Overwhelm affects us on all levels. It is both the cause of and result of stress. When overwhelm manifests physically, as stress, it plays a role in many of the diseases that plague our culture. Over the last two decades in Dr. Samantha Brody's...
Overwhelm affects us on all levels. It is both the cause of and result of stress. When overwhelm manifests physically, as stress, it plays a role in many of the diseases that plague our culture.
Over the last two decades in Dr. Samantha Brody's integrative medical practice, she's found that most, if not all, symptoms of compromised health are related, in one way or another, to stress and overwhelm.
In this encore episode, we talk with Dr. Brody, author of "Overcoming Overwhelm: Dismantle Your Stress From the Inside Out" about why overwhelm is an invisible stressor on your physical and mental health and what you can do to change it.
Dr. Brody is a licensed naturopathic physician and acupuncturist, founder of Evergreen Natural Health Center in Portland, Oregon.
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Jeremy: [00:00:00] These days, it's really common to feel overwhelmed by all of the responsibilities we have, whether it's our families or our jobs or bills or whatever's piling up around us. At times, that feeling of being overwhelmed can actually become debilitating, and if you're looking for a way to avoid that and to better manage all of those responsibilities and all of those pressures that lead you to that feeling of being overwhelmed.
Our guest on this episode, Dr. Samantha Brody, has written a book that comes at a perfect time, it's called. Overcoming overwhelmed. Dismantle your stress from the inside out. Dr. Samantha Brody joins us .
It's something I've been hearing a lot. Maybe it's this time of year, maybe it's the weather. Maybe it's a coincidence. But everyone's been telling me they feel overwhelmed right [00:01:00] now. I feel it too. So while Zach is off on a whirlwind adventure around the globe, I decided this would be the perfect time to share with you an episode from our archives.
When we interviewed Dr. Samantha Brody from the evergreen natural health center in Oregon. Our lives were very different. But no less overwhelming.
So how do you deal with it? How do you cope and, and. , are you overwhelmed or are you experiencing overwhelm there? There is a bit of a difference. So we started our interview with Dr. Brody by asking her about the term overwhelm as she writes about it and what it
I think about overwhelm, not as simply the feeling of overwhelm, that we will, we will typically. Can not typically the feeling when we say, okay, I'm just, I'm overwhelmed right now. So that is one part of overwhelm. But overwhelm can manifest in many, many different ways For people. It can manifest with headaches, it can manifest with fatigue, it can manifest with anxiety or depression.
It can manifest with whatever your weaks spot is. Because overwhelm, the way that I frame it is not necessarily a feeling, but it's the result of having too [00:02:00] many things going on at once in not just the main areas of stress that we think about, but overall in
Jeremy: I think that's really interesting because yeah, I've been doing a lot ofAUDIENCE sort ofAUDIENCE healing and I've been on, on a bit of a journey to, to better my health in every area, and I've battled depression all of my life.
Mm. And I think just really in the last year or two, at some point, I discovered that it is, that the trigger is overwhelm, whether it's emotional or, or task oriented, whatever it is. If, if the storm gets tooAUDIENCE I, I just functionally, I just shut down emotionally, everything. And I, and I really, I need someone to like, take me by the hand and pull me out because I, I just get to a point where I'm just broken and I don't know where to go.
Samantha: That's hard. I, I will say that one of the things in the book that I specifically work on with folks is to look at lowering the load in areas where you do have control. That it's easy, bef not in necessarily in the areas that feel overwhelming to allow more [00:03:00] space in room. To be able to then be able to, then, I guess I'll say, you know, kind of go with the flow of how things are happening.
Now, of course there's a brain chemistry issue that comes with depression, which has to be addressed as well in many cases. But, you know, sometimes it's not necessarily saying, okay, this thing is overwhelming me, the new podcast or the, you know, the pile on my desk. But it's the food you're putting in your body or the not getting enough sleep or the conversation you need to have with your partner or even.
you know, limiting your kid's screen time so you don't fight as much or you know, whatever that is. Looking at trying to identify what the things are that you do have control over that aren't necessarily the things that you think you would need to or want to address.
Jeremy: Yeah, no, that, that makes sense. So,
Zach: as I was reading your book though, I almost felt overwhelmed by all of the things that I could do to help myself.
