The Overwhelmed Brain with Paul Colaianni | Practi

The Overwhelmed Brain with Paul Colaianni | Practi


If you're annoyed with affirmations and tired of being told to "think positively", then this is the show that leaves out all the fluff and gives you practical, down to earth steps to help you create the life you want: With less stress and more happiness. This is practical personal growth and development with a strong emphasis on emotional intelligence, living authentically, being in alignment with your values, and honoring your boundaries to empower you to create the life you want. If you're serious about self-improvement and maximizing your potential, but are jaded about all the talk on the "Law of Attraction", then you've come to the right place. Welcome to the personal growth show for critical thinkers.


The Pattern of Anxiety - Saving Anger Only For Those Closest to You  

With General Anxiety Disorder, is there a chance of getting free of the consistent feelings of anxiety and panic? Is there a remote chance of feeling better or even making it go away completely? Maybe... Also, I get a letter from a girl whose boyfriend gets jealous so she gets angry which causes him to insult her which causes her to react and so on... is there a solution? I talk a little on jealousy and more on anger and the fact that we often direct our anger at the wrong people. Thank you to for sponsoring today's episode. Use promo code "brain234" and you'll get $5.00 off.

Laughing at Criticism - There Are No Terrible Children - Fixing Your Own Toxic Behavior  

Can you laugh at criticism? Do you believe in yourself enough so that when someone calls you anything less than you really are, you can shrug it off without those sometimes hard to avoid feelings? When you get to a place inside where you are proud of yourself no matter what, then you'll find yourself genuinely laughing instead of reacting when someone is being critical of you. Children can seem to do awful things, but they are a result of the programming they were given since birth. Is it really their fault they are acting in the way they were nurtured and influenced? Finally, is it possible to change manipulative, toxic behavior, and repair the damage to your relationships because of it? Both can be achieved but they require serious introspection. Heal yourself and both situations can improve and evolve. Thank you to for sponsoring today's episode. Use promo code "brain" when you're ready for a free shave kit.

Measuring Your Worth and Esteem - Jealous and Insecure in the Relationship  

Self-esteem stems from the level of self-worth you have about yourself. That's great to know, but how do you raise either or both so that you can walk through life confidently and assert yourself when needed? There's "street knowledge" then there's book knowledge. Stree Knowledge is real world experience and book knowledge is when you know what to do but don't necessarily know how to do it, or have the courage to do it. So what can you do? Listen to this segment and find out. In the Ask Paul segment, I read a letter from a jealous husband who doesn't like when other people look at his wife. He can't figure out how to get past these feelings. Insecurities abound in this segment so it's a great segue from the last one. There's a little bit of ego involved, a leap of faith, and a lot of trust that may need to be built up in order to allow the jealousy to go away. visit for legal services at a low monthly rate.

The Silent Treatment - The Drawbacks of Non-Confrontational Behavior - Permission to Hate  

The silent treatment is like an acid that disintegrates trust and love because of the withdrawal of emotions (emotional withdrawal). I can't trust you with my emotions because when you withdraw, I feel betrayed and abandoned. I also talk about the drawbacks of non-confrontational behavior and how choosing not to confront disintegrates love and bonding. When you choose to be non-confrontational, it's like telling the other person "I don't want to tell you the whole truth". And what about hate? Are you allowed to feel hate? Should you? I think it's important to acknowledge and accept every part of you and every thought instead of resisting your thoughts. Otherwise, you go around holding on to a lot of negativity which you eventually unleash on those you love. 

Indecision and Stagnation - Realizations of a New, Bad Marriage - Music and Emotions  

Permanent decisions are not always permanent, we just think they are. Even marriage nowadays isn't permanent, as much as we want it to be. And even when everything is going great, "stuff" happens and makes things not so great anymore which forces us to change or fall. There's a great quote I read about flat squirrels and indecisions (if you think hard enough, you'll understand that right away) and it makes for a great topic to talk about. In segment 2, I read an email from someone who sees every red flag in a new marriage yet doesn't walk away. Her values and boundaries are being violated and she finds nothing to love about a man she's already married to on paper. Then she asks if there is any hope. Hmm... In segment 3 I talk about how music is a great mood changer but shouldn't necessarily replace deeper reflection and processing of buried emotions Make sure to visit and use promo code brain to get $20 off your order!

