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171 - How to Cope with Anxiety
Episode 1715th September 2021 • Assertive Radiance • Nadia Fleury | Alchemist & Creative Visionary
00:00:00 00:27:01

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A few weeks ago, I received an email from a young gal who was

seeking advice on “How to cope with anxiety.”  

And I thought my answer might be beneficial for you too. In this episode, I’m going to share her message and my response. Bear in mind that I changed her identity for privacy.

Hi, I’m writing to you because I’m seeking advice on how to cope with anxiety.

My name is Paprika, I’m in my 30s, married with a 9-year-old daughter, and I feel stressed, overwhelmed, and exhausted. I’m not happy with my life as it seems that no matter what I do, it’s never right. I’m super anxious when I’m at work, especially around my boss, who owns the company. Every time I see him, I dread he’s going to fire me.

The other day, I made a mistake and invoiced the wrong amount to a client, and my boss yielded to me in front of everybody else.  I was so embarrassed.  He said: “For the price I pay you, that’s all you do make mistakes! I’m starting to wonder why you are on my payroll.” 

The thing is, my boss is known to flare up at the slightest bad news. I’m not singled out in his treatment; he talks to everyone else the same way, but I don’t like how I feel when it happens.  The morale is low; everybody walks on eggshells.  The work in itself is OK, and I get along fine with my co-workers.  But it seems the more I dread, the more mistakes I make. 

Please don’t tell me to quit my job because I need the money to pay my bills. 

When I come home, I feel so tired, which makes me clumsy and forgetful. Again, my spouse yells at me every time I make a mistake.  They are silly mistakes, like the other day, I forgot to pay one bill on time.

Another time, I burned the dinner by accident.  Whenever my spouse finds out, I made a mistake, he screams and calls me names, which I don’t like when he does that, especially in front of our daughter.

The thing is that he is right; I’m forgetful and don’t pay attention.  For the life of me, I seem not to know how to do anything right anymore.

Last night, I lay awake in my bed, and I started questioning my own existence.  I realized that I

don’t like myself. I’m overweight, constantly tired, and absolutely unhappy.  My anxiety is stopping me from doing anything fun. I don’t go anywhere except to work and do the groceries. I’m now wondering, am I on this earth to be yelled at left and right? 

I know you talk a lot about choices in your podcasts, but I wonder, what choices do I have? 

To leave my job and my spouse?  We are already struggling financially as a couple, so the idea of being on my own frightens me to no end. The one thing that keeps me going is my daughter.  Any insights that can help me cope with the situation I’m in would be greatly

appreciated.  Thank you!


Dear Paprika,

First, I want to commend you for acknowledging that something is not right in your life. It’s easy to pretend all is well.  The fact that you are reaching out for support is a huge step towards taking responsibility for your own happiness.  I congratulate you on that!

There are many things you can do to shift the energy around without leaving your job and your spouse. Now, before I go into the detail, only you can tell if your spouse’s shortcomings are caused by his own stress, which sometimes happens when money is tight. Or is he crossing the line and fall into the mental abuse category?  If you are dealing with spousal abuse, I will encourage you to seek further help as this is not my arena of expertise.

When reading your letter, the first thing that comes to mind is that what’s happening at home and work are linked to the same root cause. 

I would invite you to readjust your healthy boundaries.  Sometimes we are taught to be tolerant with others until it takes a toll on our health.

From what you’ve written, the anxiety you are experiencing is the body’s way to tell you something is not in alignment.

Before anyone can respect you, you’ve got to respect yourself.  And that starts with healthy boundaries. You know in your heart what is acceptable and what is not. Tolerating what is not will take a toll on your mental health as well as your physical body. Often, especially when we are in it, we don’t realize we accept and take personally other people’s shortcomings.  Of course, I’m aware that it’s easier said than done.  One of the ways you could respond, especially to your spouse, would be to simply look at him with a smile and say: “Well, thank you for sharing your opinion.” But then be firm. Make yourself understood that you do not need to hear any more on the subject. If he keeps going on at you, be firm and stop him: “Honey, Thank you! Enough. Stop!

If you dread even asking your spouse to stop, I would invite you to ask deep questions about why you let others speak to you in a way that hurts your feelings. Then pen the answers down in a personal journal.  Go deep and as far as you can in your childhood.  See if you are repeating the same dynamic as your parents.  Or ask when did it all start?  What would you like instead? 

Sometimes, because we live with disempowering behaviors for so long, we take dysfunction as being normal. 