Yeah. You know, and, and. going through that, you know, I, I wanted to ask you, you know, what is it about your book and your specific, [00:04:00] specific program that. That lets people get through that to, to get past the overwhelming.
Samantha: I think that it can seem daunting and overwhelming when you do start to enumerate all of the different stresses in your life and look at what you may be able to change because it's in many different areas.
But the book specifically looks at. First identifying what's most imp, what's most important to us, so what our core values are, how we wanna feel in our bodies, how we wanna feel emotionally. I call that our true north. And once we identify that, then when you start looking at the stresses, , which is the second part of the, well, the third part.
The second part is kind of getting your mindset ready to do itAUDIENCE and knowing how you make change best. But once you start looking in this third step of the book, it's a four step plan at all of the different stresses you have. It can seem overwhelming except for that when you now have a. Uh, you have a way to vet what's most important because you have these words, you have, what's important to me is family.
What's important to me is feeling, [00:05:00] you know, one person may wanna feel energetic, another person may wanna feel at ease, and so you're more able to vet which things to do that are most important. And we go through one thing at a time, right? Here are the stresses. Is this something that's non-negotiable to change?
Is this something that's, you know, low hanging fruit? Is it something that has high impact? And, you know, going through the exercise in the. Literally allows you to be able to make those choices more easily. And I know, you know, before we started recording, we were talking about that, you know, you, you wanna have a ton of time to go through all these exercises.
And you know what, what we can do though is take baby steps and say, all right, here's this one thing that I know is bothering me. Just this one little thing and shifting that which allows you to A, feel accomplished. B, take control and C, be able to vet your choices. moving forward better as you're more clear about what's most important.
So you don't end up with so many things on your list, ultimately that don't line up with your values. And that's where we ultimately get overwhelmed. [00:06:00] So it's really a dismantling, it's taking it apart. It's, you know, pulling it into its pieces in order to be able to really make choices because there's so much going on that's modern life.
Jeremy: Totally. And, and that's sort of the thing that stood out to me as I was going through this book is, is I thought kind of the same thing. Like, man, this is, this is a, a lot of work, just like any journey toward healing or, or whatever would be. But what I found I guess that I most connected with was that I felt like you are basically helping the reader acknowledge all of this is going on in my head anyways.
Like I'm, I'm already dealing with all this, but just in an unhealthy way that. doesn't help me onAUDIENCE a specific goal or a specific. . This just sort of helps you find that roadmap. It helps you figure out how much of this do I really need to deal with and how much can I let go? That was sort of my takeaway.
Samantha: Right? And you know, and the great thing is that there are, and there are many, you know, you can walk away with that takeaway. You can walk away with the takeaway of, I can't fail at self-care. You can walk away with the takeaway of my values are the most important thing. I need to [00:07:00] pay more attention to that.
And so the book is very individualized, right? So you're gonna be able to find what you need in it, and it's. You know, I've made a very strong effort to have it not be this kind of dogmatic here is exactly what you need to do to make things better. Which so commonly happens in the self-help world is that someone says, okay, here's my solution.
And that solution can get, you know, you know, should be applied by everyone. And ultimately we, what we each need, this is very naturopathic. I'm a naturopathic physician and you know, it's very naturopathic to say, okay. You know, how do we approach this holistically and what does this person need? And that, that's really what I'm shooting for here.
Jeremy: that makes
Zach: sense. Yeah. And I wanted to ask you though, everyone is their own person and the solution that, that I get from your book is gonna be different from the solution that Jeremy gets from the book. Right. But you know, the very first part of it is finding your true north. It seems like everyone is gonna have to do.
And figure out what that true north is. So can you tell me [00:08:00] what that means and why that's so
Samantha: important? Absolutely true North. I, for me, is about knowing what's most important to us, and that's about what our values are and how we wanna feel. And I'm actually gonna provide for you guys, for your .
The first exercise in the book, which is the first part of the True North process, is looking at what your core values are. And I think that. . It's so often we feel like we know what's most important to us, but we don't really take the time to dive into it. And I had, you know, one reader who said, I thought I knew exactly what was important and when I did this exercise, I found that it wasn't what I thought it was, although it, it wasn't surprising.
