Find your own path forward. Move forward with purpose. These are the lessons we are learning from Britt Frank, MSW, LSCSW, SEP. She has written a self-help book for truly everyone! The Science of Stuck gathers research-backed solutions combined with inspiring personal stories to create a clear and attainable road map to help us discover who we are meant to be. We had the pleasure of speaking with Britt about her journey and are continually amazed at her realistic approach to mental health and well-being.
Food + Mood NYC: You are a therapist, teacher, public speaker, trauma specialist and now the author of The Science Of Stuck! How do you manage to balance all these things in this frenetic world and still remain grounded?
Britt Frank: When people ask me how I manage to balance everything, my answer is always the same — I DON’T! I live a completely UNbalanced life. When we start with the goals of seeking balance (which we were ALL taught we “should” seek) we end up missing the mark because a balanced life is not only NOT possible, it’s NOT ideal. Balance cannot co-exist with CHOICE – if we have to give equal airtime to everything, there’s no room for creativity or spontaneity. Balance cannot co-exist with PASSION – imagine timing sex where each partner gets equal time allocated to them for specific acts. NO THANK YOU. If everyone is getting an equal share of us, we’re not able to give our best to anyone or anything. And finally, balance cannot co-exist with high-performance. Almost anything we value in life demands focus and attention. Rather than think of your life as a see-saw with “work” on one side and “life” on the other, think of your life as an orchestra. When you can “conduct” the different areas of your life, they end up harmonious— NOT balanced. So, to answer your question, I may not have a balanced life, but I do consciously and consistently try to evaluate what I value, what options are available to me, and then comes the hard part —I try to get really honest about what I am (and what I’m NOT) willing to sacrifice.
F+M NYC: What motivated you to write The Science Of Stuck?
BF: I spent many many years feeling stuck, sick and completely out of control. I tried lots of different types of therapy, read a bunch of books, and ended up finding myself at dead ends right and left. The Science of Stuck is the book I wished I could have had when I started my journey. It’s like a CliffsNotes guide to self-help — I took the best practices and principles from all the different things that worked for me, summarized them into really easy-to-understand bite-sized pieces, and threw in some quick action steps that do not require a ton of time, energy or money to do.
F+M NYC: Is there a connection between our mind and body; in other words do you believe in an integrative approach to mental health?
BF: Our minds live inside our brains, and our brains live inside our bodies. There is no realistic way to separate the two— everything in our body informs how our mind works, and everything in our mind can impact our body. When we focus solely on thought-work and mindset shifts, we miss out on powerful signals from our physiology. When we focus exclusively on our bodies, we miss out on valuable resources from our minds. We need to have BOTH brain-based and body-based strategies.
F+M NYC: In your book, you provide actionable tips and tools to help people find their path forward in all aspects of their lives. What are three of the top tips you offer your readers?
BF: The top three tips I would give anyone would be these:
1. There is ALWAYS function to our behavior. Getting CURIOUS about our behavior is the key to changing it.
2 .You are NOT crazy. ALL symptoms make sense in context — even if you do not know what the context is.
3. You are NOT lazy or unmotivated— our brains are wired to keep us alive, not to make us happy. Learning the language of the nervous system can help get you out of stuck and into motion.
F+M NYC: Besides being highly attuned to ways to improve your mental health, how do you take care of yourself holistically?
BF: I try to practice what I preach! I work with a therapist, I have a creative and endlessly frustrating relationship with aerial arts (and a very patient coach) and I place a high value on the relationships in my life. I also make sure as an introvert to give myself plenty of alone-time, as I tend to NOT do well if I don’t create re-charging time.
To learn more about Britt Frank visit The Greenhouse KC and pre-order The Science of Stuck coming March 15, 2022!