Tame Your Feelings of Anxiety

By understanding the stress and anxiety habit loops present in our lives, we can eventually ease ourselves into different behaviors around these difficult emotions.

After last session’s practice, perhaps you discovered some things about your relationship with your phone—maybe some of the triggers that move you to pick it up and engage with it? And conveniently, those powerful little devices have a few triggers built right in! Maybe you noticed that you pick up your phone right away when you hear that a text or an email has arrived. Or maybe you resist reacting that way, but in that pause you notice your brain looping around, wondering who the message is from and how important it is?

And how about rewards when it comes to your phone? Did you find temporary relief once you swiped your screen and read the message, or did you discover that action made you want to go back and check your phone even more often?

As we’ve explored this mini-course, rewards-based learning is incredibly powerful. The good news is that there are ways to interrupt the habit loops we form. Now that we’ve learned to notice the components of rewards-based learning from real examples in our own lives, we can start to work directly with the triggers, the behaviors, and the rewards that are essential to creating our habit…

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About the author

Judson Brewer

About Dr. Brewer: Judson Brewer MD PhD is a thought leader in the field of habit change and the “science of self-mastery”, having combined over 20 years of experience with mindfulness training with his scientific research therein. A professor and researcher at the Mindfulness Center at Brown University, he has developed clinically proven app-based training to help people with emotional eating (www.goeatrightnow.com) and anxiety (www.unwindinganxiety.com). He is the author of The Craving Mind: from cigarettes to smartphones to love, why we get hooked and how we can break bad habits (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017).

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