In this episode, we’re joined by Elke Scholz, registered psychotherapist and author of "Anxiety Warrior." She explains how tools like Art Therapy and Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) can be beneficial in the battle against...
In this episode, we’re joined by Elke Scholz, registered psychotherapist and author of "Anxiety Warrior." She explains how tools like Art Therapy and Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) can be beneficial in the battle against anxiety.
Jeremy: [00:00:00] This is the fit mess
with Zach and Jeremy.
Hello, welcome. Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the fitness. If you have not already, please do subscribe on whatever podcast player you're using. You can do that on our website, the fitmess.com our topic this week. One that we have covered quite a bit this year, and for good reason, we'll be discussing anxiety, particularly with everything that's been going on in the world this year.
Those who don't normally live with, anxiety are learning to live with it. Now, those who normally have it, have it elevated at least somewhat. And so we have been trying to find as many experts as we can to share as many tips, tools and strategies to manage it. And our guest this week is Elke Shulze. She is a registered psychotherapist and author of the book, anxiety warrior.
And I know for me, this is something new that I'm trying to cope with, but Zach, how has it been? Um, cause we've talked about this so much this year. How has your anxiety been with everything that's going on and now with a vaccine in the mail, some light at the end of some tunnels, are you noticing a difference or are you still, are you just at 110 all the time?
No matter what's going on. Yeah, the world.
Zach: [00:01:12] Yeah. My anxiety is so high
Jeremy: [00:01:13] that.
Zach: [00:01:15] The addition of a pandemic really didn't do anything to it. It was just another thing, like the worry that I have about taking a left-hand turn into oncoming traffic without a red light is the same as worrying about a global pandemic.
Jeremy: [00:01:30] Do you, do you wake up in sweats? Do you, do you, are there moments where you're just feels completely out of control or this is just kind of a, a tiny little blip on an already. Massive scale, I guess for me. Yeah. It's just a blip.
Zach: [00:01:45] I know it's a lot for everyone else, but I'm so used to dealing with
this level of
anxiety for things, because for small things, my level of my level of anxiety is really high.
So no, I, I mean, I'm still sleeping. Okay. I've I have the problem where if I wake up. And my mind starts going a little bit. I can't get back to sleep, but for the most part, I mean, I haven't been losing sleep or anything like that, really. I mean, the biggest problem that I have going on is, is really my, I have a, I probably have an increased sense of depression because I can't go to places I want to go to, like, I can't go to Disney world or, you know, I can't go to restaurants or, you know, things like that.
So the anxiety level for me is, is really the same. Yeah. You know, and I say that with the other knowledge of, I have numerous things in place to manage my anxiety appropriately. So while I'm running hot all the time, I'm also running on doing all the things to comment, to cool it, to acknowledge it, to tell it to go away.
So it's high, but I live a normal life because I've learned how to manage it.
Jeremy: [00:02:56] This has been a new experience for me, particularly the last few months. I don't, I don't know that the anxiety hit me early in the pandemic, but certainly the last few months I have felt different. There is, there is just this, it's really hard to explain, but it's almost like this vibration, this underlying current that is just kind of always there.
My thoughts don't race as much, but I feel like I just feel kind of. Unattached on, on hinged on, I don't know what the word is. I don't, I don't feel grounded. Like I normally do. I'm out of control a little bit. Yeah. It's the uncertainty definitely is huge. And I think just because this has gone on, as long as it has, you know, initially it was, Oh, a couple of weeks, no school, then things will get back, you know, within a couple of months, we'll get this thing under control, you know, and that just never, ever went away.
And as time goes on and I see people, you know, breaking out of their bubbles, cause they can't take it anymore. You know, going on trips, getting on airplanes, doing all these things that I want to be doing, but I'm just like, I'm sorry. I'm if it's not required, if it's not a necessity, I'm not doing it. I'm not gonna risk my health, my family's health.
And, and I know that there is a cost. In terms of our mental health and living this way. And socially, my kids not interacting with other kids like normal. I know all of that is paying a price. And then that's what triggers the depression. I start thinking about, I just, I keep coming back to this idea that this isn't pause.
Like we're just sitting here waiting our lives out and we don't get to do this over. We don't get to go back and go, okay, let's do age nine again. And let's play with our friends. This is all just missed social development opportunity for them. And that's the part that breaks my heart every time. And that's what then triggers the anxiety of, of thinking about all of the things that they're missing out on all of the things I'm missing out on.
And then that triggers the depression. And then that's when that kicks in. And you know, it's funny, we talked a few weeks ago. About the, what, what I've been using as in a supplement form as glutathione. And while I was taking that, I definitely noticed a difference. Everything had had kind of evened out and I ran out and since I started taking it, and since I ran out, I had my first depressive episode over the weekend.
