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#329: How to Break Your Anxiety Habit | Judson Brewer


To mark the first anniversary of the week in March 2020 when Covid fundamentally altered our lives, we’re launching a special two-part series. Today, we’re going to be talking about anxiety, which has been spiking during the pandemic. My guest is Dr. Jud Brewer, a psychiatrist and deep dharma practitioner who argues that anxiety is a habit–one that you can unwind. Then, next Monday, we’ll talk to Nicholas Christakis, who is not only a doctor but also the head of the Human Nature Lab at Yale, about when the pandemic will end, and what this ordeal has revealed about our species.

But today it’s anxiety with Jud Brewer. Some of you may know Jud from the Ten Percent Happier app, where he teaches a mindful eating course. He’s also been on this show several times. He is the Director of Research and Innovation at the Mindfulness Center at Brown University. He’s got a number of apps that use mindfulness to treat addiction, including Eat Right Now, Craving to Quit, and Unwinding Anxiety. He also has a brand new book, called Unwinding Anxiety. In this interview, we talk about: how exactly mindfulness can be harnessed to deal with anxiety; what is anxiety anyway, and why does he view it as a habit? And we publicly debate something we have been privately discussing: Is there any level of stress or anxiety that is healthy?

One more thing: We are looking for a podcast marketer. If you love this show, marketing, and building relationships, we would love to have you on the team to help us grow Ten Percent Happier and our future shows. Please apply at https://www.tenpercent.com/careers.