The fact that your body is sending stressed signals tells you that something is not normal. 

Here is another suggestion that applies to your spouse. Pick a moment when the two of you are alone and share the stressful situation you are in at work and ask for his support. 

Explain that when you come home, you are exhausted from work and that it hurts your feeling when he goes on and on about your mistakes.

Also, if you are tired after work and, let’s say 90% of the time, you are the one who cooks. 

Delegate the task for your spouse to cook.  A well-balanced couple means both should shares responsibilities. “Hey, Honey, can you take care of dinner tonight? I’m exhausted. Or, hey Honey, how about we make dinner together?

Your spouse may not realize that he’s “hard on you emotionally.”

Some people feel that they are doing you a favor by critiquing your doings. It could be their “love language” when they were a child.

Remember that many of us have been conditioned, from childhood, to fear making mistakes.  Some may have been brutally punished when they made a mistake while they were small.

As we grow up, some of us will realize that making mistakes is part of living, while others, they fear it, is actually visceral.  For them, the fear is so great; all they do is focus on everybody else’s mistake. 

They do that as a coping mechanism judging themselves by feeling better when someone does worse in their mind.  If this is the case with your spouse, you’ve got to give back to him what belongs to him. 

What I’m saying here is that you’ve got to create healthy boundaries. You are not responsible for anyone else’s feelings but your own.  Nor do you deserve to be punished every time something happens that didn’t turn out the way it was expected.

When we care, we may internalize other people’s feelings, body language, or their shortcomings to our detriment.  The trouble is that we can’t control others.  In doing so, it leads to anxiety.  Remember that anxiety, although unpleasant, is a form of communication. Your body is telling you that what is happening around you is not suitable for you.

Anxiety is fear in disguise. As you worry, your mind keeps dwelling on worst-case scenarios. 

These thoughts put you in a never-ending cycle of painful emotions, which prevents you from focusing on the good things you do or the good things you could be doing instead. 

Since what you focus on expands, fretting over future mistakes puts your mind out of control.  Nobody can think straight when out of control, hence why you are experiencing more mistakes or become forgetful as the day goes by.

It takes effort to cope with life’s demands.  And effort takes energy.  When most of your energy is spent on worry, you no longer have any capacity to deal with any important matter at hand.  Therefore, it is no wonder why you feel overwhelmed and exhausted.  On top of not having the energy to exercise, in a state of stress, you might be more inclined to eat not-so-healthy “comfort food,” which over time may add to your excess weight.

We need the energy to live, think, and do things.  Every living thing carries within itself energy.  How the energy is used creates different chemical reactions.  We are all intertwined in the same ecosystem of energy exchange and chemical reactions.  Anxiety, fear as well as love release in your body different kinds of chemical reactions.

Think for a moment. How do you feel when your daughter shares with you a picture she draws of both of you playing at the park? 

You feel warm and fuzzy inside.  Her actions fill your heart with something that feels wonderful. That feeling is love.  On the opposite end, how do you feel when your boss speaks unkindly to you or one of your co-workers?  Suddenly, the mood seems to congeal because negative energy lowers the energy vibration. That’s why we say the atmosphere turned icy.

From these two examples, you can tell that energy can either be negative or positive, depending on what is done and how you take it. 

I’m sharing these details because it’s important to understand that although invisible to the naked eye, the energy we carry has a way to impregnates itself on other people. 

One negative person has the power to affect everyone around him or

herself.  I call negative people energy vampires.  They are not happy with themselves, and they spread their unhappiness around them.  We don’t see energy, but we can feel it. Like you mentioned, “everybody walks on eggshells.” Negative people are driven by their ego, and they create drama causing duality and separation.  In this situation, your heart moves away from what feels warm and fuzzy and gets replaced with cold and unpleasant things. It’s this energy that takes you to that place where you wonder about your existence. It’s that same negative energy that makes you feel unhappy with yourself and life in general.

Someone’s negative energy is contagious, and considering what you wrote, your boss’s negativity is now within you.  It wouldn’t matter if you changed your job or husband, because like attracts like. As long as the negative energy is within you, you will simply replace it with the same thing. It’s like changing a dollar for four quarters.  

To move away from anxiety and regain happiness, you’ve got to address the negative energy within you. The only antidote to negativity is love. Love unites; negativity disconnects.

The best source of love starts within— with self-love and self-respect, and this is where the word empowerment comes in. My definition of empowerment means that you are taking control over your mind and your destiny, and you are not letting anyone spoil your day. 

