Welcome to Episode 03 of the FindFocus Podcast.
In this episode, London based certified IEMT (Integral Eye Movement Therapy) practitioner who specialises in anxiety disorders Alex MacLellan and I discuss how to quickly feel less anxious and less stressed when dealing with Social Media.
So if you want to quickly feel less anxious and less stressed, have better conversations with other people, and discover a simple sleep hack to identify the mistakes you are making AND FIX THEM and learn how to stop constantly think about your work and rest properly, tune in now!
In this episode, you'll discover:
- Why making rich people richer let Alex to help people struggling with anxiety issues or suffering from stress or problems with emotional resilience so that they are able to handle their problems.
- Why internet addiction does not necessarily mean that you are online for hours and not do anything else
- A simple trick to have better conversations with other people
- How to stop constantly think about your work and rest properly
- The ideal situation to benefit from social media
- The most important time when to turn off your phone that will cause you to quickly feel less anxious and less stressed
- The reason why following famous people like Christian Bale or Leonardo DiCaprio is not the real problem but comparing yourself with the people you know
- Why using website blocker really helped Alex at work
- The secret recipe to improve when you are in a situation that you are not comfortable with in order to feel better
- A simple sleep hack to identify the mistakes you are making and fix them
- How use FindFocus' best feature to create a time gap to have your logic and reasoning kicking in (and how you can use this to improve your diet as well)
Do you rather want to read what we talked about? We transcripted this episode for you
Martin: [0:00] Hello and welcome to the FindFocus podcast. This is a show for people who care about the work habits, the productivity, power law and all issues related to technology. Have you ever struggled with fear of missing out all feeling anxious?Well that's exactly what we going to help you with on this week's show, where you learn to manage your mind can control over your emotions and beat your anxiety and fear of missing out with speaker and certified life coach Alex Maclellan.Hello alex great to have you on the show!
Alex: [00:32] Thank you for inviting me Martin, good to be here!
Martin: [00:34] Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you're a helping people with social anxiety.
Alex: [00:40] Yes, I'm a qualified therapist and coach in Bolton CBTL, concept behavioral therapy so that's what background. I'm doing that for about 2 years as myself, my own business before then I walked for a number of different dating coaching companies as well as others involved in sexual anxiety. And that was so very much part time, most working around a stressful job in media sales in London where I live. So after five or six years of doing that for a living, the sort of split personality life. I decided I'd make the leap as it were to doing what I think is most important and where I can be of most use which is as a therapist with people, why would people have anxiety issues suffering from stress or problems with emotional resilience and not feeling like they're able to handle that problems which they have. Such a brief history of who I am and what I've been up to over the last few years.
Martin: [01:50] How did you get into this topic?
Alex: [01:55] When I was working in sales. My mother quiet tell she had some Allyson disease which is quite tricky to deal with, from his reason and there was a lot about the stuff going on in my family as well.It wasn't so good and I was having a pretty bad time of it and I drink a lot and it wasn't so good. So eventually I went and got help for it which is probably the best thing I did causeI can't afford to keep on drinking and I get awol which is actually the thing . So I got myself sorted out which was the first thing happened. I think so tired on living fairly selfishly for a year or so. Because you know what I had managed to get a grip of my own personal demons but I was still very much focused on. What was going on in my life it was a big thing and trying to make sure that was still succeeding at walk and all these things and eventually I so sick of it and just go to basic of life I was living in and really feeling if I was doing anything worthwhile, or I was just making rich people richer and not doing much else that was good so I was tossed around already thinking about what else I could do and I remember going and getting help.
[3:11] That's just respect me and they say people become therapists because they want to. I want to go back and help themselves and I think that's probably quite true I was reacting to wanting to go back and save myself from all the mistakes I've made so I went and trained from IMT Integral Eye movement therapy and then got really interested in Psychology and cognitive behavioral therapy and chief most for refined coaching and led me to where I am now.
Martin: [03:40] Great! I recently did in some research about internet addiction and I found out that there's a lot of emotional signs of internet addiction that relate to what you're doing especially the social anxiety, depression, isolation, some kind of mood swings, fear, loneliness, which is often connected, to the use of social media. Have you experience death like with your clients, in your profession?
Alex: [04:10] Absolutely! not in the sense of addiction is in they will be on it for hours and hours a day and not doing anything else and neglect themselves which ismarks as we say always have something to go see recent addiction problem. But social media and mobile phone use absolutely those two things which are an interesting area clinically, when you're looking at the research.
