Understanding Anxiety with Cathy Boone-Black
Stress is a normal part of life; we all experience it in useful and unuseful ways. Sometimes it can manifest in uncomfortable and even painful physical reactions. Understanding the physical and mental expressions of these feelings can help us gain control, let go, and live healthier lives. Lorilee shares her own experiences with panic attacks and is joined by one of the people who helped her to alleviate her symptoms, Cathy Boone-Black. Cathy specializes in reducing stress and anxiety through therapeutic methods like hypnosis and reflexology.
- On Cathy’s playlist: “Dear Younger Me” by Mercy Me
- Defining anxiety and stress and the differences between the two
- Understanding physical manifestations of stress
- Common roots of anxiety
- How methods like hypnosis can reroute neural pathways
- How our reactions can stem from our wounded inner child
- Understanding why we do what we do
- Our subconscious mind’s impact on our feelings
- Finding freedom through knowledge of self and mindfulness
- One tool for our G&G toolbox
Mentioned in this episode:
Sponsored by Her-Bank.com
Episode 11 – Cathy Boone Black Transcript
[00:00:00] Lorilee Rager: Hey, I am Lorilee Rager and this is Ground and Gratitude. It is a podcast about designing the life you want, one that not only grows but also gives.
Before today’s episode, I’d like to tell you about where I bank, Her Bank by Legends Bank. This episode of Ground and Gratitude is sponsored by them. Her Bank celebrates, honors, and supports women, especially entrepreneurs, by providing financial services and resources through a core team of experienced female bankers, which is so reassuring to me. Her Bank creates a bridge to help women overcome barriers when it comes to money conversations and decisions, while providing women with a better banking experience. Check out Her-Bank.com to learn more. Her Bank is a brand of Legends Bank. Legends Bank is member FDIC equal housing lender.
Today, I’m joined by Cathy Boone-Black. She is someone who really helped me with this idea of grounding. Cathy is a hypnotherapist and she’s here to discuss stress and anxiety. Now, before we get started, I want to warn everyone that we will be talking about panic attacks and anxiety related behaviors in this episode. I am not a doctor, nor do I ever claim to be one. What I’m speaking about today is my own lived experience of anxiety and how I learned to ease those heart flutters. Always seek medical expert help when it comes to your own health, please. Now let’s dive in with Cathy.
A few years ago, I had my first serious ER debut panic attack. My stress manifested physically. I wound up with the shingles and went temporarily blind. Cathy helped me to heal and learn more about my mental health and wellbeing.
Welcome Cathy. Thank you so much for being here.
[00:02:14] Cathy Boone-Black: Yeah. Thank you so much.
[00:02:16] Lorilee Rager: I really, really appreciate you being on the podcast today. And, uh, thought I’d do a little bit of a quick back history on myself to say, around 2016 I had my first ER debut panic attack. And, um, started years before that, of course, and I had attacked my fingernail cuticles and picked at them until they bled and everything from cold sweats to client meetings giving me heart flutters and all these weird things happening to my body. So thanks to a couple of, uh, professional friends that I had to confide in, they introduced me to Cathy. And a little bit about her, over 20 years now she has many, many certifications and they are hypnotist, an NLP practitioner, and certification and the emotion code, reflexology, doula, essential oil practitioner, and faster EFT practitioner. So welcome Cathy. And like I said, thank you so much for joining me, it is wonderful to have you on my podcast. And you have helped me so much the past four or five years with, um, my own anxiety and. So we’ll just start with a kickoff question is what song you have on repeat today on your playlist.
[00:03:40] Cathy Boone-Black: You know, Lorilee I love the song, Dear Younger Me by Mercy Me, because I work, in my business, I work so much with the wounded inner child, the traumatized inner child. And I always work with, you know, it’s not our fault. And that is some of the words of that song. And I love that song.
[00:04:05] Lorilee Rager: I think you sent me that song and it’s a really, really good. It’s a good song. Great, good to know, good to know. Well, all right then. Well, I thought we would start out in the topic of anxiety and stress and you know, some other things like decision-making problems. Maybe we would just start out at the core foundation and explain what anxiety is in your own words. If you could tell me a little bit about that.
[00:04:32] Cathy Boone-Black: Sure. A lot of times people enter change, stress, and anxiety. And stress is a feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope. Like, you know, we have stress, we all have stress. We live in a very stressful world . Good stress and bad stress. So, you know, think about, you know, buying a new home. That’s stressful, but it’s a happy stress. Um, problems in a relationship is stressful. That’s not so great stress. So we have good and bad stress. So that’s just sometimes just being able to feeling like you just can’t cope. And anxiety is worrying about, you know, the future or the past, or, you know, uh, hanging on to things in the past and worrying about things and thinking about things that we just can’t change or, you know, worrying about the future. Uh, it’s a, it’s a response to a perceived stress or threat.
[00:05:33] Lorilee Rager: Okay, yeah. I can see that.
