so many people start to feel stuck in their anxiety recovery journeys. She shared that she has personal experience feeling stuck with anxiety, and knows how frustrating it can be when you feel like you're not improving. Morgan said that a big part of why we might not be recovering from anxiety is because we're often missing many components of recovery. She mentioned that spending one hour a week (or every other week) simply isn't enough for us to heal. And I totally agree!
Morgan also mentioned that talk therapy alone isn't enough to heal. When she said "[Intellectualizing and talk therapy] It's not actually releasing what is in your tissues, body, and nervous system", things really clicked for me. We can understand anxiety on an intellectual level, but it's not until we're willing to feel and get in touch with our bodies that the real healing begins. I think this is why so many of us, like myself, have struggled with anxiety for so long. We often try all the tips, tools, and techniques, in an effort to not feel. But the true healing begins when we allow ourselves to feel.
Reactive Practices To Help Your Nervous System
Morgan shared that so much anxiety recovery has to do with caring for our dysregulated nervous systems. So, of course, I had to ask her what some of her favorite practices were! She shared that one of her favorites is to get into the shower while it's still cold because this triggers something called the mammalian drive reflex. Taking cold showers helps Morgan not only recognize that she's capable of doing hard things but also helps to build the connection that she can do uncomfortable things in the future.
Another practice that Morgan uses when she senses that her nervous system is dysregulated is tapping! Also known as EFT tapping, this practice helps many people to regulate during anxious moments. Morgan will tap both of her collarbones and focus on her breathing to re-regulate her nervous system.
Morgan had so much more helpful insight to share, so don't forget to listen to the full podcast episode! If you're looking for some extra support on your own anxiety recovery journey, check out my free email newsletter! Each week, I'll land in your inbox with tips, tools, and helpful insights. You won't want to miss out!
Connect With Morgan!
All right, today I have a guest with me that I'm super excited about. Because when I landed across her Instagram page, I was just like, dang, so much knowledge, insights, helpful stuff, just from a very unique perspective. So, Morgan, welcome to help the push podcast and really happy to have you here.
Thank you. Thanks for having me, it's still a surreal thing for me that people find me and you know, that, you know,
they want to seem like me. Well, why? So, I would love for you just to share, like, tell us a little bit about Morgan, what do you do? Who are you?
Hmm? Well, my name is Morgan. I'm the creator, counselor and coach behind Mind's Eye guidance. I have my own private practice. And I've been working in the clinical mental health field and specifically work with a lot of holistic health and looking at things, you know, in a more holistic lens. And I've been doing that for the last decade. And in the last year and a half, I've started creating content and helping people in, you know, having some accessibility around some of these things that maybe are usually behind the paywall. And with that, I've learned a lot about business. And you know, really how to scale an online business while keeping your mental health intact. So that's a lot of what I'm also doing as well. So I play a lot of roles in my business. And and yeah, like to keep it fun. And, you know, there's lots of different things that I'm growing into and evolving with. So yeah, that's a little snapshot.
Yeah, it's super cool. It's super cool to see like how people just sort of expand and grow on the platform, but obviously in life, and it's very cool to see what you do. So when I was, you know, thinking about what are we going to talk about, I instantly came to the subject of why the heck are we often feeling like we're stuck, and like we just can't seem to heal? And we often feel like, I've tried everything. Like, I've tried this, I've tried that therapy, like nothing seems to be working. Can we sort of just start with this? Like, why do you think it is that people feel like this? I've, I've tried everything, and nothing is helping? I'm just not getting there?
Yeah, yeah, that's such a common thing. And I have to share that I've been there too. And, you know, I've been in therapy since I was 15 years old. And so I've been around the block, I understand, you know, in my own personal life, that we can try all the things and do all the right things. And it's like, Why isn't this working? And I think a big part of it, at least from my journey, and through seeing my clients journeys, is that what we're told is the right way, misses a lot of missing pieces, to be honest. Like, I think that there's a bigger conversation to have around what these bigger missing pieces are, that just in general aren't getting touched with even the best options that we have out there, such as one on one therapy, I mean, we get told, we're having a hard time go to one on one therapy. But what that looks like is once a week for an hour. And that's if you're going every week, you know, because a lot of people aren't, maybe every other week, you get to talk to somebody. And a lot of the times it's a very intellectual conversation about maybe what happened in the past week, or maybe we're sharing about memories, but we're intellectualizing those memories. And in a lot of ways, that's as helpful Elva tool as that can be like, by no means am I bashing therapy, I would not be a therapist, if I, you know, didn't think it worked. Right. It's just that that's not it, if we stop there, and especially if we if we're intellectualizing with our therapist once a week for an hour. That's, that's not going to get us to where we want to be. So
I think I know what you're saying. But I would love for you to explain this. What it what does, what do you actually mean, when you're saying intellectualizing?