[04:36] Because, the clinical research and the literature about overuse of mobile phones could not be clear up and that’s people who have high usage of their mobile phones. More it's about the pressure more likely to be stressed more, you have sleeping problems and sleeping problems have been infected by the modern mental health disorders, more likely from social anxiousness, a very interesting research which is I've been done for the last few years. It’s nothing to do with that, but it's about how much people like each other. Very interesting, if two people who haven't met before I put into a room and then they have a conversation, if there is no mobile phone on either on that person or any presence of mobile phone in the room and then that conversation is quiet good . Whereas if just an innocuous or a mobile phone is introduce one that isn't theirs but it's just visible the two people brights themselves as liking the other person much less significantly, less than if there is a mobile phone and that's why it’s interesting.
[05:36] Mobile phones are not so good. They are good as you can see if you're in emergency and you need to use this, I'm frequently speak with people whom. Because of that mobile phones the boys go walk with them. I was speaking with the directors of a company a large company of that account name but it said it's a well-known candle brand which is very popular in the UK and America and directions for European Middle East Missionaries decided to get me in, to speak to them and one thing they all did was took that mobile phones home and they were walking to a very light smiles and then coming back, walk home with them. One of the things already had to fight for was just to say look often in a certain times to yourself each day switch off the mobile phone and get off at the e-mail cuz it's gonna to kill you. Perhaps it's not so dramatic is that.
[06:40] But on social media social media is interesting . If you're reading research about it because there's a lots of researchers just found that social media doesn't seem to have an impact on People based on levels of steam or prevalence of anxiety is an impacted in marginalized and highly isolated individuals to people that got anxiety problems, new live in the middle of nowhere for example. Social media actually quite good for them cause it does connection with people that they may feel a similar to that can be good but actually for the majority of people and if you look up. Subjective experience shall we call it, the experience of the individual there is no doubt at least to my mind and in some studies out, that over this over exposure on social media does cause a lot of problems.
[07:36] To pride people's ability to think rationally and think clearly are just on that base on levels of Stress and Anxiety. It's not nice if you're having a conversation with somebody face to face and that phone keeps on popping off and they have to check it cuz I need to see if somebody's like that photo on Instagram or Facebook or whatever it is. Sign up in a long rambling on your question social media I said, a lot I see the effects of social media on lots of button technology pretty much everywhere.
Martin: [08:10] What's the best way to deal with it, from your experience?
Alex: [08:17] Say from my experience, I always recommend people to a couple of things. First, is to have at least a couple periods throughout the day where they turn off that damn phone, why are they so I always have my phone off during, breakfast and dinner because I think you know that's the important time of the day.Were you should be eating, should be focus on something. I want to have a conversation with my girlfriend over the dinner for instance, so I don't want any distractions then I think it's important to limit how much time you are on social media.
[08:53] For some things that can be good but you gotta ask yourself for what are you really gaining from it?, you got to see photos they don't really care about or maybe feel mildly jealous about it. Well that's not really good, is it?. Or you get to read about, the latest things Aero some people for instance or angry about everything. It seems these days it seems in social media just becomes this big Echo chamber of the same opinion as you. But getting more outraged so it's not good to expose yourself to that too much. Limit your time on social media note to see you one of these just ways to do that is with something like a website blocker and I know of YouTube, a very good one for recent that we've been talk about and I think the way your works is very interesting andand very good. But it's up to you, what essential that you using one of those as well just so you can get stuff done and so that you're not feeling yourself and your day with, quiet frankie stuffs, which can be toxic to you and I'm not saying it's all demon claim. And your doom if your decide to go Facebook or Twitter or Google something not all, it's just about having an approach of motivation. Just everything in the right amount and I think that if you can limit the amount of somewhere on the phone and you can have some time you're own social media, news websites is for the best and it's amazing how quickly people begin to feel less anxious and less stressed and in general just bit more content day today when they start doing that.
Martin: [10:32] Well, what I see is if I talk to people one-on-one then it's the fear of missing out. I just want to check Facebook maybe there's something going on then too often times it's just an irrational fear but it's still a fear and the signs clearly shows that this feels real so how do you deal with this fear?
Alex: [10:52 ] Stop checking. Because here's the thing, well so it's natural that we want to be doing a good thing all the time shall we say right?, and it's also not true that we don't want to mess out on something and I can remember times when I was growing up.