[00:05:37] Cathy Boone-Black: So that’s the difference between stress and anxiety. I always like to point that out because people kind of interchange those a lot or don’t understand the differences of those.
[00:05:47] Lorilee Rager: Yes. I can see that, where people absolutely use them in the wrong ways and don’t understand, yeah. But the response to stress is anxiety. That’s what you’re saying. Okay. Makes sense, it makes sense. And can you explain a little bit too for those that maybe don’t know, because I, I’m, you know, I live with anxiety and I understand what a panic attack is, but I’m not sure everyone, just the general public maybe even knows about maybe what a panic attack actually is and what happens.
[00:06:19] Cathy Boone-Black: So a panic attack attack is, it’s an abrupt surge of intense fear, um, or terror or discomfort that is accompanied by symptoms. So you could be going along and doing just fine. And then all of a sudden it feels like it comes out of the blue, your heart starts palpitating, you feel like you can’t breathe, you might get dizzy, you might have tunnel vision, hands and feet tingle. All of these symptoms. And it’s a reaction to an overload of stress and anxiety in your body.
[00:07:01] Lorilee Rager: Yeah. Yeah. I know that feeling. I do know that feeling. And it’s one of those things where, um, I didn’t, I wasn’t really aware, I guess, of any of the warning signs that maybe came before the actual come out of nowhere moments until I met you and began to understand kind of some of the root causes for my own personal story and noticing things like ignoring the stress signs that, that I lived through and lack of sleep, not taking care of myself, and having some pretty major fatigue. I mean, I, of course was busy. We all, we all are busy running design firm and keeping the kids alive and keeping everybody happy. And then I had that wham feeling out of the blue, in a sales meeting at Starbucks with a sales rep, uh, trying to sell me some radio spots. And it did it, it just felt like, you know, a semi truck kind of hit me in the chest and I didn’t really begin to understand until you explain how medically things come up in people like asthma or my arthritis, dental problems, the shingles, all of that kind of culminates. Can you speak a little bit more on, on that aspect of how the body reacts to stress and anxiety?
[00:08:30] Cathy Boone-Black: Absolutely, yes. Um, well they, the one thing is they have found through some research that people with a lot of anxiety, uh, generally grow up in a home where there’s too many should rules, there’s a big family secret, there is some kind of abuse or alcoholism. Children learn to walk on eggshells, they learn to be people pleasers and perfectionist because they perceive, through that anxiety of all that, that if they are perfect and if they don’t make any waves, then bad things don’t happen. So they learn to be anxious and they learn to be stressed out. And so once you live with that for a long period of time, um, your body is continually being, you know, saturated with stress hormones. And so when those stress hormones, when you just, even if you go along and you don’t think you’re, you don’t really think that you’re, you’re anxious, um, you still, um, your body reacts to what’s going on around you. And so it’s like, it’s just dripping, those stress hormones are just dripping into your body all the time. And when that happens, um, those stress hormones rub against the nervous system like sandpaper and it makes you very sensitive. When you have a lot of anxiety or panic and or panic attacks, you may find that you are very sensitive to sounds, to smells, to taste, um, to feelings, you can feel other people’s feelings very easily. You’re a very sensitive person. And so it all, it all comes back from how we grew up. And it’s, and I always tell my clients, it’s not to beat anybody up. We’re not beating up our parents because they’re doing the best they can with the knowledge they have of how they grew up. And their parents were doing the best they could with the knowledge of how they grew up. And it just goes back generation after generation. And so, um, but when, when you do live in that world of constant, um, anxiety and being aware of being perfect or a people pleaser, um, it just culminates and all of a sudden, you know, out of the blue boom, you get symptoms. And usually we are the, we are the, uh, in the, in an emergency, people like us that are, uh, have anxiety and stress and panic attacks are the calmest in the emergency. And everything’s flowing in, all those stress hormones and all that adrenaline giving us, you know, we’re calm, calm, calm. And then when the emergency is over, we fall apart. And a lot of the time that’s why these things come out of the blue.
[00:11:36] Lorilee Rager: Oh yeah. That’s exactly right. It seems like after, after a really stressful known planned workday, maybe I have a bunch of really intense meetings and hard employee conversation, that when I get home is when I feel it and could literally just collapse in the floor, and then maybe notice that I have a really bad headache or I didn’t drink any water all day, or things like that. Yeah, totally, totally get that. Yes. Yeah. Totally makes sense. And I’ve heard the same thing, um, or if you had a really big test or like, you know, I’ve when I graduated from grad school, when you get finished with a thesis, afterwards you get really sick. And maybe, you know, you, you weren’t taking care of yourself or you just didn’t notice the symptoms until after the fact. You held it together all during the hard part. And then yeah, absolutely collapse.
