Obstacle Course

It's All In Your Head

Episode Summary

For episode 53, we sat down with clinical psychologist, author and teacher Nick Wignall. Nick has the rare ability to cut through all the noise and eloquently identify those things that sabotage us and cause us needless suffering. When it comes down to it, life is all in our head. As easy as it is to get lost in there, Nick is a seasoned guide who can show us the way. If you've ever struggled with stress, anxiety, panic, worry, overthinking, negative self talk or just can't seem to think straight....This! Is an episode not to be missed. Let's Go!

Episode Notes

John is both shit at being gentle and positive self talk.

Many of John's morning writings can be found here.

Beach Body On Demand folks! Exercise made easy. Well, not really. Also, there's actually over 1300 workouts. Something for everyone.

Shaun T made me want to exercise again.

"That is a Beach Body that is NOT on demand." - Andrew Langford. Line of the year? Probably.

Do you over-rate and under-rate your meditation? You're in good company. So does Andrew.

Check out Nick's incredible writing on Medium or his very informative website.

Writing is a fantastic way to confront how murky your thoughts are and thus make sense of what you believe.

Nick was drawn to clinical psychology because of his fascination with deep conversation and problem solving. 

Great Parenting Book! The Gardener and the Carpenter. 

Great Mentors plant seeds. 

Why Worrying is Like Eating Junkfood.

Worrying is not something that just happens to us. It's a choice we make and a habit we cultivate. NW

We worry because it gives us something to do and it makes us feel like we're in control. - NW.

Worrying makes us feel in control of a situation that is often totally outside of our control. NW.

Virtually all people hate the feeling of helplessness. So they worry instead. They'd rather feel anxious then helpless. NW.

We worry because, like eating junk food, it tastes good. But ultimately it makes us feel worse.

Negative self talk is a plague and one of the few common denominators of people who end up in Nick's office for therapy. Think of the angry leprechaun. 

Jackass!! Happy Gilmore. 

A Van Down By The River. Chris Farley is the best. 

We succeed in spite of our negative self talk. 

Gentleness Challenge: Start today!

Negative self talk is often a bad habit that never got updated. It was valid and served us well at some point but it no longer serves us well. The solution is to build new habits.

A common trait of people who struggle to be resilient is rigidity. The key is flexibility. NW

Just because a thought was the first one to show up in your consciousness doesn't mean it is special or has any authority to it or means anything at all! NW

How to Fact Check A Thought: Hit the Pause Button. Get curious. Don't fight them.

Bullet Time in the Matrix!

We need to slow down our thoughts and think about our thinking. Practice in low stakes situation at first. Then build up to high stakes situations.

Thought Record/Thought Diary. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Write it out!! Gotta show your work. 

What happened. How was I feeling. What was the thought that predicted the feeling. Re-interpret what happened. Provide an alternative explanation. This will give you mental flexibility.

Cultivating a healthy scepticism of our thoughts is crucial. Don't just take orders! 

Meta Cognition - Thinking about our thinking. 

My mental health is all about me being a good steward of my attention. NW.

Fundamental life (exercise, healthy eating, positive relationships) have to be in balance for us to be able to tackle mindfulness and hitting the pause button with our thoughts. 

Best book on Stress: Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers.

We are designed to handle intense bouts of great stress. We are not designed to handle low to moderate chronic stress.

Willpower is a great emergency brake but a poor driver. We need to design our life so we don't need will power in the first place.

Nick's Billboard: Be Gentle With Yourself

It's hard to be gentle with others if you're a tyrant to yourself. Start by being gentle to yourself. Yes John, even if you're shit at it. 

Connect with Nick on his website and subscribe to his great newsletter like Andrew and John! Also, take his incredible course!