S2E41. From Fear of Public Speaking to TedX Through Improv with Dr. Mihaela Jekic

Dr. Mihaela Jekic is a money coach, author, and TedX Speaker. Mihaela helps professionals and entrepreneurs transform their money mindset, help them get unstuck financially, and build a business and life they love. She’s gone from losing everything during the Bosnian Civil War and being a refugee to paying cash for her home in Ohio in her early thirties. She speaks and conducts workshops on personal transformation, financial freedom, and resilience. Mihaela co-authored Money for Meaning: Philosophy for a Life of Extraordinary Freedom.

How she came to this point was a long, winding journey. She had a pretty normal childhood, until one day she woke up to the news that the city had been barricaded and heard gunshots in the distance. So they packed up their car and left, and that was the last day she saw her childhood home.

Looking back, Mihaela feels grateful for these events. She learned to value experiences and people over anything.

Three years after that, her family ended up moving to Toronto, Canada. MIhaela started attending high school there, with the added struggle of not speaking any English. She had to learn to adapt as she went. Four years later, she had the highest English grade of her graduating class. With hard work, and stepping out of your comfort zone, it is really amazing what you can accomplish!

Mihaela moved to Columbus to attend college at Ohio State University. She had a wonderful experience there competing in fencing, but a couple of years in she felt like something was off. Once fencing was done, she realized she just did not enjoy the research requirements of the college. She was anxious, depressed, and she ended up developing a fear of public speaking.

From then on, she believed that she was terrible at thinking on her feet and that she should avoid public speaking. When she had to, she would just memorize all of her lines. Eventually, she decided enough is enough. This fear was holding her back, and it was time to do something radical. That’s where improv came in.

The courage to have her business and to speak on stage all came from the decision to sign up for that class. Improv is not just about comedy and one-liners. It’s about being able to connect with other people at a deeper level. You learn to make eye contact, read body language, and empathize with others to create this scene. It is a process that can translate to your business and to your career. For Mihaela, it was transformative.

About a year and a half after signing up for that class, Mihaela found herself on a TedX stage performing with an improv comedy troupe in front of hundreds of people. That shattered her previous beliefs of what she was capable of. Inspired by this experience, she realized that all of these other beliefs about herself could be wrong as well. If all of that was false, then what else is possible?

What area do you need to grow in? And what is that one bold decision that could change your life? Improv could be the tool to get you out of your comfort zone and to transform into a new, better version of yourself.

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Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:00:00] Work hard. And if we step out of our comfort zone, to reach out, to communicate, to be willing to make mistakes as I have many times, and to fail at it, and to repeat myself, and so on. It is really amazing that—what we can accomplish.

Peter Margaritis: [00:00:25] Welcome to Change Your Mindset Podcast, formerly known as Improv is No Joke, where it’s all about believing that strong communication skills are the best way in delivering your technical accounting knowledge and growing your business. An effective way of building stronger communication skills is by embracing the principles of applied improvisation. Your host is Peter Margaritis, CPA, a.k.a. The Accidental Accountant. And he will interview financial professionals and business leaders to find their secret in building stronger relationships with their clients, customers, associates, and peers, all the while growing their businesses. So, let’s start the show.

Peter Margaritis: [00:01:11] Welcome to Episode 41. And my guest today is Dr. Mihaela Jekic, who’s a money coach, author and a TedX Speaker. Mihaela helps professionals and entrepreneurs transform their money mindset, help them get unstuck financially, and build a business and life they love. She’s gone from losing everything during the Bosnian Civil War and being a refugee to paying cash for her home in Ohio in her early thirties. She speaks and conducts workshops on personal transformation, financial freedom and resilience. Mihaela co-authored Money for Meaning: Philosophy for a Life of Extraordinary Freedom. Now, our conversation centers around her journey from her time as a young girl in Bosnia, to earning her PhD from The Ohio State University, to getting past the fear of public speaking, to her business today. This is a fascinating and inspiring journey.

Peter Margaritis: [00:02:08] As you know by now, Change Your Mindset is part of the C-Suite Radio family of podcasts. It is an honor and a privilege to be amongst some of the more prevalent business podcasts, such as The Hero Factor with Jeffrey Hayzlett, Amazing Business Radio was Shep Hyken, and Keep Leading with my good friend, Eddie Turner. You can find Change Your Mindset and many other outstanding business podcasts on C-Suite Radio by going to www.c-suiteradio.com.

Announcer: [00:02:37] This podcast is part of the C-Suite Radio network: turning the volume up on business.

Peter Margaritis: [00:02:42] Now, many of you don’t know that I’m a type 1 diabetic, and I do volunteer my time to the Central Ohio Diabetes Association, which is part of the LifeCare Alliance Organization here in Central Ohio. Here’s a short commercial about the upcoming Santa Speedo Dash, where all the proceeds from the dash help fund the Central Ohio Diabetes Association summer camp for children with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Kathy: [00:03:10] Hey, Anthony, what’s with the bells?

Anthony: [00:03:12] Hey, Kathy, I’m putting my outfit together for the Santa Speedo Desh.

Kathy: [00:03:16] Love the red leggings too. So, you’re going to run in the Santa Speedo Dash on Saturday, December 14th to support Campi Hamwi?

Anthony: [00:03:22] You betcha. Will you be there?

Kathy: [00:03:24] Of course. It’s the only date I’m allowed to wear a bathing suit to work.

Anthony: [00:03:28] Help us give kids with diabetes the experience of a lifetime. Proceeds from the Santa Speedo Dash support Camp Hamwi. Register or donate today at www.santaspeedodash.org.

Peter Margaritis: [00:03:42] And now, a word from our sponsor.

Sponsor: [00:03:45] This episode is sponsored by Peter A, Margaritis LLC a.k.a. The Accidental Accountant. Are you looking for a high-content and engaging speaker for your next conference? Do you want to deliver a story to stakeholders that will transform data dumping to engage in business conversations? Do you want to feel that the value a speaker provides your audience far exceeds the dollar value on their invoice? Then, book Peter for your next conference, management retreat, or workshop. Contact Peter and peter@petermargaritis.com, and visit his website at www.petermargaritis.com. By the way, one of his Fortune 50 clients actually made the comment about the value he brings to your audience.

Peter Margaritis: [00:04:34] Now, let’s get to the interview with Mihaela Jekic.

Peter Margaritis: [00:04:41] Hey, welcome back, everybody. Oh, my God. Do I have a treat for you today? My guest today is Mihaela Jekic. And I’m a let her talk about this fabulous story of her life and this journey that she’s been on. I met her recently at a Professional Speakers Toastmaster event. And she’s got this wonderful story. And I was able to get her on my podcast. So, first and foremost, thank you, Mihaela, for taking time out of your schedule to be with me today.

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:05:12] Thank you so much, Peter, here for having me.

Peter Margaritis: [00:05:14] I’m going to just turn it over to you. You have such a fascinating story. And it’s a journey that has taken you to Columbus and to what you’re doing right now. So, if you could share some of that story with my audience, I think they’ll just find it incredibly inspiring.