So yeah, that’s, that probably explains my first major panic attack was going through a stressful time, and my business partner had passed away, and dealing with grief and all of these other things. And, and because I’m in recovery, I was drinking very heavily at the time and it seemed like that morning, everything was actually more okay than it had been. Like, I had really gotten things together and had gotten myself together and gotten payroll done, which was a really stressful thing from a business owner standpoint. And then when I sat down, what should have been a release full, easy sales meeting where this guy just gets to, you know, vomit some numbers and asked me if I’ll pay for it. And my body just totally freaked out.
[00:13:14] Cathy Boone-Black: Yeah, it was reacting to the sensitivity from all those stress hormones that had been flooding your body from all of those events through the time. Because, um, you know, if you, you didn’t know at the time some tools and some resources and strategies to use while you’re stressed out. And so your body was just all those days leading up to that was just flooded with the stress hormones. And boom. It’s it’s like the perfect storm.
[00:13:46] Lorilee Rager: Yeah. Yeah. I see, I see that now I do. And that’s a little bit also explains, you know, when you helped me through the shingles also. Because it was after, you know, my parents, um, divorce and some really stressful, hard times. And everything was finally done and everything was signed and the ink had dried, as I like to say, and we were enjoying our time at a concert out of town. You had a babysitter, all four weekend, and all of a sudden this horrible burning, um, they were in my scalp and then into my eyes. And I just, I couldn’t even understand it. Even my eye doctor, you know, medically was just like, this makes no sense. I mean, you’re a perfectly healthy 38 year old woman, at the time, who had lost 50 pounds and it was eating clean. He says, this makes no sense. Like, he was mad. And I was like, I don’t understand, I just know I have the shingles. And they wouldn’t go away until I started working with you, and you started helping me in our sessions with hypnosis and the different tools. So, you know, we can hop over to that, to see, um, if you could explain a little bit about like what, what you do and what hypnosis therapy, hypnotherapy is? If I’m saying that right.
[00:15:10] Cathy Boone-Black: Yeah. So what I want to, I want to jump back though and give your listeners some background on why I do what I do. Because I get that question so many times. And my backstory is that I started having panic attacks when I was six years old. Um, and until I was in my twenties and, uh, I missed a lot of life. I was afraid of everything. My mom was very controlling, uh, and I just didn’t have a very happy childhood. And got to the point where I was agoraphobic, which means you are afraid to leave the house. I wouldn’t drive my car at one point. Um, my life was pretty miserable. So I started seeking out, I thought I’ve got to have help for this. And I found a psychiatrist here in Indiana at the IU med center, downtown Indianapolis, uh, who introduced me to hypnosis and taught me self-hypnosis. It was the first, really big dot that was connected on my healing journey, and I finally started understanding what was happening to me, uh, and why. And I don’t know the techniques that he was using back then, but I do know that it worked. And so, uh, from there, I started venturing into cognitive behavior therapy and got into a self-help group that helped me realize that it was my thoughts that were creating these feelings inside. And then I just started studying the brain and the body from then on, and I still do all the time, really, really understanding how this all works together. And it just makes so much sense. And I found that I do have control over those symptoms. Uh, I used to go to the hospital all the time thinking I was dying or going crazy. It’s one of the, one of the main reasons that people go to the emergency room a lot of times, because a lot of the symptoms mimic a heart attack. Um, and the other thing that I always do when I work with my clients on that note is that I always make sure when they’re coming in to see me, uh, and they have panic attacks, I always make sure that they’ve been checked out by their doctor first, because there are some heart issues that do create that feeling of panic and anxiety. So I was like, yeah, to be sure, um, and again, I’m like you, uh, Lorilee, I am not a doctor and I don’t profess to be, but I do have doctors that refer clients to me.
[00:17:45] Lorilee Rager: That’s right. You worked with me the same way. And I’d seen a cardiologist and had the full workup who also couldn’t explain it at all.
[00:17:51] Cathy Boone-Black: Exactly. Because they’re really not taught in med school about emotions and about the subconscious mind, they just don’t look into that. And I believe that there’s an emotion at the base of everything that happens to us. And, you know, when you and I worked, um, you know, we went back with the shingles and we were working with the emotions around those shingles and getting rid of some of those emotions, um, you know, helped help to alleviate those.
[00:18:21] Lorilee Rager: Yeah. Yeah. I remember I was talking about it and you telling me that even what I say, because I like to jokingly say things like, oh, I’m just waiting for the next shoe to drop. And you were like, don’t say that. That’s what your subconscious hears. And the shingles will even burn a little bit when I said it. Or when my father’s name was on my caller ID. And you helped me understand that emotional connection to a physical pain that was happening, you know, in my body.
[00:18:54] Cathy Boone-Black: Yeah, absolutely.
[00:18:56] Lorilee Rager: Yeah. Yeah. So why, um, and this might be too simple of a question, so feel free to change it, but my thoughts are trying to understand at a very elementary level is why does working in a hypnosis level help, do you think? Or, I know it definitely does. I just wanted to kind of explain to our listeners the hypnosis state, is that just an easier way to help the subconscious and the pathways in the brain to accept or to calm down or?
