Episode 199

Can Awareness Help Us Unwind Anxiety?

With Dr. Judson Brewer

Anxiety might mean different things to different people, but one commonality is the literal feeling of being wound up and tangled. 

The brain is always looking for information to try to predict the future, in order to keep us safe. While this may have been helpful when we were trying not to starve and dodging large predators, in modern times it can cause us to spiral into anxiety and worry.

Today on The Broken Brain Podcast, I talk to Dr. Judson Brewer about the patterns involved with anxious thinking, how they also relate to addiction, and mindfulness exercises that can help us break free.

In this episode, Dr. Brewer explains how positive and negative reinforcements shape our behavior and why humans evolved this way. Anxiety and addiction are both heavily dictated by this push and pull of behavior—Dr. Brewer tells us why embracing the feelings we often want to run away from and bringing greater awareness to our habits is the first step towards changing them. 

For more on Dr. Brewer you can follow him on Instagram @Dr.Jud, on Facebook @MindSciencesInc, on Twitter @JudBrewer, on YouTube @DrJud, and through his website https://drjud.com/. Get his book, Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind at https://drjud.com/book/.

Also mentioned in this episode:

For more on Dhru Purohit, be sure to follow him on Instagram @dhrupurohit, on Facebook @dhruxpurohit, on Twitter @dhrupurohit, and on YouTube @dhrupurohit. You can also text Dhru at (302) 200-5643 or click here https://my.community.com/dhrupurohit.

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I hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as I did.
Wishing you health and happiness.
Dhru Purohit

In this Episode, you will learn

  1. How anxiety gets wound-up
  2. Dr. Brewer’s experience with anxiety and panic attacks
  3. How panic attacks can turn into panic disorders
  4. The connection between anxiety and addiction
  5. Mindfulness training for smoking cessation
  6. Why awareness is the first step in overcoming anxiety
  7. The connection between blood sugar imbalance and anxiety
  8. The global pandemic and anxiety
  9. Mind-mapping exercise for unwinding anxiety
  10. How to use the Unwind Anxiety app


Dhru Purohit

Dhru is the host of the Dhru Purohit Podcast, a top 30 health podcast with over 30 million downloads. His interviews focus on the inner workings of the brain and the body and feature the brightest minds in wellness, medicine, and mindset.

Dhru Purohit is also a serial entrepreneur and investor in the health and wellness industry.

Dr. Judson Brewer

Dr. Judson Brewer 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.  His 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. His 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.

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