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:05:31] Sounds great, Peter. So, yes. So, what I do today is I am a financial coach, an author, and a speaker. But yes, how I came to this point is a long, and winding, and twisty journey. First of all, English is not the first language I learned. I grew up in Sarajevo, Bosnia, which was part of a communist dictatorship called Yugoslavia from the Second World War until the death of the Dictator, Marshal Tito in 1980. And I was born shortly after that point.

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:06:10] Now, when Tito died, he left a power vacuum and collapsing economy. And over time, tensions were built. And then, when I was 10 years old, my life changed forever. I had a pretty normal childhood, as you might expect. You know, visited grandparents on the weekends, went to school, played with my friends. And then, one morning, we woke up to news on the radio that much of the city had been barricaded and heard gunfire in the distance. So, we got some things, put them into a car, and we left.

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:06:50] And I’ll never forget what my mom said as we were leaving. She said, “Get your books, get some more things. We could be gone for two weeks.” But I knew this that she didn’t really believe that. She thought she, honestly, with every fiber of her body, she believed that it would all blow over in a weekend, and life would return to normal. It just had to. I mean, this was three groups of people living together in this country. It was just unthinkable what was about to happen. But 27 years later, that is the last day I saw my childhood home.

Peter Margaritis: [00:07:27] Wow.

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:07:28] So, now my life went in a very different direction. So, we were refugees. We had family members in a safer part of the country that we eventually were able to go over there, and they offered us temporary shelter. We got food packets from the Red Cross that were really helpful during this time. I still remember standing with my mom and my little brother in line for these. So, yeah, it was just this unbelievable experience. But looking back, honestly, I feel grateful for this in a way. I mean, obviously not the war an so on, but what came out of it is I learned to value experiences and people over anything. We lost our home. We lost all our possessions. And I realized that that’s not what really matters in life. It really is the people and experiences that nobody can take away from us. So, that created some of the foundation, which is what I’ll come back to later.

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:08:29] So, three years into this, I learned that my family was moving to Canada to start a whole new life. And honestly, I was super excited about this. I did think it was kind of like the Wild West a little bit from all the cowboy stories I read. Yeah. It turns out Toronto was not like [indiscernible]. But it was September, and I was 13 years old. So, it was time to start high school, which would be gut-wrenching feeling, I think, for anyone. It’s like even if you grew up here, it’s like high school is this whole new thing. How we’re gonna fit in? And our friends are going to like us. But at that point, I had one detail that made it a little different, which is I didn’t speak English. So, I walked into high school kind of terrified. And it was what you sort of expect at that point. I didn’t know what was being taught, or what my homework was, or where to go for a class even.

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:09:40] And I still remember this, when somebody told me that I needed to go to the upper gym, and I sat there so confused about who Jim was. So, it was—talk about improvisation. I know you talk about this on the podcast. But just figuring out, you know, the [indiscernible], where to go, and so on, and how to adjust to all that. So, that’s another one of those foundational experiences. But four years later. I got the highest grade in my graduating English class.

Peter Margaritis: [00:10:18] Wow!

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:10:20] Yes, I was so—that was just a lot of hard work, and stepping out of my comfort zone. It’s going in. I have a feeling of I’m just not as good as other kids. I’ll never catch up. Everything is so far ahead. Just that insecurity, but through this, it is, honestly, if we work hard, and if we step out of our comfort zone, to reach out, to communicate, to be willing to make mistakes, as I have many times, and to fail at it, and to repeat myself, and so on. It is really amazing that—what we can accomplish.

Peter Margaritis: [00:10:59] Well, just so the audience knows, you mentioned improv, and you have taken improv classes.

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:11:06] Yes.

Peter Margaritis: [00:11:07] And you’re the accidental improv artist.

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:11:12] Yes, I certainly am. And just to quickly fast forward within one minute to the point of improv with that. So, I went to study engineering in school. And the reason that I am in Columbus, Ohio today is I was finishing school in Canada, I discover the passion for saber fencing in college. I know, talk about out of left field, right? A friend brought me into a class, and I became so obsessed with it. I was training super hard. And at the end of this, I won the varsity championship for all of Ontario universities and the Female Athlete of the Year award at my university, Carleton University in Ottawa that year. But I still wanted to go to the next level.

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:12:01] So, I started to look at where the great coaches were, and I found one at The Ohio State University, and I thought, “Well, I’m in Ottawa. He’s in Columbus. I’m past the varsity time period. So, how am I going to work with this guy? I really want to do this.” And then, it hit me. I got it. I’ll go to Ohio State and get a PhD.

Peter Margaritis: [00:12:26] Of course. Why not?

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:12:28] Of course. So simple. Problem solved. So, I applied, and this was the only college I applied to for a PhD program. Got it in right before the deadline. And I got interviewed and offered a full scholarship and stipend for Biomedical Engineering PhD at Ohio State. So, I was on my way. And fencing-wise, this was a wonderful experience. It got me to bronze medal at Canadian National Championships. But a couple of years in, I really started to feel like something was wrong. I was not on purpose. I mean, I started—so, fencing was done at this point in time. I was done. And I just—I really—to say that I was not enjoying the research side of things is an understatement. I mean, truly. I mean, I felt anxious and depressed all the time, not like myself at all. I was trying the way these 70, 80-hour weeks. And it just—you know, I feel like it was really a challenging period in time. And during this time, I also happened to develop a fear of public speaking as well.

Peter Margaritis: [00:13:42] What?

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:13:42] My PhD candidacy exam was, really, I felt such a humiliating experience. I froze like a deer in headlights. I just—I couldn’t remember answers to even basic questions. It was—I mean, horrible. In the end, my adviser said that I passed just because my written answers were so strong. So, from then on, basically, I believed that I am terrible on my feet, that I should avoid public speaking. When I had to do it, I would just memorize everything. And, you know, it was just a torturous experience where I wouldn’t sleep the night before obsessing about every question I could be asked just because I didn’t want to feel that yelling of humiliation all over again. And finally, that’s where improv comes in. I decided enough is enough. This is holding me back. I have to do something radical. Radical.

Peter Margaritis: [00:14:43] Radical, exactly. Improv is radical in a lot of ways.

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:14:46] Improv is radical for an engineering PhD, with a fear of public speaking. Improv is beyond radical. So, it is terrifying. I remember, I almost turned around driving to my first class. I had this acid feeling in my stomach, and just tension in my body, wondering what have I done to myself. I’d be like a fish out of water, just humiliated. I mean, this is a terrible idea. But there was a deeper as well that said, “You need this. Think about how much you could grow.” So, I went in. And thankfully, it wasn’t nearly as terrifying as I thought it would be. In fact, I encountered this, like, amazing supportive group in Columbus, Ohio, the Wild Goose Creative. Just just wonderful, loving, supportive people. And I really grew leaps and bounds from that.

