[00:00:42] Amanda: Hey guys. Welcome back to the podcast. I am Amanda
[00:00:45] Laura: I am Laura.
[00:00:46] Kendra Morrison: And I'm Kendra.
[00:00:47] Amanda: and here is my reminder to rate and review the podcast. I have one to share with you from one Fall Gal. It says, five stars. Thank you for creating a podcast that is an easy listen. I have listened to five shows and they each had something insightful and encouraging. One fall gal, thank you so much. just when you leave those ratings and reviews, it helps other people find us. So, and you know, there's a lot of people that need to hear this stuff, so thank you for doing that and sharing that with your friends. Today is a topic near and dear to my heart. I spent way too much time. Experiencing work dread.
[00:01:22] Amanda: So today's we're gonna talk about it and if even if we can save you one day of work, dread, it would be well worth it to discuss this topic.
[00:01:30] Kendra Morrison: We are so glad you guys find us and rate and review us, but also, you know, tell your friends and your colleagues. 'cause we do try to touch on topics that. We all experience and that you might even know that you have. But now we're getting, giving you some words to put with it.
[00:01:47] Kendra Morrison: So we love our Brene Browns Atlas of the Heart. So this is derived from that. And we'll start by defining kind of what dread is why it brings up so, so much anxiety and angst. And then we'll kind of go into what we can do about it. So, Brene Brown says, dread occurs frequently in response to a high probability negative event. Its magnitude increases as the dreaded event draws narrower. So basically dread just Makes that anticipated negative event just amplified. So we kind of call it like we're pre reliving the dread. So maybe, or maybe not the perceived negative event might or might not happen. We are so wrapped up in predicting that it will be negative, that we can spin out into this anxiety, into this angst. You can cause yourself to have physical symptoms. We hear this a lot in clients, like, you know, especially if you're off shift and then you're looking forward to like a string of nights or just a string of shifts with a certain colleague or something like that, that you are just. Already, you just came off, you know, three or four shifts and you're already looking ahead to like, oh gosh, what is the future? Going, you know, the future is looking dim. What's that song that says the future is not looking bright? Right. I gotta wear shades,
[00:03:11] Kendra Morrison: right? And Amanda, she talks about this a lot. I, I did have this, a lot in as much as I pre-live the dread. Because I was like, those night shifts were so hard being like a two physician family and a mom and knowing that I was going to come up on some night shifts and it's so difficult when you have two young kids you guys know, like just trying to balance everything.
[00:03:31] Kendra Morrison: Like I was pre reliving how terrible the next three days and nights were gonna be. 'cause I knew I wouldn't get enough sleep trying to bounce the kids. My nanny. You know, my husband not being around 'cause he had to work and all of the things. So I'm not sure if I actually dreaded the actual shifts. Just everything that culminated in having to sacrifice and suffer through three night shifts that everything else around it too. So I would kind of send myself into a tizzy and everyone around me would know it. At the time, my kids, I think were too young to remember, thank God. But my husband was like, well, I'm staying away So, but it's really just perceiving a threat that's in the future. And what's good about it is because we can actually reframe the thought and think about, wait. Maybe that might not be so bad. Like maybe that shift with that colleague turns out to be okay. Maybe they flip the script and they're actually enjoyable to work with.
[00:04:23] Kendra Morrison: Or maybe that night shift ends up being, dare I say, quiet, you know, or maybe not so bad and it's full of shenanigans and it's actually, I. Fun. But we do wanna differentiate the difference between like, feeling that dread of like a perceived negative event in the future from fear. And fear is not that that perceived, you know, dread can't develop into fear, but fear is actually a, a threat in the present. So when you have that fight or flight or you feel those of fear, that's really 'cause that perceived threat is in the here and now. It's your. Amygdala hijack. It's your fight or flight that's like, right now I'm perceiving a threat and we gotta, you know, what was that? Fight, flight, freeze or fawn.
[00:05:02] Kendra Morrison: So that's, that's that decision you have to make in the now this is all kind of future tripping in which we can talk about too, like what might happen in the future. It's, it's safety now, but threat in the future. Now, sometimes when we talk about dread, we can, it actually can be a good thing because it may encourage you to like, prepare in a certain way. So for my, in my case. One of the things that kind of helped me, I guess looking back, was just knowing that I'm gonna line up the nanny, I'm gonna take care of what I need to take care of tomorrow on my day off, like as far as errands or computer work or just anything else. that I don't even have to worry about it in three days from now when I'm like, brain is off and I'm just surviving, like sleeping when I can and like seeing my kids when I can and the husband when I can and whatever. So I did use that dread to basically give me, I, I don't know, like that, that push to like get things done now or on my day off or whatever to actually prepare for those next three days. And that's helpful. Um. No. Did it give me like downtime and time to recharge and refuel and refresh myself? No, But I will say it did take the edge off when knowing that I would go into those three days knowing my kids are taken care of, food's in the fridge, somebody's gonna be there to fix it, I can sleep and you know, everybody's taking care of. So that prepare, that, that dread did a little bit prepare me in that. However, I still was dreading, you know. What those three days were gonna be like, and that suffering on my day off did not allow for me to actually be present in the moment, or even just be able to read a book or just sit and think, or just do some meditation or do anything just to be present in the moment. It actually robbed me of the time that I had. And the days off that I didn't use wisely. And so looking back, it, it did probably contribute somewhat to when I burn out. So, so being present is key If you spend your time, and energy instead of refreshing or refueling yourself, imagining terrible things in the future, and you're bringing it into your now, then this isn't helping and you're literally spending that time over and over again, re reliving, pre reliving, and reliving what the literally the worst case scenario is. And even if the shift turns out fine, it doesn't help because by the time you get there, and the shift ends up being fine. You're so exhausted from all the mental and, and sometimes physical energy that you spend it pre reliving it and, and future tripping about it, that you're so exhausted afterwards. And then the cycle c re returns, the cycle comes back, it comes back when, when you haven't addressed this properly. So instead of doing that on my time off to be present in the moment, recharge, refocus. Reactivate all the things I need to do, take care of myself. On those times off, I just moved from one dread into the recovery of the dread into the next dread, and it was just that cycle. So, we'll talk a little bit about like how the antidote to this, but, but part of what I think sucks a lot of our energy and our time and our emotional strength is just, you know. Thinking about those things that may not be, while it may serve us on shift, because yes, as soon as we hear that EMS phone go off, or as soon as we hear overhead, you know, medical alert, room three, whatever, of course we're gonna immediately go to, oh my gosh, this is worst case scenario.
[00:08:26] Kendra Morrison: We have to, that's er, that's our ER doc's job is to always think of worst case scenario, but we gotta learn how to turn it off when we're not immediately on shift and actively taking care of. Possibly a worst case
[00:08:38] Laura: Yeah, I I had to laugh out loud at this definition. Dread occurs frequently in response to high probability
[00:08:45] Laura: negative events.
[00:08:46] Amanda: Yeah. No one's saying it's
[00:08:48] Amanda: not going. Yeah. I, I mean, that's the thing. We're not trying to pretend like it might not be a dumpster fire when we get there. It certainly might be. But why are you ruining your time
[00:08:58] Laura: Right,
[00:08:58] Kendra Morrison: That's the big point.
[00:09:00] Laura: And I think this is really common. I totally used to do this constantly, and you think it's useful, but it's not. And it's like you said, Kendra, it really is just like you really do take energy to think and especially to feel the emotions related to those thoughts. And it does wear you out. So. When we realize that we can choose what thoughts we think we can change that whole scenario, work can't force us to think, think about it, we're obsess about it. Like we, we don't have to think about it. Even that jerk consultant can't make us think about him or her on our time off. And we, like, we don't even have to think about them that long when we're at work, but if we're really thinking about them at home, like, what?
[00:09:50] Laura: Why are we bringing that person home with us? Like,
[00:09:53] Laura: I don't wanna be in the same room with that kind of energy, like, but I'm bringing it home when I'm thinking about it. So.
[00:10:00] Kendra Morrison: Chances are they're not bringing us home
[00:10:02] Amanda: Nope. They don't even
[00:10:03] Amanda: know you're all worked
[00:10:04] Kendra Morrison: thinking about the 30 consults, the, the 30 calls from the er. They're not, I mean, they may be conglomerate bringing them home like, ah, the ER as a whole, but they're definitely not saying that Dr.