[00:19:27] Cathy Boone-Black: Yeah. What hypnosis is, it’s a, it’s being very focused. We go in and out of trance all the time, we just don’t realize what it is. And I always tell my clients, you know, if you’ve ever been driving a car and all of a sudden you’re like, oh my gosh, I don’t even remember turning in my driveway much less the stop sign at the end of the street, and that’s because there is a neural pathway in your brain that is associated with driving. You never, when you first started driving, you never took your eyes off the road. You never, you remember every single move you make because there’s not a pathway there yet. So, but your brain holds these pathways and there’s an area of association that knows how to drive the car, so it will, it allows your conscious mind to think of something else and your subconscious mind drives the car.
Um, the other, um, way I like to explain hypnosis is like, if you go to a movie theater, well, when we used to, well, it’s starting to come back again. Now you go in and you sit down and you narrow your focus on that screen. And if it’s a really good movie, you get into it so much so that you forget where you are, you forget who you’re with, and you’re just so wind to that movie. It’s like you’re right there with them. And so when something funny happens, you laugh. When something scary happens, you might have a little heart palpitations, sweaty palms. Or something sad happens, you feel, you feel sad. I may even tear up. And that is a state of hypnosis because the barrier between the conscious mind and subconscious mind, which is called the critical factor, relaxes when your conscious mind focuses on something. And so when that barrier relaxes, the subconscious mind is letting your body react to something that’s not real. That’s a movie theater, it’s a screen, it was recorded maybe a year or two ago, wouldn’t even happen, it’s not happening right now. It’s not real. But your body is reacting like it is because the subconscious mind doesn’t know truth from false.
So, you know, and our subconscious mind is 95% of who we are. Our conscious mind is only 5% of who we are. And so the subconscious mind is where patterns and programs are set. From the day that you’re born, your little subconscious mind is taking in from those influential people around you, and this is how we deal with life. This is how we deal with money problems. This is how we, how we deal with a lot of money. This is how we deal with love and relationships and stress and anxiety. And we learn from those influential people. Again, not blaming and pointing fingers at anybody because they’re only doing what they know from their childhood. And so, getting back to the hypnosis, when you can be in that focused state, then you can get back into the 95% of who you are, the subconscious mind, where those patterns and programs are set. So therefore, you know, the things that trigger you as an adult a lot of times are the triggers that happened back in childhood.
So for, you know, it’s just like when we talk about, um, a lot of my clients, um, have issues with dads. Uh, a lot of men, uh, have a, hold, a lot of anger, I think because they just aren’t taught and they’re not, it’s not okay for them to talk about feelings, so I think a lot of men hold it in. And so, uh, a lot of times my clients have a lot of issues with their dads. A lot of angry men, a lot of men drinking too much, or just anger. And so a lot of times it, I was just, just working with a lady earlier today that, um, you know, her dad was a yeller and, and, and even when he wasn’t drinking, and then when he was drinking, it was even worse. And so even now today, as an adult with, with children, um, she still really shies away from any kind of conflict, especially around men. And it did not make sense to her until we went back in and started working with that wounded inner child that reacted to a volatile, um, alcoholic father. And so now as an adult, that little kid inside of her is reacting as if she’s five years old again, not the adult she is now. So when we go back in and we kind of look at that and really look at dad and say, you know, he’s doing it because he’s hurting inside. You know, hurt people will hurt people. And not so much consciously because you know, then after they do it, then it’s like, gosh, why do I, why do I do that? You know, people don’t know why they do what they do. I, I work with people all the time in here with, you know, addictions and it’s like, why can’t I leave it alone? Whether it’s food or alcohol or drugs or cigarettes, why can’t I leave it alone? And it’s because it’s back in the subconscious mind, that 95%, at some point, when you first started doing it, there was a benefit to it. And 95% is going to win out over the 5% conscious mind who gives it willpower to stop it. And willpower to the subconscious mind is like a high pressure salesman. It’ll just ignore it and push it away.
[00:25:18] Lorilee Rager: That is so true. Yeah. That’s exactly right. Yeah. I knew that, I’d noticed that as I came to you for help for something as simple as cuticles and nail biting and that level of anxiety, it began to literally change the way I thought about my drinking. It began to help, help so many additional things working on, on that level, just like you’re saying. And I think the benefits, it’s kind of like you explained to me one time how you, you’ve driven, you’ve driven this one way and a car over grass and you drive it a few times in the grass, you know, lays down and then it becomes a dirt path. And that’s just the way you know in your brain. You can tell me a little bit about that, where you helped me stop driving that way. Cause I was, I was stuck in that cycle and could drive a different way and let that grass grow back up and make a new path.
