Anxiety is Also Contagious. Here’s How to Calm Down

Mindful's Content Director Anne Alexander talks with neuroscientist, psychiatrist, and mindfulness expert Dr. Judson Brewer.

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The old proverb about living in “interesting times” needs an update. These days, we are living in “anxious” times. Nonstop news about a deadly virus spreading across the country, impending weeks of mass disruption and social distancing has us all on edge.

To help us gain perspective and maybe even reclaim some calm, Mindful’s Content Director Anne Alexander talked with mindfulness expert and psychiatrist, Dr. Judson Brewer, Director of Research and Innovation, Mindfulness Center, at the Brown University School of Public Health. Dr. Brewer has been researching how app-based mindfulness can help calm anxious minds for several years.

Anne: As a psychiatrist, can you explain a bit about what’s going on in our brains as we absorb the fact that we are all in the midst of a global pandemic? 

Dr Jud: I’d like to say that we can absorb that or any facts for that matter, but in fact, it is really hard to absorb any information when we’re stressed or anxious.

When we’re really