Publication Date: March 9th 2021
Source: Times Reads
Page Count: 304
Blurb from Goodreads:
A step-by-step plan clinically proven to break the cycle of worry and fear that drives anxiety and addictive habits
We are living through one of the most anxious periods any of us can remember. Whether facing issues as public as a pandemic or as personal as having kids at home and fighting the urge to reach for the wine bottle every night, we are feeling overwhelmed and out of control. But in this timely book, Judson Brewer explains how to uproot anxiety at its source using brain-based techniques and small hacks accessible to anyone.
We think of anxiety as everything from mild unease to full-blown panic. But it’s also what drives the addictive behaviors and bad habits we use to cope (e.g. stress eating, procrastination, doom scrolling and social media). Plus, anxiety lives in a part of the brain that resists rational thought. So we get stuck in anxiety habit loops that we can’t think our way out of or use willpower to overcome. Dr. Brewer teaches us map our brains to discover our triggers, defuse them with the simple but powerful practice of curiosity, and to train our brains using mindfulness and other practices that his lab has proven can work.
Distilling more than 20 years of research and hands-on work with thousands of patients, including Olympic athletes and coaches, and leaders in government and business, Dr. Brewer has created a clear, solution-oriented program that anyone can use to feel better – no matter how anxious they feel.
HERE’S MY REVIEW!
Anxiety has certainly taken over our lives. It is everywhere. We cannot run away from it. Especially when it comes to uncertainty such as a rising pandemic. We are dying to know when it would end because we just want to continue our old lives.
The most important takeaway that I receive is most of us treat anxiety like an addiction. We treat it by creating bad habits to make ourselves feel good in a short period of time. That is to make us feel numb from the pain or problems that we are facing. For instance, when we feel anxious, we binge or stress eat and the result is brief relief in the form of numbing. However, when the bad feelings go away, the person will start to feel guilty of binge eating so it will be a trigger for more negative emotions to come. The cycle repeats.
Dr Brewer also taught us how to map our habit loop by listing the Trigger, Behavior and Reward. For instance:
Trigger: Anxiety in the morning from work
I believe this is a habit that everyone has. One of the ways to monitor our habit loop is by implementing mindfulness. Mindfulness is the awareness that arises through paying attention in the present moment. Once you are aware of your habit loop, you will start asking questions like, Why am I doing this? What triggered this behavior? What reward am I getting from this?
So, this is where curiosity comes in. You become curious to know what is the solution for your doubts. Curiosity helps you change habits. Your brain starts thinking to respond to certain situations and you feel less anxious now.
However, I really think that this approach is only suitable for those who have situational anxiety compared to anxiety disorder. The habit mapping technique will definitely help me map my habits and change them into something rewarding.
For further understanding of the topic, you can search Dr Brewer’s TED Talk on A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit by clicking the link here https://www.ted.com/talks/judson_brewer_a_simple_way_to_break_a_bad_habit?language=en. This video has more than 15 million views already.
Thank you Times Reads for sending me Unwinding Anxiety in exchange of honest review.