[00:26:12] Cathy Boone-Black: Yeah. So, yeah. So the way that I talk about that is that working with the tools that I teach. Working to be unafraid every day, so when you do have those thoughts or those symptoms, um, working with, um, those tools to where it’s, it’s like, you know, you’ve got, uh, a specific pathway in your brain for anxiety. Uh, from, you know, You know, however old you are and when the anxiety started, when that trigger started, you’ve got that really worn pathway there. And so by using the tools that I teach and using, uh, staying unafraid every time you do that, it’s like a pattern interrupt for this, what is already there, that, that well-worn path. So when you do that, it’s like driving over grass. You know, the first few times that you drive over grass, it’s going to pop back up. But the more you drive over it, the more, the less grass you’re going to have, and eventually there won’t be any grass because you’ve created a new pathway in the grass. And so that’s how you create and retrain the brain, the subconscious mind, to do the things that you want to do to help you have a better life.
[00:27:38] Lorilee Rager: Yeah. That’s, that’s exactly right. And before you know it, when my experience in working with you and listening to the hypnosis that we recorded, I had fingernails and I no longer picked at my cuticles, but I also was no longer terrified to meet that grumpy client in the meeting that may be somewhere in my subconscious represented my childhood in a grumpy father. And it was just so mind blowing to me to connect all of that, just through what I thought was some cuticles I was ashamed of and embarrassed of and didn’t really want to talk about or tell. So that was another thing it made me think of, um, how you, you know, I know you’ve helped some of my friends quit smoking. You helped me also through surgeries, um, pain, completely pain-free with a hysterectomy and a root canal and now a dental implant. And the way in, and now I can, when I get in a medically painful situation, I can take myself directly to the spot in the ground, in the garden with my grandmother, you know, which is a calming, comforting feeling. Or in my bed with my favorite blanket with Emma. I can take myself there even though I’m in the middle of the dentist’s office. So explain a little bit about, I don’t know, I don’t even know how you do that. It’s it’s, it’s a wonderful, magical thing. Cause you, cause I don’t, I no longer hear the drills or smell the scary things, instead I feel the dirt of the garden.
[00:29:14] Cathy Boone-Black: Yes. Right. And, and I always liked to empower my clients that I really don’t do it, you guys do. Um, you know, because you’re, you’re willing to take in my, I’m giving you suggestions, I am just a, I’m a facilitator. I’m just giving you direction. And so I always like to empower my clients to feel really good and pat yourself on the back, because you do that. Yeah. You do that. And, but it really does, your subconscious mind, it, like I say, it does not know truth from false. So if your listeners out there can think of something right now, that just makes you really angry or upset. And I bet you, within a few seconds, you can just feel that in your body. You can probably see the person’s face or the situation and you feel it. And you look around where you’re sitting, that person’s not here, they’re not in the room with you, you’re not in that situation. By, but by just thinking about it you can feel it and you just get angry or upset, right. That, that is your subconscious mind at work. So that’s showing you that what you think about this 95% doesn’t know truth from false. It thinks when you’re thinking about it, that you’re right there in the situation, and it’s going to let your body react like you are. So the reverse of that is, and the more healthier way is to visualize and really imagine that you are there right now in your grandmother’s garden, you know, and using all of your senses. Your, what are you seeing, and really imagine that you’re there right now, because it’s so relaxing there in your grandmother’s garden. Feeling the dirt beneath your feet, seeing the colors, smells, what are the smells that you, that you, what are you hearing there in the garden? And the more that you can really imagine being right there, your body is, is working with it, you know. And your body is reacting to something that you’re just thinking about. It’s so healthy. It’s such a healthy state.
[00:31:34] Lorilee Rager: That’s that’s the key is knowing that it’s healthy and knowing that the alternative of, you know, boxing it up or hiding it or constricting, or, you know, when my panic attacks were at their worst, I couldn’t leave the house, I couldn’t go to a meeting. You know, I had to call the client. And, and I had been canceling. But then instead I would sometimes get the courage up, but I would have to drink to get that level of courage, which became so unhealthy. And I just knew. And then once the alcohol was out of my system, the hangover, it seemed like the anxiety came back 10 fold in me. And my arthritis got worse and hurt worse. And my weight gain got worse. And my sleep got worse. And so, the way it was just all connected was really, was really incredible to understand how you can now with, through your work, in what, and the tools that you’ve taught me, to calm yourself down without a drink or without, you know, having to, to cancel the meeting. That you’re really okay.
[00:32:47] Cathy Boone-Black: Right. Yeah. And it’s, to me it’s just such empowering work. Because I know it from being there. And I know what it feels like to be feeling like out of control. And I know what it feels like now to know that I can be in control and that I can feel more calm and relaxed. And it’s a great feeling to really understand how beautifully our body, our mind is all connected and put together and how we really can, with this beautiful brain of ours, be able to change, um, our day to day, um, life and how, and what a better life we can have. Because, I know for me, when I was having my panic attacks, and they do come out of the blue, you just feel so out of control, helpless and hopeless. And it’s like, oh my gosh, and nobody can explain it. You know, when I would go to the emergency rooms, they’d go, oh, it’s your nerves, or it’s a panic attack. Here’s some Xanax, go home. They don’t know why. They don’t know what to do with people. And so, um, so it was very, it’s always empowering. And every time I learn something new, even still today, um, I, you know, it still amazes me and it still is so empowering to know that, oh my gosh, I can do this and I can do this and I can do this. And it’s, um, you know, it’s very, it’s very empowering.