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:15:49] The courage to have my business today and to speak on stage is all since from that one bold decision to sign up for that class. So, that’s what I would encourage the listeners to do. What area do you need to grow in? And what is that one bold decision that could change your life? To go out of your comfort zone and to transform into this new version of yourself that you don’t even recognize.

Peter Margaritis: [00:16:18] As a friend of mine says – his name is Jason, he actually my my improv coach – “If everybody will take, at least, one improv class, this world would be a lot better.”

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:16:28] Absolutely. And it’s not just about the snazzy, you know, one liner, and so on. It’s about being able to connect with other people at a deeper level. Eye contact, body language, to feel what they’re feeling, to create this scene. It’s not creation, actually. It’s discovery. It’s like you discovering your character and you’re doing it together with somebody else. So, it’s this beautiful. Yes, I know it sounds like a scary process, but in the right environment, it is a beautiful process that can truly translate to your business, to your career. I mean, being able to read body language, to connect with people on a deeper level, to communicate more effectively is so essential. It was transformative for me.

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:17:16] And as a side effect of that, some unbelievable things happened in my life as well. So, about a year and a half after signing up for that class and surviving, I found myself on a TedX stage performing with an improv comedy troupe in front of hundreds of people. Wow. That shattered my notions about who I was and what I believed I was capable of, honestly. And so, a few weeks after that, I was walking down my street. And inspired by this experience, I had this just massive insight that I have no idea who I am, not what my passions or interests are, but more on a deeper level. It’s like I don’t know. If I believe all this about myself, that I’m terrible in my feet, that I’m limited in this way, that I could never speak on stages, that I could blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. If all of that was false, then what else is possible? I don’t know where the limit is or what possibilities still await it.

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:18:33] And so, letting go of these limitations about what we believe we are, whether it’s an accountant and are focused on number, but, you know, not necessarily somebody who loved serendipitous, exciting things, and so on. Whatever it is, it’s just that whole notion of who we believe we are, they actually turn out to be completely false. And when we take bold things, step out of our comfort zone, we really discover who we are, and what we’re capable of.

Peter Margaritis: [00:19:06] Oh, my God. You’ve made it such a wonderful commercial and validating things that I’ve been saying for years. And finally, three years on this podcast, you just summed it all right up what improv can do for everybody. It’s not—I always say it’s magical because you just never know what you can do. I mean, you started a business, you’ve been on a TedX stage. You were just recently on a TedX stage again.

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:19:35] Yes, that’s right. So, I gave a TedX talk. So, my first time, it was as a performer. Yes, I was the intermission basically at the first TedX event doing improv comedy. And then, I just recently did a TedX talk called Turning Humiliation into Transformation. And that talk should be posted on October 11th. I guess, today. So, it should be posted any day to the TedX site by the time this podcast comes out. I would love for folks to check that out because I really go deeper to share the lessons learned. And also what I’ve found, the question that I asked myself that bring down that anxiety and fear about stepping into the unknown, which is—the questions are not, will I succeed or fail, or, you know, what will other people think? The questions are, will I grow from this? Will I create something new in my life or in the world? And will I connect with amazing, new people along the way?

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:20:44] I mean, I answer yes to these questions, whether it’s—and you know, I feel anxious for networking events, and things like that, and in business. And obviously, you have to—from doing sales and all these other things that are uncomfortable, but reframing it in this way, and asking these questions, I truly find has been transformational for a perfectionist like myself, to focus on growth, creativity, and connection instead of just an outcome. It’s been so liberating. So, I would love for folks to check out the TedX talk when it comes out.

Peter Margaritis: [00:21:19] So, we’re going to take the some of these quotes that you just gave us, and put it as the social media graphics. So, for two reasons. One, I love the quotes that you’ve given us. For two, as a reminder for those who are listening to this podcast to go grab those graphics and put them on your computer. Put these words that you’re saying in front of yourself to remind yourself on a daily basis things that we need to do to become bolder, and how improv can get us there. And as we say in improv, follow the fear.

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:21:55] Yeah, yeah.

Peter Margaritis: [00:21:55] Just leave it and do it. Just follow it. It’s— I used this last night. I was doing a session for Slide Deck Improv up in Cleveland, and I said, you know, “If we stay in our comfort zone, that’s where our dreams go to die.”

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:22:09] Yes, yeah.

Peter Margaritis: [00:22:11] “But when we step out of our comfort zone, that’s where magic happens. That’s where dreams come alive. And it’s scary because be careful what you wish for, it actually might come true. But it’s so liberating when it does. It’s so magical that, oh, my God, I can’t believe I did this.”

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:22:27] Yes. [Crosstalk].

Peter Margaritis: [00:22:28] It came from a refugee to here. I mean, it’s amazing.

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:22:33] Yes. So, it’s thoroughly transformational. So, yeah, as I mentioned, it’s been in my financial coaching business. I mean, I was the kind of person who would—I would feel, honestly, just out of my comfort zone just doing phone calls in the past. I would like write down bullet points. And yes, I am admitting this, and that has totally changed and transformed. I love working with clients and adapting, you know, to each particular individual in terms of their style, and needs, and in terms of what they need to do to go to the next level to reach their goals. So, it’s been so, so amazing.

Peter Margaritis: [00:23:17] So, let me ask you this question. And so, what’s—so, public speaking was one of your big fears, and you’ve accomplished that. What’s another one of your big fears that you haven’t accomplished yet, but you want to. And you want to use improv to help you do that. And then, I’ll preface it. I have a fear of heights. I do. Sometimes, I go over some large bridges, and I start freaking. I want to skydive. And I told my wife this, and she said, “Okay, let me check the life insurance policy first,” but I’m committed to doing that. I just haven’t committed to a date to do it, but it is—it will happen in 2020. Is there something like that in your life that you have yet to accomplish, but you want to, and you want to use that power of yes and improv to make that leap to do?

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:24:06] So, at this point in my life, I really feel like it’s related to this business. I want to speak on bigger stages, impact more people. I want to grow this business to the next level, and again, impact and transform more people’s lives. I find that so meaningful and so satisfying. So, I want to move in this direction. So, like a client that I had recently, actually this couple that I worked with, and both high earners, but at the same time, they hadn’t saved anything over the last year, had growing credit card debt, and other kinds of debt. And she had this passion to transition out of her corporate career and start a nonprofit that she is so, you know, on fire about. But she couldn’t because of the financial limitations.

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:25:03] So, working with them, over a three-month period, they went through paying off their consumer debt, their credit card debt, and bringing up over $5000 of monthly cash flow. She has started her nonprofit and is going to be able to leave her corporate job in March to be able to do it as full-time. And I think it makes such a big impact on the people that she’s going to work through with this organization. So, that’s the kind of stuff I feel like that lights me up.

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:25:38] Or another example on a different direction, this business owner that I’m working with. And she is one of the kindest people that I have ever encountered. And her business has a wonderful mission, but at the same time, it’s like even though it had, you know, high revenues, almost seven figures, there was nothing to show for it at the end of the year, I mean, it was actually in the negative to the point of her family contributing retirement funds to keep this afloat. So, immediately, we identified big opportunities for her to improve her cash flow. And as a result of that, that’s going to be transformational for her and her family.

