I don’t know about you, but I’m a little tired of reading the same tips over and over about how to calm down and destress. I’m tired of trying to slow down my breathing when my chest feels heavy, and question the worst-case scenarios running around my head.
That’s why psychiatrist Judson Brewer’s new book Unwinding Anxiety is so refreshing. Yes, it has some tips—but they don’t come until much later in the book. In fact, his whole point is that tips alone won’t help those of us who struggle with anxiety.
Brewer shows how anxiety exists inside the habits that make up our everyday lives, and habits are sticky. They won’t go away just because we tell ourselves to breathe—because, as crazy as it sounds when talking about anxiety, our brain is attracted to these habits because they create some sense of reward.
Implementing tips and tools skips an important step, Brewer argues. Before we can try to change anything, we have to spend some time observing our anxiety-related habits. Only then—by showing our brain viscerally how unrewarding these habits are—can we move to actually creating new ones.
Unwinding Anxiety offers a three-step process…