Well, it's a very effective coping mechanism to stay up in our heads to mentally construct whatever it is that we're feeling our story. And this can be helpful. I mean, so there's, there's both top down and bottom up approaches and therapy. And so if you're spending most of your time, you know, doing cognitive behavioral therapy or you know, reconstructing a lot of, you know, your cognition and thought patterns and things like that, that's really helpful. By no means am I saying don't do that. And a lot of the times that can lead into a row, a road of being hyper intellectual about our process, which means that we're not actually feeling something, we're able to talk about all this stuff. And we're able to, you know, tell you my attachment style, because I took that quiz and I'm able to really just, you know, talk about it. But that's not actually feeling it in order to heal it, it's not bringing your body into the conversation. It's not actually releasing what is there in your tissues and body and nervous system. It's understanding something intellectually, and this can be so effective of a coping mechanism, because it distances ourselves from the feeling. A lot of the times, if we're talking about something, we're not actually feeling it, we're creating a space in between whatever that feeling, or you know, whatever it is that we need to because sometimes it's a somatic release. It's not just an emotion, there's something very physical in our in our bodies and nervous systems. And a lot of the times intellectualizing and talking about it can actually distance us from that, I think that that's the trap that a lot of us get into in one on one talk therapy without really knowing it, because we're told that this is the thing to do.
Yeah, it's like you said, we're sort of told this is the quote, right way. And I think as we all know, there's sort of, I don't, I don't buy into that there is a right way there. There are many tools, many, many different things that can help you along your journey. But I think you nailed it, right, saying it's a coping mechanism. I know this is something same as you I got into therapy, very young anything for many years, I was going to therapy and doing just that. I was like, Okay, we're going to talk about the things. I'm going to just, you know, keep talking about the things and trying to make sense of the things, but not actually feeling the things. And it was such a coping mechanism. Like it kept me feeling I think, in a way safe, because I don't have to go there. I don't have to extend myself into that place. And talking right and not feeling. I think like what you're saying, and it makes me curious. It sort of keeps these feelings trapped in our bodies. And what do we do with that? Right? So it's like all these things that we're not feeling we're just talking about them we're trying, and a lot of people too, right, who are struggling, are either very intellectual good at problem solving, good at, you know, analyzing are very creative. And so you sort of get caught on these loops of this is good, this is helpful. I feel like oh, I got this really beautiful insight, or I see this differently now. And I like it only gets us so far.
Oh, my goodness, that's the trap. That is exactly it is because it feels good. We get that little dopamine hit, we say oh, my gosh, I figured something out and therapy, yay. And then we don't do anything with that information. Because if you could think your way out of depression, anxiety, all of your problems, you would have done it by now. Like, let's just be real. If you could have thought your way out of it, you would have done it. Right. And so we get this, like, Oh, yay, we figured it out. But then it gives you this false sense of you're doing something about it. And by no means do I want to, you know, bash, being able to understand what's happening, because that's a big first step. I think a lot of the times we need language, obviously, to talk about it, we need to build an understanding of what's happening. But if we stop there, that's the trap.
For sure. And I think, you know, I'm thinking right, of course, my community primarily struggles with anxiety disorders. And I think one big trap that you get yourself stuck into oftentimes, one struggling with anxiety is you're trying to make sense of it all. You're trying to talk logic into it, you're trying to think your way out of all of it. And it just, it really doesn't work very well. So I'm curious, when you said, you know, it's really a lot of feelings and stuff that's in our body is it's like, Okay, what does that mean? What do you mean, when you say that?
