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The Overwhelmed Brain with Paul Colaianni

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Portland, OR


The Overwhelmed Brain is a podcast whose purpose is to help people learn to live a stress-free life. Paul Colaianni interviews leaders in the fields of personal growth, human potential, and spirituality.




(617) 858-6463


When "I Know" prevents healing - How to be a safe partner - When others bypass your intuition

When you are so knowledgeable about your problems, you may have a tendency to be closed off to the solution. The "I know" syndrome can keep you from finding out the root of your emotional distress. It's time to get to the root and release the grip it has on you. When your partner can't seem to trust you completely and holds back their emotions around you, there is something you can do to meet them where they are. It's not easy - in fact it's a process - but it may save your relationship. One...

Duration: 00:56:01

The no-win conversation - Lashing out at others - Blame the cheater not yourself

Does your partner corner you into a no-win situation? Do they ask you questions that make you wrong no matter what you say? I talk about double binds in relationships and a couple ways to get out of the no-win questioning that often happens in both non-abusive and abusive relationships. For segment two I talk about lashing out and where it comes from. Are they new emotions that seem to originate in the moment or are they old, stored emotions that derived from a single point in time?...

Duration: 01:05:46

Success via stress - Never too old - judging others when you do the same thing - The guilt of the infidel

Is succeeding in a stressful way better than not succeeding at all? In this first segment I talk about how creating a deadline with accountability keeps you on task and even makes you more creative. In segment 2, a woman writes to say that it's never too late to honor yourself. She did so with a toxic family member and is now starting a new way of life without his involvement. In segment 3, I talk about the issue of judging others for things that you yourself do. It's like telling the...

Duration: 00:58:09

Obsessing about people - Can your marriage heal if you grow - Online shaming

When you obsess about someone you want in your life or someone that broke up with you, what can you do to stop the never-ended thoughts? What about when you go so far as to stalk them and find out everything you can about them? This is a two-part segment because there's a lot to talk about. In segment two a woman wants to know if she heals and grows will her husband see that she is better and want to stay in the relationship. However the husband has been manipulative and unkind to her,...

Duration: 01:18:13

See me, Judge me - Is your opinion really that important?- Stop Oversharing - What is No Contact?

Standing up for your boundaries can have the consequence of being called out. I address critical feedback from a listener who calls me out on what she believes to be smug and superior behavior. Can someone with a fear of abandonment be in an intimate relationship with someone who has a fear of commitment? That's a great question that I help a listener consider. Do you overshare? I read a message from someone who says her oversharing is a big problem in her life, causing all kinds of...

Duration: 01:30:33

Trusting Your Gut - Can You Reconcile with Someone You've Hurt - Making Decisions Easier

Do you trust your gut? Do you want to? I tell you how in this first segment where I share how I almost got conned by a store clerk. In segment two, high school sweethearts get married then divorced ten years later. After a lot of emotional abuse and healing, he wants her back but she's not ready. Is reconciliation possible? In closing I tell you how to make decisions that allow you to do some time traveling so that you can get an idea of how you'll feel after making them or not. A packed...

Duration: 01:11:04

Blaming Others for Everything - Does time heal? - The overworking ADD partner - Hanging up on family

You will get the results you want as soon as you accept responsibility for your role in every problem in your life. What is your level of success? Segment one will help you measure it and come up with a game plan for you. Segment two talks about the how important relationships are, especially the one with yourself. Almost every relationship issue you have with others needs nurturing in yourself. Nurture you and your relationship will be healthy and toxic-free! In segment three I read a...

Duration: 01:19:11

Wanting someone who doesn't want you - The price of inauthenticity - When you want someone to get help

When you pursue someone you want romantically but they don't want you, the result is often hurt feelings or worse. What about when you love someone so much that you want them to love you back and they won't? Should you continue your pursuit? If you try to convince them that being in a relationship with you will be the best thing for them, it may create a very unstable and probably short union. Love and being in love are two different things - when you learn to love, you learn to release....

Duration: 01:00:12

Criticism and how you are like them - How to start the therapeutic process - The damage to the soul when someone dies

You know that feeling you get when someone puts you down? How about when you feel like you're doing everything right but that one person tells you how you're doing it wrong? In segment one, I read an email from someone who gives me some critical feedback about how I communicate my message over the airwaves. He also tells me something I'm doing blatantly wrong. I share my reaction and the emotions I went through, and what you yourself probably go through when someone points out something...

Duration: 01:10:57

So What You're Afraid - Avoiding Unavoidable People - To Start Anew or Wait for the Old

Honoring your boundaries can be the hardest step to take in your personal development, and it's also one of the fastest ways to start creating a life without toxicity and dysfunction. But what if you're too scared to do it? Getting to a place where fear goes away isn't easy - it can take a lot of inner growth leading to the confidence and courage to do whatever it takes to let others know what is acceptable and what is not. In this first segment, I talk about boundaries and how there may...