Full Shownotes: https://www.tenpercent.com/podcast-episode/judson-brewer-329

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
So maybe see this is Ten percent have your podcast obtained Harris. to mark the one year anniversary of that week that faithful week in March of twenty twenty one covered funding, Italy altered our lives. We are launching a special to part series today who were to be talking about anxiety, which has been speaking for obvious reasons during the pandemic? My guest is after jet brought a psychiatrist and deep dharmu practitioner who argues that anxiety is a habit, one that you, and on wine, and then on Monday? We talk to Nicholas Christophe, guess who's, not only a doctor. Health, but also the head of the human nature lab at Yale we're to talk to him about when the pandemic will end he's, got a pretty detailed vision. In his mind about how things are gonna play out from here and
We can talk about what this ordeal has revealed about our species, but today, as mentioned its anxiety, which Brewer. Some of you may know Judd from the ten percent, your app where he teaches unmindful mindful eating course he's I've been on this show several times? He is the director of search. I m innovation at the mindfulness centre at Brown. University he's got a number of acts, that use my fulness to treat addiction including eat right now, which is about my fleeting craving to quit, which aims to help people get off of Nick in and on winding anxiety. He also has a brand new book which, excellent, and I highly recommend it called on winding. Anxiety, in this interview we talk about how exactly mindfulness can be harnessed to deal with anxiety. I ask him What is anxiety anyway, and how do we It is a habit and we publicly debates thing that we ve been privately discussing for a while now the question
whether there is any level of stress or anxiety. That is actually healthy. One more thing before we get to the show we are looking for a podcast marketer, If you love this show, if you'll of marketing and building relationships, we would love to have you on this team to help grow the ten percent happier past and our future shows we hope to be launching a bunch of shows this year as a matter of fact. So if this sounds interesting, please apply at ten percent dotcom slash careers. Ok, here we go now with doktor jet brewer, so coming up on a year since every certain lockdown Tom Hanks got covered in the NBA cancel their games. I remember that night of those things happen and life changed what are you seeing as you look at your patience as you look at the world's? What are you saying in terms impact on our mental health well I'm saying an emerging epidemic, possibly endemic of anxiety where there's a lot of
search now, showing, for example, between two thousand and nineteen and twenty that anxiety rates, rip, bold so anxieties going up a lot of uncertainty that continued? You know it hasn't been this thing, and then we figured it out. It's been pre ongoing, eulogists, constant heads of uncertainty that have just kept stoking people's fears in their anxiety Everything that we are seeing is around the compensatory mechanisms, the people implying that aren't actually healthy. So Thinking has gone up a whole lot, the quarantine fifteen all of these things where people are on sulphur media, a lot more and getting addicted, even more so for media, because they're going a social media for the news as compared to look at you sources and then their catching all the social contagion around outrage, and fear and uncertainty in all of that. So that's what I've seen unfair, finally as a large increase and a kind of US solidification, of anxiety through these unhelpful habits present they do
DR anxiety, more than on actually operate the root cause. I so much pain out there, but before we go much further here. I think it makes sense to ask a foundational question. This might be a little obvious, but I think it's worth asking nonetheless how do you define anxiety? You know this Dixon definition of feeling of nervousness are worry or unease. You know about something in the future or something you know with an uncertain outcome is what the dictionary puts together and I think works generally well it, but I think Also, can I'm ties to pee this together, that are worth teasing part, which is this feeling the physical feeling that we have, but also the worry at sea, if you know so worry, can actually be unknown and a verb, and I think those two importantly arson. Rebel, and we can dive into the details of why that's important at some point. It has to do with how
oh habit lives even get set up around anxiety and worry, but I think it's important to differentiate that worry can be both of feeling, but it can also be a mental behaviour, so there's my linking process. Oh man, I don't know if I'm going to be able to pay rent next month or on behind on my work and then there's the physical manifestations of those thoughts absolutely and December regulation is important. Why well in thief killings of anxiety are just feelings right. So therefore Our sensations are often associated with thoughts, but the worry itself is something that can actually drive more worry. So just to give a little background on how I came to understand this winter is struggling with helping my clinic patients with anxiety, so, for example, medications the gold standard
occasions fur anxieties remains. There's this term called number needed to treat, meaning how many people you have to treat before one person shows a significant benefit are saying The reduction in symptoms for medication. That number is five point, one: five, meaning you have to treat five people before one person shows significant reduction in symptoms. So imagine me ass a psychiatrist playing the lottery to twenty four. My patience, showing significant improvement? So the medication paradigms around for a long time in that's how I learned psychiatry, is in a treat them with the medication. And I was really struggling with helping my patience with anxiety, because if you look at the best cognitive therapies, like c b t the hit rate, there is about fifty percent and that's just in who will respond to treatment. So I started approaching this. For a different lens swear in serendipitous lay somebody asked somebody that raising our eat right now up this eating mindfulness programme was saying here,
