Overcoming Overwhelm: Strategies for a Better Headspace | Dean Pohlman | Better Man Podcast Ep. 065
The human mind is programmed for negativity. This is how our ancestors survived when tiger threats loomed. And unless you upgrade the software your brain uses, life will continue being more stressful and miserable than it needs to be....
Episode 065: Overcoming Overwhelm: Strategies for a Better Headspace - Dean Pohlman - Transcript
Hey guys, It’s Dean, Welcome to Man Flow Yoga. Today’s episode is a solo podcast, and I want to just talk about the daily struggles. The daily struggles that I face and the daily struggles that I know many of you face and just the basic strategies that I use to try and address them and the struggles that I’m talking with are the struggle to be healthy.
There’s so many different things that go into this workout nutrition, daily movement, mental wellness, addressing stress, nurturing relationship. There’s so many things that go into this, and I, I worry about how to do it all on diet and nutrition. You know, we know that we want to eat a certain way. We don’t always do it and we don’t always.
Sometimes we have bad days, sometimes we have bad weeks. This is just part of it. And also, if you listen to this podcast and it resonates with you, I’m pretty sure that you have a lot of the same worries that I do that I don’t talk about on the show, which are business and success related. And I’ve shied away from talking about money on this podcast because I just didn’t think that it aligned with the goals of the podcast.
There’s a reason why I haven’t done that, and in truth, money is something that’s that takes up a lot of my headspace. I want to be successful and it’s something that I worry about even when I don’t need to worry about it. And it really distracts me from being present with my family, with where sometimes it distracts me from doing my workouts and doing the things that I want to do to be healthy.
And it’s a struggle. I worry about my long term health, not just on, you know, not just on am I doing my I’m not doing my workouts on a regular basis. And like my my taking care of myself or my day to day needs. But also, am I doing this in a way that is really going to help my long term health?
Do I sometimes sacrifice my long term health for my ego? Do I do I worry about building more muscle when I when I actually should be working on addressing areas that might be problematic for my mobility, that can be problematic later on in my life. So these are the things that I really that I, that I struggle with on a day to day basis.
And some days are better than other. And, you know, I kind of want to talk about a recent episode I had earlier this week on Friday and then over the weekend and even a couple of weeks before that realization that I went through and and and what I do to try and address that. So sort of the thing that happened this past weekend.
But, you know, on Friday, basically not getting into too much detail because you guys don’t need to hear you don’t want to know. Anyways, I, I made an advertising error over the course of many months. I spent too much on advertising and and now I’m I’m dealing with the the result of it and things are going to be fine.
I’m not worried about it. I was worried about it. But when I did the math and looked at things like everything’s going to be fine, but, you know, it made me really question or question a lot of the thing question a lot of my success things like, you know, do I really deserve to be in the position that I am?
Do I really know as much as I need to know to be able to talk to people about their health and wellness? Do I deserve to be in the house that I am? I am I in imposter syndrome? Is this all just going to crumble around me? Have I. Have I been lucky so far? And this is something that I just don’t know how to sustain.
Am I a good husband? Am I a good father? Is is, is. Am I just lucky again? Did I tricked my wife into marrying me and I’m just not good enough for her? Or am I or my and my kids going to realize that I struggle to be present and they’re not going to want to hang out with me?
Know, these are all the things that kind of went through my head. And and what I did was I spent a lot of that day just kind of trying to get away from it. But I didn’t confront it. I didn’t take the time that I needed to do journal about it or to think about it or whatever it was.
And I just kind of was in this mood the whole day. I just felt kind of overwhelmed. And when I finally sat down at the end of the day, you know, I had this. I had this intuition that I needed to journal about it. So I grabbed my notebook and I went outside and I just kind of wrote out all the thoughts that I was having instead of trying to reassure myself that I was I was wrong.
I just wrote a lot of thoughts that I was having, and I wrote out my thoughts on imposter syndrome and how how that related to me. In that moment, I wrote out, you know, the things that were that were really concerning me and I just was really honest with myself. And I just I didn’t really think about what I would write and I just let it come out.
And then I looked at it afterwards and as I was writing it, kind of nearing the end of my stream of consciousness, I realized that I kind of had a choice. Like, I looked at it and I thought of the opposite of a lot of those phrases. So I looked at the idea, I’m not really that successful. This is just I’ve just been lucky this far.
Or I looked at it and said, like, I don’t deserve my life. I looked at it and said, I’m not a good dad. And I realized I had a choice I could either which which did I believe those statements or I did. I do the opposite of them, which would be I am successful, I am a good husband, I am deserving of my life.
