For this week’s Deep Dive Series, we’re interviewing emotional coach and long-time Clapper creator, @BeatAnxiety.Me.
@BeatAnxiety.Me (also known as Ryan) is a content creator and emotional coach, helping people beat anxiety, depression, and more. His practice and approach are shaped by his own experiences with therapy. He helps clients find the real cause of their issues. Rather than treating just the anxiety, Ryan and his clients examine the experiences that could have caused it. His content takes on a similar approach and covers a wide gamut of the mental health spectrum. In this interview, we talked about mental health and social media, how to manage anxiety on a small scale, his advice for creators, and more!
Keep reading this Deep Dive to follow this creator’s inspiring story. Make sure to tune in every Thursday at 5pm CT on our @ClapperCreator account to listen to the bonus questions that will only be available on our live radio show: Clapper Talks. Ryan is the first guest in our Mental Health Awareness month series, and we couldn’t have had a better opening!
My helplessness did turn into hopelessness, there’s no doubt. But at the core I was not so damaged that I wasn’t fixable.
Tell us a little bit about yourself! Where did your journey in the mental health field begin?
What I do today I just stumbled on, to be honest with you. Back in 2011, after having struggled with my mental health for what seemed like forever, I tried to commit suicide. After that I started to realize that I was stuck in this cycle of trying to get help. It birthed the experience for me of identifying the core issues that I was alluding to in my mental health journey. In going to therapy and talking about issues and talking about feelings, I wasn’t really diving in deep. What I found within myself were these unhealed, unprocessed traumas that I needed to process and work through properly. In that spawned this thing that grew into with doing what I’m doing today.
For those of us that don’t know, can you explain the difference between an emotional coach and therapist or counselor? What makes your practice so unique?
I spent 20 years in therapy and spent a lot of time talking about my issues, talking about what was going on in my life, talking about the hurts and those types of things. I always tell people that traditional therapy is more around discovery. You can become very, very mindful in therapy, and therapy gave me a space of understanding my behaviors. What I do today is more around getting to the roots of issues and working through those core issues. From that journey, I realized I wasn’t flawed, I wasn’t completely broke. My helplessness did turn into hopelessness, there’s no doubt. But at the core I was not so damaged that I wasn’t fixable. It’s not as though people aren’t doing the work: what I’ve found is that people are normally doing the wrong work. They talking about and labeling their emotions rather than working through the causes of them.
We love your content: it’s all quick videos breaking down the ways trauma, anxiety, and depression can manifest. And you post a lot! How do you decide what you’ll cover for that video?
So what I typically do is…I don’t formulate my calendar around specific things. I don’t really work like that – maybe I should! It might cause a little bit less anxiety in my life. But what people don’t really get about my content is: I get you because I was you. A lot of things I talk about within my content is really talking to me.
Once I catch a theme, I wrap all of my content around it. That theme typically comes out of the blue for me. I don’t give it forethought and I think that makes my content more relatable and a bit more engaging because it’s not scripted. I’m not looking at blogs and the Mighty for content and what I’m going to talk about – things are just coming at me.
A lot of us deal with small bouts of anxiety throughout the day that maybe we don’t have time to pause and deal with. Are there things that people can do in the moment to center and calm themselves?
There’s definitely things you can do in lieu of dealing with the real issues. Obviously you’re at work, or you’re in traffic, or you have a toxic family member that’s coming over. Whatever you might be doing, there’s some things you can do really calm yourself. I’m a really big fan of tapping. I don’t use the EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) tapping, I use the old school way, which is called Thought Feel Therapy. Also there’s breathwork out there, there’s meditation you can do, and I think people that struggle with meditation they’re typically doing it wrong. They’re trying to control their thoughts, and meditations not about controlling your thoughts. It’s about your thoughts not controlling you. But for a quick win, if the audience goes out and looks for TFT or faster EFT, there’s things folks can do to tap into (no pun intended) those feelings coming on. Kind of funky, kind of weird, but very, very affective.
So, when did you join Clapper? How did your journey as a content creator begin?
I believe I joined last year, maybe a year and a half ago? It’s been a little over a year, but I was one of your competitor platforms and I felt stifled. I didn’t know if I was going to get banned, I didn’t know what to say…I just felt myself walking on eggshells. I couldn’t really be me and talk about trauma and things that are heavy without the fear of being banned or saying something that might get me of the platform. And that’s why when someone reached out to me about Clapper, I jumped on.
From my own mental health journey, I started going into social media and describing what I was working through. I was seeing a hole in the space between people trying to get help and not really being helped. They’d reach out to me and ask what I was doing, and it kind of grew from that. So it was really that experience for me that was at the time very traumatizing and I never thought I’d get myself out from under the depth of that hurt, but that was what happened in my life to springboard me doing what I do.
Your platform is built around anxiety. Do you think that social media can impact our mental health, either for better or worse?
Social media is not therapy. That said, social media is a way you can become aware of your behaviors and what you’re feeling. It can bring you to a level of understanding, and there’s a sense of social healing when you realize there are people out there that struggle with this as well. The flip side of that is, social media is not going to heal these deep, core wound we have in our life. That takes dedication, it takes time, it takes finances, it takes emotion, it takes an investment in yourself to work through that stuff. I always look at social media as a double-edged sword. When I was going through what I was going through, social media was a sense of understanding more of what I was struggling with, but it wasn’t going to heal me.
What do you enjoy most about Clapper? In what ways do you feel like Clapper needs improvement?
I don’t really have to filter what I say. Through the nature of what I post, I have to watch it because it might be triggering. But I don’t really find myself deleting posts and worrying if I should say something. That’s one of things I love about Clapper: it allows me the freedom to be me and voice what I’m struggling with. I also love the community base that you have. There’s 300 people within my Group, and that gives me a way to send out stuff that’s more post based.
I do think we should be able to pre-qualify for those Groups and allow creators to ask some questions. Because some people join Groups just to push their content, rather than posting stuff that deals with mental health or will help people heal. So I’d like to see a pre-qualifier in the Groups.
What advice would you give creators that are struggling to balance mental health or anxiety and social media?
You can’t get fixated on the numbers. In the beginning of my social media I got all caught up in the amount of views, likes, comments I was getting. It became another obsession which led to anxiety. And when you don’t get the numbers there’s an element of sadness and depression because you directly correlate your worth to views. But when you do it out of passion and tying to bring joy or get someone to heal something, it’s totally worth it. I think that’s the number 1 thing for creators. You do it because you find joy and passion in it, and you’ll get the numbers. I saw 500 people last year, and most of them came from social media. The numbers will come if you create the content with the right heart and the right mind.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know @BeatAnxiety.Me – and got some insight into your own mental health struggles! To learn more, check out his Clapper profile. For our last Deep Dive on @TheTiralosiTwins, read here.