And so it's really interesting. Yeah. It's really interesting that I ran out and then within days, You know, the darkness came and, and, and, you know, I had to kind of fight through a pretty rough weekend. So for what it's worth quick side note, uh, go back and listen to our episode about glutathione and, and perhaps that's a tool that you can use to, to battle through some of this, but yeah, it's, this is a new one for me.
And I'm trying to use a lot of the same tools that I use to fight depression, to fight this. It's, you know, the exercise, like moving my body. That's the thing that I keep coming back to. And we'll talk about this a little bit more, uh, in a few minutes, but a lot of times I'll, I'll wake up and I just immediately feel it just, this it's like this electric current running through me.
And if I get really quiet and sit with it, I can figure out, okay, I've got to move. I've got to just, just go run around the block, go do your workout. Like. And that seems to calm it down. It just, it at least redirects that energy so that it doesn't interrupt my, my life, uh, that that's been the big thing.
And there's a lot of other tools that will actually talk to our guests about, uh, here in a few minutes. But, um, but that's been the one that has on both sides of the mental health coin has really gotten me through.
Zach: [00:06:38] That's a big one for me too, is just the physical movement. I can't just go for a walk. I can't.
Like I need to do some pretty aggressive movement, like some hard exercise to tire myself out. And that reduces my anxiety quite quite a bit. Um, comes back really, really fast. So I actually saved my exercise up for later in the day because I start the day off, less anxious as the day goes on. Things get thrown on my plate, new responsibilities, new projects at work.
The latest tweet that I have to shake my head at, you know, all of that stuff builds up. So then I go do it and do my exercise at four o'clock and it actually brings me back down to a nice level.
Jeremy: [00:07:22] Yeah, I bet. Most of the time when I've been doing it, it's midday is when, when I get to it because the morning is, you know, get kids online, get them plugged into school, get some work done, and then I've now invested enough energy in things sort of outside myself that need to be tended to.
Uh, that then, you know, the anxiety starting to build. And that's when I can kind of release a lot of that as like right around noon. And then, uh, I've also just really tried to adjust my diet. Uh, again, based on the interview that you're about to hear, and all of those things are, are just some of the pretty simple tools that you can use to manage anxiety.
A few tips that we're about to hear about were things that I had not considered. Things I didn't even really know existed. So I guess this week is Elka Schultz. She's the author of anxiety warrior. We talked to her about what anxiety is and some simple things you can do to manage it.
Elke Shulze: [00:08:19] The definition is anticipatory fear. However, uh, it, it ha it breaks down. I mean, there's fear itself, which is afraid of something specific. And then there's also the anticipatory fear of the unknown, uh, wondering what's coming up and not understanding. All that, then there's worrying, which is that chronic ongoing thoughts and fear and anxiety, which is interesting.
Some people have asked, do you know, is it stress? Is it anxiety? How do you define it? I don't, I don't know if it actually has an exact definition. It just. It has a lot of symptoms.
Jeremy: [00:09:04] Let's talk about some of those symptoms, because honestly today, all day I don't, I don't wrestle with anxiety nearly as much or the way Zach does, but today I'm feeling it.
I can't put a pin on what's causing it. There's just this vibration in me. That's just, I'm on alert and I, and I don't know why, so that, what else does, does someone experience who who'd generally battles with anxiety?
Elke Shulze: [00:09:30] Well, and there's so many symptoms and they come, uh, mentally it comes emotionally. It comes physically so mentally it could be, um, ruminating thoughts over and over again.
It could be invasive thoughts, uh, negative thinking, catastrophic thinking. I can't thinking. So that's kind of the cognitive part of it. The emotional part could be fearful. It could be sad. It could be. Nervousness frustration and patients that kind of thing emotionally, and then physically was kind of like what you're describing this hypervigilance, this kind of being on ready position.
It could be sweating. It could be a different heartbeat. It could be ringing in your ears. It could be fidgeting. It manifests in so many different ways and everybody is so different. Yeah. There's a list. I have a list I could, I could read. It was like a big list. Yeah.
Zach: [00:10:28] Interestingly enough you, I think you just described me, um,
really well, really, really well.
Elke Shulze: [00:10:36] Um, things I have to say, Zach is, uh, the reason that I started this whole journey is because I have anxiety myself and I didn't know it as a child. I didn't know it growing up. We didn't have a term for it. We didn't have a name. We didn't talk about it. We actually hit it. And, um, I grew up thinking something was wrong with me.