Well, you know, I spoke of the top down and the bottom up approaches, I mean, our perception moves in two different directions, both from, you know, our brain down that cognition down into our body. But then there's also our body's giving us so much information all the time. And it's actually a ratio of 30 to one. So every so our body is sending 30 signals to every one that our brain is going down, right? And so just to recognize that we are not just a brain up in our heads, there's an entire nervous system and body that is getting imprinted when we're living life, and making memories and so to leave our body and nervous system out of the conversation, which has been done, traditionally. I mean, we're just really getting into this in the whole field of psychology and really recognizing the benefits of, you know, bringing the nervous system and body into the conversation and so on. Yeah, it's a, it's a very rich conversation. So I'll just, I'll start it there. But the but the bottom up is, you know, techniques such as somatic experiencing, or there's, there's lots of different ways to go about it, Peter Levine's a great resource for, you know, if you're just now scratching the surface, you know, he's a really good one to look into. And many, many people have read, you know, Body Keeps the Score, it's that kind of conversation of really, understanding that he was somebody told me this, that your issues are in your tissues, you know, it's something that's like, we don't just have it up in our head, it's that time when our body gets the trigger of that sound, or the you know, we have a visceral experience that you know, even the tightness in our chest that happens with anxiety that shows up, maybe our, our cognition hasn't really come up with what's going on yet. But our body felt something, right. And so it's kind of meeting in the middle of both that top down, which is sort of cognitive behavioral, sort of shifting the mindset, and then the bottom up of regulating our nervous system and helping our bodies release what charges may have been imprinted. If we had a traumatic experience, or just the natural stressors of life, like really understanding how our nervous system moves through a day to day with stress, because that's just a part of being human.
Yeah, I sort of where my brain was going, right was, Is this part of it, that why we feel like, okay, I'm trying everything, I'm doing everything. But oftentimes, what I'll hear a lot, right is I'm still feeling all the feelings, I'm still getting all the symptoms, I'm still getting all the sensations, I'm still getting so many thoughts. But I'm, I'm doing what I'm being told to do, right? If I'm being told I'm doing all the right things. So is this nervous system stuff, a part of why we feel like it's just not happening?
Most definitely, if I have both a proactive and a responsive, nervous system regulation routine that I do on a daily basis, you know, and that's because I know that if I can regulate myself from when I wake up in the morning, and do my preventative measures, then I'm going to be able to move through my stressors on a day to day a lot more gracefully. But there's also going to be times when things happen. Right, that that aren't avoidable, you know, and I don't think that any of this is any of this healing, you know, is meant to make it so that nothing bad ever happens. Again, it's helping us learn how to move through the really stressful traumatic nature of what it means to be a human, like, it's a really hard thing to do. So I think most of this is not to say that you're broken, because you're living in a really fractured, challenging world. It's it's more so to say that maybe we don't have the routines and tools and things set into place that are is helping our nervous system move through a really stressful world. And society.
Yeah. Because I mean, I feel like as we all feel and see, it's like on a daily basis now or it's just feels like it's so much. It's too much. So I think what I'm kind of hearing right is we can't ignore our bodies, we have to actually listen, we have to pay attention. And we have to actually respond, we have to do something. I'm curious when you said you have these preventative and sort of, I think you said reactive practices to help your nervous system. Can you give an example, just like a quick example of what both of those look like?
Yeah. So for one of the ones that I do every day on a proactive measure, is that I'll do cold exposure in my shower. So as my shower is warming up, I get in right away instead of waiting for the water to get warm. And that's working with the mammalian dive reflex. And, yeah, we can go into whole, you know, all the benefits of cold exposure and all the things but I'll just tell you that routine, and then you know, I'll have the hot shower, enjoy that. And then the last 30 seconds to a minute, depending upon where I am, I'll make a cold. And yeah, I'll just say now, because I think it's just one of the cooler techniques with it is I really like the Huberman method. And it's he talks about breaking through walls. So a lot of people be like, Well, how long and how cold should it be and you know, all these technical details around cold exposure. And what I really like about this is that it's not just helping my body, recognize that I can do hard things in the morning, but it's also setting my mindset up to be prepping myself to know that I can do hard things. So what I mean by that is that the method is not to count I'm 30 seconds. And that's my measure of time. It's more so to say I want to break through two different walls during the shower. And so, you know, one wall, if I say mentally, like, oh, I don't want to do this, it's like, Okay, push through. Okay, that's one wall. Okay, I'm gonna break through another one. So maybe that is 10 seconds. And then I got brought both of my walls done in two seconds. Either way, it's setting up my, my nervous system and my mind set up for resiliency throughout the day. And that's a very proactive thing that I do. That's helping set me up for that I might have a much bigger stressor than cold in the day, you know? So that's, that's one example.