At first, to regain energy, you will need to identify who surrounds you with love and who’s not. 

Now mind you, I’m not suggesting you become co-dependent on someone else’s love.  The idea is to look for allies that will boost you to get out of feeling exhausted.

I believe that once you figure out how to protect yourself from your hostile employer, your home life will improve too.  I wouldn’t be surprised that your own negativity triggers your spouse.

Journaling will determine the source of love.  It could be that negative people have surrounded you throughout your life. Therefore, no one around you, nor at home nor at work, has a positive influence. 

If this is the case, acknowledge it for what it is without judgment.  Being hard on yourself will only increase your anxiety. Knowing is the first step to empowerment.  The more you know, the better you can be prepared.

Let’s say you have determined that neither at work nor at home, you can find someone that can help you feel better; then, I invite you to find a book or audio that will inspire you. 

Or listen to quiet music or something that makes you feel good inside. 

All that said, here are other options to help you cope with anxiety.

When you feel that anxiety is about to knock you out of balance, the first thing to do is to stop what you are doing.  If you are at work, find a moment when you can walk away from your desk. Go somewhere safe where you can just close your eyes for a minute and breathe.  When we are anxious, we forget to breathe.  Your breath is the first thing you can control any time something unpleasant happens.

Mastering self-control is key to empowerment because you prevent body chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol from contaminating your body.   Remember, you are not responsible for anyone’s shortcomings but your own. 

You do not have to take responsibility for someone’s anger, sadness, pain, etc.  You can sympathize but not agonize.

Assuming you can count on your spouse to tap into that place called love, sit down with him, and explain what you have discovered.  Ask him for his support.  He may have his own negative situations at work.  If this is the case, both of you need to stick together to help one another cope. 

The idea here is for both of you to become aware that what has happened in your life could be different if you re-discover yourself and have mutual respect for another. 

Healthy communication is key!  The idea is to move away from anything that feels yucky, like blaming or shaming the other for something.  After all, mistakes are part of living. 

If you can’t count on your spouse’s support, you’ve got to

take responsibility for your own happiness. I know from experience that it’s much easier to change yourself than trying to change someone else’s behavior. When you change, everything around you starts changing. 

Another thing you need to ask yourself, and I’m sorry if this hurts your feeling as I’m pointing this out, be mindful that you haven’t fallen into jockey for the victim position.

A victim looks for disempowering events to prove to themselves that they are doomed and why all the bad things happen to them.  Make sure this is not part of your false beliefs. Remember that all of us, including you and your spouse, have our own narrative. We create stories that we believe to be true.  And then, we pick partners to match the story we created. 

Another thing to take into consideration is to remove any attachment to anything you are afraid to lose. For instance, the more you are attached to your work, the more you will fear your boss when he threatens to fire you.  Another thing to consider is to document your boss’s mental assaults.  This advice is a little out of my league, but I’m sure you can find resources online that will explain more.

One thing I noticed is that many employers are looking for great employees.  So, you might feel more empowered once you take the initiative to update your resume.  Nobody can predict the future; however, it’s easier to weather the storm when prepared. 

If your employer follows through and fires you or one of your co-workers, see it as a blessing in disguise.  Say to yourself that God had something greater for that person or you.  I know from experience that divine intervention may not look like what you expect,

causing you to believe that life is unfair. It’s often God’s way to show a better path, a way to live that will lead you to life fulfillment.  Another way to see it is that if your employer can’t see the value in you, then he doesn’t deserve you.

I know sometimes these setbacks may feel like you reach rock bottom.  However, you will find out that as long as you keep breathing, you will have the ability to climb back up. 

In conclusion, please remember that anxiety is a symptom, not the problem. The real cure is within. You’ve got to be willing to dig inward to find out the root cause.  All that said, although it’s an inward investigation, you don’t need to do this alone. 

To turn your life around, all you need is the willingness to take a small step towards doing something new. 

In short, your happiness depends on what you are willing to choose to do next.

If you are truly tired of lying awake at night feeling anxious and dreading your tomorrow. 

You are at the point where you know, inside your heart, that you deserve to be happy. For you (who desire to live to your full potential), I’m inviting you to schedule a free 30-minute exploratory call.  All you need to do is go on your web browser and type and select a date and time on my calendar.

Together we will assess where you are and where you desire to be. We will lay a plan that is in alignment with your values and vision.

This invitation-only applies to the ones who are serious about living their dream life. If you have found any value in this episode and with this message, please share it. Stay safe and healthy and let’s chat next month.



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