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:26:17] So, this is—I think it’s so amazing. It’s not—you know, my degree is in engineering as a PhD. I decided when I finished that that—and this was a big decision, you know, not to pursue that direction, to go into academic research, and so on. I actually ended up working for a public private partnership to grow entrepreneurship in Ohio and so on. But yeah, just as I said, it’s not necessarily what my background is, but it’s what I absolutely love doing and want to take it to the next level.

Peter Margaritis: [00:26:51] So, as we begin to wrap wrap this up, I just want to share with the audience, we’re on Zoom, and I can see Mahaela as she’s telling these stories, and she lights up like—I mean, oh, my God, you can see the passion because her eyes are sparkling. She’s got this great smile. And she’s just telling the story, and you can just tell that, yeah, she absolutely loves what she’s doing. And so, I know you’ve written a book. And the book, you and your husband wrote it. You co-authored a book. And the name of the book is?

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:27:23] Money for Meaning: Philosophy for a Life of Extraordinary Freedom.

Peter Margaritis: [00:27:29] And it’s on Amazon. It’s on a-

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:27:30] Yes, yeah.

Peter Margaritis: [00:27:31] Okay. So, go out and pick up her book. The name of the business is?

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:27:36] It’s Money for Meaning as well.

Peter Margaritis: [00:27:38] As well. And that’s the website that people can find you?

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:27:41] Moneyformeaning.com, yeah.

Peter Margaritis: [00:27:44] Moneyformeaning.com. And do you—would you like to share an e-mail address with the audience if they want to drop you a quick e-mail to maybe contact you?

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:27:54] Yeah, that’ll be great. It’s Mihaela. So, my first name. I’m going to spell it out. It’s M-I-H-A-E-L-A @moneyformeaning.com. Yeah. I would be happy to connect.

Peter Margaritis: [00:28:10] So, if you have a—we’ll put in two pieces. If you want to learn more about her passion as it relates, outside the Money for Meaning, and her story, and her journey, or if you’re in a financial situation that you’re kind of stuck, and you need some help, contact her. Clearly, she can help you. And you know what, if you want somebody to help you that really loves what they’re doing, and smiling through it, and making you feel good about it, then you need to contact Mihaela.

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:28:41] Oh, thank you. That would be great. And, you know, I can be definitely, I would say, pleasant to work with. At the same time, though, I do see people accountable. I truly do with everything, with follow-up, the tangible action items, with deadlines. And then, if those are not done, then we really go deep into the mindset of what’s going on. We get to that transformation.

Peter Margaritis: [00:29:06] And that’s the other good part. She keeps you accountable. And, you know, that’s—a lot of times, coaches don’t keep us accountable to that degree. They may keep us accountable on the surface, but she goes deep. So, Mihaela, I want to thank you again for taking time to be with—I love your story. I love your journey. I love what you’re doing. Keep doing that great work. And I look forward to seeing you onstage, hopefully, sometime soon.

Dr. Mihaela Jekic: [00:29:33] Sounds great, Peter. Well, thank you for having me.

Peter Margaritis: [00:29:39] I hope you’ve enjoyed Mihaela’s interview and learning more about her journey. You know, we are all on some type of journey with the highs and lows. Persistence and perseverance wins when you hit those lows. Fight through them because as the old saying goes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Thank you for listening. And if you’re enjoying this podcast, please subscribe and share this episode with a friend. Make today your best day.

Announcer: [00:30:13] Like what you just heard? Because it’s c-suiteradio.com. C-Suite Radio: turning the volume up on business.

S2E40. Get The Sleep You Need by Breathing Right with Tara Clancy

Tara Clancy is a speaker, author, and sleep expert. Tara is also a member of the National Speakers Association and currently serves as the President of the Connecticut Chapter.

Tara has a lot of great tips and advice for us to think about during our day as it relates to our daytime and our nighttime breathing in order to get a good night’s sleep. She discusses the long-term ramifications of nighttime breathing issues and the effect it has on our bodies and on our brains.

Tara’s journey as a sleep expert began with the realization that she had been dealing with a sleep problem for her whole life. She had dealt with a succession of health problems her entire life: She had sinus infections, asthma, skin problems, and then gut issues. All of this built up to take away from her overall health and wellness.

Then, just by chance, she found out that it was actually all related to a nighttime breathing problem. At first, the news was kind of worrying. Breathing issues are no joke. But then she realized, if there’s just one problem here and not several little ones, there’s a better chance of her actually solving it. That is how she was introduced to studying proper sleep and how she became a sleep expert herself.

We’re all aware of sleep hygiene now largely, and we think as long as we’re getting 8 hours of sleep a night we’re good to go. But Tara was getting 8 hours of sleep and still needed that caffeine to get her going in the morning. She needed an afternoon power nap. And her need for adrenaline increased to the point she took up rock climbing!

Along with those things, waking up in the middle of the night suddenly, or to have to use the restroom, can all be warning signs or red flags that the quality of your sleep is not in the best shape.

One way you can tackle your poor breathing (and consequently, poor sleep) is through an exercise called LILO (Less In Less Often). The number one thing that people are doing that creates problems is mouth breathing. As soon as we start mouth breathing, we throw off the ratio of the gases in the blood. Mouth breathing also ends up causing inflammation because your nose is doing all these things like filtering the air, warming the air, cleaning the air, and moistening the air, which our mouth just doesn’t do, so we end up with inflammation at the back of our throats. If you have inflammation, that means the airway is now going to be smaller. Then when you sleep, your  muscles relax, and your airflow gets disrupted.

The goal of the breathing exercise is to undo some of that over-breathing when you breathe through your mouth. If you spent your whole day over breathing, then you want to set yourself up at night by taking less in, less often, so that it compensates for what was happening during the day. You just take in a smaller breath than you normally would, and you wait an extra moment before you take in that smaller breath. By doing that, you get yourself into the right nervous system mode and help to rebalance the gases in the blood. If you can get in the habit of countering that over breathing by doing your LILO breathing, you will feel a big difference and really set yourself up for a great night’s sleep.

Tara’s upcoming book called Is Your Sleep Making You Tired? walks you through all the things that may be impacting your sleep from the angle of nighttime breathing problems. 50% of men and 25% of women are affected by nighttime breathing problems, so many people just aren’t getting the sleep they need.

Tara has guides, articles, and quizzes for you and your family to read and to take. You can find these resources on her website at o2tara.org. Go visit her website and read her guides and articles and take a quiz to see if you need to take additional steps to eliminate your nighttime breathing issues.

Resources:

Transcript:

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Tara Clancy: [00:00:00] Train yourself to exclusively nose breathe even during exercise because you will see a dramatic increase in your performance.

Peter Margaritis: [00:00:18] Welcome to Change Your Mindset Podcast, formerly known as Improv is No Joke, where it’s all about believing that strong communication skills are the best way in delivering your technical accounting knowledge and growing your business. An effective way of building stronger communication skills is by embracing the principles of applied improvisation.