I'm so glad that you said like, not getting into the details and trying to be technical about it. Because they think, Gosh, our brains, right, they just want to think that's like their job. That's what they do all the time. And they just want to analyze and and then I think we really tend to think there is a right way. Because we've sort of been constantly it's all this messaging on like, do this, this is this is what's going to help you and so it's hard to pull back and not try to do it all the right way and say, Well, I have to do it, you know, for this amount of time, it has to look this way. And that's really helpful. I'm glad that you shared that because I think that type of stuff, right can really add to the anxiety, the overwhelm the stress, the pressure that we put on ourselves to like, I'm not
doing my routine, perfect. And, you know, and it's my fault. And I'm, you know, we create this whole narratives that even the routine and the things that are supposed to be helping are feeding into how wrong I am and how I need to be fixed. And I can't do it. Right. And you know, it's a cycle. Oh, yeah.
So can you tell us what's give us an example of what's the reactionary way that you help your nervous system? Because people are probably like, Okay, I need this. I mean, the preventative is always great, super helpful and where you want to start, but it's also helpful to have the reactionary to,
yeah. Well, so the other day, I went to a dermatologist appointment and my insurance, it was there was a whole thing that was happening. And so after almost an hour of sitting in the waiting room waiting on my insurance to tell me I was covered or not. They said, Sorry, your anyway, my nervous system got dysregulated I actually cried in front of the receptionist, I'm, I'm very open about my emotions. Yeah, you know, it is what it is, I know that they felt they felt badly because it wasn't their fault. I was just, you know, at that point, I was just dysregulated. And I got back to my car. And I, before I started driving, I just knew I was dysregulated, I started having, you know, quicker breaths, I was going into more of a hyper aroused place. And I recognize that and instead of driving away and letting escalate, I stopped myself and I did bilateral stimulation, butterfly taps. So I had both of my you know, like Napoleon Dynamite with the butterfly. You know, I put that on my collarbones. And I tapped alternating left to right, you know, for about 45 seconds to a minute, it's pretty quick, you know, for the most part, and I could really just allow myself some deep breaths in that time. And then I did a couple of you know, bamboo sways to where I was holding my elbows and just swaying back and forth. And those at this point, because I've practiced so much for years and years, come naturally to, you know, I know, oh, this technique is gonna work right here. And this is what I need. But I know it doesn't come that easily when you're first starting it, but that those are examples of just real life. What I what I did the other day, because I was just regulated.
Yeah, yeah, no, that's helpful. I appreciate you sharing that. So I'm curious are there you know, I guess where my, my right brain is now going, is why do we, we've we've talked through some really good reasons, right? Why we can feel like I'm doing it all and it's just sort of not helping anything, you know, one of the big ones is I'm intellectualizing, I'm not actually allowing myself to feel that's huge. I am not supporting my nervous system, I'm just sort of adding to the dysregulation and I'm going to continue to just go go, go doo doo doo, I'm going to, you know, not actually slow down and support myself in healthy ways. I'm curious, where we feel oftentimes, like, I'm stuck, and maybe people are like, you know, I feel like I'm pretty good about taking care of myself. I feel like I'm pretty good with slowing down and but I feel like I'm just in this place where I feel stuck. Like, I'm not quite reaching my goals. I'm not quite getting there. And I think it's this Can I actually change? Like, can I actually really change like, can I actually ever recover from this anxiety disorder? So I'm curious what your thoughts are and when we're feeling that way of like, I'm so stuck. I Like, can I actually change? Like, what are your thoughts on that?