Losing Your Identity in the Relationship -  The Brilliant, Worthy You - Exes as Friends - The Right Partner  

Nurturing yourself while you're in a relationship decreases the impact breaking up has if and when it happens. The more you keep the connection with yourself and don't lose a part of you in the relationship, the healthier you stay. You lose your identity in a relationship when you don't nurture yourself. When family doesn't honor you and see your worth, sometimes you just have to distance yourself from them so that you reconnect with brilliant, worthy you. Not everyone is capable of seeing what you are so it's important to continue nurturing and supporting yourself as if you were your own child or best friend.  When you partner has a friend who is also an ex, how do you feel about that? Do they talk all the time? Do they have to communicate because of shared custody of children? Do they communicate more than you'd like? It's important to understand where your line is and when your partner is crossing it, otherwise their ex becomes a part of your relationship which can be damaging if you're not all good friends to begin with.  visit and use promo code "brain" to get $50 off an awesome mattress!

Thoughts about thoughtfulness - Too toxic to stay in the Marriage - Desensitizing Rejection  

Thoughtfulness doesn't come easy to some people. Sometimes you need to go to the extreme opposite and become a people pleaser just to get closer to being thoughtful. There are other ways too of course. Also, I read a letter from someone in a highly toxic relationship that isn't sure what to do. The relationship is simply too toxic for her to stay in but she isn't leaving. What's next for her? What is she to do? Finally, I talk about Jia Jing in his 100 days of rejection experiment and how you can to take rejection easier. Visit

The Bad First Impression - Living with Debilitating Pain - Fear of Doing Whats Right For You  

Making a bad first impression is not necessarily your fault. You could be well dressed, have a great hair day, good breath, and even the best personality, but that mole behind your ear makes them think of their mean uncle and suddenly their first impression of you is that you aren't trustworthy and will hurt them. Quite a jump, but this happens quite a bit. I talk about a first impression a listener got with this show and how he criticized over 170 episodes by listening to one 15 minute segment. What do you do when that one person criticizes you? How do you not feel the emotional pain behind such a thing? In the second segment, I answer a message from a woman who is experiencing debilitating pain and is fighting her way to feeling better. She used to be active and on stage, and now she is jobless and lives with her father. Not only is there physical pain, but also suffering through embarrassment of her circumstances. She lies to friends just so they don't know her situation. Finally, I respond to a letter from someone who feels almost ashamed for staying with a toxic person, and she's afraid to leave because "what if I can't find a good man?" I think her focus needs to change. Depending on where you focus, you'll either stay where you are or make the changes you need to get out of the rut you're in. The Overwhelmed Brain is much more enjoyable when you tell two friends, and they tell two friends, and they tell two friends, and so on and so on, and so on. Today's sponsor:

The Yeah But Mentality - Life After Abuse - Rejecting Former Friends  

Ever have a friend that said "Yeah But..." to every good suggestion you made? How about when they actually ask for your advice, you give it, but they don't do it because their excuse machine activates? There are two types of people I talk about in the first segment: Yeah But people, and Okay I'll Try It people. Sure, there are millions of other types of people out there, but it's a good start. Also, I receive a letter from a woman who decided to remove toxic family members from her life and get away from abuse. She took massive first steps, but what's next? How can you recover from a life of abuse? How can you get to a place beyond where you can relax and feel good again? Finally, I read another letting about what it might take to reject people in your life. How about those sensitive people that might be hurt by rejection? Is there a way to get away from those who keep showing up when you don't want them to? Sounds like a great thing to talk about. Today's sponsor wants you to get your free will. Go to and sign up today!

Building emotional deficit - Can't find or keep friends - In Love But Still Cheated  

Should you receive for everything you give? You bet, but maybe not in the way you're thinking. You can build an emotional deficit by giving and giving and not receiving in the way you'd like. Resentment can build and you can get very tired of being a people pleaser. Also I receive a letter from someone who feels socially inept. He can't make or keep friends, and he feels awkward on dates. Sometimes being yourself is the best solution, but who are you really being during those awkward silences? Finally I talk about woman who is deeply in love with her husband yet and has a great sex life, yet still cheated anyway. She can't figure out why so I explore why even a good marriage or relationship experiences infidelity. Episode 150 today... let's celebrate! I talk about TOB's progression throughout the years at the beginning of this episode.

My Partner Changed But Is It Too Late - Guilt About Leaving the Marriage - More Manipulative People  

I talk a little more on manipulative people and share with you what might make them that way in the first place. Association and dissociation may play a role in their behavior. If you're not familiar with those terms, you will be after this episode. And, what if you do all this healing and growth but you realize that your partner doesn't want to change? In fact, they are happy just where they are, dysfunction and all. But instead of leaving, you decide to create accountability and tell them if they don't shape up, you're shipping out! Then finally, after two years of hard work, they finally grow into the person you can appreciate and respect. But... are you still in love with them? Is it too late now? I get a letter that addresses that very question. How about guilt for thinking about leaving your abusive spouse? Yes, people can actually develop guilty feelings for thinking about leaving someone that disrespects and even abuses them. That's an important topic to discuss, so let's dive into that too. Today's episode is brought to you by Get $50 off using the promo code "brain" during checkout and get an awesome mattress to boot (free shipping in the US and Canada).

The Dyfunction of The New Normal - Offending Defensive People  

Has dysfunction become the new normal for you? Are you in a relationship where your toleration for bad behavior is so high that you don't even recognize what's bad for you anymore? That sounds like a topic for discussion if you ask me! Also, I read a letter from someone who wants to know how to deal with defensive people. There is a path to working with those types and becoming aggressive or offensive back is not typically the best way to handle their behavior. You may have to become a bit of a sleuth. Find out more in today's episode!

Strength in vulnerability - What if divorce is a mistake? - Never happy without someone else in my life  

Vulnerability is the final step into your strength. Your emotional core contains all of your emotions, your shame, fear, guilt embarrassments, sadness and also your joy, happiness, peace and lot of other good feelings. But in childhood, we learn to close off that core and only let in and out so much because we've been emotionally wounded. Letting those defensive walls come down lets both the bad and the good out, but only the good sticks around when you do it right. Also, I read a letter from a woman who doesn't want anything to change except maybe her marriage, but that means a lot of other things have to change as well. So she's not sure if getting a divorce is the right decision.  Finally, I read a second email from a 24 year old who has chosen a career path that he is unhappy with. On top of that, his girlfriend left him and he is not happy unless someone else is in his life. Lots to talk about today. Thanks for listening!

Are you with a manipulative person - Indecision and regret  

Manipulative people do whatever they can to make you feel bad, guilty or ashamed. If you know they're doing something wrong, they will skillfully turn it around and convince you that it's your fault. They purposefully string you along using delay tactics. How they do it is sometimes impossible to figure out, so it's time to learn a bit more about their tactics and what you need to look for to avoid the "stringing along" they tend to do so that they can keep getting their needs met by using you. Also, I read a letter from someone who's not sure if she should move out of her mom's house and go back to Florida. She has grown dependent on her mom and is very scared she'll regret the decision if she leaves. She also thinks that staying might be a mistake so she's stuck not knowing what to do without making a huge mistake. Finally, I end the show with a bit more about manipulative people. You gotta learn all you can about them! Your happiness is at stake, otherwise. For $20 off a cool suitcase, go to and use promo code brain at checkout. See me unbox it at

The choice to confront - Release the pressure of negativity - can long distance love work  

Confronting friends, family, the boss, the spouse, or any other dangerous people ;) can cause anxiety, fear and panic... but why? Why do we fear expressing what we want to anyone in our lives? If you're brought up to shut your mouth and keep your ears open, and any sign of expressing yourself got squashed (or you feared expressing yourself for other reasons), then you probably have a challenge confronting people. Speaking of squashing things, how about the negative energy that forms while doing the confronting? Wouldn't it be nice for that to dissipate? There are ways, and I share my thoughts on that. Finally I read a letter from a woman who left her ex-husband behind because she was learning, growing and evolving, and he was staying where he was. She was energetic, he was not. The rift kept widening, so she left. Now she's happy! However, she's in another relationships where her loved one is 1000 miles away and neither of them can move. Can long distance relationships work? Visit for private episodes and More!

When people don't like you - Is it time to get a divorce - Some family isn't healthy to keep  

Not everyone is going to like what you bring to the table. Sometimes people have high expectations of you and you don't deliver causing them to have a critical view of you. Is this your fault or the fault of the person who set up expectations that you couldn't meet? I read a critical review of The Overwhelmed Brain and talk about that very thing today. They're not always "haters" but they can ruin our day. I also talk about gurus, preachers and god-like teachers and hope I don't fit into any of those categories above. Every time I'm open, honest and vulnerable, it helps me heal which is why I'm so open on the show. If anything is repressed in you, it needs to come out. When you lock the doors to your emotional core, you don't feel the pain but you're also blocking the good stuff too. And how do you know if it's time for a divorce? You need to assess the past to determine the future. Has there been any progress? Have you been any happier? Has your partner made any improvement? Have things gotten better? If the answer is no, the answer will likely be no. No progress up to this point shows no progress in the future. As you go forward in your relationship, if nothing has changed, nothing will change. Nothing will ever get better if nothing has gotten better and nothing will ever change as long as you stay together. Finally, I talk about the decision to stay or leave. When you're in a relationship and you're thinking about splitting up, breaking up, or divorce, take out the fear out of the question and then ask yourself what the decision is. Regret only plays a part if you base your decision on fear. For more TOB, join the Patron Program today

Getting control back - The small door out of depression - The unforever soulmate - Emotionally disconnected partners  

Are you at a job that feels like you are being dominated or controlled? Is there a way out of this without quitting? There may be. I get a response from a listener who wrote before who took my advice for her about her work situation and everything turned out for the better. Controlling bosses no longer drove her mad. What keeps you at work you don't like anyway? What's motivating you to stay miserable? Also, what is it with depression? Why does depression kick in so hard and why is it so hard to get back out once you're in it? No joy, no pain, no feeling at all - suicidal thoughts can come into play and sometimes you're so apathetic you don't even care about that. There is a small door, or portal, out of depression and I talk about that door. In Ask Paul, I read a letter from someone who can't stop obsessing over her boyfriend's friendship with his ex-girlfriends, and hates it when he talks about other girls in general. And finally I end the show with a few words on emotionally disconnect people. Many of my coaching clients are married to them! For more TOB, join the Patron Program today

The secrets that we keep - Feeling overexposed and hollow inside - Lonely when you are not alone  

Where do you go when you have a secret that you believe someone else needs to know? Are you loyal to the secret teller? Do you tell the person who should know the secret? It's a question to ponder, where do your loyalties lies and what should you do with a secret you are committed to keeping? Also, I receive a letter from someone who shares and expresses to as many people as she can but still doesn't feel like she's released or vented her emotions, so she ends up feeling empty and still having pain. Unresolved emotions fester inside of us until we address them in some way, but sometimes we don't know that we're still not deep enough inside the emotional well and all we're doing is pulling up empty buckets. Speaking of emptiness, feeling lonely even when around friends and family is a big challenge too. Lots to talk about today.

You still have to do the work - Protecting your kids from dysfunction - The chain of thoughts  

All this personal growth work is great and all, but you have to actually do the work in order for your life to get better. The main reason is because you need feedback from your environment. You test, observe, test again, take action. You learn through your results. And in order to change your results, your desire has to overcome the results you're getting now. If that happens, your life will change a lot easier. Also, I read a letter from a mom who feels paralyzed by dysfunctional family members and is scared her child is going to pick up or become dysfunctional because of their bad behavior. Family can sometimes be toxic, especially around children. Children know right from wrong, even when they're exposed to toxic stuff, but as long as they have a healthy role model, sometimes the toxicity from others doesn't rub off on them. Be the best role model you can be and your child will do much better because of it. Finally, I talk about the subtle change in your thought can lead to a good outcome or a bad one.

Orlando Shooting - A terrible tragedy and one lesson we can take away - June 12th 2016  

The shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida brought terror to the forefront once again. As devastating as this was, there's a valuable lesson that we can all take away. It doesn't mean we can necessarily prevent such an event next time, but maybe we can alter the future just a bit by holding an awareness of others behavior before it gets too far.

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