397: Dr. Jud Brewer on Unwinding Anxiety


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Watch the full video interview on YouTube here: https://bit.ly/drjudbrewer397

Dr. Jud Brewer (IG: @dr.jud) is an internationally renowned addiction psychiatrist and neuroscientist. He is an associate professor in the School of Public Health, and Medical School at Brown University.

Jud's 2016 TED talk, "A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit," has been viewed over 16 million times.

He has trained Olympic athletes and coaches, government ministers and business leaders.

Jud's first book, The Craving Mind: from cigarettes to smartphones to love, why we get hooked and how we can break bad habits, was published in over 16 languages.

Today, we’re discussing his new book, Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Jud's lightbulb moment
  • How mindfulness can help with anxiety
  • The three gear approach to anxiety
  • Anxiety and panic defined
  • Anxiety as a habit
  • Understanding the trigger, behaviour, and reward
  • Start mapping out your habit loops
  • Is your anxiety making you productive?
  • Make sure that you're proving causation rather than correlation
  • The increase in anxiety and mental health issues during the pandemic
  • Differentiating a rational response from clinical anxiety
  • Learning to be comfortable with discomfort
  • Bring awareness to your behaviours
  • The behaviour result relationship drives future behaviour
  • Is worrying actually solving the problem?
  • What is the default mode network?
  • Uncertainty doesn’t mean danger
  • The gold standard treatment for anxiety
  • Finding a bigger better offer (BBO) that doesn’t become habituated
  • Deprivation curiosity can help us map out habit loops
  • Interest curiosity is the joy of discovery
  • Changing your relationship with your thoughts, emotions, and feelings
  • Making kindness and gratitude a habit
  • A growth mindset leads us into open states
  • Using meditation and mindfulness to see habit patterns
  • Research focusing on identifying psychological phenotypes
  • Dr. Jud recalls his mental process from a recent surfing experience
  • Differentiating between the comfort zone and growth zone
  • Staying kind and curious

Show sponsors:

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Related links:

Dr. Jud Brewer - Unwinding Anxiety (book)

Dr. Jud Brewer's website

Follow Dr. Jud Brewer on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Dr. Jud Brewer – The Craving Mind (book)

Unwinding Anxiety (app)

Eat Right Now (app)

Craving To Quit! (app)

Listen to Dr. Jud Brewer previously on TUHP (episode #374)

Dr. Jud Brewer - The Power of Kindness (video)

Thomas Borkovec

Yerkes–Dodson Law

Hans Selye (books)

Martin Corbett - From law to folklore: Work stress and the Yerkes-Dodson Law (APA article)

Rescorla-Wagner Model

Related episodes:

371: Autumn Smith – Healing From IBS & Anxiety, Supporting Regenerative Agriculture, Organ Meats To Support Mental Health

365: Dr. Uma Naidoo – This Is Your Brain On Food

242: Sarah Knight – You Do You • Happiness In Imperfection • Managing Anxiety

238: Tara Mackey – WILD Habits • Natural Ways To Calm Your Anxiety • Approaching Gratitude Differently

232: Sarah Wilson – Normalizing Anxiety • The Impact Of Gratitude On Your Brain • Just Walk

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412 episodes