Reinvented After 40 with Kym Showers | Anxiety Isn’t a Problem

For the bulk of my life, I thought experiencing negative emotions was a problem. Whether anxiety, fear, or overwhelm, I used to think something was wrong with me or that I had to push them away… until I learned that to get everything I’ve ever wanted, I had to welcome them in instead of running away from them. 

If, like me, you’re in a season of saying big, hearty yeses to your dreams and goals, welcoming and befriending anxiety is a vital skill you must cultivate. The great news is that the presence of anxiety isn’t a problem. It’s just a sign that you’re living a big life, and I’m showing you how to take charge of your anxiety in this episode. 

Join me this week as I show you why anxiety isn’t a problem and how I choose to navigate my anxiety. I’m sharing what happens when we feel our feelings instead of pushing them away, how I’ve learned to address the fears my brain offers me, and how you too can acknowledge, respect, and respond to your anxiety.

If you love the podcast, I invite you to come work with me! Find out more by clicking here.


  • The power of welcoming negative emotions.
  • How anxiety shows up for me and how I choose to deal with it.
  • Why anxiety isn’t a problem.
  • What happens when you feel your feelings instead of pushing them away.
  • A powerful thought to borrow the next time you feel anxious.




I am Kym Showers and this is Reinvented After 40, episode number 130, Anxiety Isn’t a Problem.

Welcome to the Reinvented After 40 podcast. I am your host, Kym Showers, and I’m a certified life coach for women in the second half of life. Each week I’ll bring you direct advice and inspiring, practical wisdom to help you live your very best life and create a future you’re absolutely obsessed with. It’s going to be fun, let’s get started.

Hello, my lovely friends out in my podcast land. How are you today? Happy March. It is March officially when you are listening to this. It’s not March yet when I’m recording it but it’s March when you are listening to it. And I’ve already had my birthday when you’re listening to this. So I’m sure it was the best birthday ever. And I wanted to record this topic, this podcast specifically for this week. Let me tell you what’s going on with me. And I am so happy that I have this work.

I’ve grown so much, my capacity to do hard things and to not have a problem with negative emotions. This is remarkable. This is a freaking miracle for me in my life, because I’m really good at positive emotions. And for the bulk of my 63 years now, happy 63rd birthday to me on Tuesday, March 5th, best day ever. For the bulk of my life I have had such a problem with negative emotions, thinking that I shouldn’t be feeling them.

So literally when I was laying in bed last night, I had so much anxiety and I was laying there feeling so anxious because of all these thoughts that were in my head when I was laying in bed. So you know, I go to bed so early. I’m asleep by 7:30 every night and a lot of times I’ll crawl into bed before 7:00. I take my bath maybe at 6:30. I know that sounds different to all of you, but it is my life, my chosen, spacious, beautiful, intentional life that I live.

And because I get up at 3:30, between 3:30 and 4:00 every morning and I love, love, love my sleep. And I don’t normally feel anxious when I go to bed. I usually will wake-up feeling anxious, but last night I felt anxious. And let me tell you why. It’s because I had all of these thoughts from my primitive brain about everything that I needed to accomplish in the next couple of months, and all the things that could possibly go wrong with all the things that I have to do.

So I just laid there and noticed, wow, this is kind of surprising. I am just filled with anxiety, like a heavy brick is laying on my chest and my brain is spinning. And I was like, “Oh, I see what is happening.” My brain is freaking out thinking that there could be so many things that could possibly go wrong, which is fine. My brain thinks that I’m not going to get everything done, so I was freaking out about that, which is not a problem if I don’t get everything done.

And also my brain was very tired by the time I laid down last night, which is always the case. And usually I don’t have a spinning brain. I don’t have anxiety when I lay down at night. So last night what I did was just welcomed it, that’s what I did. I was like, “Oh, I see what’s going on here.” It makes sense. Let’s just feel anxious. Let’s just lay here and feel anxious for a while and just pinpoint all the thoughts that are creating this, which I just kind of talked to myself. I talked to my brain and answered all the fears, all of the resistance.

I kind of zoomed out and got a big picture. I kind of watched myself doing this and I just kept saying, “This is awesome. This is not a problem.” This is me being a human with a lot on her plate. So this anxiety isn’t a problem, it’s a vibration in my body that I’m very familiar with and I’m very willing to feel.