Well, the underlying thing that I, maybe one of my only real solid beliefs is that change is the only constant. So to tell ourselves that we can't change is a limiting belief. Is that reality? No, I think we're always changing. And it's just a matter on how much intention and effort we're putting in. And really, it comes down to repetitions, because we know, at an underlying basis, yeah, I guess I didn't give you my educational background. But the, you know, I studied cognitive neuroscience for my undergrad. So this is sort of that was my bread and butter before getting into somatic work and clinical mental health and my master's degree. So, you know, that's sort of my, my foundations. And we know, from a scientific perspective that our brains are malleable. We know that neuroplasticity is a real thing. And so can you change? Yes, does it take a lot, a lot, a lot of repetitions? Yes. And I think that that's another huge thing that we aren't doing, you know, that's a missing piece is that in reality, we, we give up after a certain amount of time, and we're still in the process of changing. And, you know, just to put some numbers to it. I mean, we don't remember walking or learning how to walk for the most part. I mean, if somebody does, they're probably freaking genius. But we fell a lot a lot, a lot of times, I mean, we're talking about 3000 steps, on average, to learn how to walk, that's, that's the building of a neural pathway, right there, you know, is now and I guess this is just, I'm gonna go into being nerdy here for a second. Of so our brains are incredibly energetically expensive. I mean, our brains are taking about 20% of our whole body's energy every day. And so in order to maintain that amount of expenditure, we need to create shortcuts. And so that's where neural pathways come in, the things that we do over and over and over again, our brain says, yes, we want to create a shortcut for that. And so we're gonna make a neural highway toward it. And so when you took 1000s, and 1000s, of 1000s of steps, even after you fell many, many times, your brain is gonna say, I'm gonna keep that around and create underlying programming that says, I don't have to think about that every single time. And now you're probably walking while talking on your phone and eating and you know, all these things that you're not thinking about that that's that's your neural highways at work. And most of the time, we have all of that framework, you know, neurological framework set up from before we can be consciously aware of it. But once you're 25, you have a fully developed prefrontal cortex that can actually help you monitor what these patterns are. And you can actually change them. No, that's neuroplasticity, it's at its finest is that we can change and it doesn't take lots and lots of repetitions, yes. Do we, as adults most of the time fall and say I'm a failure, and then don't get back up and do the 1000s of repetitions that it's going to take to create a new pathway? Yes. Most of the time, we think, Oh, we're a failure. But I really like going back to that baby example. Because who I mean, who's saying, Yeah, you're a failure, baby for falling, even after the 1000 step. 2000. Step, right. I mean, we're Get up you got it, you can do it. We know you can. And so I mean, I'm putting that out there of like, yeah, if you're at your 2000 Step, yeah, maybe you do need another 1000. And I'm sorry that it takes that many, like, I wish it was less. But but it's in reality, it takes a lot for for our brains to really recognize, oh, when I just get dysregulated, I go to this different neural pathway. And I guess I'll get off my minority soapbox, and in just a moment, but I'll just finish it up that when we are using new neural pathways, so we can create them, but we need to strengthen them over and over again. And that's the many, many repetitions that we need. But also, and you've probably heard this because it's a fun little phrase, if you don't use it, you lose it. And that's true. There's a natural process of pruning in our brains that when we aren't using pathways that we used to, that pattern does go away. That habit is not as exciting. We don't, especially if we know where it gets us, you know, and some of this is obviously motor functioning. We're talking about steps, you know, learning how to walk. But this goes into so many different things, including how we respond to difficult conversations, how we manage stress. I mean, all of this we learned from most of the time from our caregivers and the environments that we were born Orrin into, that wasn't our choice. And so now once you're 25 or older, you know, you've got that prefrontal cortex, you can say, I don't like the way that I respond in, you know, stressful situations, I'm going to do 1000s and 1000s of repetitions to get me out of that. And that's, that's the underlying, you know, that we can change through that process.
Yeah, I love so much of what you shared super helpful, I think it is, it's sort of like to we have this knowing me sort of now, it is gonna take a lot of repetition, it's gonna take me doing this over and over. And of course, as humans, it can be incredibly frustrating. And it's really oftentimes too uncomfortable to build those pathways. And I think that's sometimes why we're like, oh, that's just this isn't working, you know, I'm, I can't change. And I think we often claim defeat, right, because it sometimes even feels more comfortable to say, clearly, this isn't working, like clearly I can't change, but we know. And it's, it's proven that we actually can. And so I think a big part right is being able to slow down and support your nervous system so that you can actually see these patterns and to like the things that we've talked about, right, letting yourself feel all of these things really help you to actually build awareness and to be able to be in a space where you can actually see your actions and behaviors and maybe how they're contributing. Because they think when you're so in it, oftentimes, you know, right? It's just survival, like I'm just trying to get by, and I'm sort of just doing the things that I've always done. And I can't even slow down enough to recognize, but when we do, and we can see oh, yeah, no, that I know, that's not helpful. And then to say, All right, you have to start taking all these steps.
