People experience the benefits of aging gracefully when they hold onto positive beliefs and manage ‘stinking thinking.’

—Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP, FGSA, FAAN

Did you know that anxiety and depression are two major mental health problems affecting older adults today, according to the World Health Organization? What’s even more intriguing is how they often go hand in hand, making their impact even more overwhelming.

It’s only natural for us to wish these feelings away and strive for a happier state of mind all the time.

However, our guest expert, Dr. Carrie Johansson, introduces us to the concept of psychological flexibility, which is essentially about accepting reality as it is (rather than how we want it to be) and effectively managing our emotional responses. Doing so can determine our next best steps toward a better state of mind.

Join us in this week’s episode as we delve into brain health, The Power of Psychological Flexibility, and more! ▶️

✔️Feeling anxious? No need to fight it!

When you experience anxiety or feel down, resisting the feeling only makes it stronger. So, the first step is not to force yourself to relax; instead, it’s just the opposite.

Dr. Carrie recommends paying attention to the fact that you’re feeling low or extremely nervous about something. Acknowledging our emotions has a powerful impact, often reducing their intensity by about half.

✔️Imagine your emotions are like little kids having tantrums inside your body

Just by labeling the emotion you’re experiencing, it’s like giving attention to a child. Ignoring them only leads to more dramatic behavior. However, when you acknowledge them, gently reassure them, and let them know you are aware of them, you begin to understand their presence.

✔️What is Psychological Flexibility?

Dr. Carrie defines this as a fancy term for a simple meaning, which is having the ability to be nimble and roll with what life is giving you. “A lot of times we get stuck on. I’m going to feel better when: I find the perfect husband, my kids move out of the house, I finally have kids, have more money, lose 10 pounds… YOU NAME IT.

Everybody’s always waiting for the utopia to determine that that’s when they will feel good. And the trick is that actually isn’t what makes us feel good. So what makes us feel good is being able to have the skills and the resiliency to face life’s difficulties and life successes.”

✔️What is Psychological Rigidity?

Psychological rigidity is the opposite of psychological flexibility. It’s when you insist that your life should only follow your exact desires and expectations. You become tense and inflexible when things don’t go as planned.

✔️Curiosity and Creativity

Becoming mentally flexible revolves around curiosity. It involves being open to what’s happening, both the good and the bad. It means assessing the current reality without rigidly holding onto expectations. This curiosity empowers you to find ways to move forward, whether it’s finding excitement in the situation or figuring out how to change it. It’s about being open to creative approaches when you’re not happy with your reality and make positive changes.

Dr. Carrie Johansson specializes in treating anxiety and trauma, based on the idea that you’re not broken but life can get real tricky sometimes. She gives you proven tactics to manage issues and move forward. Reach out for in-depth therapy, or start by reading her book, Self Help on the Go, available on Amazon.

#anxiety #health #wellness #hope #mindset #support #positivity #mentalhealth #mindfulness #depression #healing #thisisgettingold #melissabphd



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About Melissa:

Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN, FNP, FGSA, FAAN. I am a nurse, nurse practitioner, nurse educator and nurse researcher with over 25 years of experience in the aging and long-term care healthcare space. You can visit my website at to learn more about me, how you can work with me directly,
and/or support future episodes of the podcast. Within the first 18 months of launching this podcast, we reached a ranking of top 10% globally. I have all of you who’ve been with me on this journey so far to thank for that!

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Find out more about her work HERE.