And just doing that one exercise made a big difference for him and that actually allowed him more room to start working. Some of the other exercises. The book where when he. , you know, when he first picked it up and kind of just scammed through, it went, oh my gosh, this is, you know, I don't wanna put this time and energy, I don't have the kind of time and energy to do this.
But the, you know, understanding what's most important to us is fundamentally [00:09:00] really the way we wanna vet all of our choices. You know, from the small things to, you know, the small things of what am I gonna have for breakfast to the big things of where am I gonna live? I guess
Jeremy: I, I'm also just kind of curious how did.
How did you get into this field? What is it about this that, because I know you've been, you've been stu studying and working in this field for a long time. How did you get pulled to this
Samantha: My, so I'm a naturopathic physician, an acupuncturist in the state of Oregon that gives me primary care scope of practice, although I don't tend to work in primary care.
This is my 22nd year and my practice. And what I found was that all of my. You know, there were, everyone gets diagnosed with something different and everyone has a different approach. But what I found is that fundamentally, when I was doing this work with people, helping them identify their values, how they wanted to feel, really looking at their stresses and what was the most important thing to address, because nobody can do it, all right?
Often people will go to see a naturopathic physician or some other kind of you know, health practitioner who will give them this, you know, litany of things to do and they're like, I can't do, you know, I can't do all of that. Of course we should do all those things, but that's not gonna [00:10:00] happen. And what I found is that working these exercises in my practice with my patients and online with my virtual clients who I see, you know, I can see people anywhere as long as I'm not diagnosing or treating on the internet I was able to, Guide them in a way that they were able to make more positive choices.
So I went, all right, how do I bring this to more people? And I was doing speaking, and then I went, all right, it's, you know, it needs to be a book. And so it was really a process of systematizing what I actually do face-to-face with people and figure out how I can give them this. so they can then go forward in whatever way that they're going forward in their lives with that personal growth, you know, type of thing, right?
You, you're making changes for your health, but how do we do that and what's most important and what is, you know, how do we make these long game changes instead of just a short term, okay, I'm gonna go on the, this diet or that diet or, you know, start something and then not continue it.
Zach: Well, it, it seems like these days everyone is overwhelmed and we've got way too much going.
And [00:11:00] I, I saw a video, a short video that you did, basically saying that, you know, everyone is overwhelmed and they're just, some people are hiding it better than others, maybe, you know? Do you think that in today's day and age people are more overwhelmed than they ever were and we need different tactics to deal with that or, you know, is it, is it just something that's always been there and we're now just starting to uncover it?
Samantha: a really interesting question. I think that, You know, I think that we've always had many challenges, like humans. I think we often think, oh, well this is the hardest time because we're in it. But ultimately that, you know, as humans through time, we always have many challenges from, you know, where is my next meal gonna come from to, you know, where, what am I going to?
Whatever they are, you know, how, how am I gonna get to the next village if this village is being, you know, burned to the ground or, you know, the major big things that have caused stress over time has, you know, I don't think we're under more stress now, particularly, however, I [00:12:00] will say that modern culture in America anyway is very, um, The cultural expectations that we have, that we take from what we see in the media and what it appears to be expected of us is very much to create a life where we have a million things going on and to.
Take other people's needs ahead of our own. So often, you know, especially for women, you know, we're often, but for men too, in some cases made to feel guilty about engaging in self-care, right? And all of these pressures and societal ideals that we are supposed to. ascribed to is it's impossible. And I do think that part of that is the multitasking culture.
Part of it is the number of hours we're expected to work how connected we're expected to be, how, how we don't have community the same way to help us out. You know, a hundred years ago you would never be in the house with your kid for six hours. You would be, you know, you'd [00:13:00] hoo your kid outside or your kid would be working, or you know, the pressure that we put on ourselves to live.
That is, you know, looks a certain way, I think is related to modern culture. For sure. For sure.
Jeremy: So, sort of on the opposite side of that coin I am really good at delegating things I'm really good at, at deciding what's worth my time and what's not. Oftentimes I'm, I'm more selfish than I am more worried about other people's needs andAUDIENCE to a faultAUDIENCE certainly lately, but I, I find that I actually have an abundance of time where I'm trying to fit, trying to then prioritize, man, if I were doing something, what, you know, how, how best could I use this time?