And I just remember a long time ago when my coach kind of walked me through a difficult time where I was feeling very anxious. And then I had so much anxiety about feeling anxious. And I just learned how to feel anxious and not make it mean that I shouldn’t be feeling anxious, actually welcoming it and feeling it and kind of running towards it and talking to it. I just kind of talked to my anxiety last night.

And I pinpointed it and said, “You’re like a little heavy brick on my chest. You’re a vibration in my body. I am going to feel you. I understand you. I welcome you. You are not a problem, you are actually my friend and everything’s going to be okay.” I kind of just talked to myself, coached myself, loved myself, showed myself lots of compassion and then I went to sleep. It wasn’t a problem. So I just want you to know, anxiety never has to be a problem and I love that. I know this now, it means so much. It gives me all of my power back.

And it’s supposed to be here when it’s here, whether it’s fear, whether it’s overwhelm, whether it’s being anxious. I think everybody feels anxious certain times of the day, every single day. And that isn’t a problem. I have welcomed being anxious in the morning. And I really call it more like it’s a default, my body, my nervous system’s default from 63 years of living.

And it’s kind of practiced at this, a little bit of a high anxiety kind of life that I have kind of always lived. And didn’t realize that none of it ever had to be a problem. It has subsided so much in the last seven years since I’ve learned how to feel all of my feelings and welcome all of my feelings instead of distract myself from my feelings, instead of pushing feelings away. And mostly I’m talking about negative feelings because I really did think that I should feel positive feelings all of the time.

I thought there was something wrong with me if I felt negative feelings, and now I just welcome all of them. And I know that I’m the one creating them. I know that it’s not anything outside of me. I know it’s not my schedule. I know it’s not the remodel that we are in right now. I know it’s not moving out of our house. I know that it’s my thoughts about all of it, that something might go wrong, that I might do it wrong, that I might make the wrong decision. That we might spend more money than we wanted to.

That the bungalow’s going to get really small for Jeff and I. We’re going to be on top of each other. That I’m going to wake him up with my cappuccino every morning at 3:45. I had all of these thoughts when I was laying in bed last night. I was like, “This is so interesting that my brain just freaked out about all of these things that are literally not a problem.” And I told Jeff too, I go, “Hey, listen, I’m still getting up at 3:45.” Because our bungalow is less than half of what our house is.

We live in a 2600 square foot house now that the living’s upstairs and the sleeping’s downstairs. It’s just Jeff and I so it feels like a mansion. And let me tell you when we get back from the bungalow in a couple of months and move back into this house. We’re going to feel like we live in a castle, I’m sure, which is going to be so fun. It’s going to just be a big adventure and that’s why I’m calling it the big adventure.

So we’re going into the next couple of months and I’m just like, “I am such a badass. We are on a big adventure. We’re going to have so much fun.” How lucky are we, first of all, that we get to remodel our downstairs and refresh our bathrooms. I love Carrara marble. So I’m doing a tumbled Carrara marble bathroom in my bathroom. And it’s really the first time I’ve ever really got to design a bathroom that was all mine since we’ve been married. And so this legit is totally my bathroom and I’m doing one of those standalone white tubs, which is so fun.

So I’m just doing it up and going to have fun with it. And then Jeff’s bathroom, I made these decisions super quick because all this happened super quick. So I think I talked a little bit about it last week. So everything got ordered, decided on it super quick, which is my superpower as you know. And then Jeff’s bathroom is going to be all black and white, mostly white, with a black octagon tiled floor, which is going to be so cool and so cute and fun.

And then we’re getting this really cool creamy wool, very textured carpet that’s just yummy and so perfect for the beach. And then we’re doing, of course, all white fresh paint and new window coverings. And so it’s going to feel so fresh and so fun. Hopefully it’ll be all done by the time my May retreat is here and my clients are here. And they can have a little tour. We’re going to have a party here. Even if the downstairs isn’t quite done yet, we can have a party upstairs.

I’m pretty committed to making sure that it’s done by the end of April. So I’m going to make sure everything stays on track. But I’m just telling you this story because anxiety never has to be a problem. I think we make it a problem, we shouldn’t be feeling anxious or you have the thought, maybe I feel anxious too often or anxiety is a sign of weakness, or other people are going to judge me because I feel anxious.

