Ep. 222: Dr. Kevin Gilliland, PsyD – Managing Mental Health at all Stages of Success

Our world has changed a lot in the past few weeks. These changes have been unimaginable, and with those, there is a new emphasis on mental health. If you’re looking for ways to manage and alleviate the anxiety and overwhelm that we all experience, then today’s show is for you.

Dr. Kevin Gilliland, Psy. D. is an expert in mental health, depression, and addiction. He’s the author of Struggle Well, Live Well: 60 Ways to Navigate Life’s Good, Bad, and In-Between. After working for more than two decades in healthcare as a clinical psychologist, Kevin became a pioneer of outpatient treatment as the CEO and Executive Director of Innovation 360, a treatment center for alcohol and drug addiction, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, family therapy, and life development. 

What’s going on?

How are you handling the stress of living in a pandemic? Stress is hitting many people in their finances and their security, unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. We all have to deal with these unusual circumstances, but it’s significantly worse for those who battle mental health and mood disorders. This trying time is forcing all of us to be mindful in new ways every day. Mental health and wellness are often pushed to the back burner of our lives, but these difficult times are forcing us to prioritize mental health. Kevin explains the proven connection between stress and cardiovascular health, which is another reason to practice stress management techniques. 

TWEET: There’s a proven connection between stress and cardiovascular health. @dr_keving #chasingdreams

Just breathe

Do you practice breathing techniques? Kevin says deep, belly breaths are his #1 recommendation for any dream chaser. Focused breathing elicits the opposite of the “fight or flight” response. It brings a “rest and digest” response, which settles us into a calming mode and redistributes nourishing blood flow throughout the body. Breathing can lower blood pressure to an extent greater than eating right and exercising. Do you need to slow down and calm yourself? Kevin says to try some apps to practice deep breathing–and calm yourself. 

TWEET: Focused breathing brings the body a calming “rest and digest” response. @dr_keving #chasingdreams

Don’t be plugged in all the time

How much time do you spend each day on social media? Watching/listening to the news? There are dangers when we are “plugged in” all the time. Being constantly plugged into social media will lead you to compare yourself to others. Being constantly plugged into the news will cloud your mind with negativity. A little bit of information will decrease anxiety, but too much information will increase anxiety. More is NOT better! Find the sweet spot of getting the right amount of information, but don’t make the mistake of living too much on social media or listening to the news too often. Put boundaries in place, and find ways to manage and evaluate the effects on your mental health. 

TWEET: There are dangers when we are “plugged in” all the time. @dr_keving #chasingdreams

Guest Recommendation: ONE action for a dream chaser to take–”Practice focused breathing.”


  • [2:25] What’s going on right now in our world?
  • [9:18] How we can help others
  • [12:54] Focus on breathing
  • [18:27] How to do belly breathing
  • [24:37] What should we be doing?
  • [27:40] There’s no ONE way
  • [29:28] Dangers of too much information
  • [35:05] The value of reading
  • [36:57] Kevin’s advice about adapting your dream
  • [40:52] Learn to run with it
  • [42:11] Get to know Kevin


Dr. Kevin’s Instagram

Dr. Kevin’s Website

Dr. Kevin’s Innovation 360

Struggle Well, Live Well: 60 Ways to Navigate Life’s Good, Bad, and In-Between by Kevin Gilliland

 How to do belly (diaphragmatic) breathing

Basic Belly Breathing

Sesame Street: Common and Colbie Caillat – “Belly Breathe” with Elmo

Watch the episode on YouTube


Compare you to you–not to someone else. @dr_keving #chasingdreams

Life gets so difficult, and there are times we have to manage it one day at a time. @dr_keving #chasingdreams

Focusing on your breath temporarily pauses your overwhelmed brain. @dr_keving #chasingdreams

Take care of your equipment—your body and your mind. @dr_keving #chasingdreams

Reading will relax your brain in a way that just doesn’t happen when you watch a movie. @dr_keving #chasingdreams

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