Peter Margaritis: [00:00:38] Your host is Peter Margaritis, CPA, a.k.a The Accidental Accountant. And he will interview financial professionals and business leaders to find their secret in building stronger relationships with their clients, customers, associates and peers, all the while growing their businesses. So, let’s start the show.

Peter Margaritis: [00:01:02] Welcome to Episode 40. And my guest today is Tara Clancy, who’s a speaker, author, and a sleep expert. Her upcoming book, Is Your Sleep Making You Tired?, will be available on Amazon in the spring of 2020. Tara is, also, a member of the National Speakers Association and currently serves as the President of the Connecticut Chapter. This episode is a must-listen to all CPAs and accountants who work in public accounting and in business and industry because of the upcoming increase in our demands as we enter 2020.

Peter Margaritis: [00:01:33] Tara has a lot of great tips and advice for us to think about during our day as it relates to our daytime and our nighttime breathing in order to get a good night’s sleep. She discusses the long-term ramifications of nighttime breathing issues and the effect it has on our bodies and on our brains. As you’ll hear during our conversation, Tara has guides, articles, and quizzes for you and your family to read and to take. You can find these resources on her website at O2tara.org. Go visit her website and read her guides and articles and take a quiz to see if you need to take additional steps to eliminate your nighttime breathing issues. I took one of these quizzes, and it appears that I have some nighttime breathing issues that I need to address.

Peter Margaritis: [00:02:22] Now, she does have an interesting article titled Sleep Apnea Victim: The Wicked Witch of the West, which is an interesting article seen at the movie, The Wizard of Oz, is playing during the upcoming holiday season. Tara talks about how you can tell that the Wicked Witch of the West had nighttime breathing issues based upon the shape of her face.

Peter Margaritis: [00:02:45] Before we get to the interview, Change Your Mindset is part of the C-suite family radio of podcasts. It’s an honor and a privilege to be amongst some of the more prevalent business podcasts, such as The Human Factor with Jeffrey Hayzlett, Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken, Keep Leading with Eddie Turner. You can find Change Your Mindset and many other outstanding business podcasts on C-Suite Radio by going to www.c-suiteradio.com. And you can find his podcast now on iHeart Radio.

Announcer: [00:03:14] This podcast is part of the C-Suite Radio Network: turning the volume up on business.

Peter Margaritis: [00:03:21] And now, word about the upcoming Santa Speedo Dash here in Central Ohio.

Cathy: [00:03:27] Hey, Anthony, what’s with the bells?

Anthony: [00:03:29] Hey, Cathy, I’m putting my outfit together for the Santa Speedo Dash.

Cathy: [00:03:33] Love of the red leggings too. So you’re going to run in the Santa Speedo Dash on Saturday, December 14th to support Camp Hamwi?

Anthony: [00:03:39] You betcha. Will you be there?

Cathy: [00:03:41] Of course. It’s the only day each year I’m allowed to wear a bathing suit to work.

Anthony: [00:03:45] Help us give kids with diabetes the experience of a lifetime. Proceeds from the Santa Speedo Dash support Camp Hamwi. Register or donate today at www.santaspeedodash.org.

Peter Margaritis: [00:03:59] And now, a word from our sponsor.

Sponsor: [00:04:01] This episode is sponsored by Peter A. Margaritis LLC, a.k.a. The Accidental Accountant. Are you looking for a high content and engaging speaker for your next conference? Do you want to deliver a story to stakeholders that will transform data dumping to engaging business conversations? Do you want to feel that the value a speaker provides your audience far exceeds the dollar value on their invoice? Then, book Peter for your next conference management retreat or workshop. Contact Peter at peter@petermargaritis.com and visit his website at www.petermargaritis.com By the way, one of his Fortune 50 clients actually made the comment about the value he brings to your audience.

Peter Margaritis: [00:04:49] Now, let’s get to the interview with Tara Clancy.

Peter Margaritis: [00:04:56] Excuse me. Welcome back, everybody. I apologize. I didn’t get home till late last night from a speaking engagement. And I didn’t—I’m sorry. I didn’t get enough sleep. And seriously, I am not saying that, but, luckily, my guest today, Tara Clancy, is a sleep expert. And she is going to talk to us about how to get better sleep, how to get the right sleep, how sleep is important in our daily lives. And if you think you can sleep when you’re dead, because I say that all the time, “I can sleep when I’m dead,” I think after listening to this episode, I already might be dead. So, first and foremost, Tara, thank you so very much for taking time out of your busy schedule to keep me awake and our audience awake as well.

Tara Clancy: [00:05:45] Thank you very much, Peter. I’m excited to be talking with you today.

Peter Margaritis: [00:05:49] So, how did you become the sleep expert?

Tara Clancy: [00:05:52] Well, you know how sometimes we have a happy accident. It turns out I realized that I had been dealing with a sleep problem for my whole life. And it was one of those, “Oh, my God. You’ve got to be kidding me,” moments. And then, it was also one of those, “Oh, my God. I’m so happy to get this information right now.” Sort of, I had a succession of trouble my whole life. There was always some new little thing that I was dealing with that just was either, you know, like a little health problems. I had sinus infections. And then next thing, I had asthma. And then, I had skin problems. And then, it was gut issues. And it was just this building of things that were kind of taking away my health and wellness.

Tara Clancy: [00:06:36] And then, after just by chance, I find out that it’s actually all related to a nighttime breathing problem. And so, it’s like, “Whoa, you know, not breathing at night, that’s pretty substantial.” And then—but then, the flip side of it was like, “Wow, if I—if that is the case, then maybe there is one problem here and not this multitude of little problems. And if it’s one problem, maybe I can actually really solve it.” And that is really how I got to here today. I’m a breathing specialist. And so, I was able to combine that work with a few other things to help me really get to the point of having the right kind of sleep.

Peter Margaritis: [00:07:20] You have some type—you have medical in your background. So, it wasn’t like you’re an engineer and went, “Okay, wait, you know, I can go down this path.” I mean, you do have that in your background, right?

Tara Clancy: [00:07:30] Well, so, I’m actually an educator. I’m a certified educator, diagnostician. And the reason I got the breathing specialty is for my own health originally to manage the asthma. So, it was just sort of by chance that I got—went and got this training for it. And I honestly, Peter, never connected the dots between the daytime breathing problems that I was having and the fact that I was just waking up exhausted all the time and feeling exhausted. And like I said, having this succession of small problems come my way.

Tara Clancy: [00:08:03] But what I realized is, is that it really is all about connecting the dots. And, you know, I loved the title of your podcast – it’s Change Your Mindset – because I think what happens is we have busy , right? We’re all—you know, we’re working, we’re developing our careers, we have unbelievable responsibilities coming our way, and sometimes ridiculous deadlines at work at different times of the year. And so, we get in these habits, and we feel less than we should, but we just chalk it up to the demands of life. And really, if we can change your mindsets and say, “You know what, it’s not just that we’re busy trying to live our lives,” but to say, “Maybe there’s something else driving all of this,” that’s when you can really start to get a better—to feel better if you start to look at it in a new way and start to say, “Maybe there’s something else going on here. Maybe it’s my sleep.”