[00:10:15] Laura: So as Amanda likes to say, our care bear stare of hatred from our house was nothing like, it Does nothing.
[00:10:22] Amanda: not going anywhere.
[00:10:23] Laura: just makes
[00:10:24] Laura: us feel terrible. So like saying goes for like if there's some political figure you can't stand like. Giving them space in your brain, like, why are we giving these people who produce such negative emotion for us? So much real estate in our brain like that it doesn't seem like it's in our best interest. So, and they don't think about us, so let's just not think about them either. How about that?
[00:10:49] Laura: So our goal when we're. Truly, we feel more fulfilled in life. We feel more content. The more we can be present wherever we are, it doesn't mean we don't plan for the future, but when we can be present and enjoy the present moment and soak all that living up.
[00:11:07] Laura: 'cause we know that the present moments all we really are guaranteed. Things are just gonna go better. We're gonna feel better, we're going to have a better experience in life. And the same is true for here. So when we find ourselves thinking about these jokers at work, or thinking about, you know, what our experience is gonna be like there, it's useful to bring ourselves back to the present moment.
[00:11:30] Laura: What's happening right now? What is in your. Current environment, what can you see? What are the noises you can hear? And this is so fascinating to me because as you start listening, you can maybe hear one or two noises, but if you stay present and keep listening, you'll be amazed. All the different noises you can hear. Who are the people with you? What do they mean to you? And. If you only have this moment with them, how do you wanna experience that? Are there any smells? Is there anything beautiful that you haven't noticed before in your field of vision? And I'm gonna argue that there's probably lots of beauty all around that we miss all the time. So when Mel Robbins is all worked up, she puts her hand on her heart and repeats, I'm okay. I'm safe. I'm loved, and I, I love this. I've been listening to Joe Bolty Taylor's whole brain living book, and is speaking directly to that left emotional brain, that part of our brain that. Is is doing us a favor.
[00:12:30] Laura: It's trying to keep us safe. It's trying to help us remember things that hurt us in the past or cause pain in the past so that we can, it's telling you that work caused you pain in the past and you shouldn't go back. That's what it's saying. But, we know.
[00:12:48] Kendra Morrison: Why don't we listen? Oh, the brain's fantastic. It's
[00:12:53] Laura: we tell that part of our brain we're safe, we're loved work is actually okay, there's actually things about work that are not terrible and are not going to actually kill us. So the way we can, we can calm ourselves down and Mel Robbins does it as many times as she needs to, to come back to the present, to this moment, In this moment, all of these things are true. It's very unusual for us not to be actually physically safe, but our brain thinks that we're not safe, like constantly. So learning how to tell our brain, it's okay, little buddy, we're fine. I, I see you. I know you want to go hide under a cozy blanket and watch Real Housewives and eat Halloween candy or whatever, but. We're gonna go to work so that we can continue to have our electricity and our Netflix subscription so that you can have what you need or want. Anyway.
[00:13:46] Amanda: Bless
[00:13:47] Laura: Bless it. Bless the little,
[00:13:49] Laura: it's so, it's funny, Joe Bolty Taylor recommends naming the different parts and. we're gonna obviously talk about her a lot later, but but naming the different parts of your brain,
[00:13:59] Kendra Morrison: She's coming on.
[00:14:00] Laura: and I think it, have either of you guys named your left emotional brain yet?
[00:14:04] Amanda: I haven't, I just have stolen her names, but I, I need to do that someday.
[00:14:16] Laura: Alex, so my daughter named hers Madam Mim, which is like thisDisney character who's like this witch who goes around just like complaining and casting bad spells everywhere. And kind of like, what what's happening with the work dread. Like, everything's horrible. so horrible at work. I'm gonna make it horrible at home. Thanks. Thanks for that.
[00:14:32] Amanda: yeah, that, that brings me into this last point, which is um, it used to feel disingenuous to me to like try to look on the bright side when, when there was such a high probability of something terribly going wrong. But here is what I started considering, is that the past is over. We can bring it into our present moment When we think about it, it's the only place where it's real is if I'm bringing it into my present.
[00:15:00] Amanda: It's the same with the future anxiety and dread. Is considering a future that isn't pleasant, both how can I possibly know what really is going to happen? And so if I'm going to use my imagination. What is the harm of thinking? What if it all works out? Great. If I'm not doing anything useful with my dread, this thought, what if it all works out great, feels so much better.
[00:15:26] Amanda: And so with our clients, I like to, to offer frequently when, when, and, and I've been there multiple times myself in a cycle of work. Dread. How is it serving you? And almost never is it serving us. So then if it's fake anyway, what is the harm of thinking what if it all works out great? It feels so much better in the present.
[00:15:47] Amanda: And who's to say sometimes work wasn't bad? Sometimes work was pretty funny. I certainly got lots of party stories out of. Work and what, what if that's gonna be another? What if I'm gonna have a great shift? Who knows? I mean, it might be a small percentage, but who's to say it couldn't happen? And I feel so much better in my, in my present when I choose that thought as opposed to the other.
[00:16:10] Amanda: I made a deal with myself when I realized that I was ruining my experience outside of work. One thought that serves me particularly well is that if it all goes south at work. I can trust that I'll deal with it then I'm not doing anything that is particularly useful outside of work. Thinking about it if I were then great, I would keep it.
[00:16:30] Amanda: But if it's gonna be an awful shift, I certainly only need to live it once. I don't need to pre-live it and physically feel the feelings of, you know. All those negative feelings that I was experiencing outside of work, I definitely don't need to, to pre-live it over and over and over. If work is gonna go south, let's just do it one time.
[00:16:52] Amanda: Pre reliving it multiple times only distracted me from everything else in, in my life that I loved. And so that's just the deal I made with myself. I don't know if that helps you or not. But it really did help me like.
[00:17:04] Laura: Can I add
[00:17:05] Laura: one
[00:17:05] Amanda: it's not happening now.
[00:17:06] Laura: Yeah.
[00:17:07] Laura: Let me add one thing, if that's okay. So one thing that helps me also is. You know, sometimes like my brain will reject something. Like, what if it all turns out great? My brain will be like, no, no, no. It's, it's gonna, it's not like, but coming to something in between, like it is possible that I will make a difference in someone's life.
[00:17:29] Laura: Today at work, it is possible that I'll make a human connection that will be meaningful. possible that I will enjoy being with my coworkers. It's, it's possible. It's not all gonna be a complete dumpster fire, although sometimes that's really not believable, even.
[00:17:47] Amanda: Yeah, I, I can imagine what if it works out great? Meaning like, I'll make it through this. You know, it just depends. But if it doesn't, but that's an excellent point. If it does not feel true in your body, please don't lie to yourself. Let's come up with something that I. Calms your nervous system down but is so much more useful than imagining the dumpster fire.
[00:18:05] Laura: looks like Kay got frozen, you know, she's out.
[00:18:09] Laura: With the cows, and sometimes her Internet's glitchy, but she says, click the link below to join our email list. If you're not already receiving our weekly, well check There's so much value in those weekly well checks when my partners write them.
[00:18:23] Laura: I'm always learning something actually when I write 'em too. We're always learning something new, so we hope you are too. And just in time for the new year and after the holiday binge, we will be live for our free class on overcoming over whatever, learning some tips and tricks to help you overcome whatever it is that you do too much of. Join us on Wednesday, December 27th at noon Central. To learn about better ways to handle our emotions, visit our
[00:18:53] Laura: website.
[00:18:54] Amanda: this top, sorry, this, this topic today when I would be living in dread. I would reach for some chips
[00:19:00] Amanda: or try to distract myself with social media, or it's any, it's all the same principle. Overcoming over whatever might not be the most, like, you might not understand, or it might not be clear what we're talking about, but all of these numbing out behaviors where we're scrolling more or eating more or drinking more or gambling more or all of these things is an attempt to.
[00:19:23] Amanda: Fix a negative emotion.
[00:19:25] Amanda: And so we're gonna show you why that's happening and then what you can do about it.
[00:19:28] Laura: 100% and I'll, we'll put a link to that webinar in the show notes as well, or you can go to our website www.thewholephysician.com to get more information. So until next time, you are whole. You are a gift to medicine and the work you do matters.