[11:12] Definitely before social media is what it was today and you know your friends would be going out to see a gay gore band or something that you wouldn't hear about it and then the next day you feel. "Damn oh! I missed out on that! that was upsetting, yeah that sucks!". So a fear of missing out it is real thing how you stop it, is 2 vote for me don't. have it to begin with, so don't be checking. If someone's checking that phone or thinking "oh what I've been missing out?" or what? why aren't you enjoying way you are now? that's a much more interesting question to me what is ityou want to be different. What would stop you from what you worried about missing out on it and actually just ask yourself these questions and usually happens when people do that and then they stop going down that rabbit hole. I say is, they and they starts going “ “okay well why am I unsatisfied right now?”
[12:09] “ Why why do I want to leave this situation to go to anew one?”. when he wants you actually find something which is much more interesting you'll find a good answers to those questions. Which means that you can stop yourself from having that same thing next time because it may not be a fear of missing out and maybe a fear of doing what you're currently doing. We made the affair of living while you're currently living you know it. I don't think can anybody's expecting an invitation to the next red carpet event to Landon in a facebook inbox, right? is not that's not going to happen! so what are you afraid of missing out on? Ask yourself that question of why you're afraid of missing out on it? and you'll be able to engage with that much more rationally and then you have now less fear of missing out. Because you realize actually I'm just being a bit. I'd like this to happen and I can create that air, I can just enjoy where I'm here instead of something.
Martin: [13:05] I talked about this a lot in my verbal lives, about creating your own life and all the social media is just all this stuff you consume passively, but if you go out there and actually decide what was really valuable in life and then try to create this opportunities and go out there and make them. I think on you part talks about in this deep walk. The any benefit approach where of course yes you said Facebook can be useful but is the most useful use of your time.
[13:39] And often it's not, I'm only on it have to be for business. If it's that make sense you just can have any sorts of spending amount. It's interesting what you actually say there about, you look at Facebook and what's happening out there and you look at yourself and go and create that. Also what people have to remember is what's on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram is a highly addictive form of that person's life. We watch closely on issues come in here when you compare yourself to people your similar to there's no point in saying you and I compare ourselves to Christian Bale or Leonardo DiCaprio the two different to us they are two different the movie lifestylethousand millions of fans and wealth and only thing,I don't get jealous when I see Kristen Bell as a boss you babe, I friend so I went to school with living this amazing house and wife amazing parties, I'd feel a bit mad about myself cause I think I knew him when he was 12 and that's where Facebook can be quite damaging. When you see this people living in amazing life and you call the fear of missing out that you are not having that too well.[14:52] That's a highly addictive formula on that person's life s there's all the bad stuff that you don't see. The friend of mine once said this and I found this to be fairly accurate.Is the more people post positive things on Facebook the closer they are to having a really big problem. Most of they are that's going wrong, and it's true and there's something in that I believe
Martin: [15:15] Do you have any particular story where you noticed this in your life?.
Alex: [15:22] Oh gosh! yes! yes so is a few years ago and I was probably I was really not in my best place I think it's safe to say and there's a guy I went to school with and I just saw post a stuff not going to name him because you could probably find them on my friends list but this guy I went to school with, I didn't know him that well. But we knew we were in the same year but never really have any thoughts everything off him. Man I just saw your post up and you just bought this amazing house somewhere and he had a pretty girlfriend so I didn't have anyone at the time I was feeling very alone and very isolated actually and I just remember looking at this guy and I've done nothing worthwhile and all of is going wrong and I was looking I was just looking at this guy we were the same, we were so similar and you know we were the same age went to the same school we got some of the grades. I just remember thinking how am I doing a job I hateliving in a fast in London are too small is way too expensive without anybody to go home to just feeling miserable and I'm looking there and use it the sun's out in the house he just go with it. What's going on? and I remember just
[16:54] Absolutely feeling what the lowest form of life on earth about point in time and I think a few people will feel up from time to time. That's the time I really remember thinking I should probably stop spending so much time on Facebook cause the worst I found about myself the most time I was spending on Facebook.and it was only one I saw stop that. Then start to look at myself bit more which is a scary thing to do. I miss you when you start doing that when you actually start making good changes.
Martin: [17:23] So, are you sound you're still using Facebook for your business, so how are you dealing currently with your Facebook usage. How are you using Facebook?
Alex: [17:40] Interesting question! when I should really get much towards to what I tend to do. Because I have a Facebook page for my business. practically, Anxiety Solutions, I got have my Facebook page and you see people have sent me messages during the night or something that when my phone is away. Is a big tip, sleep your phone away from your bed to sleep with a lot of people put it on charge right by that bed and that's just nuts to me cuz you're trying to fall asleep in this WhatsApp messages or Facebook notifications going off move it to the other side of the room and if people say while I use as my alarm clock buying alarm clock for 10 bounds for 10 years whatever it is.
