New Strategies for Calming Your Pandemic Anxiety
Is anxiety a habit that we can break?
A leading anxiety researcher argues that habits can fuel our worry, and suggests two surprising strategies to combat it: Curiosity and kindness.
Judson Brewer, who is a psychiatrist and neuroscientist, is the author of the new book “Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind.” He is the director of research and innovation at Brown University’s Mindfulness Center and an associate professor in the university’s medical school and school of public health. He specializes in helping people cope with addiction and create better habits.
I spoke with Dr. Brewer about how we often get stuck in a “habit loop” of anxiety and what we can do about it. Here are edited excerpts of that interview.
Anxiety levels have skyrocketed during the pandemic. Why can’t we calm down?