I just want you to drop into your body and feel anxious when you feel anxious and just realize, get comfortable with it and realize that it’s not anything coming from outside of you. It’s just what you’re making your circumstances mean. And usually it’s just by the time you’re our age, it’s on default. Your brain just thinks it’s a problem. And now we know it’s not, literally isn’t a problem. Anxiety isn’t a problem.

It’s just when we make it a problem, we get more anxious about it. And then it kind of expands into where we’re actually making it a problem for us. Do you see that? When you make your anxiety a problem, then it becomes such a problem.

I always say, “You’re welcome to come with me, little Miss Anxiety. I love you. I welcome you. I’m feeling you. But you are for sure not driving my car. You’re not driving the bus. You’re not the pilot of the plane, I am. But you’re welcome to come along whenever you feel like you need to be here. It’s totally fine. You’re going to sit in the back seat and I’m going to notice you. And then when you’re finished, you can just let yourself out.” So that’s how I look at it. And honestly, you guys, I woke-up this morning and I just popped out of bed and I couldn’t wait to get on with the day.

And I think that a lot of times, for me, I want you to know, anxiety pops up when I have a lot to do. My brain’s just like, “You have a lot to do.” I’m like, “Yeah, I have a lot of things on my list that I’m checking off.” And so I know it’s just like work. I have actions to take. So maybe my day’s a little fuller than normal and it might be that way for the next couple of months and I am all in on that. I realize that. That’s the big adventure.

We’re creating something magical in our home and we have this amazing gift of this darling little beach bungalow that we get to move into and actually maybe get some work done over there while we’re there. I get to coach my clients from the bungalow which will be super fun, just a little different and super fun. Jeff will probably work at the office longer than he normally does. And we’ll just adjust and it will be an adventure for the next couple of months and it’ll go quick and we’ll be so proud of ourselves that we got all of this done.

And then we’ll get back to probably our normal rhythm of life. But I just wanted to share this with you today because I want you to know it is so normal to feel anxious and to feel anxious every day is definitely never a problem. And I am very willing to, and especially when I’m saying yes to a lot of things that maybe they were unplanned.

So on top of that, what happened yesterday is we got a letter in the mail from PG&E. So our remodel will have already started by the time you guys listen to this podcast episode. So they are starting on Wednesday, March 6th, so Tuesday, March 5th and then we have renters in our bungalow until late Monday night. So it all kind of just happened. So it’s not anything I would have planned. I wouldn’t have planned all of this. But the work crew at our house, I put them off until Wednesday, March 6th. They wanted to start a little bit earlier. We couldn’t get out of our house before then.

And then we get a PG&E letter yesterday saying all of our electricity in our big house is going to be shut off on Tuesday, March 5th. So I was like, “Oh dang. Well, I can’t work from home on Tuesday, March 5th.” So everything kind of got jumbled up. And so that’s what my brain was spinning on last night too. It was, do I cancel my coaching sessions because the bungalow is going to be getting cleaned on Tuesday morning so we can move into it Tuesday afternoon. So it’s just all the timing stuff.

And I was like, “You know what? I’m going to figure it all out. It’s all going to be fine.” And by the time you listen to this, all of it will have been figured out. We will be settled in our bungalow, I’m sure, having the time of our life as we choose to do. And then the construction crew will be over here at our house tearing out the bathrooms, which will be amazing. So I’ll figure out, I have to get everything out of my closet. So I’ll do all of that this weekend because you know how that dust gets bad.

So because of the paint and the carpet, that’s going to come after the bathrooms get finished, everything has to be moved out. So I have a little bit on my mind and along with my regular life. So I really do though, want you to know for the next couple of months especially I’m going to be welcoming any anxiety that pops up and I’m going to just be her friend, welcome her. She’s going to ride in my back seat. She’s going to come along for the ride. I’m going to get everything done. I’m going to have a good time.

I’m going to get my sleep. And get on my email list, you guys, if you’re not on my email list because I send out these really encouraging emails on Friday. I love them so much. I love talking to you. I send out videos. But I pulled out, you’re a badass, I pulled it up this morning because I was like, “You know what? This is going to be my Bible for the next couple of months.” I want to remind myself about who I am. And that this is a big adventure and that I can handle so much more than my brain thinks I can.

I can handle so much more than my brain thinks I can. And that is a very powerful, useful thought for me. I want you to borrow that. I want you right now to say, “I can handle so much more than my brain thinks I can.” And when my brain is freaking out, I don’t have to freak out. My best self, my highest self, my strongest self, does not have to freak out. I can just pull myself out of it and watch my brain freak out and talk to her, calm her down, calm my body down and keep going, or go back to sleep.