I am a good father. And in my heart of hearts I believe that the latter is true. I did not believe that the negative feelings that I was having were true. So in that way I was kind of able to work through that, that funk, so to speak. And I went to bed that night feeling much better about myself and woke up the next day feeling a lot better because I took the time to acknowledge the thoughts and to kind of work through them.
And it made me think about the other things that I do on a regular basis that help with that. And I think something that’s really important understand about humans is that we are wired to think negatively. We are going to wake up and we are going to worry about things, we’re going to think about our problems, we’re going to think about the things that threaten our our view of the world.
If we have this idea that we are successful, that we are strong, then anything that suggests that we are not successful or that we are weak, any reality, any in reality that happens, any sort of thoughts, opinions that happen, we’re going to naturally want to fight those things because they don’t mesh with our conception of the world. So the thing that we need to do or that we need to practice is, is practicing positive, like to say, practicing positivity, because that’s, that’s not what it is.
But it’s, it’s, it’s how I describe this. I thought of this in a few different ways, but basically we want to practice positive thought. And I don’t mean pretending that things are positive when they’re not. It’s more about looking on the bright side of things is practicing, looking at the good things, being grateful for the things that are going well instead of focusing on the things that aren’t going well.
Because again, your brain is going to default on the things that are not going well no matter what. How you’re wired. It takes a lot of effort to be grateful, and it might feel really weird at first, but for me, I recently started a gratitude practice that is slowly become more and more outspoken. And in that sense, I mean, I started off with this going out night at night and thinking of my gratitude, and I asked, and then I eventually got the point where I started talking and I just I look up at this guy sometimes and I say, Dear universe, your God.
And I just go through the things that I’m grateful and the little things, you know, like last night we lost power. We had a thunderstorm and I was actually grateful because it could have been a lot worse. We could have lost more power. Our house could have been damaged. There were hail the size of baseball baseballs in our neighborhood.
Our house could have been damaged. Our children could have woken up and they would be screaming and scared. But they slept through it all. So, you know, rather than think about, Oh, wow, that’s really smart, I realized, wow, there’s really a lot of great things going on here, you know? And then you don’t always think about the positive and you have to practice thinking about the and you have to practice gratitude.
So that was one thing. And the other thing I was talking about a couple of weeks ago, you know, I had this I had this moment where I realized that I had not been present with my family recently. I had been really worried about work. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and I was really having difficulty kind of enjoying my life at home and my wife kind of called me out on it and she said, You’re not present, you’re not you.
It seems like you always want to be somewhere else and you know, that was that was an accurate assessment. I thought about how I’d been dealing the last few weeks. And was I at home? Was I watching it? Yes. But I was always not always. But in the majority of the time, I had this sense that, you know, I just wanted I just wanted to get through whatever we were doing so that I’d have some time to work on something or some time to work out.
And I think in order for me to move through that, I had to acknowledge that, you know, sometimes I do feel like that. Sometimes I don’t want to be a dad in, you know, in certain seconds and certain minutes and certain timeframes, you know, when there are lots of other things going on or where there are things where, you know, I’m just more focused on the things, you know.
Yes. I don’t want to have obligations. And I think that’s okay to have that feeling sometimes. But overall, I guess I’m very happy that I’m that I’m a dad, that I have these opportunities to connect with my children. But also, I would be lying if I said that I don’t always want to be playing the dad, though. Sometimes I want to be more selfish and focus on myself and I think that’s okay.
And I think in order for me to move to have moved through this period where I was, where I was, you know, not really being present and just kind of, you know, I was there, but I wasn’t there. I mean, I had to acknowledge that. I had to I had to go through that. And then the other thing that I realized as I was going through that was that when I don’t want to when I’m when I’m not being present, when I’m just kind of you know, short temper or when I’m not really enjoying being with my kids or being with my family, paradoxically, it’s because I want to be focusing on my my success.
And I focus on my success because I think that’s going to make me happy, because that makes me because my success makes me feel worthy of being open to connection and being open to love. And really all I need to do is instead of just instead of continuing to work on my success and continuing to push myself around and think like, Oh, once I get to a certain point, I’ll be able to really enjoy myself.
I just need to step off the hamster wheel and realize that I’m already here. I’m already in a position where I can enjoy myself and already very worthy of connection and worthy of love right now. And, you know, going through this process and and realizing that if I could have any sort of level of success with my business that I wanted to, what that would look like to me is just coming home and having a loving family coming home and being loved by my kids, being loved by my wife, being them, being excited.
And for me, that’s the success that I want. And so now I’m, you know, I try to remind myself of this as I’m when I start to lose being present where I want to be. I’m already worthy of love right now. I don’t I don’t need to be more successful in order to experience that. And the other thing that really spoke to me as I was thinking about this was the realization that, you know, this issue that I have, you know, thinking that I need to be more successful in order to be able to be enough.