And I grew up thinking that I was hiding this big secret that really I wasn't, um, the person that people saw me that, that inside I had this inner turmoil that, uh, I didn't know how to deal with. I didn't understand. And I thought there was something wrong. That's, that's how I grew up. And my symptoms were nervousness.
Um, nausea, uh, sleeplessness headaches. Uh, I would stutter. I cried easily as a kid and as a teenager, I did stutter a lot. And, um, and then as an adult, I'd have that funny feeling that you're describing Jeremy, um, where you sometimes can't put words to it and yet it doesn't feel good. There's something that doesn't feel good.
Jeremy: [00:11:45] Yeah. Well, I love that you, you have, have a sort of a checklist, some things that you can run through, or I guess you, you recommend creating a checklist for things that trigger your anxiety. So tell me a little bit about how that works.
Elke Shulze: [00:11:59] Well, something that people can do is, uh, the checklist involves, uh, thinking, first of all, thinking about what you put in your mouth, like, think about all the things you can control.
So something like, um, putting things in your mouth, which could be sugar, it could be white flour, which translates. Sugar, which could be alcohol smoking, lack of water. Your brain actually sends signals to your body that are very much like anxiety. And you know, one of the first things I do is when I talk to people is how much water you're drinking?
When are you having these feelings? When are they coming up? A lot of times people wake up feeling like this. And what that means is. A lot of times we've been sweating through the night. We haven't been drinking water and, and an easy fix can be just having a little bit of water. So it could be just a quarter cup.
And if that's what it is, the anxiety will go away or it reduces like a lot. So, so physically, you know, what are we putting in our mouth? The other thing physically. Have you been checked for allergies? Have you, do you have food sensitivities? Everybody's different. And when I say every body, so I want to emphasize body.
It isn't like I don't have a cookie cutter fix it. It's more of, you need to be aware of yourself and what, what can you tolerate? What. What is good for you? So that's a first part in that checklist is look at what you're eating caffeine and decaf. They're little tricksters, especially the decaf. People think that, you know, that's not gonna affect them.
And if you're sensitive to it, then, you know, you might want to try stepping back on your caffeine and sugar intake. So maybe at noon, stop your sugar and caffeine or decaf. And then your body usually can metabolize it. And if you're finding it's, it's so interesting because that's the first thing I talk about with clients.
And here I am is a mental, uh, psychotherapists. However, if we're not getting our sleep, if we're feeling having these feelings, we're going to feel pretty terrible. Right. So if we can eliminate that one, and it's amazing how often. That is a big one and it does really reduce a lot of anxiety right away.
Jeremy: [00:14:15] Mm.
Well, it's all connected, right? I mean the, the physical and the spiritual, it's all, it's all part of the same thing. So it, it is interesting how it shows up in different ways.
Elke Shulze: [00:14:25] Absolutely. So then the rest of the checklist goes on to thinking about what's on your plate right now. And, uh, just go through in your mind.
And it's interesting if you, if you have a chance is, you know, just jot it down and, and it could be a combination of things. It could be something really big. So a move, a job interview. Those tend to be bigger things. However, You know, you mentioned this, um, pandemic that people are experiencing well, as simple tasks that used to be simple to go shopping.
Isn't simple anymore, and people have to plan. You have to plan your, your shopping. You sure don't want to forget anything. You don't know how people are going to react to you when you get there. And you don't even know, uh, what's greeting you there. And, and so that whole, whole thing of that unknown now, this simple thing has become a bigger thing.
So reality has changed and, and I think you asked, you know, how is this affecting us? Well, if we were managing before that scale is really tipped and we're not managing so much anymore or as well.
Jeremy: [00:15:32] Yeah, for sure.
Zach: [00:15:33] So then we've got, you know, a global pandemic people's anxiety is higher. They're feeling things that they maybe weren't feeling before.
Maybe they're going through a checklist to make sure that they are, you know, they're recognizing, what's triggering their anxiety. You know, what are some tools and tips for people who generally run high on the anxious scale, but then all the people who generally don't. But are now running a little bit high because of this global pandemic.
What can, what can people do? Like what are some regular routines that they could do to help reduce that anxiety?
Elke Shulze: [00:16:05] Yeah, there's a, there's a few things for sure. One of the things is to stay present as simple as that sounded. Isn't simple. However, is how can you stay present? And, and what I mean is, you know, just the fact of let's say, okay, we have to go to the grocery store, but.
You know, dial it back is right now, you know, you and I, we're all sitting here, we're talking, uh, we're out of the weather, you know, thinking about the things of where we are right at this moment that, um, most of the time we're really okay. So how can you bring yourself back to presence? And, and one of those, uh, is gratitude is being thankful for what we do have.