[18:20] So what I do is, I'll get up in the morning and I have my breakfast no right to do list out for the day and sort of, have first hour or so of my day. Technology and internet free and then I will out of that so Facebook and emails off the way I'll see I'll go through so different groups and stuff and see if people posted anything relevant for me and then off to that I just tend not to have it open. Now I'm at a point where it's just not something I got one, I got one it when I got a notification from somebody about something would should actually know how I speaking now you sent me a message and I got that notification so I'll go on when that comes up during the day. But it's not something that I do as soon as I've gone on them reply to the thing I've replied you like I just close and I've manage to trained myself . What I started doing was just having rigid times to use it I've see years ago but, was using a website blocker throughout the day to stop myself from going on it. That was specially use for work because I was at one company where if they caught you on Facebook at all during the day you were in big trouble, so that's what really came in. And then more more I just carried on using blockers and then I don't need any more search laptop, just forgot to install and then I didn't need anymore which is nice. so if you thinking about reducing it I just plan in three or four times during the day which for me would be a lot but plan those times in those the windows are checking Facebook and doing. What you want to do on that but the big question is why do you want to go on?. What you got going on that question? always be asking myself am I actually getting out being on here?.
Martin: [20:11] I've found for myself I do not have Facebook even on my mobile phone anymore. I do everything all the work that I need basically on my computer that's why I created myself well because that's where I am where I'm online, but just forcing myself to actually boot the computer and just having it in my office where I can still access all the sides and all the services and contact all the friends and people I want is so helpful because we're not seeing each other anymore and then that's really helpful for me,
Alex: [20:47] No,I think It would be helpful for everyone. I really do if you can shut the door and contain it contain the madness then that's a good thing.
Martin: [21:00] Is there anything I haven't asked you about developing your social anxiety and deal with it that you would like to share with our audience of all people suffering from social anxiety.
Alex: [21:12] Well I think we've approached in a really stress when a students talking things about technology which I think is so important. And I hope that the message is becoming clear throughout it but in case it hasn't I'll make it very clear now and I'll make it explicitly clear specifically about social anxiety or stress. And you're wondering what can I do about this there's a few things.
[21:40] People trying to tell you that you need to feel confident. It's about feeling better. Well it's not about feeling better that's the biggest lie the cell phone industry sell people it's about doing better , it's about being best performing better, it's about doing the things that you would do if you were better and that's the first thing I would ask because if you didn't have the problem if you didn't have social anxiety, Or you want overly stressed. We have the time that you want to tell you doing drop you want what you want. If you have what you have essentially, what would you be doing and a lot of times I ask people that don't go out that night because when you have a problem or you're thinking about how awfully it is to have a problem so that's never going to solve anything when people tell you just need to ask the universe to help you out so whatever it is on some awful awful awful thing manipulative exploitative things.
[22:39] What you need to do something okay if I didn't have social anxiety what would I be doing. Well I would do this, I would do that, okay! now how can we watch will doing that sort of thing and to really go into detail on this. Okay! what if I didn't have social anxiety, I wouldn't care what people think of me so much, big thing okay! So what makes you care what other people think of you, how do you know when people think? well if you want to use that judgement, I'm really understand that about yourself and I said that specifically cuz that goes back to something like Facebook and social media .Well I know I'm feeling good about myself and all that when I'm getting off lots of likes on facebook posses and all of this things. So you identify that how you know when you're going to be better and then you plan to do those things whenever you're in a situation that you don't happy with and you don't feel comfortable with, then why? what’s making yourself out of that? what you saying to yourself? And I'm really understand that and this is primary want to do with you want to people to learn more they can go to my page and see videos I’m making all these source of things. By the general overview the most important thing is to understand, Okay "How will I know when I'm better?" "How do I know I have my problem now? " move away from the actions that tell you have a problem now and move towards the actions that tells you don't have a problem anymore and if you can do that to the extend you end up solving the problem and it’s a bit more complicated now it's not easy it's simple but it's not easy so prepare to walk on it but if you do then things tend to get a lot better and quiet a lot faster than most people think they would actually.
Martin: [24:27] How long do you think it will take to get better.
Alex: [24:31] I've talked to people and we've done an hour together. And their whole life is changed in an hour. I watch the people while I've seen them for once a week for 8 weeks and it's only on the 8th week, they are at that place where they said “ You know, I don't feel I have that problem anymore” so it was really subjective. I think it's just about doing a bit better every day you can if that makes sense. Don't try to rush on and don't think that means this without the other it just means I am I doing something today I bet better if I did it I submitted it yesterday and if you are great and I think you should just keep. You should be on your own stick, I think.
