Creator of Mental Health Wellness Toolbox, Dr.Jinxi Caddel Techniques To Fighting Anxiety Eugene, OR

When Dr. Jinxi Caddel was 16 years old, she saw a girl at Disneyland with a Cheshire Cat tattoo on her back. She thought that was the dreamiest thing she had ever seen, and knew from that moment that she wanted a tattoo as well. It took her almost 10 years, until she dove into the commitment and got her first tattoo, which was a few years after Jinxi's twin boys (Aidan & Shea) were born, and three years after her daughter (Brynn) was born. It started with a small tattoo on her ankle and from that point on she was hooked. Now, more than 25 years later, Dr. Jinxi is covered in tattoos from head (literally, her whole head is tattooed) to toe.

Though that first tattoo has been covered up with a portrait of one of Dr. Jinxi's sons, it was a very positive experience and was the first glimpse into something that would become a true passion of hers, as well as a very important aspect of her life.


In the 1990's, shortly after receiving her bachelor's degree in Psychology, Jinxi began writing and editing for tattoo and art-related magazines when her kids were just toddlers. Throughout the years, these writing opportunities continued, and she eventually began working for Memento Publishing, working as a curator, writer, and editor, putting together tattoo-focused titles. In 2010, Jinxi and her husband Steve decided to open their own publishing house, and it was then that OUT OF STEP BOOKS was born. Since then, OOSB has created 26 tattoo and art-related, including 2 children's books. Though creating books kept the couple extremely busy, once her children had all graduated from high school, she decided that it was time to return to school to continue what she had started in the psychology world nearly 2 decades earlier.


First Jinxi earned her master's degree in Sports Psychology, and then decided to continue in academia, earning her doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology. Since then, Dr. Jinxi has worked in various roles in the mental health realm,including as a therapist at a non profit agency that focuses on community support services for clients with Severe and Persistent Mental Illness (SPMI). In that position, she offered individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, and worked as part of a wrap-around team that offered case management, education, and employment services, housing assistance, and life skills training. She has also worked with athletes in the sports psychology realm and in private practice, providing clients with therapy and techniques from her "Mental Health Wellness Toolbox" program, of which she also presented seminars for around the country. It was through this work that Jinxi began combining her background in the arts with psychology to improve learning and rehabilitation by utilizing art therapy, positive psychology, and the strengths-based approach.


In the summer of 2019, Jinxi and Steve opened a brick-and-mortar location in downtown Eugene, Oregon called OUT OF STEP TATTOOS & GALLERY, which features inspiring tattoo artists working from the space, a diverse array of artwork on the walls, and curates and hosts art-based community events. Though the gallery has been closed in recent times during the Covid-19 pandemic, they remain committed to the art world and the artists they honor by working on new art books that they hope to release later this year and in 2021.



During these trying times, Jinxi has offered some of her mental health tips and techniques to help her clients and wanted to share some of them with us here that focus on anxiety.


Jinxi Says: Anxiety is a part of the human condition and is often times somewhat misunderstood. Much of what we do all day long is centered around avoiding anxiety or reducing our feelings of anxiety. We are oftentimes very unknowingly defensive as a tactic to avoiding feelings of anxiety, and if we know that something is going to make us feel that way, we often times use strategies like; denial, shifting our focus (so we don't have to deal those anxious feelings), getting upset with others around us (which also shifts that focus).


Another type of anxiety is creative anxiety. If you are an artist or create on a regular basis, this is an important thing to talk about. When we suffer from creative anxiety it can be holding us back from flourishing in our craft.


Being creative helps us to feel many different things - it helps us to feel as though we have a purpose, that we are working toward goals, that we have something to share with others, and that we are committed to our craft. But when anxiety hits, it can often times hinder these positive attributes and may make it so it is difficult to start creating, or so that we are not tapping into our full potential as artists.


Anxiety can manifest for many reasons-fear of not creating what our clients want from us, fear of not measuring up in the art world, fear of rejection or criticism, or just even fear over not measuring up to what we know our full potential as artists.


When dealing with creative anxiety the first step is to embrace the fact that anxiety is normal and a part of the process. We just need to learn skills to manage those feelings so that creating like you were meant to create can ensue!


To begin with, I like to have clients focus acknowledging the presence of anxiety and being mindful it is a feeling we have. When that happens, take a moment and take a deep breath (close your eyes if you have to), and just realize what is occurring at that time.


Breathing can be incredibly powerful in helping your heart rate to lower and anxiety to deescalate quickly. Do inhale-exhale practice. This immediately helps our brains to slow down and puts your body back to a place of better clarity. It might not be a fix-all, but it is a very helpful strategy when you are in the moment and need to come down.


Then try to have a moment where you decide in your head how you are going to approach it. Hopefully, that will be with a positive attitude where you tell yourself that you are in control and you have the power to get through it.


Then try to measure the level of anxiety and the degree of which the stressor is. Are you catastrophizing the stressor? Is that making your anxiety level higher than it needs to be?


This is a great time to switch negative thoughts into empowering self-talk, where you remind yourself that you are strong, you can get through these feelings, you can create a plan to finish tasks that are causing you stress-or if you need to, you can find a way to communicate better with someone who is making you feel worried. This is where you can begin to substitute negative self-talk for positive talk.

For more techniques and tips found in Dr. Jinxi's "Mental Health Wellness Toolbox" be sure to visit her website at www.DrJinxi.com-and to check out (and purchase) the books that her publishing company, OUT OF STEP BOOKS, has created, visit www.OOSBooks.com and their Tattoo Shop OUT OF STEP TATTOO & GALLERY-1022 Willamette St. Eugene, Oregon 97405 https://www.oostattoo.com/shirts Instagram @outofstepbooks for more information.

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