6 steps to a less anxious life

In this podcast (#529) and blog, I talk to mental health expert Dr. John Delony about what anxiety can tell us about ourselves, how to manage feelings of anxiety, and ways to build a less anxious life. 

Dr. John Delony earned his Bachelor of Arts in humanities and psychology at Lubbock Christian University and his Masters of Education in higher education administration from Texas Tech University. He went on to earn two PhDs from Texas Tech University—one in counselor education and supervision, and the other in higher education administration.

After spending over twenty years in crisis response and leading students in higher education (and finding real solutions and freedom in his own wellness journey), John knew he wanted to help as many people as possible heal from their past trauma and live whole, connected lives. He now writes, speaks and teaches on relationships, mental health, anxiety and wellness. He also hosts The Dr. John Delony Show where he answers callers’ questions about all of the above, and serves as co-host of The Ramsey Show where he helps unpack the psychology behind finances.

In his amazing new book, Building a Non-Anxious Life, John talks about a mental health issue that is plaguing millions of people worldwide: anxiety. As he notes, “Anxiety is real. It’s powerful… It hijacks our thoughts, our guts and our heart rates. It can be crippling.” 

Thankfully, anxiety doesn’t have to be a death sentence. It is possible to, as John puts it, “build a non-anxious life”. This starts with “addressing the things causing anxiety in the first place—the situations, thoughts, schedules and choices throwing your wellness and world totally out of whack.” Anxiety is a signal letting you know that something is going on in your life that you need to manage and overcome.   

As John points out in his book, there are several ways you can do this: 

  1. Choose reality: you can’t start healing if you don’t know where the starting line is. Become aware of what is going wrong in your life and what you need to change.
  1. Choose connection: relationships are an important part of human happiness and wellbeing. As John notes, “loneliness is killing us. It’s more destructive than obesity or smoking.” If you want to start building a less anxious life, you need to be intentional about connecting with others, whether it is something as small as having lunch with a coworker or just meeting up for coffee with a friend.
  1. Choose freedom: if every area of your life is outsourced, then you will be constantly pulled in different directions. Think of ways to unhook your life from these outside sources of fulfillment. Stop thinking that things like buying a new house or car will make you happy. How can you be the person that makes choices for your life? 
  1. Choose health and healing: think of ways you can take care of your mind and body through your health choices. 
  1. Choose mindfulness: embrace curiosity and awareness, rather than just reacting to life and letting your emotions control you. 
  1. Choose belief: find something that is bigger than yourself to live for. If your “self” becomes the center of your universe, you will end up worshipping how you feel, and will constantly be at the mercy of your thoughts and feelings.

Of course, these choices aren't always easy, and anxiety doesn’t “magically disappear”. But, as John points out, “If you commit to building a non-anxious life, you'll be able to better respond to whatever life throws at you. You'll grow from hard challenges. You'll learn to find peace during chaos.”

For more on managing anxiety, listen to my podcast with John (episode #529) and check out his amazing work. If you enjoy listening to my podcast, please consider leaving a 5-star review and subscribing. And keep sharing episodes with friends and family and on social media. (Don’t forget to tag me so I can see your posts!). 

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Podcast Highlights

0:40 John’s amazing new book, Building a Non-Anxious Life 

6:50 Why we need to stop medicalizing misery 

14:20 How our body tries to tell us when something is wrong 

14:55 Tips to build a non-anxious life 

22:45, 26:51 Overcoming anxiety takes time & effort—it does not happen overnight! 

Switch On Your Brain LLC. is providing this podcast as a public service. Reference to any specific viewpoint or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by our organization. The views expressed by guests are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. If you have any questions about this disclaimer, please contact info@drleaf.com.      

This podcast and blog are for educational purposes only and are not intended as medical advice. We always encourage each person to make the decision that seems best for their situation with the guidance of a medical professional.  

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