And even as simple as just saying, wow, I woke up today. I mean, this life is a miracle. No matter how you, how you want to think about it, we're on a planet going through space 60,000 miles an hour. It's a miracle that we're here. It's a miracle that, you know, daylight and nighttime happens. So that is a big, big strategy that I bring to whether it's young people that come in of any age is, is, uh, staying as present as we possibly can is a big one.
Another one is a nature. And I don't know if you've noticed that more people up here, I live in Muskoka and more people are going outside. Uh, the bicycle shops have run out of bikes. Wow. Wow. The, um, kayaks are sold out, uh, and equipment people are pulling out their, their old bikes and, um, The bike shops up here have run out of spare parts for fixing
Jeremy: [00:17:47] So, Oh my goodness.
Elke Shulze: [00:17:48] Um, the trails are busy. People are walking, more people are in nature more. And, and, and one of the things that, that I'd like to remind people again, it's about staying present is, you know, baby birds are still hatching. Uh, the rain is it's still raining out that hasn't stopped. So it's that, you know, coming back to nature.
And, uh, connecting to who we are. So those are two big ones and they've been helping people of all ages,
Jeremy: [00:18:17] a couple of things that, that you, uh, that are, I guess, part of your practice, both art therapy and EMDR, I'm not familiar with EMDR. Can you sort of give me the, the one-on-one on, on what that is?
Elke Shulze: [00:18:28] Sure. So it's an interesting acronym because, um, Francine Shapiro who actually stated that acronym, eye movement, desensitization.
And reprocessing really doesn't have that much to do with eye movement anymore. It's more about reprocessing, uh, brain memories. So that's the short version. It's a top tier therapy in the world it's been so for, I guess now over seven years, it's very. He, she coined it about 40 years ago. However, uh, very well-researched lots of documentation.
It, uh, became famous to help veterans to process their trauma since they were going through so much, it actually helps people on so many levels. Now we use it, uh, to help sleep for addiction reduction, for anxiety reduction and management to change belief systems. Which is also part of anxiety. So it's pretty powerful therapy.
And what got me fascinated was, um, that art therapy is also works with neuroscience. So,
Jeremy: [00:19:37] so, so how does EMDR work? What, what is, uh, Typical session of, of that treatment.
Elke Shulze: [00:19:45] There is a protocol. So, um, you know, if people are, if listeners are interested, they can certainly check out, um, the international sites.
What it actually does is when we stimulate the body bilaterally, whether it's by tapping, whether it's eye movement, that's where that began. Right. Or whether it's light or sound, some people wear headphones. So it's bilateral stimulation of the hemisphere. So left hemisphere, right. Hemisphere, right. And forth.
And the way I kind of related, it's like stimulating and shaking it up a little bit. And what the brain, the brain, he actually does this on its own. We start at a target and then the brain finds the memory and actually puts it. In the library where it needs to be. So what's happened is belief systems or trauma have gotten trapped in the front lobe.
So people, what happens is that, um, uh, you behave as if that belief happened right away or that tragedy happened or trauma. And it sometimes it's multiple traumas. Sometimes it's one, sometimes it's a belief system. That, uh, you know, we believe we're not good enough or we believe we're bad or, or whatever has been locked into our brains.
And, uh, EMDR again, like I said, shakes up those neuropathways, it's actually a very fast therapy though, a gentle therapy and, uh, it's, that's pretty empowering. It's a fascinating for me to work with.
Jeremy: [00:21:16] That's interesting. It sounds like it's basically kind of like a reboot, like, and just instead of going down the same pathways, you sort of re.
Reprogram that path.
Elke Shulze: [00:21:25] Yeah. And it's also see our brain is made to actually file any traumas or memories it's made to do that. And what has happened is the brain has grabbed a memory or grabbed a trauma and it, it doesn't let it go. And I don't think we really know why. It does that. It's not a flaw or a fault of the brain it's nobody's fault and it's different for, for everybody.
And, and yeah, so what we're doing is saying to the brain, Hey, you have to hold onto this. You can put it in the memory bank and, um, let go of all that energy that you're carrying with that memory and in the, and we also teach strategy. So the brain we're actually really working with the brain. So the brain, right.
It starts going, Oh, wait a minute. I don't have to go on this channel. I can go on this channel. So, um, it's kinda, I don't know if it's really a reboot. It's certainly a retraining. And, um, it's very empowering for people because they start partnering with the brain and they realize that the brain isn't who they are, it's an organ that, um, you know, it's there to keep us alive.
And, uh, so it's gathered all this data and memory and learning. However, some of that, uh, was when we were very young and doesn't really serve us as adults. So we're, we're helping the brain go, Oh, I got other ideas and options. Okay.