I realized that I was putting that on myself. I realized that by me not being present with him, I was creating the same exact problem that I’ve struggled with my whole life, which is, you know, you’re not I was creating this, this, this thought within him that said that, Dad. Well, I’m not good enough for Dad to be present to pay attention to me.
And that was for me. That was that was like a moment around like, oh, crap, I got to I need to break this. Like, I can’t. I can keep doing this to him. And so, you know, and I think these are the things that people struggle. I think it’s the things that, you know, if you’re a success focused guy, I think these are the things that we struggle with and, you know, the way to address that is to get clear on your feelings.
So doing this kind of self work where you journal, where you analyze yourself, you ask yourself questions, you get curious about yourself, and you you think you know, why am I so why can’t I enjoy this right now? Why am I not enjoying this? What are my what am I feeling? What are the feelings I’m having that I’m not acknowledging?
And so something that we can do is be aware of what’s happening in your head as it’s happening. Take the time to slow down and be curious. What are these thoughts that are going on the head? What are the feelings? Why am I having these and what can I tell myself in this moment to think another way? How can I redirect the way that I’m feeling?
So for me, when I’m not feeling present, when I’m when I’m kind of rushing through something or just not being present in my family, I think, okay, why am I stressed right now? Because I wanted to do this project. Okay. Why do you want to do this project? Why we did this project? Because I need to do it in order to be more successful.
Or why do you want to be more successful? I want to be more successful because I’m more successful then than you know. Then I’m good enough. Then people will love me. Then I’ll be able to connect with people. And then at that point I realize I don’t need to do all that. I can just I can teach here now and be present now.
And that brings me to the last thing that I want to talk about here, which is practicing what you can in the now rather than putting it off for later. And this for me has been showing up in a lot of ways. One of them has been what we’ve been talking about in this podcast, which is this idea of being enough of being worthy now, not needing to achieve one more thing to be worthy, but being worried right now, being present right now, not thinking, okay, let me do this one thing and then I can be present for being present in the moment.
This idea of I have everything I need now instead of thinking, what do I need to buy? What do I need to do? What do I need to what’s what relationship, what new friendship do I need to make the same? Everything that I have, I already have right here, right now. And instead of saying I can have more work life balance later in life, saying I can have work life balance right now, I can practice this right now, or are talking about finances instead of saying I’m going to, you know, in a couple of years, I’ll be in a financial position to be able to start saving more money, but recognizing that you’re never going
to start saving money if you don’t start saving some money that you can now recognize, recognizing that I can practice saving money now. And it’s just looking at all these different areas and figuring out how can I do some iteration of this right now instead of putting it off for later? How can I start practicing it right now?
Because if you don’t start now, you’re never going to start. You’re never going to reach a certain point where you’re like, okay, now I can start doing this, or you’re talking about starting a yoga program. You’re not going to you know, you’re not going to say like, okay, I’ll just wait for things to settle down and then I’ll be up.
Two months from now, things will be settled down to something else that’s always going to come up. So you just have to figure out what’s the smallest version, what’s what’s the realistic version of me doing this, and how can I start that now? So those are the things that I’ve been pondering the last couple of weeks. And my final note is to say, you know, you want to do the things that you think of, the things that make you better throughout the day.
Think of the things that make you in a better mood and make your body feel better. That make your mind feel better, that you want to do in a better state for your relationships. Think about what those behaviors are that put you in that better place and prioritize them. You’re not always going to want to do them. It’s a lot easier to sit on the team, sit on the couch and watch TV.
It’s a lot easier to not do your workout than it is to do your workout. But if you can do those things that, you know, make you feel better, then yeah, do that. And you know what they are. Yeah. For me, I know that when I do my morning yoga, when I do 20 minutes of yoga in the morning and I stretch my breath, I feel a lot better during the day.
I also know that when I journal, I get I work through things. I work through the shift in my life. And that’s that’s really important. So is it always easy to start picking up the journal and writing? No, it’s much easier to sit on the couch and watch something much easier do that. But I know that I will feel better if I do that.
So if you can do the things that you know are going to feel better, you’re going to be a lot better off. So that’s what I have this week. I hope you got something out of that. I am extremely grateful that you listen to these podcasts. I hope you get something out of them. They’re they’re they’re realistic and applicable to your life.
You know, I don’t talk about all the things in my life on this podcast, but hopefully you appreciated this. You know, dose of authenticity, a reality. I worry about all the things that you probably worried about do, and we’re all going through this struggle and yeah, so thank you for listening. I’ll be enjoying the Better Man podcast. We’ve got a guest episode next week and then two weeks after this we’ll have another podcast.
So thank you for listening and I’ll see you guys on next episode.