And I think that comes back to why nervous system regulation is so important is because what I'm talking about here, the newest part of our brain, the prefrontal cortex, that can actually help us observe our thoughts, think abstractly come up with solutions, that is also a very energetically expensive part of our brain. And I mean, our our brain and nervous system is still here living today, because it has older parts of our brain, such as our limbic system and our brainstem, that really care about survival. And the first thing that goes offline when we are dysregulated is our prefrontal cortex. So it makes a lot of sense that our rationality is gone, our ability to observe our patterns is gone. That's the first thing that that leaves is the prefrontal cortex. So that's why keeping our prefrontal cortex online through nervous system regulation is a must. And that's the process right there you know, is, the more repetitions you can do, the more that you can see your patterns, and the more that you can change them. And it's a cycle.
I love that. So, obviously, I think that the, you know, this nervous system talk has become so big, like, just, it's just such a hot topic. And I think it can be daunting for somebody of like, what does that actually mean? What does this look like? And I know you've given a couple of examples, but like, we've talked about why why you should actually invest in why it's important and how it can help you. But can you give some, like, maybe convincing words for somebody who's like, okay, yeah, this sounds like, you know, maybe I could do this work, and it would be helpful. You know, how, let's, how do we do this?
Hmm. You mean, like, how do we regulate our nervous system? Or why it's important?
I think both let's do both. I mean, I know there's so many ways, obviously to regulate your nervous system. And this is like a whole nother discussion, but I think we can give a little a little
Yeah, so I guess for like, nervous system regulation, one on one is we can get into both hyper aroused states and hypo aroused states and most of the time, people who are struggling with anxiety are getting into hyper aroused states, you know, that's that more frantic flight kind of place, you know, our nervous system is getting into hyper arousal, right? It's moving very quickly. It's sped up breaths, it's preparing you to get out, you know, and so there's going to be different approaches for if you're in hyper arousal or hypo arousal, and I guess I'll just cover the bases that hypo arousal is more of that shut down, numb out that's more of a a freeze response and these are both both hyper and hypo aroused states are more survival states. This is when you your prefrontal cortex is going offline and your your body and nervous system are saying all hands on deck, all of our energy is going into surviving right now. And so when we're in those hyper and hypo aroused states, we're not thinking rationally, we're not able to make decisions, we're not able to come up with solutions, our communication shuts down, we are outside of our optimal level of functioning, I mean, period, it makes life so much harder to be in those places. I mean, it just, it just is, and especially and this is called our window of tolerance. Yeah, if you're if you're imagining hyper arousal being one line, and then parallel to that is hypo arousal in between those two parallel lines are is our optimal level of functioning or window of tolerance. And if you've experienced trauma in your life, that window of tolerance actually gets more narrow, the parallel lines move closer to each other. And we've also seen that through nervous system regulation and through some of this somatic work, but it's both right, it's both that top down changing our thought patterns, I don't want to say it's all somatic, because I just don't think that it's the combination between both we need, we need both. But we see that with a combination of both, we can actually expand our window of tolerance and doesn't have to stay where maybe what we were born into. And so with that creates a much more resilient, nervous system and mindset and ability to move through challenging things. It sets us up for more success in our businesses and our relationships. I mean, in pretty much everything in our lives, it makes it easier to function in a world that it's hard to function in. And so I would say that, you know, if, well, I don't know, I'm not gonna go off on a whole whole team.
So yeah, I think that that's, that's kind of the convincing is, if there does need to be any, I feel like most people are like, Yeah, I want to get there, you know. But if there is any convincing, just knowing that it makes life incredibly, a lot more easier than to note to be functioning within your optimal levels of, you know, having your prefrontal cortex on makes life easier. And that actually helps you survive a lot better.