Zach: [00:22:53] So I did, I did EMDR for about a year, um, about five years ago. And the first surprise was actually the ability to process.
Things like it, it is really powerful too, to allow that, but I kept coming up with traumatic memories that I had no recollection of or very light recollection of right before it hit me during a session. Is that common to remember traumas that. You don't even remember happening
Elke Shulze: [00:23:25] and processes. Yes and no.
And, um, some, uh, some of what happens, and I don't know if this works for you, Zach, but. We again, our brain is very good at putting something in a compartment or burying it or saying, you know what, this isn't working very well. So we're going to hide it over here. However, it's still affecting us. So whether it's making us nervous or whether it's keeping us awake or hyper vigilant.
So, so yeah, I noticed that sometimes, uh, with clients is that they'll have remembered a whole memory. Now it's not necessary that they have to. And what I always remind them. And I hope your therapist did too, is that it's a memory. It's not that you're really reliving it. Um, though, you know what I find, and I don't know if this was with you, Zach, but did you find that it explains some things for you that you kind of went?
Oh, that's why
Zach: [00:24:22] it did definitely a few of them explain things and I didn't feel like I relived it, but it brought it out into the open and let me. Actively, let it go. And you know, it's still there, but it's not an impact. It's not impacting me in the way it used to.
Elke Shulze: [00:24:39] Yeah. And that's one thing, um, Jeremy, you were asking it and part of it is some of the times these memories hold a lot of energy.
And, um, what MD EMDR does is lower that energy. So if it's a memory that you've remembered and let's say you talk about it and. And, uh, you start crying or shaking, or it really activates your body yet. It happened 10 years ago, or 20 years ago. EMDR can take that energy away. And, and like, you were saying, Zach, you still remember it.
You know, it's there. However it doesn't activate you the same. And that that's what it's supposed to do in memory bank. It may not be a great memory ever, and we don't change memories. However, certainly the energy can go down.
Jeremy: [00:25:26] I, the experience that, um, I haven't experienced EMDR myself, but through some meditation practices I've had, I've had experiences that this sounds like what you're talking about, where I have a memory that was a traumatic thing that I carried with me and I, and it defined a lot of who I was to the world and to myself and through these meditations and practices, I've sort of the best way I can describe it as just, I, I sort of time traveled.
And went back to these childhood moments and been there with myself as a child, like as an adult, standing with the child version of me and giving myself the comfort that I needed in that moment. And it changed, it doesn't change the memory. It changes my relationship with it. And I can, I can file those things.
Like you said, it's, it's so interesting that the language, cause that's how it feels is like it went okay. I don't need to carry this around anymore. Let's put it up on the shelf and it's still there. I'm aware of it, but it doesn't carry the same weight that it did. Most of my life.
Elke Shulze: [00:26:21] Yeah. Yeah. And people, uh, they'll explain it in different ways.
Some people say, Whoa, I see it going past. Like, it's going somewhere. They feel it. Um, um, you know, like you said, something like putting it in the shelf and, and, or some people, they feel it going in a container everybody's a little different and, and you're right. It's, it's just words and EMDR. Isn't the only way to do that for sure.
Yeah. And, um, and you're right. The words can be a little bit different, but yeah, that's pretty cool.
Jeremy: [00:26:53] Uh, if I can, I want to shift to the, uh, to art therapy and this is intriguing to me because my wife, uh, also runs anxious. Um, she, she will tell you that that's just normal. That's her baseline. She doesn't really know anything else, but she clearly from the outside world runs, runs anxious and has always been an artist.
And. She's always said that when I'm creating, when I'm somehow creating art or creating something, it's this outlet and it helps sort of balance me. Is that the reasoning, is that what drives you to, uh, to use art as a mode of therapy?
Elke Shulze: [00:27:27] Well, yes and no. So the creative process puts us in a liminal space and that space can be music.
That space could be clay. It could be create or writing it. It puts us in a different space. And, and again, it's, it's a bit of neuroscience. If you want to talk about it that way. And it does. Rearranged things and gives us a different perspective for sure. So the way I use art therapy and that's how I actually got more interested in neuroscience was art therapy therapy was first and then EMDR, what I've noticed.
And I use the two together is because I work with people that have a lot of trauma. If they can't move the trauma or it's too much to go through EMDR because EMDR can be pretty fast. It's much gentler to use the arts, I think, but, and it's not about painting a pretty picture or, or anything like that.