[00:34:21] Lorilee Rager: It is. It’s, it’s really empowering and creates a level of confidence. And because you live in such fear of the lack of control or fear of the what ifs and things like that. And then you, you kind of feel crazy cause yeah, the ER and medical side has done the blood work and you’re fine and they can’t find a reason why your heart’s racing. And you can’t explain it and you can’t, and then you start to fear the worst and you kind of get in this cycle. And then, not only does it heal the anxiety side, is how it’s helped me from a health and nutritional side, and really even be mindful of what I eat. And you helped me to really like even taste the food. And I don’t even eat as much because I really enjoyed the moment of eating the small piece of chocolate cake or whatever that, that I wanted to eat. And you want, um, you know, even helping me understand the connection to that was from a comfort with my grandmother as a child.
[00:35:24] Cathy Boone-Black: Right. Exactly. Yeah. And the other part of it too is we delve into, I delve into a lot of the DISC assessment, which is a behavior assessment. And I just believe that when people understand, if they have more knowledge about who they are and how they tick and why they do what they do it just, again, just another, just another, uh, part of that empowerment. And it also helps me to help my clients explain why other people do what they do. And so one of the big things that I work with in here really is really, um, really working with family dynamics. Um, because I just feel like, you know, there’s so many people come in with issues about their parents, you know, and I I’ve had people leave here and say, oh my gosh, I feel like I’ve got a weight lifted off of my shoulders because I don’t hate my mother anymore. Um, and that’s also an empowering thing because you know, when we, when we hold those grudges and things against our parents or our teachers or whoever those influential people were in our life, or even day to day, um, you know, when we hold those in, it’s only hurting us, it’s not hurting them. It’s only hurting us. And so I got into the DISC assessment a few years ago because I have people that come in here and they either have stress and anxiety at home, stress and anxiety at work, or both, and they’re taking, they’re both personal and, and work at home to home and work. And it’s just, their life seems unmanageable, it seems out of control. And so learning about the DISC and about how other people tick and about how other people, you know, uh, what their behavior styles are, then it helps people understand about why, why maybe, you know, dad was so angry. Um, maybe he is that, you know, the high D behavior style, which was a very quick to anger and very task oriented and thinking and understanding. It’s the knowledge.
[00:37:45] Lorilee Rager: And understanding. Yeah. So just for our listeners in case they don’t know what it is, can you explain just kind of an entry level of what the DISC assessment is? It’s DISC D I S C . Those letters. The DISC behavior styles.
[00:37:59] Cathy Boone-Black: Yeah, and it is behavior. It is, uh, we’re born with somewhat of a pension for it, but most of it of our behavior styles are developed from how we grow up and how, how we, um, how our lives are and how we learn, how to, um, how to navigate this world. Um, so the D stands for dominant. They’re very task oriented. They’re quick to anger. They are, um, they’re not very detail oriented. They just want to get the task done. Very task oriented. Uh, the I is very influential. They love to have a good time. They love to be around people. Um, they’re going to have the best food at the parties. You know, they’re just, they’re not very detail oriented either. But then there’s this S which is a steady behavior. They will avoid conflict at all costs. They want everybody to play nice in the sandbox. Um, their worst fear is of loss of security, and because they do avoid conflict, they will, you know, these other behavior styles that we live and work with, will do things and then the steady behavior will hold it in as resentment. They’re going to blow up, but they’re only going to blow up when they know, you know, they have all the facts and all the, you know, what they’re going to say is right so that, you know, there won’t be more conflict. And then we have us in C the compliant behavior style, which are the rule followers. They really, you know, they’re going to cross the T and dot the I, and they want to know all the facts. They want to know all the facts, all the figures, all the research. Um, they want to know all of that. Their worst fear is of being wrong. Um, so sometimes those high Cs can get into analysis paralysis because they’re just too afraid to make a, make a decision because it might be wrong. So just learning those things about ourselves. And a lot of times my clients can just explain to me how their, how their husband or their wife or their mom or their dad, or whoever they’re in conflict with. Um, and we can pretty much assess, you know, just from that, or guess what they are so my client can understand why they would say and do what they did. It’s a freeing. It’s a, it’s a, it’s a freedom.