Everything’s going to be amazing, as it always has been, and always will be. So in the midst of feeling anxious or feeling overwhelmed, overwhelm and anxiety to me, feel the same in my body. And what I’ve learned, though, how to handle that is to feel it, run towards it, not run away from it, not ignore it, but run towards it. And understand that this is exactly what happens when you’re living a big life and you’re saying a lot of yeses to a lot of things that you want.

This is all very normal and kind of required of us as humans, to be healthy, happy women in the second half of life. That we don’t make anxiety or overwhelm ever a problem. And I love what happens for me is that I love to take action. Action is what I need to do when I feel overwhelmed. I need to just start moving. I need to start taking action. And I know I’ll be at Orangetheory every single morning at 5:00am. That clears my mind. That gives me the juices that I need in my brain for clarity.

I know that I will come home and make my green juice. I actually am committed to backing off on alcohol, which I under-drink anyways, but I’m going to maybe under-drink a little more and sugar and maybe less caffeine too. I don’t drink that much caffeine. But anything to just keep my body as healthy and strong as possible in the next couple of months. I think that’s what we need to do when we’re in a season like this, a lot of big yeses, a lot going on, to take extra good care of our bodies and in a really healthy kind of way.

So committed to exercise and nutritious food matters so much for a healthy brain, healthy body, lots of good energy. So follow along with me in the next couple of months and I will be just super honest with you in this journey. I have done remodels so often, so many times in my life and I know this process very well. And so there has never been a remodel where my brain didn’t freak out, my brain just totally does that and your brain does too and it just never has to be a problem.

I think that’s the difference between me now and me then is that I expect it, I welcome it and run towards it, and then it subsides so much quicker. It’s like I’m the boss of it. The anxiety isn’t the boss of me, I’m the boss of it. The overwhelm isn’t the boss of me, I’m the boss of the overwhelm. And these are just vibrations in our body, in my body that I get to be in charge of. And that never has to be a problem for me.

So I just wanted to pass on those kind of ideas for you this morning because I know you struggle with the exact same type of things, whether it’s in relationships or work circumstances, money circumstances, health circumstances. Whatever it is you’re dealing with, man, your superpower can be to welcome the negative feelings that come along with that and to feel them and to befriend them, to talk to them, to process them out in your body and let them go, release them.

And know that it’s all part of the human experience and it really does let us grow our capacity to do harder things, which is so magical and powerful and amazing in the second half of life. That we don’t have to play small because we’re afraid that we’re going to feel overwhelmed or we’re afraid of our fear or we’re afraid of our anxiety, we don’t ever have to be. So we get to just feel it and let it be okay and then keep going and keep checking off our list.

So taking action really is the answer for me as far as running towards it, feeling it, acknowledging it, giving it its due time in this experience that I’m having. Treating these feelings with respect too, not ignoring them but knowing, okay, you’re here. That makes sense. I love you. Let’s feel you. And now let’s get back to work. So for me, it’s just checking things off my list, getting things done, and that relieves a lot of it.

So anyways, I just want to share that with you today. I think that’s a powerful way to live. I think it’s a really good way to think about any negative feelings that come up. That you don’t have to push them away or be afraid of them or think that something’s gone wrong or something is wrong with you. That you get to just feel them and then move on. And I create optimistic feelings on purpose. I create optimism on purpose. My brain doesn’t automatically offer me optimism.

So I have gotten so good at creating optimism in my body, really good feelings. And I love that about myself. So that’s why I can allow and welcome anxiety and not make it a problem is because I know that I trust myself enough that I am just going to be up and flying and moving in no time because I am a badass and so are you, my friend. So I do not doubt that about me ever again and I do not want you to doubt that about you ever again.

We can handle so much more than we think we can, than our brains think we can, so we just don’t agree to that anymore. So we can handle it all, whatever we say a big hearty yes to that aligns with our dreams and our goals. Absolutely know that part of it is welcoming the negative feelings that come along, not a problem ever again. Alright, that’s what I have for you today. I love you all so much. Happy first week of March and I will talk to you next Thursday.

If you love this podcast, I invite you to come work with me. Go to, sign up for my next group and retreat, and let’s create your dream life together.


Don’t miss an episode, listen on Spotify and follow via Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.