It's really about dumping on the page or hammering a, um, an instrument and, and I think Jeremy, you said it so well earlier. It's that non-verbal like you said, I have this feeling. I just don't really know how to describe it. And. Where I really enjoy art therapy is so much of our world is non-verbal and the arts gives us that chance to express and get it out of our system in this nonverbal way that we don't have words for.
And yeah, so it's kind of hard to describe I've written a book on it or whatever. Um, I would struggle in, in how to describe and help people. Get the idea of this processing and transition and transcending. And it really is. Indescribable
Zach: [00:29:18] is feeling that you guys are talking about is, is the, is a, a consistent companion with me.
And the few times that I've gotten it to go away, where I've been in like a deep meditative state or have been able to reduce my anxiety level, relaxation feels awkward for me. And when that feeling goes away, I don't feel right. It's interesting running this high on the anxiety level. So I guess my question for you is if, if somebody is running that high to the point where they feel different or something's not right when they're relaxed, is there anything that we could do to help that out or should, or should I just really seek professors?
Jeremy: [00:29:59] Yeah. Feel free to send us an invoice after this one. Yeah.
Elke Shulze: [00:30:04] Um, you know, it's interesting that you asked that. And I, I think I kind of understand it because I've been through that and maybe the listeners as well and what it is. It's, we're just so not familiar with calm or so, not familiar with relaxing because perhaps how we've been brought up or where we've been living, that, that the adrenaline in our bodies, it's almost like.
It's like having caffeine or speed all the time. And so when it's not there, you're right. It doesn't feel familiar at all. And so, so the idea to make it more familiar is go slow. And, uh, what I mean by that is, you know, when you do get to that relaxed state, And just have the experience and then when it doesn't feel right anymore, go back to what you're familiar with.
And if it's something that you want more of your body, you know, put yourself in that position to practice. And that's one of the big, the words that I have in my book. And I talk about this in my talks is. And it sounds like the two of you are really aware. So having your own body awareness and then practicing, and if it's a direction you want to go in is be easy on yourself and practice and, and make those periods a little bit longer because your body right.
And your, your brain it's like your brains going, Oh, this isn't familiar. So we got to keep sack on the ready position and we can't let him relax because something's going to happen. And so your brain, um, is got to get the idea that, um, you know, Oh, relaxing could be okay. And, you know, I'll tell you, um, a little story is, um, About, I guess now 30 years ago, somebody said, um, you should take Tai Chi because it'll be good for you.
And I guess I I'm, I was a bit of a whirling dervish, and I am kind of like I'm ever ready bunny. I just go. And then I drop and then, you know, I sleep for a long time, but anyways, you know, I have to tell you, I hated Tai Chi for a whole year. I hated it. I watched the clock. And I was miserable. It was the longest hour, twice a week, but I trusted my friend and I trusted the people that were there.
And, um, you know, it took a long time. And then there was one day where I didn't watch the clock. It took me over a year.
Jeremy: [00:32:30] Wow. Do you still do it now?
Elke Shulze: [00:32:33] Actually, no, because I, um, I actually got more into yoga. I found that, um, my body didn't enjoy Tai Chi anymore and I, I can't explain why it loves yoga. And it's interesting for me because, uh, the yoga time again, it's I can relax.
I actually have a daily practice where I meditate. It goes from half hour to two hours and I love it. Wow. It's um, and it's something that I built up over time and I have to tell you that at the beginning, like I said, I hated Tai-Chi. I hated slowing down. So I, I get it, I get it. And, um, I also didn't know what fun was, you know, we forget.
And I think, you know, coming back to, you said some strategies for, for COVID is we got to really dig deeper and figure out what fun is. What's fun for us. What's play.
Jeremy: [00:33:27] Yeah, especially in this environment, how do you even do that? It's we're reinventing everything I want. Sure. Before we wrap things up that we mentioned the book.
So tell us a little bit about anxiety, warrior, and sort of what people can expect when they pick this up.
Elke Shulze: [00:33:41] What's something unique about the book is it's chalked full of strategies. So out of 200 awesome pages, most of that, which is like maybe 170 pages is all strategies. So I believe in explaining what it is.
We did that at the beginning of our, our interview. And then the other thing I talk about in the book is where does it come from? And. In this journey with my clients, we figured out 11 different places. And we mentioned a few here in the interview. It's interesting because when you start seeing and understanding where it comes from, you can lower it.
And people have said that even in a talk, they just went, wow. I didn't know. And I feel that that knowledge really helps. And then the other cool thing in the book is I have five contributors. It's their expertise and their love in their specialties that they've contributed a chapter. And again, a lots of strategies in each chapter, they give lists of things that we can do to manage this.