Martin: [25:34] That's awesome! and I think there's so much advice coming on us from all different kind of sources, blog posts, internet gurus, Facebook . Sometimes people pay for this to get this information in front of you, sometimes you speak it out yourself but it's so much and I think in the end it's about making your own decisions maybe you do not want to be a famous actor or something, that maybe you were just. You're having a great life with your family or whatever building a small business, whatever it is.
Alex: [26:11] Exactly I think the embarrassment about the industries it sells the bake. It sells the bake sort of live this amazing life stalling. There’s a guy who I'm not gonna mention but he is one of the most Insidious exploitable awful people I've seen. He does a lot of videos, he targets young men, you should pull credit. And you should go and Incredibly nice expensive car in the background or a lot of gals around him and if you think about it, you know who the hell I'm talking about.
Martin: [26:46] Here at my garage!
Alex: [26:47] I'm not saying anything ! No I don;t know the name , That's super attractive personality. Tons of wealth, tons of business but that's not gonna make him any happier. I think it is time that people got to know what just about . What would be good for you and that is just going. I just like to go out and meet some new people and that's what you want to walk towards to. You don't want to feel you have to be the next Brad Pitt or whatever it is. But you just figure out what's right for you and you walks towards it.
Martin: [27:25] what final thoughts do you have to do to help people motivate yet to get the better life to get rid of anxiety and having creating this life that we talking about that developing or on which.
Alex: [ 27:41] So you know I do get very good at, just keep really understand what's going on in your own head and I think in a nice way to do that it's just a little. Sleep with a notebook beside your bed and every night before you go to sleep just think about what you've done well that day and haven't done well that day. I think about some of the things which may be causing your stress or anxiety and pick those apart, “okay! what happened here?” “ why was that so bad?”as opposed to something else I'm really get used to thinking and then picking up stuff apart cuz you see why you make mistakes and that's really useful then you can fix it.
[28:14] Losing mobile phone just got rid of it a couple of times a day just to get isolating yourself from that, isolate yourself from all social media. I want to text you say before we ended and this is a direct promotion for your blog about I see today andI think it works really well because I'm see somebody has to type in, you make it hard for people to go to the site of trying to access and the reason that's very good is because, usually the urge to go on that site is an impulse and it's a very strong emotional impulse and that's why people just find a way around very quickly and what I like about you or blocker is that introduces time gap and usually during that time people's logic and reasoning kicks in and then they can do the action which is better for them which is usually avoid the size whatever it is. So I really like that and I think that's a good tip just to expand, everywhere because let's say you're trying to stick to a diet right, and then you get the craving will you haven't eaten enough that day, and you getting a brew , but craving , then you walk faster, you see a chocolate bar well instead of going and buying it straight on it, just think, “ okay, I'm gonna count off 20 and if still want it as much by the end of 20 then maybe I'll go get it.” But just introducing a little time till I making it harder for yourself to to do the bad thing is usually good out there as well.
Martin: [29:31] Exactly that's why I do not have any sweets in my house that are just having the gap between me going to the store buying whatever I crave in the moment. it's enough time to get conscious again and say that it's not that important care more about my health when they are short on craving.
Alex: [29:55] And make it easy for yourself to do the good things. I'm leaving my car at gym which is 10 minutes away to join how much is for 2 minutes away. Making it easy for yourself to do the good things too.
Martin: [30:05] okay thank you Alex and please tell us how can people find out more about what you do and were can they find out about, I think you mentioned the website
Alex: [30:16] My website is www.practicalanxietysolutions.com or people can go to my Facebook page which is practical anxiety Solutions and on my Facebook page you'll see videos and blogs that sort of things when I when I decide to put them up I was just slightly it slightly less frequently than I feel I should but she does lots of advice videos and things on that or you can go on my website and find out bit more aboutMe and walking with me and my purchase on things.
Martin: [30:51] Okay awesome thank you for a great interview Alex!
Alex: [30:54] And thank you for having me!
About Alex MacLellan
- Alex is a London based certified IEMT (Integral Eye Movement Therapy) practitioner who specialises in anxiety disorders
- He is a certified Life Coach focusing on a method of coaching that is heavily reliant on cognitive behavioural tools and techniques.
- He is an experienced speaker and presenter who helps people building emotional resilience, reducing and managing stress and anxiety and teaches them to approach self-improvement "properly"
- He is able to help people to change incredibly quickly. Often times within just one hour or in a couple of sessions.
Learn more about how you can improve your results with major social anxiety and get to know more about Alex at Practical Anxiety Solutions
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