Skip to content

003. Excessive Worry: Signs and Solutions

Our conversation today is with the amazing Cordelia Gaffar. Cordelia is an Emotions Opener and Transformation Strategist that helps female change makers and entrepreneurs to lean into difficult emotions so they can show up brilliantly in the world. We discussed the issue of excessive worry ~ it signs and possible solutions.

You’ll  really enjoy this transformative session with Cordelia. You don’t want to miss it!

Episode Highlights with Cordelia Gaffar

  • We breakdown the difference between worry and excessive worry
  • We discuss when worry becomes unhealthy 
  • What people may experience with excessive worry
  • Possible solutions for excessive worry

Connect with Cordelia Gaffar: www.cordeliagaffar.com or @cordeliagaffar on instagram

Show Transcript

Introduction (1s):
Welcome to the Wellness Surge podcast with Dr. Adeola Oke. Each week we discuss our wellness journey with real people like you and me. We have conversations about food, fitness, mental health, financial wellness, and much more. So you can get back to the real you to make sure that you’re up to date with this and other wellness topics. Visit wellnesssurge.com. Information presented here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. Please do not apply any of the information presented here without first speaking with your primary care provider.

Introduction (31s):
Now let’s head on to the show.

Dr. Adeola Oke (42s):
Hello everybody. Welcome to the wellness search podcast. I am your host test. My name is Dr. Adeola Oke. And I had the wonderful Cordelia Gafar with us today. Say hello.

Cordelia Gaffar (56s):
Thank you for having me. It’s such a pleasure.

Dr. Adeola Oke (59s):
Alrighty. So today we’re going to be talking about excessive worry, all right. And signs and solutions. So Cordelia is going to be talking to us about that and she’s really into stuff like that and getting women, getting women where they need to be. And obviously men can also take some pointers from that, but she’s like we should reach their goals. And how can we do that without excessive worry? That’s what we’re going to try to talk about today. So take it away.

Cordelia Gaffar (1m 30s):
Yeah. You know, I, I want it to just say a couple of things because I thought, well, my realm of expertise is really with emotions and a lot of the women I work with, you know, they don’t identify with the vocabulary of depression. Right. And so that’s why, when you want it to talk to me, I was like, well, let me, you know, just use the word worry because we all know that we worry. Right. And what was interesting though, one, I just looked up recent studies.

Cordelia Gaffar (2m 1s):
I like to reference the Harvard medical journal. When you search on worry, there’s something that calls general, that’s called a general anxiety disorder. And it’s only believe it or not. It’s, it’s considered a men’s condition when I did the search on worry. And there things that came up in the medical and the Harvard medical journal or things like, why worry about your weight, why worry during menopause and stuff like that.

Cordelia Gaffar (2m 34s):
But the actual condition of worry as an anxiety or stress disorder is called GAD. And that’s associated with men who are middle aged. And I thought that was quite surprising. What do you think?

Dr. Adeola Oke (2m 48s):
Yeah, I think that’s quite interesting because I think we remain have I share fear award too. Right. So it’s interesting that in the psychological world, are mostly associated with men. I can kind of understand though, you know, maybe veterans, maybe major population being men. So the anxiety, maybe that may be a associated with it. Not sure.

Cordelia Gaffar (3m 15s):
Yeah I just thought it was striking anyway. I know that’s not really what we were talking about, but the other reason I’m using that is I didn’t even do a general Google search, but I’m just using that as an example, to be careful what you’re searching on the internet, you know, cause a lot of times when we worry about stuff, we have Dr.Google help us. And that just really gives us a downward spiral of other things to complicate our situation. So as far as, yeah, as far as excessive worry though, the, some of the things I I’ve come across with my clients is just, you know, the regular day to day are my, are my kids going to be, you know, successful?