It doesn't mean that you're going to be, that they see what it means is. That, um, you're going to have choices and, uh, and have some fun with it. Um, it doesn't always have to be hard work or, uh, it becomes a gift and it really is a signal to say, Hey, what's going on in your life? What's up. And once we can go through that checklist, we can figure it out.
Jeremy: [00:35:19] All right. The book again is anxiety warrior. The author is Elke Shulze. Our thanks to her for being on the show and talking with us. I think one of the big takeaways from this for me, you know, she mentioned the checklist and that sort of speaks to the list of things that are available. There are, there are tons of options for managing anxiety and there is no silver bullet.
There is no one thing that's going to work for everyone. Uh, for me, I mentioned, you know, just the, the simple use of the supplement glutathione has been helping me. Exercising like hard, like for the last few weeks I had started just walking again to try and, um, overcome some injuries I was dealing with and figuring out that wasn't enough.
And the more that I do, like strenuous, you know, cardio, heavy, actual working out the more I've kept things under control. She mentioned making sure you're drinking enough water, making sure you're eating well. Like these are all things that you should just kind of be doing anyways. But if you're not, and you're having, uh, increased anxiety or anxiety for the first time, these are all really simple places to start to try and get it under control.
Zach: [00:36:22] If you're dehydrated, you know, for me, again, my anxiety runs so high that. If my head hurts a little bit, my brain instantly goes to, I have a tumor,
If I'm drinking water, I don't have to worry about all of those sensations that come about from dehydration. It doesn't cause me anxiety. So just keeping your body at that nice baseline.
Helps. If you have really high anxiety take as much away from the equation as you possibly can.
Jeremy: [00:36:52] Okay. And it's funny that the simple mental tricks that you can use, I know, um, again, calling back on another interview, we did recently when we talked about gratitude and just sort of reframing the, I have to do this too, I get to do this has sort of changed my relationship with a lot of the sort of pains in the ass of my life.
But Zach, something you a champion all the time is the idea of. Thanking your anxiety for the useful role that it serves in your life. That is such a genius, but simple tool to consider how this thing can be so oppressive. And it can really just dominate your decision-making and the way you live your life.
But if you change your relationship with it and just change the language that you use with it, it can, it can really serve you.
Zach: [00:37:37] Yeah. I mean, it's doing its job. I mean, if you think about it, if you have somebody that works for you, that's doing their job and their job is to remind you when you're in danger, there's going to be false positives.
So when they come by and say, Hey, look out the paper, boy, I might get you. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. I'm good. Thanks. Appreciate that.
Jeremy: [00:37:58] Yeah.
Zach: [00:37:59] Nice warning. But I'm okay.
Jeremy: [00:38:01] Right. I
Zach: [00:38:02] mean, same thing, same thing with your brain it's job, your anxiety is there for a reason to warn you of things. One of the things that I learned early on is your anxiety is not going to go away.
You can't change yourself to the point where your anxiety is going to disappear. You can manage it, you can work with it and you can. Talk to it, but it's never going to go away so long as you acknowledge it. Thank you for doing its job and move on. You can get past it.
Jeremy: [00:38:31] It's something just sort of in general, that I'm trying to, trying to cope with, trying to come to terms with is the idea that, you know, this journey, this thing, that if you're, if you're into all of this kind of stuff, trying to heal yourself, It is something that will never be complete.
There will never be a day that I will wake up and go, Oh man, thank God. That's all behind me. Now. Now I can really live like the idea that you can manage these things and make them a healthier part of your life and not let them control you is really the key. And you know, um, I'm echoing a lot of things that we've talked about on recent shows.
Cause this has been a heavy topic for us this year because it's been a heavy topic for everyone this year. But taking the time to get quiet and really listen to what your body needs to listen to, what your, you know, your inner voice, your intuition, whatever it is really listening to what's going on.
When, when you can quiet the noise, you'll find the answer it's it's there. And a lot of this sort of applies to the other end of the spectrum for me with depression is most of the time when it hits me, it's because I'm overwhelmed and I'm exhausted. And if, instead of. Viewing it as this dark passenger that I'll never get off my back and just going like, Oh, okay.
This is telling me I need to go sleep for a while. Cause I am just drained. It just, it just reframes it. And none of these things are, again, a cure, all and many of them, none of them may work for you. Um, and it's, that's the point where, where you really need to turn to professional, help, you know, seeking out a therapist.
Something, I would recommend for everyone, no matter who you are. I think therapy is something that I wish was just free for everyone, because it is one of the most powerful things that you can do to keep your mental health in check and with everything that everyone's dealing with, that's more important than ever.