I mean, it's oftentimes people will say, right, especially with students and clients I work with, I have those really anxious moments where I'm, I have that panic attack, and everything goes out the window, I don't remember what to do. I don't know, every everything it seems just shuts off. And it makes sense that that happens. There's a reason why that happens. But it can be really frightening anything cuz you can feel like I, I'm not going to be okay, I'm not going to get through this. And think that's why right, it's so important to do that nervous system regulation work because it is going to make it easier not say that those moments are suddenly going to disappear, and you're not going to have them or you're going to be able to work through them easier. And more quickly, until you really build that repetition, right. And then it's like, oh, these things aren't even really popping up as much anymore. So I'm not actually having to, to continue
the proactive routines and activities and techniques are so important, because we can build repetitions before we need them. And it's going to be a lot easier to lean into them when we need them. Because we've done them a lot when we don't need them. Yeah, so we need proactive measures. And I think that's a huge thing, sort of a mistake, if you will, is that we're we're trying to use a brand new neural pathway in a time period that we can't recall what to do because our prefrontal cortex is offline. And so we need to establish as much as possible outside of our even when you're in your window of tolerance, you know, recognizing, oh, I'm feeling good right now. I'm gonna do some butterfly taps, you know, or, Oh, I'm feeling really good right now. I'm gonna go challenge myself to do some cold exposure. Or maybe some breath work. Right? There's there's different ways to regulate your nervous system. Yeah, just depending on I think it's really good for you to know do I get into the hyper aroused state or do I get into the hypo aroused state and, and finding nervous system regulation techniques that help each of those different places that you get into but but practicing it while you're in your window of tolerance?
Yeah, I love that. I think that's a I mean, I made that mistake for years and that's something that I see so commonly, and I think this is often to why we can say it's this isn't working This isn't helpful. And it's because we don't have enough practice with it. And we're just only using those tools techniques, in the moments where we're feeling really uncomfortable, really scared, really anxious. And it's like, of course, of course, it's not coming easy. Of course, you feel like it's not working, you don't have any practice with this, especially when you're in a place where you can actually see the benefits and feel the benefits and get that, you know, sort of reward because it's usually not in the moment that you're gonna get that.
And a therapists office can be a great place to practice that. Because if you don't have enough self awareness of your patterns, and what it looks like to get into hyper arousal, you're just there and then you don't know what to do. Like, that's, that's a great play. That's why therapy can be so helpful is that someone else who is trained to watch your nervous system and essentially trigger it on purpose, so that you can move through that, and that, but hey, maybe that gives you two repetitions, and that our session if you're lucky. So I'm just like, really putting it into perspective of okay, that's two repetitions for that week. Are you doing things outside of your therapy office? Session? You know, that are that is giving you the repetitions that you need?
Yeah, that's so important, right? You're hitting on all the mistakes that I made, right? But didn't know I didn't know at the time, but you you leave therapy, and you sort of think, okay, cool, got it didn't, what I had to check the box. And then I would go, you know, the whole week feeling, oh, my gosh, I just all these things are happening. And now I just need to go and tell her all the things that are happening. But I wasn't changing any of my videos.
And that's a trap, too. And I think that it's something that just really needs to be pretty transparent, and our conversation around what it means to go to therapy, because we check off the box. And we say, well, that's it, that's my work for the week, you know, I'm done. And in reality, no, that's, that's a starting point. That's a check in, that's not, that's not where your work stops, if anything, majority of your work needs to be outside of the therapy office. Because in reality, your therapy office is a safe little bubble to practice. But it's not the actual test, it's not the playground, it's not the thing that, you know, really is where the rubber meets the road. And you need to be practicing in your actual day to day with your actual within your actual career within your actual relationships. That's that is where you're going to see actual change. And in reality, I think that it is a trap to get into to, to not do that. Because then we become reliant on our therapist, we start thinking that they have the answers, we start feeling like unless we're in their presence, we can't feel good. And that's a very expensive thing. And it's also a very disempowering thing to feel like well, so I have to have someone else in the room in order to save me. And that's, that's not great. So, you know, some of this is really asking you to take a really honest look at what is your routine? And how are you getting repetitions outside of your therapists office so that you're not becoming reliant on them in? Yeah, in a way that you're hoping that they're gonna save you?