Cordelia Gaffar (4m 5s):
I, especially now with COVID going on, they’re just like, Oh my gosh, you know, I’m not a stay at home mom, you know, I’m a professional mom and I don’t know how to homeschool my kids. And you know, my kids are just like watching TV all day. And so here’s the thing, you know, I’ve homeschooled my six kids for 16 years. And you know, at some point in there, you know, some of them have gone to school, private school, public school, Islamic school, whatever, you know, but there’s always a period of D schooling that has to happen.

Cordelia Gaffar (4m 40s):
So we were all in shock, right. Adults and children alike when one day we’re going to school and I think was it even, was it Sunday night or Monday night? It was just like, okay, don’t come back. We’re going to figure out how you can do your stuff. You know? And that’s like a shock to the system. It’s just like, wait a minute. And so let me just pause with the wait a minute piece, right. That isn’t, that is an opportunity to literally just wait a minute.

Cordelia Gaffar (5m 12s):
Yeah. Pause. They haven’t figured out what it is that we were supposed to do at that point. Right. So rather than worry that your kids are gonna, you know, have some decline in their education or you’re not going to be able to do all the things just don’t do anything, you know, it’s an opportunity to be still. And whether we’re dealing, whether we’re talking about COVID or anything else. Oh my gosh. Is it Lao? Lao Tzu or, yeah, I think it’s Lao Tzu something like, if you don’t have anything to worry about why worry?

Cordelia Gaffar (5m 50s):
Right. And then if you have something to worry about why worry about it because in the end you’re only in present moment.

Dr. Adeola Oke (5m 58s):
Yes.

Cordelia Gaffar (5m 59s):
Just be still

Dr. Adeola Oke (6m 2s):
True, true, true. Yeah. So, wow. Yeah, absolutely. If you have nothing to worry about why worry. Why had that excess, excess burden on yourself, the mental stress, and we all know that worry has like effects physical effects on the body and when you, like, you’re dealing with the people. So yeah. That’s something to think about. Yeah. So is there like a difference between like excessive worry and just like plain old worry, like day to day worry?

Dr. Adeola Oke (6m 33s):
Like, is there anything, is there a big difference and is there like a difference in like how it makes the body feel kind of thing?

Cordelia Gaffar (6m 40s):
Yeah. So with excessive worry, you’ll always have a, like you’re breathing, you won’t be able to control it. You know, you’ll always be short of breath. It may feel like you have a headache. You won’t be able to sleep at night. You’ll do things, normal things mindlessly, like when we should sit down and eat, right. It’s not any event it’s kind of like you’re eating and scrolling, right?

Cordelia Gaffar (7m 14s):
You don’t, you’re never present with anything. So with excessive worry, there’s always mind racing, heart racing, headaches, body aches, most common body aches that I hear of with excessive worry is back of neck shoulders. Right. Because a lot of the worry is concerning who we need to take care of what we need to do and how we need to present in the world.

Cordelia Gaffar (7m 44s):
Mmm. When there is more of a like regular, regular worry, what am I trying to say? Like if it’s, if it’s more to do with things that you want in your life, you’re going to have more of the lower back pain and hip pain, because this is the area where we feel unsupported emotionally or financially.

Cordelia Gaffar (8m 14s):
But, and, and then another thing with excessive worry, you may have lots of knee pain or ankle pain. So your knees on the right side is usually associated with ego and on the left side is associated with pride.

Dr. Adeola Oke (8m 31s):
Hmm. Interesting. I never heard that one before. Hmm.

Cordelia Gaffar (8m 35s):
Yeah. Hmm. So yeah, the, the way, so I deal with the different energy centers in our body. And so each, each area has to do with your relationship either with yourself or with your outside world. So as we work our way down into the body, it becomes more about who we believe we are and are our basic human needs. And other, you know, as we move up in the body, it’s more about how we relate to others.