Peter Margaritis: [00:08:58] So, how would I assess that? It’s my sleep that might be getting in the way because I might begin getting—well, I’m getting seven to eight hours of sleep at night. That should be suffice. And you mentioned about daytime breathing. How do I know if my breathing—I’m still alive. I’m still walking. So, I must be breathing fine. But apparently, I’m not. So, what kind of tips and hints that you can give my audience to—on these sides that you maybe need to look a little bit deeper?

Tara Clancy: [00:09:23] Yeah. So, I’m glad you mentioned the idea of getting seven to eight hours of sleep of night—at night and feeling like, “Okay, I can check sleep off the list,” because, you know, we’re all aware of sleep hygiene now largely, and we say, “As long as I’m getting the right amount, then I’m good.” But I was getting eight hours of sleep at night, and I was still waking up feeling tired, having to reach for that cup of coffee, to get the caffeine I was needing. I see you reaching for your cup of coffee. I needed a nap. I was the queen of the power nap. You know, I thought, “As long as I had that, I was good for the rest of the afternoon.”—

Tara Clancy: [00:10:06] And then, quite frankly, my adrenaline need kept increasing to the point that I took up rock climbing and needed the adrenaline of rock climbing to get going. And what I realized in hindsight is that so many of us, when is it, somewhere in our 30s and early 40s, how many people do you know that have—are training for a triathlon, or how many people have just finished their first Tough Mudder, you know? Why are we doing these sort of extreme sports? Really, if we step and look—step back and look at it, in many cases, it’s because we are really seeking the adrenaline that we need to keep us going because we’re not getting to sleep at night. So, any of those kinds of things could be a sort of red flag to say, “Let me look and see if maybe my sleep is not doing what it’s supposed to be doing for me.”

Tara Clancy: [00:10:55] Other things would include waking up in the middle of the night. Sometimes, especially if you think about for your audience, maybe the beginning of the year would be a particularly stressful time because they have so many increased demands for them.

Peter Margaritis: [00:11:11] Right.

Tara Clancy: [00:11:11] So, let’s say they fall asleep, and then they wake up at 2 o’clock in the morning, and their mind is racing, “Okay, what do I have for corporate tomorrow? What do I have for this account? What do I need to get done?” That waking up in the middle of the night, that’s another type of insomnia. And that is actually—research shows that that is often correlated with a nighttime breathing problem because, basically, what happens is new body knows that the brain is not getting a sufficient amount of oxygen when you’re sleeping. And so, it wakes you up and basically saying, “Hey, That sleep thing you were just doing was dangerous. Don’t do that again.” And that’s why you wake up, and then cannot fall asleep. So those are other signs too.

Tara Clancy: [00:11:53] Or if you wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, that’s another sign as well, because your brain has to do its repairs at night, and it goes into a really deep phase to do that. When it does that, it sends out a chemical to the bladder to say, “Hey, you know, we’re not open for business. Don’t send me a signal that you’re full.” So, if you are indeed in what we call the deep, deep sleep, that chemical gets sent out, and you will not signal—you know, you will not get the signal that you need to go to sleep. If you are getting that signal, and you are having to get up to go to sleep—excuse me, to go to the bathroom, that means you’re not getting into that deep phase of sleep where your brain can do its repairs.

Peter Margaritis: [00:12:40] Well, I’ll check those two on my boxes because yes, I do wake up at 2:00 – 3:00 in the morning at time and go, “My God, my head’s full. I got to get this stuff done.” And yes, I do get up a lot of times in the middle of the night to go to the restroom and come back.” But in my case, when I wake up, and I have two dogs that tend to wake me up around 5:00 in the morning because they’re hungry, I can’t go back to sleep. Once I wake up on, my motor starts.

Tara Clancy: [00:13:07] Right. Well, to go—to shift to the breathing side of things, there is a breathing exercise that you can do that helps your body get out of the fight-or-flight mode because that’s when you’ve woken up, when you haven’t gotten enough sleep, and you wake up, you’re usually more in that fight-or-flight nervous system load. So, there’s a breathing exercise. I, actually, have it available on a download—as a download on my website. But this breathing exercise can help you go from fight-or-flight nervous system into rest-or-digest nervous system. In fact, I recommend doing this breathing exercise before you even go to sleep because it gets you into that rest-or-digest nervous system, and it gives you the best chance of having a really restful night of sleep, you know, to get to where you want to be.

Peter Margaritis: [00:13:58] So, you said this is a download on your website. Could you give the audience the URL for your website?

Tara Clancy: [00:14:03] It’s o2tara.org/talk. And that has a download that will tell you some of the common signs that you see because believe it or not, Peter, your facial shape is even a huge determinant in whether you’re going to sleep well at night. That’s a really involved conversation that we would have. We would need a much longer program to get into that. But there is information about that in the download for people that are wondering. And it also has the breathing exercises, as I mentioned. And it has a couple of diagnostic tools for some of the medical professionals that I work with. So, it could really give people a good sense of whether or not they may be showing the signs of a nighttime breathing problem.

Peter Margaritis: [00:14:47] So, before we started recording, we were talking, and this episode is being broadcast on October 28, just before Halloween. And you said that you recently wrote an article about the Wicked Witch of the West.

Tara Clancy: [00:15:01] Yes.

Peter Margaritis: [00:15:02] And she had some breathing issues. So, could you share that with everybody?

Tara Clancy: [00:15:05] Yeah. Yes. So, because what I’m trying to do is help people see that these nonmedical signs of a nighttime breathing problem and the Wicked Witch of the West, the actress who played her, with the name of Margaret Hamilton, if you look at her face, you can see all the signs of someone with a nighttime breathing problem. And it’s right on the—on my website. It walks you through the different signs. And the thing is, when you look at it—she has passed away, but if you look at how she died, it says that she had a heart attack in her sleep. And so, at first glance, you think, you know, maybe that’s not a bad way to go.

Peter Margaritis: [00:15:46] Yeah.

Tara Clancy: [00:15:47] But then, you realize she had actually developed Alzheimer’s disease years before. And we know now that Alzheimer’s disease and nighttime breathing problems go hand-in-hand. We used to think of it as people with Alzheimer’s disease and other other cognitive impairments develop sleep apnea but we, now, all the researchers really bearing out that it’s the reverse, that you have the nighttime breathing problems, and then you end up developing the cognitive impairment and the Alzheimer’s disease.

Tara Clancy: [00:16:20] So, when I’m doing a talk, Peter, inevitably, at this point, somebody will say, “Why? Why is that?” And here’s the reason. Because at night, when you get into that deep phase of sleep that we were talking about before, your brain literally shrinks down in size. And the reason it shrinks down in size is that it should be flushed out. There’s is cerebrospinal fluid that literally flushes out every nook and cranny in your brain. And so, if you are not getting into that deep phase of sleep, you never get those repairs. You know, you never get the housekeeping done. And what is the basis of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease? The little plaques, the proteins that builds up there. And so, we—if you don’t get that deep phase of sleep, well, your brain can get flushed out, you end up developing—you set the stage for developing cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease later on.

Peter Margaritis: [00:17:15] Well, if you could see my face right now, it’s just, “Oh, my God,” or “Holy cow.” Never—that’s—so, if somebody—I have a friend who was diagnosed with, I guess, like a sleep apnea, and he had the CPAP. Am I using the right words?

Tara Clancy: [00:17:36] Yes, you are. Yes, absolutely.

Peter Margaritis: [00:17:39] And he told me, he goes, “You know, I never realized how poor sleep I was getting until I wore my CPAP machine, and I got the best night’s sleep I’ve ever had.”

Tara Clancy: [00:17:48] Yeah, that’s a very common sentiment. You don’t realize how worn down you’ve gotten because it’s been such a slow process. You know, our bodies are masterful at compensating. But at some point, you’re going to have to pay the piper. So, years, and years, and years go by and you—eventually, your body can’t compensate anymore. And it really gets at the idea, you know, you mentioned sleep apnea. Let’s just talk a little bit more broadly about that.

Tara Clancy: [00:18:18] So, when I talk about what they call in the literature sleep disorder breathing, I call it nighttime breathing problems, because that’s, you know, a much more non-medical, user friendly name. So, what does that mean? You’re having problems breathing at night, right? And sleep apnea would be the king of that nighttime breathing problem range because you actually stop breathing for certain amount of times, the number of times an hour, and then you get that diagnosis of sleep apnea. But there are other, you know, lesser forms of nighttime breathing problems that still are highly problematic.

Tara Clancy: [00:18:52] So, there’s something called upper airway resistance syndrome. Even basic snoring is a problem because you are—you have a disruption in air flow to the brain. And what’s the one thing your brain needs to continue functioning? Oxygen.

Peter Margaritis: [00:19:09] Oxygen.

Tara Clancy: [00:19:09] Right?

Peter Margaritis: [00:19:09] Right.

Tara Clancy: [00:19:09] And so, as soon as you have that disruption, you are stressing your brain in a way that you don’t want it to be stressed. And the problem, so you end up seeing that we don’t—we haven’t effectively connected the dots for the general public yet, but if you snore, and you—ultimately, we know now that anybody who snores will, at some point, down the line, ends up with sleep apnea. So-

Peter Margaritis: [00:19:37] Okay.

Tara Clancy: [00:19:37] … what I would like to do is say, “How about if we get this awareness now? If you are snoring, or if you’re just waking up, and you’re feeling tired, look at sleep and breathing during sleep as the possible problems because, then, you can, first of all, start to feel great again if you can backslide a problem. And then, also save yourself from ending up with sleep apnea down the road.”

Peter Margaritis: [00:20:02] Okay. So, let’s take a—go back to when you were talking about the download and this breathing exercise. Can you demonstrate via audio what this would entail? Just a piece of it. Just so the audience has an idea of what you’re—you know, when you’re talking about this breathing exercise?

Tara Clancy: [00:20:21] Sure, yeah. So, let me just step up—step back for a second and say why we have so many problems because that will explain why the breathing exercise work so much. So, the reason that so many of us have so many problems is because these nighttime breathing problems really get their start during the day, right? If you think about it, if you’re breathing for two-thirds of the day in a less than optimal way, it’s going to follow you into night because that’s your breathing pattern. But the reason it becomes more noticeable at night is because when you go to sleep, your muscles relax. And so, that, now, we call it the airway, any of the place where the air is getting in from your nose down into the lungs, if your airway is impacted in any way because of poor deep daytime breathing habits, when it relaxes at night, as it does when you’re sleeping, you problem is going to be magnified.

Tara Clancy: [00:21:16] So, let’s just—let me tell you first that the number one thing that people are doing that creates problems, mouth breathing, right? So, first of all, right now, you and I are mouth breathing as we’re talking. We all do it, right, because we have to. It would be odd to try to take in a breath through our nose when we’re speaking because, then, we’d sound all halted and all strange. But as soon as we start mouth breathing, we throw off the ratio of the gases in the blood. If you can just look at your nostrils compared to the size of your nose, I’m sorry, compared with your mouth to see how much more air you can take in through your mouth than you can in through your nose. So, once you start using your mouth for breathing, everything gets thrown off.

Tara Clancy: [00:22:02] You also end up getting inflammation when you mouth breathe because your nose does different things like filtering the air, warming the air, cleaning the air, all things like that, moistening the air. Our mouth can’t do that. So, we end up with inflammation at the back of our throat. And so, then, if you have inflammation, that means the airway is now going to be smaller. And then, when you go to sleep, muscles relax. You get that disrupted air flow.

Tara Clancy: [00:22:32] So, the goal of the breathing exercise is to undo some of that breathing, we call over breathing when you breathe through your mouth. So, the breathing exercise I call LILO breathing. And the LILO stands for less in, less often. So, if you spent your whole day over breathing, then you want to set yourself up at night by taking less in, less often, so that it compensates for what was happening all day. And again, it’s all described in there but, basically, you’re just taking in a smaller breath than you normally would. And then, you are waiting an extra moment before you take in that smaller breath. So, you take a little less in, and you do it a little less often. By doing that, you get yourself into the right nervous system mode, the rest or digests. And it also helps to rebalance the gases in the blood.

Tara Clancy: [00:23:30] There’s a really odd thing also about mouth breathing is the body senses that the air is escaping, not coming into the nose, and so it says, “Whoa! Whoa! Something’s going on,” and it actually creates mucus in the nose to block up this perceived loss of air. And how does increased mucus in the nose affect? It’s a stuffy nose. Then, you can’t breathe through your nose. So, you have to breathe through your mouth. So, it’s kind of like this catch 22. So, you know, I’m sure a lot of your listeners have to give presentations, and they have to speak to people all day. So, if they can get in the habit of countering that over breathing by doing this LILO breathing, they will feel a big difference. And especially if you do it right before you go to bed, you really set yourself up for a great night’s sleep as well.

Peter Margaritis: [00:24:24] So, we’re taking less in, less often, but we’re taking less into through our nose, and the exhales coming out of our mouth, right?

Tara Clancy: [00:24:32] No, no.

Peter Margaritis: [00:24:32] Oh, no.

Tara Clancy: [00:24:33] It’s always nose, yeah.

Peter Margaritis: [00:24:34] It’s always those. Okay.

Tara Clancy: [00:24:35] Yes. In yogic breathing, they often talk about inhalation to the nose and exhalation through the mouth. And my take on that is if you are a healthy breather, and you are breathing optimally, then that’s probably fine. But if you are over breathing, and a lot of it is just because of lifestyle for us. Like I said, you’re talking to people all day through your work. If you end up over breathing, then you don’t want to use your mouth, you know, for breathing any more than you absolutely have to. So, into the nose, out through the nose.

Peter Margaritis: [00:25:10] Well, as a speaker, as we both are both members of the National Speaker’s Association, then we should take note, all through the nose, nothing through the mouth because it’s how we make our living.

Tara Clancy: [00:25:21] As Speakers, you’re right. We do end up having to—we throw off our breathing all the time. We have to breathe through our mouths. And so, I do have that same breathing exercise where I refer to it as the speaker reset. So, any of your listeners, and I’m sure many of them have to speak to clients all the time, and they would want to do that too.

Tara Clancy: [00:25:42] Another thing, Peter, about mouth breathing, sometimes we’re just doing it by habit. We just keep our mouths open. So, we want to catch that. But even if you’re not, we have other times that we end up breathing through the mouth that really is not beneficial to us. And the biggest one is during exercise. You may have some of your listeners to get to the gym, and get on that treadmill, or they get out for a run, and you’re going along. You start feeling a little winded. So, your first thought is, “Let me breathe through my mouth.” But it’s actually the worst thing that actually can do. Train yourself to exclusively nose breathe even during exercise, because you will see a dramatic increase in your performance.

Tara Clancy: [00:26:21] I, actually, have a dentist that I interviewed for my book. He’s an airway dentist. I interviewed him for my book. And we were talking about breathing. He told me that he was a marathon—has been a marathon runner for 26 years. And for the first 16 years, he had no idea about the nasal breathing versus mouth breathing, and he would mouth breathe as he ran. Then, he found out about it and shifted to exclusive nasal breathing. And he said his marathon times have come out better in all these 10 years since finding out than any before, even though he was a much younger guy then. So, it really does make a difference.

Peter Margaritis: [00:26:57] Somebody did tell me that because I used to run, and my knees gave and said no more, but I bike. And when I bike, something hit me in the back of the head one day and said, “You need to breathe more through your nose than through your mouth.” So, every time I get on my bike, whether I’m doing 10, or 20 miles, whatever, I try to focus on breathing only through my nose. And it’s weird at first. It’s almost like, I’m about to throw myself all over the handlebars or something. But after you get into the habit of it, it becomes much more natural, but it’s strange, really strange, at first.

Tara Clancy: [00:27:30] Right, right. But it’s it’s great. I’m so glad to hear you say that because that’s exactly it. And then, some people say too, like, there’s definitely an adjustment period. And people will say, “I can’t. I’m not getting enough air. So, I have to breathe through my mouth.” And that is the short-term tradeoff. In the beginning, when you are switching to nose breathing exclusively, you will have to pull back a little bit.

Peter Margaritis: [00:27:52] Yeah.

Tara Clancy: [00:27:53] But then you’ll see a dramatic increase in what you can do. Here’s the reason why it makes sense to people. We often think of carbon dioxide in the body as a waste gas, right? It’s just something we exhale when we’ve—after we breathe in. But we actually know now that it isn’t. Carbon dioxide serves a really important feature. Think of it like a debit card. You know, if you go to a bank, and you have, you know, $25,000 in there, and you want to get something out, if you don’t have your—you know, you go to the ATM machine, right? If you don’t have your debit card, you can have all the money in the world in that bank, but you can’t get it out because you need the card to allow you to do that transaction.

Peter Margaritis: [00:28:38] Right, right.

Tara Clancy: [00:28:38] Well, carbon dioxide is the same way. We have all this oxygen in the blood that we’re taking in as we breathe. It is the carbon dioxide that allows the oxygen to be released into the muscles where we need it when we’re exercising. So, if we are breathing into our mouths, we are getting less carbon dioxide builds up, and we cannot release that oxygen into the muscles. So, it’s a real catch 22. You’re breathing into the mouth because you feel like you need more, but it’s actually not allowing you to access what you’re taking in. So, again, it’s a tough transition period at first, and you’ll need to pull back, and maybe run a little slower, or bite a little slower just to stay at the point where you can exclusively breathe through the nose, but then you will adjust, and you will feel the increased benefits. So, I definitely recommend it.

Peter Margaritis: [00:29:32] Oh, my God. I’ve got some work to do on my end. And as we begin to wrap up, you mentioned something, and you can just let it out there, but you didn’t—you’ve got a book coming out. You said you’ve interviewed this dentist for your book. So, tell us about your book and when you expect it to be out.

Tara Clancy: [00:29:48] Sure, yeah. My book is called Is Your Sleep Making You Tired? And I don’t—it does get people laughing, but it’s like we said before, people don’t think of sleep as the problem because we’re like, “You know, sleep hygiene is good. Check that off.” And what it really does is walk you through all the things that may be impacting your sleep from the angle of nighttime breathing problems because, believe it or not, I think we mentioned this, 50% of men and 25% of women are affected by nighttime breathing problems. And of course, if you happen to be a woman who’s sleeping next to a man who is affected, well, then you have a nighttime breathing problem by location. So, a lot of people are not getting the sleep that they need.

Tara Clancy: [00:30:32] So, my book is meant to really help get this on people’s radars, to get them to really change their mindset and say, “Hey, maybe this isn’t just lifestyle. Maybe there’s a problem here that I can actually fix, and really feel the way that I want to have the health and wellness that I’m hoping to have at this point.” And then, I have a quiz in there. I have a quiz on my website too actually if you want to look at that. And then, I also have treatment plans because you’ll come out in different places on that nighttime breathing problem scale. And so, I have different treatment plans according to where you might come out. And that’s really the book. And it’s scheduled for April—sorry, spring of 2020.

Peter Margaritis: [00:31:15] Okay. So, spring of 2020, her book will hopefully be out, and it will be available on Amazon.

Tara Clancy: [00:31:20] Correct.

Peter Margaritis: [00:31:21] And if you can send me some information when it does come out, I’ll make sure to create it. We’ll create a little commercial to help promote it because I think it’s something that I’m going to pick up, I’m going to read. I think it’s something everybody should read. And before we let you go, give everybody the website again and how they can contact you.

Tara Clancy: [00:31:43] Sure. It’s o2tara.org. And on all social media, I am @02taraclancy.

Peter Margaritis: [00:31:51] Great. So, go visit her Web site. I’ve been through a website. I’m going back and downloading the breathing tips and how to do that nighttime breathing because I wasn’t kidding, I didn’t get in till late last night, and this morning, I am pretty tired. It’s ironic that, you know, I get Tara as my guest today. But she’s opened my eyes, and I hope she’s opened all of your eyes. And thank you very much, Tara, for taking time out of your schedule. I look forward to our paths crossing, hopefully, very soon.

Tara Clancy: [00:32:18] Me too. Thank you so much, Peter.

Peter Margaritis: [00:32:22] I hope you enjoyed Tara’s interview and that you visit our website and learn more about nighttime sleeping issues. This is a very important issue to explore, and I plan on having Tara back on my podcast once her book comes out. Thank you for listening. And if you’re enjoying this podcast, please subscribe and share this episode with a friend. Make today your best day.

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