[00:40:34] Lorilee Rager: It is, oh, it, freedom is a great word because getting that knowledge of my own self and my DISC, which I’m an off the chart S with a little bit of I, and learning that I lived with a D and a C, it just made perfect sense. And when the D just wanted short bullet points, but the C wanted to give a full, detailed report and essay, you could see why they clash so much, and just began to understand it and not blame or point or use an excuse, but it was just, it was a really eye opening way to understand and appreciate everyone’s behavior and my own and see my own blind spots. To know as a S and, and the I side of me that I’m not so detail oriented and I’m not, and it explains why also I’m not an accountant because I don’t like spreadsheets, granular side of things. I’m a creative entrepreneur and I’ll take risks. And I learned, what you’ve taught me about the behavior styles really helped me understand myself better and my employees better and my home life better. And, and that even, I mean, that helps the anxiety side of it, educating myself and giving myself some of those, the tools, uh, you know, I like to say, and, you know, you’ve, you’ve taught me a lot of tools that helped with the grounding side of, of anxiety and helped stop fight or flight mode. Can you speak a little bit about any of that, or you helped me when I get red splotchy. I used to get so severely red and splotchy from doing presentations or things. And some of those tools are things you’ve taught me and hypnosis. Can you tell me a little bit about that?
[00:42:20] Cathy Boone-Black: Yeah, sure. Well, I like to think of them as you know, grounding, but also mindfulness. We talked a lot about mindfulness, being in the moment. Especially when it comes to the eating. Um, you know, I think, you know, I, I had an issue with a chocolate cake thing and I had to work on it to where, you know, I had to reframe that in my subconscious mind, I don’t have to eat the whole thing if it’s in my house. Now I can have a, because the fact of the matter is I’m always going to eat chocolate cake with chocolate icing because I love it. But now I control that, I, it doesn’t control me because I reframed that and re, um, refocused that in my subconscious mind. So now I can eat it mindfully. I have a small piece, I take it, I eat it and I really enjoy the taste and the texture and I’m in the moment with that chocolate cake. And a little bit goes a long way because I am aware of what I’m tasting and what I’m seeing and, and really enjoying it. And so I think mindfulness is a big part of it. And even, you know, when you are, when you’re having a, the anxiety, is really being with it. Instead of letting it scare, you just say, okay, it’s almost like you’re talking to it. All right. I understand you’re here. This doesn’t feel very good, but you know, we’re just going to sit here with it. When all you want to do is run out of the restaurant or you want, you know, run out of the room or whatever it is that may, because usually, you know, within three seconds of a fearful or angry thought, the blood leaves, the prefrontal cortex to go down into your arms and legs for fight or flight. So a lot of times you may find, and that’s why, um, chewing on nails is an anxiety thing, because you know, your hands feel like, you know that the blood’s there for fight and there’s nothing to fight. Uh, your brain perceived that just from your thoughts, you know, somebody’s getting ready to punch you in the face, so your hands feel like they need to move. Or sometimes the legs, you might see somebody sitting in there and their leg is jumping up and down, you know, just like, or sometimes you may feel like you just can’t sit still. That’s all of that, those stress hormones and the blood going there for fight or flight, because your body thinks you need to run from a bear. And so just being aware of those kinds of things. So just sitting with those, you know, as much as you can and practicing, practicing being unafraid. One of my favorite things that I learned from my training years ago was that these symptoms are frightening, but they’re not fatal.
[00:45:15] Lorilee Rager: Yes.
[00:45:16] Cathy Boone-Black: They are frightening, but they are not fatal. Because I had already been checked out by numerous doctors, numerous brain scans and body scans and blood tests and everything you could think of. I knew there wasn’t anything physically wrong with me.
[00:45:29] Lorilee Rager: Yes. Yes. That’s exactly where I’ve been.
[00:45:33] Cathy Boone-Black: And just really knowing. So just being that mindfulness, just relaxing. Um, go out, grounding. I always think of grounding as standing barefoot on some, if you can find some grass that hasn’t been, had all the chemicals on it, um, you know, standing their foot on the ground and, and feeling the energy, the Earth’s energy, is grounding. The other thing is really grounding, and if you’re ever on vacation, and this is why people love to walk on the beach. You know, most of the time when I ask my clients, where’s your favorite relaxing place? A lot of times it’s the beach. And it’s because that is so grounding when you’re walking on the, on the earth like that, when you’re walking on that sand, is just so, you’re just connecting with the Earth energy, and it feels so good.
[00:46:21] Lorilee Rager: Yeah. That totally makes sense.
[00:46:23] Cathy Boone-Black: Yeah. And it’s just relaxing. Um, so some of the, some of the other tools that I work with, and, and you kind of touched on the NLP, which is neuro-linguistic programming. And those are little exercises that we do, um, that really help to, uh, do a pattern interrupt in the, in the brain. So, you know, when you’re in that moment of anxiety and this neural pathway is lit up here and it’s just going anxiety, anxiety, and those racing thoughts that you can’t get rid of, I always tell my clients, okay, one thing you can do is physically move. Get up and go to another room and then think about it and it feels differently. Little exercises like that, because a lot of times when we’re worried about something or we’re fretting on something, we’re either lying in bed or sitting somewhere and we don’t move. And then what we think about gets bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger. Well, when you can actually physically get up and move to another room, it’s a pattern interrupt. It interrupts that pattern. And there are a lot of times it’ll look like, it’ll look differently. And some of the other, there’s a lot of different inner, a lot of different little exercises to do with NLP, and I love that. One of the other modalities that I use is a tapping protocol and that too really works on the bio chemicals in the brain, and it stops the flood of those hormones. Yeah.