Cordelia Gaffar (9m 6s):
And even when it comes to our head, it’s how we relate, you know, like spiritually. So people who are excessively worry, if you’re Muslim, you may have trouble praying or, I mean, you don’t have to be Muslim. Anybody, you know, who follows a religion, you may find it difficult to stay focused in prayer. Right?

Dr. Adeola Oke (9m 25s):
Yeah. Yeah. And so that, that’s a big deal though, because if you’re not able to be present just constantly, just mindless, mindlessly, doing things, I can even think about it in case of one scenario. Right. So when it comes to eating right. Mindlessly eating, we just stuff it, stuff the face without thinking, Oh my gosh, I need to stop right now. It’s just because like, ah, I have so many things to worry about. I may just stop it without appreciating the food or even taking the time to figure out what am I eating?

Dr. Adeola Oke (10m 0s):
Right. What am I eating?

Cordelia Gaffar (10m 3s):
Isn’t a thing it’s, it’s just like, it, it’s not even a thing where it’s like, it’s lunchtime, let me shovel it in. It’s just like, Oh, what am I going to do? Right. Because the, the eating is now self-medicating practice and it’s not about the nutrition. It’s not about the choice, you know?

Dr. Adeola Oke (10m 27s):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. So it’s very interesting. So you say, when you’re worrying about other people, it’s more, you feel the stress and the shoulder area. Right. And when it’s more about you, it’s only in the back interests. Well in the back and the knee area, I’m in the knee is associated with pride. All right. Oh, ego. Right. It’s pride.

Cordelia Gaffar (10m 51s):
One side is inside his ego. And it is hips and lower back.

Dr. Adeola Oke (10m 58s):
Alrighty. So now that we know all of this, is there some things that hope, what can we do about it? Right. What can we do about it holistically?

Cordelia Gaffar (11m 6s):
Yeah. 100%. So like, first of all, it’s, it’s easy enough to say, to be still, but to actually do that, there there’s a couple of things and my process, which I call replenish me, I take women through release, restructure, refresh, and rebirth. So release is okay. Obvious, but not so obvious because these are kind of the subconscious things that have occurred most likely at the earliest point in our existence, between the ages of zero and five and to get rid of that subconscious stuff, you have to really move into your body.

Cordelia Gaffar (11m 45s):
And so some of the things I do at the beginning stages are just that noticing your breath, right? How are you breathing? Mmm. And touching, moving into your body. Right. And then noticing where your body won’t allow you to move. Right. And so when I, when I have them first breathe into their body, it’s just, I, you know, normally everyone’s always like, Oh, take some deep breaths.

Cordelia Gaffar (12m 18s):
I’ve had people choke trying to take deep breaths. Cause it’s like that when you have excessive worry. So I don’t invite you to do that. I just want you to notice the normal rhythm of your breath, you know, and, and just quiet yourself by closing your eyes and listening or feeling it. And if it’s hard for you to listen or feel it, then I invite you to touch your chest, you know? So you can like actually feel your lungs and like touch your diaphragm. Right. Cause that’s where we can feel our expansion and contraction.

Cordelia Gaffar (12m 53s):
So if we’re breathing correctly, when you inhale your chest and your stomach should expand, right. And a lot of times as women, we always want to keep the belly in, but let’s face it. A lot of mindless eating our bellies are not in any way. So just like, who cares? Just let that belly out, you know? And then when you exhale, everything should go back in, right? So that’s the proper breathing. And if you watch a baby, you’ll see, that’s the way they breathe.

Cordelia Gaffar (13m 26s):
Right. All this comes out and then it, it goes back in and after noticing that then, you know, moving into the body. So when I say move into the body, like literally like moving your shoulders, I’m moving at a diagonal into one hip and then the other, and with, you know, bending your knees at the same time. And as you’re doing that, you can, you can kind of feel if you have more tension in your shoulders or not to release that.