And I almost get overwhelmed with trying to come up with, you know, what, what should I be doing to make the most of this down? have you, have you come across that sort of
Samantha: perspective? It's, it's interesting. Again, you know, when I said kind of women, I think that's a very typical, you know, that that's more common I think for men than for women as a rule.
That, you know, [00:14:00] just because of our cultural expectations. And so I, I have, I do see that, and the process works the same way, right? You, you wanna have your eye on how you wanna feel and what's most important. And then you have this, you know, litany of things that you should or could be doing. And ultimately what you're trying to do is to create space.
Exactly. You know, I mean, you're, that's exactly right. You're trying to create space in order to then slot things in. look that that make you feel the way you wanna feel, that make your life look like what you want your life to look like. And so if you do have an abundance of time, which again is the exception rather than the rule, it happens, I think.
Having, you know, knowing what's most important makes it much easier to choose what to do with that time. But the other thing is, you can't really waste time, right? I think that you can make choices that don't line up with your values, but, but you know, time isn't something that you can use or waste. It's not a commodity, it's a.
Cycle, right? We're able to [00:15:00] say this, um, what do I want to fill this space up? The same way that you would fill up a room, right? What do I wanna, how do I wanna fill this space? And if you're consciously making choices and then taking this kind of. guilt off of yourself. Right? This the piece where you're feeling badly about what if I choose the wrong thing to do?
But it may be that you're, you're, yeah. I mean, it's great to have, I mean, what a great problem, , right? Great problem
Jeremy: to have. I'm very spoiled by it. And, and I was very excited when I started reading your book and started really understanding the approach that, that you're offering and seeing how it can be beneficial to me, because that is the thing.
I often don't feel like I know where I'm headed. It's just, it's always sort of, you know, swinging to the next vine or just putting one foot in front of the other. And the, the exercises that you've laid out in this book I know are gonna be really beneficial in helping me figure out. What it is I'm actually walking towards instead of just trying to stay upright.
Samantha: You know, thatAUDIENCE uh, Louis Carroll quote withAUDIENCE the Cheshire cat and Alice says, where, you know, which [00:16:00] way should I go? And then the Cheshire cat says, you know, it's obviously, it's just not a quote, but the Cheshire cat says, well, wherever you're, you know, it depends where you wanna end up.
Exactly. You know, at a fork in the road. And so being clear about what's most I. allows you to make those choices better. I mean, there's, there's always, there's great benefit in wandering as long as you know, ultimately how, you know, where, how you wanna feel. You don't necessarily have to say, this is exactly where I wanna end up.
Uh, but you do wanna, in the process feel good. I mean, you would hate to feel stressed and worried. All the time or more than you need to because you don't have your eye necessarily on the specific thing. Right. How can I feel better in the moment, even if this isn't, this isn't going to get me to a goal, but it's gonna get me to a feeling in right now, which is how I wanna feel.
Because ultimately you just have the, you know, we have the time that we have and how, what do we want that to look like for ourselves and our loved ones is really the. underneath it all is what we're shooting for is what? How do you know? How do we make choices in our [00:17:00] lives that that have help us be the best person that we can be for our loved ones?
And that means making healthy food choices. It means exercising. It means, you know, whatever it is for you that's most important to feel your best.
Jeremy: Exactly. Dr. Brody, thank you so much for your time. Thank you for this book and thank you for your work in this field. I, I can tell this is gonna be a very useful tool in, in my journey forward.
Samantha: Thank you so much. I appreciate you guys having me on. Thank you so much.
Jeremy: All right. Again, the book is Overcoming Overwhelmed, dismantle Your Stress from the Inside Out. It is available now. I've gotAUDIENCE I've got an old-fashioned paper copy in my hands, which. I normally don't do, I'm a big audiobook guy, butAUDIENCE with a book like this where it is a little bit more of a workbook where there's practices and exercises and things to do pick up the paper copy.
It's handy to to, to write in and, and throw around and, and throw in your backpack and take it with you and, and spend a few minutes working onAUDIENCE on yourself. . So with that, we're about done. The website is the fit mess.com.
, and you can [00:18:00] always, you know, leave ratings and reviews in the various places where you can get your podcasts. ButAUDIENCE for now, that. We'll be back ofWeeks@thefitmess.com or wherever you get your podcast. , thanks for listening. We will talk to you then. See you.
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