Zach: [00:40:18] that if you are struggling with anxiety or depression and you feel like you need to talk to somebody, go get some help. You're not failing. It's a good thing, and it can only help it won't make the situation worse.
Jeremy: [00:40:31] Unless you get a really bad therapist, then just call a different one. But otherwise
Zach: [00:40:36] I've had a couple of bad ones, but even, even in those cases, you know, in reflecting back, their intentions were good.
And I was able to vent sometimes even if it's just to a pillow, if you can vent, if you can just talk through your stuff, somebody doesn't even have to be listening. But if you're pretending that somebody is listening,
Jeremy: [00:40:57] they're theirs.
Zach: [00:40:58] An amazing amount of power in vocalizing your thoughts to allow them to kind of form into answers and solutions for you.
So even if you're not talking to somebody, just try talking out loud in a room or watching, or
Jeremy: [00:41:14] journal here, just, just a stream of consciousness. Just write your thoughts without worrying about grammar and proper sentence structure. Just. Let the words vomit themselves out. And a lot of times you'll find some peace there too.
Zach: [00:41:27] I don't, I don't even worry about sentence, structure and grammar when I'm writing
Jeremy: [00:41:30] professional. Well, then you're you're one step ahead. Good job. Yeah, but
Zach: [00:41:36] when I am, there is one thing that I really enjoy. It's drinking a non-alcoholic beer from
Jeremy: [00:41:45] athletic brewing. I'm a, I'm already jealous. What, what are you drinking now?
What kind of you got now? Uh,
Zach: [00:41:51] I just have the, the
Jeremy: [00:41:52] IPA
Zach: [00:41:52] again. It's my favorite.
Jeremy: [00:41:55] I really like it.
Zach: [00:41:56] That was my favorite thing about drinking. Beer was like a nice, real hoppy IPA. You know, a lot of people can't stand the taste, but I love that taste. So the fact that I get to enjoy the taste. And I'm not taken down by the alcohol, get drowsy or, you know, I can continue to work and do all of my job functions while enjoying a beer.
Jeremy: [00:42:18] And I can tell you with, uh, with more holiday, uh, celebrations coming up, nothing goes better with a zoom Christmas call than any of athletic. Brewings. Uh, fantastic non-alcoholic beers drink one or seven during all of your zoom calls. This holiday season. You can find out more about them on our website and go to the fitmess.com hit the shop.
And while you're there shop around lots of cool stuff to buy. We've got different logo, merchandise, things like that. Other products we recommend and a, of course, a link to athletic brewing company. While you're on the website, please do sign up for our newsletter. It's something that we send out every week to make sure you haven't missed a, the latest updates.
Uh, sales on our merchandise store. And of course the most recent episodes you can do that, uh, on our website. And we currently, we have just a few days left for you to sign up there and enter to win a $25 amazon.com gift card. So do that. And we will be doing the drawing this Saturday, which I believe is the 21st.
And, uh, we will reach out and let the winners know who they are.
Zach: [00:43:14] And we'll be back in two weeks since we are deciding to have holiday.
Jeremy: [00:43:19] Yeah, we are going to take the Christmas week off. So, uh, we will not have a new episode for you next week. At least we're not planning to, we might throw a quick little hello or something together to send out there, but for now the plan is to take next week off.
So. Uh, nothing wrong with your feed. It will be updated with the next episode as it becomes available. So make sure you subscribe on whatever podcast player you are using to listen to this show, you can do that on our website, the fitness doctor, and with that, we will wrap things up. So thank you so much for listening and subscribing and signing up for the newsletter and supporting those who support us information about our guests, Alka Schultz, and how to get her book information on the athletic brewing company and our newsletter and subscribing all of that information at our website, where you will find a brand new episode, probably in two weeks.
At thefitmess.com. See everyone, we know this podcast is amazing
and does not seem to lack anything, but we do need a legal disclaimer,
Jeremy and Zach
are not doctors. They do not play them on the internet. And even if they did play them on the internet,
they would be really bad at
it. Please consult your physician
prior to implementing any changes
that you heard on this podcast.
The listener assumes that Jeremy and Zach do not know what they are talking about and that you
will do your own research
on the topics talked about on this podcast.
Elke Scholz is a Registered Psychotherapist, an internationally registered Expressive Art Consultant/Educator, and an internationally certified EMDR Therapist. She is the well-known author of 3rd edition, Loving Your Life, containing over 40 creative exercises as an e-book and paperback. She is also an affiliate author for ProjectHappiness. Her work includes creative anti-anxiety/wellness kits for employees, youth-at-risk, and seniors in managing anxiety and depression. For over 35 years Elke has helped people and runs her private therapy practice in Bracebridge, Muskoka.
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