Cordelia Gaffar (13m 58s):
This is when I have people to raise their arms and move like in a circular motion, the arms above the head and do the same thing simultaneously, if you can, with your waste. And then you can identify where the, the, the most effected energy center in your body, and then we can get to work. So a lot of the, I, I do what I call release our, you know, meetups, right?

Cordelia Gaffar (14m 30s):
And in these release meetups, a lot of the women, we will use like music with drum beat because I have them follow the drum with their shoulders and their hips. Right. And that does two things. So apparently the, the drum with the skin, right. It actually have been proven to just even hearing it. Now, the studies have been done where the people are in the same room with the drum, but I’ve done this remotely and it does the same thing.

Cordelia Gaffar (15m 3s):
So just that drum beat, it can reduce and reverse the effects of trauma and the body and, and help to start repair the neurological system. And the interesting thing about that is the movements I use are a blend of Essentrix, which is actually a healing modality for injured, like Olympic athletes. But it also strengthens and it recharges the mitochondria in your muscle cells.

Cordelia Gaffar (15m 35s):
And it reconnects that conversation between the nervous system and the, your, your muscles, you know, your, the, the, your ability to be flexible. So it, it actually even helps with the neuroplasticity of your brain. So a lot of the people, not only like Olympic champions, but also like older people that have been diagnosed with years of arthritis, they find that they age backwards.

Cordelia Gaffar (16m 5s):
However, you can still use these movements and blend it with African dance to African drum and release old trauma in the body.

Dr. Adeola Oke (16m 17s):
Wow. I feel like I want to do something a little bit and get my word all replenished. I was like, Oh my God, seriously that I know that blue. Okay.

Cordelia Gaffar (16m 32s):
Oh. And like some of the movement I was showing that day. I don’t know if you remember that, but yeah. So that’s, that’s what that is about. And then once we know what energy center we’re dealing with, and most often, I don’t know how to say this PC. I’m just going to say it directly. But a lot of the Muslim women that I work with there, their most effected energy center is around the diaphragm and the stomach area. So this is the fear and anger center of the body.

Cordelia Gaffar (17m 6s):
And what I think is striking about that is if you study to sell off a lot of purifying the soul, right purification of the heart, it’s all about how to deal with anger in the way that it was me. It was revealed to be dealt with. I know we’re familiar with all of the Hadith about if you’re angry, you know, change your position and all that. This is true, but there’s a deeper study behind that. Like many of the pages of <inaudible> is really all about when anger comes, it has a purpose.

Cordelia Gaffar (17m 45s):
And rather than burying that inside your body and causing yourself trauma, right? We have digestive problems. Alhamdulillah for Ramadan that does cure a lot of it. But at the same time, what if you could have Ramadan every single day, just by the way, you’re understanding your anger. So now, you know, Islam encourages us to study. So scientifically our emotions only last about 90 seconds.

Cordelia Gaffar (18m 16s):
So I’m not saying to yell and scream at people when you get angry. I’m just saying, when it hits you stand, well, change your position. So if you’re sitting, maybe stand up to ground yourself, and if you’re, you know, standing already sick to ground yourself, but when you’re doing that, don’t resist the anger, but also don’t act on it, just be with it. Right? Because the thing about anger is when it comes, it doesn’t have words, does it?

Cordelia Gaffar (18m 52s):
No, no. None of our emotions really have words, right? No, sometimes it’s just tears. Sometimes it’s just, *gasping sounds*right. Sometimes it’s just like, let me pick up something and throw it. This is why we’re supposed to change our position. So you don’t pick up something and throw it. So you changed your position, be with it. And then just let the words come. Okay. These are the three questions you ask yourself. What happened that triggered my anger?

Cordelia Gaffar (19m 25s):
Why is this a triggering? Even for me, what story do I associate with this? Okay. And this will allow you to come up with the wisdom behind that so we can apply this also to worry, right? Cause the other side of worry, which also affects that same energy center, because worry is the fear, right? Is why am I worried about this? What’s the triggering event here and what, what’s the, what’s the lesson.