The other thing that was really important is breath work. Your breath, your brain follows your breath. And when we get, when we get stressed and anxiety, we short and shallow breathe from our, we don’t use our, all of our lungs. And so when you can learn to do those deep belly breaths, slow, deep breath in, hold it for the, you know, I always do slow deep breath into the count of five. Hold it for five, so you get a good gas exchange in your lungs. And then slowly out to the count of eight. And do that three times. And it does a couple of things. You know, the more oxygen the longer you can get in that deep breath, it oxygenates your body, which helps you think clearer keeps, keeps that blood up here. Um, and also, uh, just the act of exhaling slowly will trigger the parasympathetic nervous system. That is the rest relax and digest system. And so a lot of times when I have smokers come in and they’re like, oh, this cigarette just makes me so relaxed, so I can’t, you know, I want to give it up, but I don’t know. And I’m like, well, it’s not the ingredients in that cigarette. It’s probably the only time in the day that you take a deep breath in and exhale, even though you’re inhaling in all that stuff, but your exhale, you know, you’re slowly breathing in and you’re slowly breathing out. And it’s triggering that parasympathetic nervous system. It’s your breath. It’s not the cigarettes. The chemicals in there can not make you relaxed.
[00:49:36] Lorilee Rager: Yeah. Yeah. That makes complete sense. That’s all, and those are all tools. I mean, I’ve not ever been a smoker, but all the other tools I know personally from you teaching them to me and using them and how incredibly well that they work. And I just really think it’s your work so important. And, and I just, I think what we can do is leave our listeners with one last thing, which you just gave a ton, but is there any one last, additional or reiterate tool you would leave in our Ground and Gratitude toolbox for others?
[00:50:11] Cathy Boone-Black: Well, you know, we didn’t, we haven’t talked much about gratitude. And I, um, I believe that life happens for us, not to us. I know, uh, I didn’t really believe that when I was, you know, from six years old until my twenties, when my life was miserable. But, um, I know now that that part of my life was there for me to learn and to be able to help others. Um, because I’ve been very open with my story. A lot of people are very embarrassed if they have panic and anxiety, they don’t know what’s wrong with them. How can they tell somebody else? And all we want to do is be normal. So I had to learn to be really grateful for that time in my life. As miserable as it was, I really would not be able to sit here and really do my work, I don’t believe, uh, as well, because it’s, what I do is coming from my heart. It’s coming from a knowing. From being there. I’ve been there, I’ve got the t-shirt, and I’m on the other side now. So I know what it feels like to be, feel helpless and hopeless and I know what it feels like to feel in control. And I’m very grateful for that. And so, I always talk to my clients about that. You know, I know this is a rough time right now, but if you will take the attitude of gratitude and know that you’re going to learn something from this, you’re going to get a higher on that mountain. You know, I heard a speaker say once, you can’t get to the top of the mountain if it’s slick. So you got to have those rough spots along the way to climb up, to get to the top of the mountain and just, and just have that attitude of gratitude. Um, you know, letting your, letting your past and letting your life make you better and not bitter.
[00:52:11] Lorilee Rager: Yep. I totally agree. 100% and know that it’s a big part of my story, of course. And I do, I have such gratitude for the tools you’ve taught me that, yeah, were because of a really rough part of the mountains for sure. But what I’ve learned and it’s made me such a better person and an honest person, so, and all those tools. But I thank you so much. I really, really do appreciate you for being here.
[00:52:36] Cathy Boone-Black: Well, thank you so much for letting me have the opportunity to help you all these years and for the opportunity to be on here. And I just think that if, if the world, if you know, if more people would know about this, uh, and know how to deal with these tools and how our brain and body work, I think the world would be a much better place and people would, and people can live a much happier life.
[00:53:03] Lorilee Rager: Yes. Yeah, I totally agree. Completely. Yeah. Good. Well, thank you.
[00:53:08] Cathy Boone-Black: Thank you.
[00:53:16] Lorilee Rager: Thanks again to Cathy Boone-Black for sharing insight into her work in ways to cope with anxiety. Thank you for tuning into Ground and Gratitude. You can find more information about the show, all of our topics, blog posts, and other content at GroundAndGratitude.com. Join me next time for sdmore honest conversations exploring what it means to truly live a life grounded in gratitude. Ground and Gratitude is produced by the amazing Kelly Drake and AOMcClain LLC.