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PodcastVulnerability Hangover: Navigating the Aftermath of Emotional Exposure

Vulnerability Hangover: Navigating the Aftermath of Emotional Exposure

Exploring the vulnerability hangover: the doubts and insecurities following brave acts. Learn from real experiences about how to cope and self-soothe.

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Better mental health starts with Headspace. Unrivaled expertise to make life feel a little easier, using guided meditations, mindfulness tips, focus tools, sleep support, and dedicated programs.

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Better mental health starts with Headspace

(cursor clicks) (bright music) Headspace Studios. (insects chittering) Hi, dear friends. Welcome to Radio Headspace and to Thursday. It's Eve here with you. So one of my closest and dearest friends, Vicki Pavitt, is a dating and relationship coach, and she sends out a weekly newsletter. And the topic the other day was really interesting. It was called a vulnerability hangover. Vicki talked about being brave and putting herself out there so that she could explore new work opportunities and make new connections. And she highlighted that she was asked to speak at an event, and then the vulnerability hangover that followed. The analysis mode kicked in. I could have said that better. Was it good enough? Am I good enough? And then cue the waves of uncertainty, self-doubt, and insecurity. That's when the hangover feelings started: fatigue, craving beige food, wanting to hide. She went on to say that this is natural and happens to so many of us. She described it as the saboteur at play, just wanting to protect us and keep us safe. This really resonated with me and I'm sure many others, so much so that after reading her newsletter, I called her to say, "I've recently had my own vulnerability hangover." I did an interview for a newspaper. I was nervous and excited, but the exact same thing that happened to Vicki happened to me. I was fully in the grips of a vulnerability hangover. I was going over and over in my mind that I should have said this, and I forgot to say that, and a lot of self-doubt started to creep in. When I told Vicki how I was feeling, she reminded me that that was just my perception. This was a story I was telling myself. She helped me to see that actually the other person probably walked away from the conversation feeling like they'd learned something new or I'd helped them see something from a different perspective. She also reminded me that when we do brave things, it can be helpful to create what she describes as a soft landing for yourself. The chances are when you put yourself out there, there will be some discomfort, and taking time to practice self-care is what she means by the soft landing. I personally have found loving kindness meditation really helpful in situations like this. This practice can generate feelings of warmth and friendliness and compassion towards ourselves and others. The good thing about this practice is that you can do it anywhere, and it involves sending good wishes to yourself and others. So you could say the following phrases silently to yourself. May I be well. May I be brave. May I feel valued. May I be happy. It might sound a little silly at first, but it's amazing the difference it can make in softening those hard edges that we create around ourselves. This practice also works really well when you send it to others. I actually did this...


Duration5 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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