Cordelia Gaffar (20m 3s):
And now replace that with the possibilities. When we think in terms of possibilities, it’s easier for us to, to lean into love, right? So the opposite of fear is love. Yes, opposite. This is how we heal it with compassion …and the compassion has to come inside first. That’s why we have to recognize what was the triggering event.

Cordelia Gaffar (20m 33s):
Did it make me feel unsafe? Is that why I worry all the time? When I see the refrigerator empty, even though I have a bank account full of money, a car with gas in it, right. And that the roads are working. So can just jump in my car and go to the grocery store instead of being like, ‘Oh my God, we’re going to starve to death’, you know? Okay. So maybe you have like a meeting and maybe the kids have a test, but neither one of you’re going to be able to function if you don’t have the proper nutrition.

Cordelia Gaffar (21m 4s):
So guess what? I’m not going to make that meeting. And you’re going to take your test later and turn the compassion towards self. So in this release phase, this is where we’re learning. Self-compassion instead of worrying about all the things…Stop. Lean into it. Understand why you’re feeling this way and then nurture yourself with love.

Cordelia Gaffar (21m 37s):
What is it that I truly need in this moment? What is going to make it all better?

Dr. Adeola Oke (21m 43s):
Hmm. Hmm. I feel like I need to take one of your classes has, like, I need some, I need some release and all that. Seriously. I’m not joking. That’s all I’m thinking about right now. Like we can all use some proper anger management and really as much as you could, we have a house full of kids, like mine five. I’m sure you have six.

Cordelia Gaffar (22m 15s):
Well, there’s only five at home right now. One’s out.

Dr. Adeola Oke (22m 19s):
Okay. Yeah. So I have a house full of five kids and can be a little trying to spear real, so yes. Okay, good. Wow. Wow. Wow. Seriously. I that’s. That’s just amazing. Okay. So, so this is, that’s how you feel like we can deal with excessive worry. So what… we’ve talked a lot today, right? What is one thing that you want to make sure that if you did not get anything from all you’ve said, what is one thing that they should take from this session?

Cordelia Gaffar (22m 54s):
I always think in terms of the possibilities.

Dr. Adeola Oke (22m 58s):
Mm yes. I take some, I do some self development and we, every time we start, we like, what are you the possibility of? So I am the possible. So like, I totally get it. Like, I am the possibility of this and he just, it grounds you, it makes you feel more alive. So I’m the possibility power of compassion. And I can totally see that you make sense. It makes sense. Absolutely. Alrighty, Ms. Cordelia, thank you so much! So how can people get in touch with you after the show?

Cordelia Gaffar (23m 30s):
Yeah, so I love to get emails from people and you can reach me at hello, Cordeliagaffar.com. That’s G a F F a R. And website is Cordelia ghafar.com. And of course I’m everywhere on social media as well. Under my name. Also, if you know, specifically you align with what I was talking about. I do have a replenish and boost your immune system boot camp that I do on the 25th of every month.

Cordelia Gaffar (24m 8s):
And then, so obviously the next one would start on May 25th and it’s just for five days, we go over, this is more the restructure step, which I didn’t talk about where we create better habits with our sleep thoughts, the food that we eat and how we eat it movement and our emotions.

Dr. Adeola Oke (24m 29s):
Oh, wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. That was a powerful session, right? Always think in terms of the possibilities. I know it works because I do it another session. So yes, that is something you should all takeaway. So thank you so much for your time. Thank you all for listening. We appreciate you. You all have a wonderful week. Bye bye.

Cordelia Gaffar (24m 51s):
Bye.

Ending (24m 56s):
Join our Wellness Surge Facebook community so that you can implement what we learned together. I am because you are thank you for listening and sharing your precious time with us. If you enjoy the show, then follow us and subscribe on iTunes, YouTube, or any app that carries podcasts, have an awesome week. Best wishes to see you thrive.