Duration: 01:08:33

Feeling Unworthy by Comparison - Your Partner's Controlling Parent - Breakdown of Narcissism - Recycling Dysfunction

Comparing yourself to other people is the fastest way to low self-worth and self-esteem. And why do we always compare ourselves to people that are better looking, wealthier, healthier and have more success in areas of life that we are still working on? It seems like a black hole of misery that will never end. In segment one, I talk about one of my good friends who is self-employed and wondering why she isn't succeeding after a few months of what I see has been a very successful time for...

Duration: 01:18:50

Handling negative feedback - Stop worrying about everything - Enabling is disabling - Guilt and apologies

How do you handle negative feedback? There's a golden opportunity to sink or swim when someone puts you down. Their comments don't have to equal pain and a hit on your self-worth or self-esteem. In fact, maybe it's possible that the one person you remember putting you down is the very impetus you needed to improve something about yourself. It's not fun getting criticized, but it's not always a bad thing either. In segment two, I talk about worrying and overwhelm about everything. Just how...

Duration: 01:08:32

Does Authenticity Make You Cringe - Getting Past Your Partner's Past - Building Rapport with People

When someone expresses themselves to you, do you cringe at the thought of you doing the same? Does the idea of sharing what they're sharing make you feel uncomfortable? Does it stop you from living life the way you want with authenticity and confidence? If you feel uncomfortable or shy when someone shares something vulnerable with you, that may be a sign that something could use some healing in you, if you want to explore it. It's a great way to tell just what you need to work on in...

Duration: 01:09:06

Rekindling with toxic family - The long-term results of honoring yourself - Even the victim plays a role - Contact or no contact your ex

How do you go about rekindling with toxic and / or dysfunctional family members? Is it worth "going home" and starting up those old, dysfunctional, family get-togethers again? Is it possible to avoid the toxicity of family past? There is a way to return to a toxic environment but it's going to take some courage to be the person you want to be with the people that have always treated you the way you don't want to be treated. I talk about that in segment one. In segment two, I read a message...

Duration: 01:09:21

All those years wasted with your ex - When hope works against you - Under the stream of negative emotions

How can you possibly forget an ex that "wasted" years of your life? How can you possibly forgive them either? In this first segment, I read a letter from someone who married a big problem, and now she is upset at him for "stealing" so many years of her life. She wants to forgive and move on but can't seem to do it. I offer a suggestion that she may not have considered on forgiveness. In segment two, what can you do if you want your ex back but they keep you at arm's length. They want to be...

Duration: 01:15:13

Identifying Your Sense of Self - Overcoming the Guilt of Leaving the Emotional Abuser - Diminishing Emotional Triggers

Your sense of self and identity can dissolve or even be rewritten over years of trau Your sense of self and identity can dissolve or even be rewritten over years of trauma, abuse, and / or dysfunction. Dis-integration can happen after a lifetime of challenges that you haven't healed from, causing you to feel scattered and feel like you have no purpose. When you don't have a strong emotional foundation, the hard times are harder and you feel beat up and burnt out almost all the time. It's...

Duration: 01:08:42

When You Haven't Achieved Life Goals Yet - Walking the Line Between Partner and Consoler - Waiting for Your Ex to Return to the Relationship

What happens when you reach that age where you thought you would have accomplished certain things in life but are nowhere close to what you set out to do 10, 20, 30 or more years ago? Do you get depressed? Do you have a mid-life crisis? Or… maybe you see that there's a bigger plan in the works for your life. If that's too spiritual a view for you, perhaps it's time to comes to terms with your fears and accept realities you don't want to accept. It sounds dismal and defeating thinking this...

Duration: 01:21:40

Starting Sex Before the Bedroom - Achieving Closure After the Breakup - Attracting Authentic People

When does sex really start? When you're taking off your clothes? The heated kissing or "petting" or… is there a lot more to it? If you are emotionally connected, you already know when sex starts - way before you ever step into the bedroom. If you are somewhat detached from your emotions however, sex is probably, mainly a physical thing for you. Regardless of where you are on the spectrum of sexual intelligence, this segment is all about how to build it right so that it is as enjoyable as...

Duration: 01:16:03

Fear-Based Decision Making - Wanting more than friendship - Giving it all away for free

Do you make decisions based on what's in alignment with the highest intention for yourself, or do you make them based on fear. One path almost always leads to turmoil, and the other leads to getting what you want out of life almost every time. In segment two, what do you do when you start to have feelings for a good friend? And what if they don't have feelings back? Can you keep this kind of friendship or are you doomed for disappointment? I read a letter from someone going through this...

Duration: 01:06:48

Holding on to regrets and resentments - What is healthy communication? - When it can't get any worse

What resentments or regrets are you holding on to? Sometimes years can go by while you keep a firm grasp of what causes you stress simply because you can't let go of the idea that you could have made different choices in life. Or, could you have made different choices or taken a different direction in your life? If so, why not? In segment two, I talk about a healthy way to communicate with others - one that fosters positive relationships and productive communication. There's a big picture...

Duration: 01:28:51

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