Run Thrive Survive

Anxiety is OKAY!…. but how do we manage it in a healthy way? with Heather Parady

Let’s start off by saying “it’s okay to not be okay” This might be the most important message of the entire podcast!

Heather joins in on the beautiful community to discuss generalized anxiety, what she does how she gets around it, and how she doesn’t allow it to get in her way of a beautiful life.

So heather, What do you feel it has kind of become in today’s world?

I think we don’t really know what it is and that there must be something that needs, needs to be fixed and sometimes. Is some big underlying issues that need to be addressed. But I think generalized anxiety is a very normal process. And what it is is just an invitation to unlock something inside of you, or give you a clue that maybe you need to slow down a little bit or take a break, or there’s something trying to get out of you.

Maybe you feel stuck. And so kind of viewing it as an invitation to tap into another side of yourself. You know, I know it sounds kind of weird. Anxiety as a gift. You know what I mean? Like it’s trying to give you clues that there’s something here to pay attention to. And I don’t know about you, but I’m a very stubborn type age driven.

Go-getter like knock all the walls down, suffer all the way through type person.

so anxiety is really a gift there it’s seen as a curse, and I know it can be really, really hard. And, um, I’ve, I’ve dealt with it, you know, on a spectrum from, oh man, I need to go outside and do a couple mile run or whatever, all the way to, I can’t sleep at night.

And I have pain in my chest and I’m really like really like struggling. And so there’s, you know, It can be very, very hard and I don’t want to minimize it, but it’s also too, it’s there for a reason it’s not there because there’s something wrong with you. It’s there to tell you something.

Something that, you know, we feel alone in when we are anxious, but we’re not, and I’m going to bring up a statistic and anxiety affects about 40 million adults ages 18 or 18 or older. How do you think, what do you think is the most prevalent way that people are starting to deal with anxiety in society that we’re starting to see?

I think there’s, there’s two, there’s two different ways to deal with it. Or that’s common to deal with. It is completely fight it and push it away and struggle with it, which if you know anything about, um, psychology and what really causes issues within our psyche, it is resistance period. So when something.

Hurt when something is hard, we say, no, it’s not. I’m going to fight through this and push it and ignore it. And what that causes is strain. You know, I just went to the dentist. I told you, and they said it, my, my gums were irritated because. You know, they weren’t healing though. It needed to be healed.

Didn’t have the space in the air and the place to heal. And so it started swelling and become more irritated. And I feel that that’s what’s happening within us emotionally and spiritually is we’re not giving ourselves the space and the time to heal. And we’re just going ahead and chewing the food anyway and acting like everything’s normal.

And she brings up some amazing natural points on how to deal with anxiety

we’re holistic beings. I think that’s what just completely blows my mind about the way that we were created is everything touches each other and we’ve got to take. I always hashtag mental health whenever I go running. And that’s because I believe wholeheartedly that my physical health is tied to my mental, spiritual, and emotional health and vice versa.

You know, if you’re dealing with anxiety or some other mental health issue, I mean, if you can’t bring yourself to do, um, you know, go to therapy or deal with deal with some of the trauma that you’ve dealt with, I know this sounds weird. Start drinking more water.

Start going outside into the sun a little bit more, put your feet barefoot on the grinder and the ground and connect with the earth a little bit. Like we don’t always have to head-butt into our problem to heal it when you just need to start taking care of our bodies and our spirits as a whole. And it will help.

How do you feel different? How does it make you feel as a runner and as somebody that does have anxiety needs to be able to cope with it? Yeah, I’ve never thought about it this way.

This image just popped in my head of like, when you’re ironing something with a lot of wrinkles and how it just, the heat kind of pushes those wrinkles out. I feel like that’s happening to my spirit when I run. Like I have all of these, I don’t know. It feels like the way I’ve experienced anxiety before is just my chest is just so, so tight.

It’s like, I can hardly breathe. And like me, my mind is just racing and I just feel. Kind of overtaken by something. And it’s interesting when I go out and run, it’s literally like the literal sweat and the literal. Act of my heart, you know, starting to kind of get into this rhythm. And, um, it’s just this very weird spiritual experience where it’s like physically, I’m starting to iron out all those wrinkles within myself and it’s like, you’re physically exerting yourself out and there’s nothing left for you and you get to the very end and you realize you’re okay.

You know, and. There’s something too, just about being outside where you’re connected and you’re like, God, you are so much bigger than all of this. Like everything, everything that I think is just like going to completely destroyed by the world. You hold it all in the palm of your hand and look at these trees and look at the grass and look at the sky.

I’m so in the habit and a trap of completely blocking out the world and the earth. And remembering that I belong there first, not in here with all these awesome lights and awesome technology.

Absolutely. How did you start realizing or becoming okay with yourself and anxiety? Because a lot of us run from it at first.

Yeah. I was really lucky, um, with anxiety specifically that I didn’t start dealing with that until I had, um, graduated with a degree in counseling.

So I thought that’s ironic. That’s too ironic. Well, you know, it’s weird because we were studying anxiety. To become therapists and I’m like, oh, you know, I never, I didn’t have any relationships. I didn’t understand. Like I read the symptoms, understood it like cognitively, but never had experienced it. When I started dealing with anxiety was when I quit, my career and went into the online space to build my own business.

And then I started having panic attacks and all this stuff, and I’m like, that’s what they were talking about. Right. But it’s kind of cool because I realized wow, anxiety is coming here with me because I’m being brave and doing something that I want to do with my life. And I’m crossing boundaries that I never thought I’d be able to cross before.

Those are just the highlights from the wonderful interview with Heather! Need to hear more about her journey understand her anxiety and find healthy ways to cope? Check out Run Thrive Survive Podcast and also check-out Heather at the links below!

For a detailed podcast on the topic, make sure to subscribe to us at Apple Music and Spotify @RunThriveSurvive by Ciara Carter. I offer coaching services too and you can reach out to me at or

Like, share, and subscribe to our social media accounts:

Facebook Run Thrive Survive.

Instagram @runthrivesurvive

TikTok @RunThriveSurvive

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *