The Overwhelmed Brain

Paul Colaianni

Increase your emotional intelligence, strengthen your self-worth and self-esteem, and learn to make decisions that are right for you. If you struggle with anxiety, depression, fears, stress, obsession, panic, or any relationship challenges or family issues, this show will empower you to honor yourself and get into alignment with what's most important in your life.

All Episodes

Sometimes life can take you in a direction you don't want to go. But you don't always have to end up with the bottom-of-the-barrel results you may get. It might take some planning and some scary steps, but there is a way to alter the course of your life for the better. If life is a bit too complex, it might be time to correct your course and find another way.

Dec 5

1 hr 10 min

There's always someone that's harder to deal with than most other people in your life. And when you have to deal with them, do you have all the self-empowerment tools at your disposal to get through the interaction unscathed? Whether you do or not, practice makes perfect. This is a jam-packed episode filled with your practice steps to self-empowerment so that difficult situations aren't so difficult.

Nov 28

1 hr 28 min

Sometimes becoming happier in life involves taking huge steps that seem so scary when you're going through them, but come with the reward of increased self-worth and self-esteem. And when you take that leap of faith, a whole lot more good stuff usually comes with it.

Nov 21

1 hr 3 min

If you know that a difficult or even toxic person in your life is not doing the best they can to show up in a way that tells you they're at least trying to improve themselves in some way, maybe they are not capable. At least, not at this time. And sometimes we have to see people for who they are today, not who we or they believe they will become tomorrow.

Nov 14

58 min

Some people will lash out and rebel when they feel like they aren't being heard, or they're holding something back from the past. They swallow anger, sadness, and more, and that can turn into depression or the ultimate expression of bad behavior. Children are experiencing the world for the first time, pushing boundaries, and figuring everything out. The good news is that it is a very exciting time. The bad news is that it can be quite stressful for both the children and the parents.

Nov 7

1 hr 14 min

Sometimes we're stuck with someone that doesn't have our best interest in mind. Not only that, they may even have a not-so-pleasant plan to make us miserable. What do you do with the toxic person that doesn't want to, or can't, change? Is there hope when you're in what seems like a no-win situation?

Oct 31

1 hr 9 min

It can get tiring trying to do the right thing, be the right person, and say what you're expected to say. On top of that, when you try, it can sometimes feel as if the world has turned against you, and now you're a lone ranger tackling all the challenges on your own. Can you catch a break from this? Is there a way you can show up where the world doesn't send you so many challenges? It's a great topic to explore. more episodes at

Oct 24

1 hr 20 min

Should family, no matter how toxic they are, be in your life because of your relationship with them? Some people are so emotionally dangerous to be around that unless you distance yourself, you will always suffer when they are around (and even when they aren't).

Oct 17

1 hr 6 min

Emotional affairs almost always lead to pain. They are a betrayal of trust and an escape from the conversation you should be having in your relationship. Sometimes you have to bring up the hard truths so that those involved have an opportunity to find solutions or closure. Either way, it's easier to deal with a hard truth today than string someone along until it comes out in another, more painful way later.

Oct 10

1 hr 25 min

Some people have so much self-confidence that they carry themselves in a way that might put certain people off. Those confident in themselves can be kind, respectful, supportive, and caring, yet their personality can still rub people the wrong way. In this episode, I talk about what might be happening. I also go over how the way you make decisions can lead to self-confidence. If you've been working on that in yourself, this episode could be helpful.

Oct 3

1 hr 3 min

I read three emails from people in three different circumstances. The first one is a troubled marriage where the wife doesn't know why she is staying and can't figure out how to make the decision to leave. Segment two is about dealing with the victim mentality and what questions you can ask a chronic complainer in order to get them to do something about what they're complaining about. Segment three is about a wife who discovered her husband watches porn and since then their once happy, amazing marriage is now in shambles with little hope for the future. Lots to talk about in this episode!

Sep 26

1 hr 15 min

Self-worth and happiness is a right. It should be something you proudly claim without fear. Yet, so many people have trouble believing they are worthy, or worse, worthy of happiness. It's time to clear the path of obstacles blocking your worth and happiness so that you can feel good in your own skin again.

Sep 19

1 hr 10 min

When you sign up for a relationship, you sign up for who they are now but are you signing up for who you hope they'll be as well? Are the expectations that should be met when it comes to a relationship? And if they aren't met, do you have every right to demand they be met, "or else?" Sometimes we need to revisit the contract we signed getting into a relationship and what it means for us if who we thought they were isn't really who they are.

Sep 12

1 hr 21 min

The past can wreak havoc on the present, especially on your relationships. If therapy, reading, watching videos, and learning all you can about how to improve and heal isn't working, sometimes you need to dig so deep that break down the wall that's hiding the true source of pain underneath. At that point, healing can begin.

Sep 5

1 hr 9 min

Is true love supposed to last throughout your life? Should you feel love for those that have wronged you in some way in previous relationships? Is it healthy? Having that loving feeling for previous partners in your life can raise questions in current relationships. It's a good idea to get clear on what your best course of action is.

Aug 29

1 hr 1 min

The relentless pursuit of power over you is where some people are in your life. They come at you, offend you, insult you, and expect you to do what they want. It's easy to dismiss when they're strangers. But what about if they're family? Is there a way to interact with them and keep your power?

Aug 21

1 hr 2 min

Perfectionists, workaholics, and procrastinators unite! At least for this episode. Perfectionism is almost a disease that sabotages your path and takes away your precious time for more important things in life.

Aug 15

1 hr 8 min

How many times have you thought you might be the problem when the reality might be much different than that? Are you the honest type that will take responsibility when you discover you're at fault for something? Are they? Lots of questions that deserve answers. It's time to figure out if it's you or them.

Aug 8

53 min 10 sec

If you've reached a level of personal growth of development that you are happy about and are ready to take it to the next level, but those around you are still in a place that forces you to slow down and meet them where they are instead, is it selfish to continue your journey or should you go at their pace? In this episode, a wife asks if it's selfish to follow her path when her husband is reaching out to her while on his own path.

Aug 1

59 min 32 sec

Sometimes we can't help ourselves. Anger can come out of the blue and suddenly, we're hurting someone we care about.  I received an email from someone who believes that sometimes you need people in your life to understand that you are going to get upset now and again, and they should be empathetic for your inability to control it. They have ADHD and have a challenge controlling the emotions that come up.  What is the solution? Should those you love be more tolerant of hurtful behavior or should they put you in your place, telling you to stop or else?   

Jul 25

1 hr 3 min

If you have ever dealt with body image issues, this is an important episode that addresses the subject of someone who lost over 100 pounds and learned that people treated her much differently afterward, She was living the life she always wanted. Until she realized it wasn't only the pounds she lost. She lost something a lot deeper. And happiness didn't last. This is a special episode of The Overwhelmed Brain where I introduce you to an amazing podcast called A Slight Change of Plans. I'm going to play you a segment from an episode that I believe has a powerful life lesson for all of us. A Slight Change of Plans is hosted by Dr. Maya Shankar, who is a cognitive scientist that studies how our minds work and how we change. She hosts intimate conversations that give an unvarnished look into how people navigate changes of all kinds and use that change to ultimately grow. You’ll hear little-known personal stories and reflections from familiar names, like Tiffany Haddish, Kacey Musgraves, and even former first lady Hillary Clinton. Tune into A Slight Change of Plans to hear extraordinary stories from real-life inspirations, like a young cancer researcher in the throes of a stage 4 diagnosis. Their stories and circumstances couldn't be more different, but they all share one thing in common: life threw them a (slight) change of plans. On this episode, Elna Baker shares a powerful story of personal and physical transformation that took a turn she didn't expect. After losing close to 100 pounds in five months. she realized she had lost herself in the process. You can hear more episodes of A Slight Change of Plans at:

Jul 22

25 min 13 sec

Fears you learned to cope with in childhood can easily turn into dysfunctions as an adult. How you cope today makes a huge difference in what happens in your life and who you keep around in your life. Sometimes you can resolve a lot of problems by getting rid of useless dysfunctions. But sometimes you can utilize dysfunctions to your advantage. This is a packed episode.

Jul 18

1 hr 6 min

The more you try to please a controlling person, the worse your life will get. Highly controlling people cannot be satisfied because people around them will never be able to do enough to meet their criteria. Even when you meet it, there'll be more you need to give. If you're dealing with a controlling person, this might be the episode for you.

Jul 11

1 hr 3 min

Romantic relationships can create some of the most complex emotional challenges in your life. From heartful to heartache, from elated to deflated, relationships bring us through a roller coaster of emotions until we are either fulfilled or completely drained. It doesn't have to be that way. Sometimes the right tools and the right mindset can create relationships that don't have to be so difficult. In fact, they can be wonderful when you know how to deal with the challenges that show up.

Jul 4

1 hr 26 min

It's a challenge to stay present for someone who is so down and out. Sometimes you go into your own "stuff" trying to help them with theirs. It's the curse of many highly sensitive people, and certainly difficult for almost any empathetic person. But there are ways to do this, and sometimes it's necessary if the person you are there for just can't get out of their upset.

Jun 27

51 min 1 sec

We can create our own dysfunction but be so jaded by those around us that we can't think clearly enough to stop toxic or hurtful behavior. There's a time when you have to get away from other people so that the fog can lift and you can think clearly. It is during those times when a lot of healing can take place.

Jun 20

1 hr 1 min

Many unresolved emotions sit outside the box of current thinking. Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” When you aren't getting the results you want today, or you find yourself easily triggered by certain events or people, you may be carrying around old baggage that perhaps requires a level of thinking just outside the box. If you don't want to go outside that box, it could be why you're stuck.

Jun 13

51 min 32 sec

When someone you care about leaves or dies, there is a space inside you where they used to be. Your identity was wrapped up with them. They were a part of you. And because of that, when they're gone, you can feel lost. You can feel lonely within even when you're around others. It's important to start filling that space with something that gives you meaning and purpose.

Jun 6

1 hr

Where should you start when it comes to healing old stuff from the past? Should you do a deep dive into your childhood, bringing up all kinds of memories and traumas that you may or may not have repeated to therapists over and over again? Or should you talk about how it bothers you today and see if someone can help you gain a new perspective? What about skipping over the trauma and just looking at what behavior came out of it? There's a path you can take to reverse old emotional triggers just by doing something different to get a different result. If it sounds too easy, then you definitely need to listen to this episode.

May 30

1 hr 18 min

There's a cause and effect to patterns of behavior that, if you don't recognize the relationship of those behaviors to the results you're getting, you may be creating results that you don't want. However, when you find out just what you're doing that might be causing you to sabotage your own happiness, you might be able to turn things around.

May 23

1 hr 4 min

When the feelings of inadequacy overcome you, do you let them linger in the background? Do you repress them so that they come out in emotionally destructive ways later? Inadequacy usually has a source. We'll talk about that and a lot more in this packed episode.

May 16

1 hr 11 min

A single thought can change everything. Your perception relies on your mindset which relies on your thoughts. This is a multi-faceted episode covering three different topics but reminding you of the importance of self-respect, creating access to inner resources, and how being around the wrong people can take away both.

May 9

1 hr 16 min

Most people aren't taught emotional intelligence in their upbringing. And because of that, there are often lingering negative emotions hanging around inside us that might need to be addressed if we're going to experience a life without the burden of anxiety, depression, and emotional triggers. Getting out of anxiety and depression are often not easy tasks, but there is an angle I take today that might give you a good start.

May 2

1 hr 7 min

Sometimes you have no idea why someone did something that hurt or affected you somehow, and you just have to know the reason. You may never find out because they won't share that reason. I call this an open loop. It's how we become obsessed with certain thoughts that we can't get closure for. When this happens, life can seem to stop, and anxiety and depression have a higher chance of starting. It's time to close the door on old thought patterns that only do us harm.

Apr 25

51 min 43 sec

Part 2 of a two-part episode. Personal power, or empowerment, has a formula. That formula can lead to a much more enjoyable and fulfilling life. Knowing the formula is the first step but following it is an entirely different animal. In part two, I add more principles, or "commandments", to help you improve your life. 

Apr 18

1 hr 4 min

Personal power, or empowerment, has a formula. That formula can lead to a much more enjoyable and fulfilling life. Knowing the formula is the first step but following it is an entirely different animal. Let's talk about applying these principles, or "commandments", to your life. 

Apr 11

1 hr 20 min

About 90% of the people that reach out to me have a question about their romantic relationship. That makes sense because relationships can be complex and tricky to navigate. In this episode, I tackle four relationship questions and share some of the lessons I've learned over the years in my own life.   For more guidance on difficult relationships, head over to

Apr 4

1 hr 14 min

Whether it's the jerk at work or that one person in your family that just doesn't like you, rude and intimidating people can be found in any corner of the world (and under many rocks). In this episode, I share seven suggestions that will help you counter those behaviors and perhaps even make some of these people start respecting you again.

Mar 28

1 hr 1 min

Getting comfortable in your own skin is more than developing confidence and facing the fear and doing it anyway. Confidence is one component. There is also self-worth, self-esteem, self-compassion, and self-love that needs to occur so that even if the most hurtful person tries to criticize you or put you down, you will know yourself so well that it will be impossible to believe what they are saying about you. To stop self-sabotage, check out the workbook here:

Mar 21

1 hr 6 min

Passive-aggressive people have a knack for making you feel bad without you even realizing they're making you feel bad. Their covert methods are designed to poke at your emotions like tiny emotional daggers. If you want to thwart their often hurtful behavior, it's vital to take them out of ambiguity and into the details. This might be the scariest episode ever for the passive-aggressive person in your life.

Mar 14

1 hr 7 min

Your sexual history is yours, but some people like to make it a big deal and cause you to feel guilt or shame for things you did long ago. Whether you regret what you did in the past shouldn't make a difference because it's your past and no one else's. Other people need to keep their eyes off of your rearview mirror and put their focus on the road right in front of them.

Mar 7

1 hr 7 min

If you gave yourself a +1 for every empowered decision you made and a -1 for decisions made that avoided consequences, would you be abundant in personal power or in deficit?   Every decision you make and every action you take every day either adds to your power or depletes it. It's important to be conscious of this as those 1's can add up quickly! You just want to make sure you're going in the right direction more often than not.

Feb 28

58 min 38 sec

It's one thing to be afraid to fall off your bike. It's another to never consider riding one just in case you fall. The fear of failing can be imagined as so traumatic and painful to some that they literally do nothing instead. As you know, doing nothing leaves you in a rut. It is the fastest way to go nowhere. Maybe it's time to learn to redefine failure and learn what success actually feels like.

Feb 21

53 min 15 sec

If you want a toxic person to change, it will probably never happen. However, there is something you can do to change the course of the relationship that may actually cause them to act differently. Sometimes you gotta make rules that guide toxic people to healthier behavior.

Feb 14

1 hr 1 min

When you have emotional reactions that you don't want to have toward someone you care about, you probably try to control yourself but fail. Because of that, the pattern repeats itself over and over again until you heal from some past event or shift your perception so much that what used to bother you simply disappears. That shift is possible.

Feb 7

1 hr 19 min

Do you form authentic relationships by being the real you, or do you only show people what you believe they want to see? What are the risks of showing up as the real you? It may be worth taking a risk to find that out.

Jan 31

1 hr 8 min

If you make the right decisions ahead of time, you can prevent overwhelm from being a normal part of life. It's a matter of making decisions that are in alignment with who you are at the deepest level. When you don't, anything goes.

Jan 24

1 hr 6 min

You can be around people that mistreat you, call you names, and are just downright nasty, and you could still be responsible for your own suffering because of how they show up in your life. It's vital you know the role you play and if you have a choice other than the one you're making in certain situations otherwise you could find yourself in a whirlwind of hurt that might be completely avoidable.

Jan 17

1 hr 10 min

We bring our insecurities with us everywhere we go. To work, to appointments, to our relationship, and everywhere else that might bring a sense of fear into our lives. It's important to address what you are insecure about so it doesn't become a challenge that you have to repeat over and over again. It's not required that you overcome your insecurities, but it sure makes life easier.

Jan 10

1 hr 6 min

Some people might say you overreact and sometimes you agree with them but can't figure out how to stop doing it. If you find yourself reacting as if you were in fight or flight, it's time to get a grip on your emotional triggers and change the patterns that create those reactions in the first place.

Jan 3

1 hr 17 min