Yeah. And I think that it is so tricky, right? Because I think we're all wanting oftentimes, those quick fixes, and like somebody else has got the answer. If I just find the right therapist, if I just read the right book, if I just apply all the things they see on social media, you know, sort of everyone has the wisdom except for me. And when you overlook the fact that no, you are actually the expert on you, and you're the one that is going to do this work and really get you to the place that you want to be. You just continue to take away trust from yourself, right, and confidence and all this stuff that you really need to be able to heal. So I think this is so good, right? I love all of what we've talked about. And I think a big important thing, right is doing this work actually allows you to see that you have the capacity to change and you have the capacity to be more at peace and to live the life that you want to live. But it is hard work. But it's very, very worth the work.
Yeah, and I think that that comes into another missing piece. And I mean, we know we've gotten so many missing pieces, we've been talking for almost three minutes, you know, but it comes into you know, we are going to falter it is 100% guaranteed that we are going to fall off the horse that we're not going to do the repetitions that we're going to go and lapse back into our old patterns that is unavoidable. I mean that is the process of learning right there. And not to make that wrong but to recognize that we need structures and frameworks in place within our day to day that helps us To support the rocky times when we do evolve the horse, then what do we do? Where's our accountability? Where's our community where the frameworks that work for us that we can lean into when we have no idea where to go? Or when we're feeling stuck? Because we need that outside of the therapy office?
For sure, for sure. I'm so glad you said that. So, Morgan, I know people are gonna be like, okay, cool. This is stuff that I want to know more about. I want to learn more about I want Morgan's wisdom. So if people want to find and connect with you, where can they find you? Sure. So
I offer a lot of resources on my social media accounts. That's Mind's Eye guidance, but it's spelled mi n, d, period, Psy, there's little pun there period guidance. And in reality, I mean, if I could, I'm sort of infiltrating on social media, I don't really even support it that much. I feel like, I wish that every if I could have any wisdom for anyone, it's like get off, you know, but I can't say that, because the algorithm would not like that. But if you know, so I can say it on podcast, because. But that being said, you know, I do offer a lot of, you know, I offer therapy for people that are living in Hawaii, that's where my licensure check is. But I offer to essentially, you know, help fill in all the holes that we've talked about. I've built a holistic framework and community. And yeah, program called the seven centers life school that essentially helps you get in the repetitions, that helps gives you a framework that I've used in my own life to get unstuck. And I've got a lot of bonuses, mini courses in there that help you improve your communication helps you improve your relationships, like it's a whole, holistic balancing. Yeah, nervous system regulation program that also has weekly group calls and a community platform to connect with other people doing the work alongside you, so that when you do start to falter, you know, you can feel the support of other people and see the struggles, but also what they did. And it's it just expands it way beyond one person, because I think that's also another shortcoming of one on one therapy is we talk to one person, once a week, and it's like, what about the other all the other hours? You know, and like, getting perspective beyond just that one person? And so, yeah, I'm doing the best I can with that program to really fill in as many gaps as I see as possible. And yeah, it's a pretty cool community and full of as many resources that I've found helpful for both me and my own clients. So yeah, so if you're interested in joining that, you can find that both on my social media as well as mindset guidance.com.
Very cool. That all sounds really wonderful. And Morgan, I've thoroughly enjoyed this conversation, and I appreciate you coming on and sharing all of your wisdom, and I'm with you, if I can tell people just get off social media, do take the actions, it'll be much more beneficial. But
well, and that's something a lot of, you know, clients that I hear coming into a program like this are like, well, I don't have 30 minutes a day, I don't have you know, because that's about what it takes is 2030 minutes a day. And I asked them very straightforward. How much time are you spending on social media? Because we've seen research that people on average, are spending about five hours a day in front of screens? Yeah, two to three hours on social media, and usually at least an hour or two in front of Netflix, or, you know, some other YouTube sort of long, long form content. And so recognizing, what, what you're spending your time doing, and how, like, what would 20 to 30 minutes of switching to, you know, doing something like the practice and framework that I offer, instead of scrolling on social media would do for you. I mean, it can be life changing to really recognize where your time is going and where your attention is going.
Right? Sure. I, I agree.
Rolling as a way to regulate, you know, a lot of the times we don't know what to do so we're searching for answers. And it's a very effective coping skill to make you dissociate and and kind of zone out, right. So yeah, finding sustainable solutions that can help you actually regulate your nervous system sustainably, instead of using this sort of slot machine that's very addictive.
Yeah, for sure. Well, I'm glad we threw this in. And thanks again, Morgan, for coming on. You're awesome. Thanks for having me.