Ep 159: Breaking Down Anxiety
Anxiety is a pretty common feeling–you likely know how it feels to have your heart suddenly race in your chest, your palms go sweaty and your words turn to gibberish before a big presentation or confrontation. Having these anxious feelings is bad enough when it’s an isolated incident, but many of us–and our kids–might be feeling anxiety every day! This could be caused by anything, from eating to driving to social situations! For kids handling school, sports, clubs, college apps and friendship drama, anxiety may be a frequent presence keeping them from living their best life.
It seems like this anxiety is simply an unavoidable, biological force, but our guest this week is encouraging us to think about anxious behaviors a little differently. Instead of viewing them as something we have little control over, he’s telling us how anxiety may actually just be a force of habit, and therefore something we can change! Anxious responses follow the same patterns as habits, are often caused by similar triggers, and, as we’re discussing this week, can be treated in similar ways.
If you’re looking to heal you or your teen’s anxious patterns, this is the episode for you! Our guest is Judson Brewer, author of Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind. Judson is not only an internationally renowned psychiatrist and neuroscientist, but also the director of research and innovation at Brown’s mindfulness center. His 2016 Ted Talk, tilted “A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit, has over 16 million views on YouTube!
In our interview, we’re diving into how anxious tendencies act just like habits–with triggers, behavior and rewards. Plus, we’re getting into how you can understand and reflect on your own behaviors, if you just have the courage to be curious.