you know. I'm noticing that anxieties triggering eating from me. Can you make an anxiety up? I said. Well, I must say I trust, but I mostly just use medications, but as a researcher I started looking back at the literature. And it turns out back in their name in eighties, when folks were heralding the play Zack miracle or whatever he knew it s. Our eyes were developed. This guide Thomas bore back with studying anxiety and in particular he assumed in our world and what he found where's. That worry could be actively reinforced, meaning that worry could sleep, DR anxiety, habit, loops and I never thought about that before it is look at anxiety and worry in particular those two together as a habit as compared to just feeling that I need to give people medications for adjusting articulate that a little bit and we ve talked about habit lips before on. Your show saw just do this really quickly. Habits are formed with,
three elements, a trigger behaviour and resolve its this evolutionary process that helps us remember where food is and avoid danger. So if you think of anxiety or some other negative emotion, ass. Being a trigger worry can be that mental behaviour that results in to think so burger back and others have about how worry either distract us from the more unpleasant feeling of fear or anxiety or, and it could be both that it gives us a feeling of. Can role, because even if worrying doesn't fix something it at least we feel like word: do something by worry. I am sure you have no idea what I'm talking about is. This is so interesting as you describing everybody else on the planet, but me So you see, if I can play this out, how this would work, just in my own mind about to move. The thought of moving strikes,
air into you know I can get a tightness in my chest that can be the trigger, The behaviour is, I start, you know sort of obsessive mendacious around all the logistics of them. Everything that can go wrong, Et Cetera, Et Cetera and the reward is, I feel, like aright, this horrifying, but at least I'm on top thick, as my worrying will make sure that anything goes wrong. Yes, absolutely so you're the one that have thought about the possibility that you're moving company? suddenly go bankrupt the day for your myths. What are you telling me that my worrying is useless? Well, let me phrase it this way: haven't found any evidence to suggest that worrying is actually helpful. So, for example, worry and actually, Dr Weir anxiety, because we tell me to think about these things that we haven't thought about or know what, if my, in committee because Bankrupt or what, if there's lizard. On the day of my river or whatever,
can actually just perpetuate anxiety, and what that can also do is it kind of makes the thinking part of our brains go off line so that this is probably full for anybody listening here. So this all part of our brain fear, based learning great negative reinforcement is actually a that survival mechanism. You know see this ever to tire we run away. We survive right, that's helpful! So it's not! That fear. Isn't helpful but then on top of that got layered this prefrontal cortex this newer part of the brain and that's involved in thinking and planning. So, of course, thinking and planning is helpful for your move right. You got to think plan ahead. Yet what that needs is, it needs precedent and it needs accurate information, so you can say what what happened the last time I move, what can we learn from that or when other people move can extrapolate from that and what accurate information do? I have like of withdrawal There is going to be a blizzard on that error of all that when there's out of uncertainty, fear plus uncertainty. Leads to anxiety
anxiety makes the thinking and play in part of the brain go offline, so we can actually utilise the thinking and planning. So I would postulate That worrying not only is not helpful, but it actually makes things worse because we can't think and plan we think that were doing. The right thing has worked gaming everything out but in fact, were driving ourselves into a all were actually the quality of our thinking is going down because we're activating the reptilian folds of the bridge, in the middle of the stress and fear centre of the brain and actually just shots the more advanced parts of the brain, the prefrontal cortex. Yes, basically, he saw a fear is not used this and other its fear can have its uses its when we get into the obsessive thinking that triggered by the fear that that's where we need to
watch out absolutely, and that's all. I was saying itself whether differentiate those physical feelings from the thinking peace, because the first our sensations. They tend to be just there in a lot of my patients. They wake up in the morning, and they thing they do. Is they checking themselves analogy up? I'm anxious Where is that anxiety condemn led them to start worrying about whether anxious which then perpetuates than being anxious and where it all day of his s, interesting to me just take I'm hesitating a lot of it just cause. I don't wanna be too selfish about this, but ago. I am writing a book. Unlike you, I cannot sneeze out a book very quickly. You have this ability to write very fast and very well? At the same time, it takes me five years to write anything. That's like decent- and I shouldn't say just these. I should say having a shot at being decent and that period for me is quite difficult.
And I do find that I actually kind of walk around with a tightness in my chest quite frequently right now, as I'm talking to you. But nothing. I am anxious about person, you know, enjoying talking to you, there's nothing. I am acutely concerned about, so I just be mindful of the feeling and try not to let it throw me into a whole set of useless rumination around? Why am I the anxious, guy, etc, etc? Will I think, there's two pieces then The short answer is yes, and then try not to can be a challenge. So here approaching it from justice kind of being able to see these clearly being able to see these habit lives to see where there is. If there is a habitual component, there right is their worrying there but even running in the background. So you know sometimes that can be so pervasive that it's like constantly in our working memory, because it's just what we do you know I worry. I worry. I worry.
And then just be constantly feeding that feeling of tightness in your chest that you're talking about so, I think, being able to see that clearly is very helpful. Maybe I can give a concrete example: one of my patients and actually read about him in my book, because he had it was a pretty interesting case where this gentlemen's refer me for anxiety. He walks My door and Jackie looks anxious. Ito citing just like frozen met, payments and about the door. I asked him to describe what is anxiety was like, but it was very much a black box for him, so I said well, you know, and he also had panic symptom, so I described the panic and he said when I'm driving on the highway. I feel like I'm in a speeding bullet It was so bad that I started writing driving on the highway and then that would help alleviates those thoughts He didn't you wasn't around the highway anymore, yet he was so anxious it, even driving on the local roads to get to my office made him pretty anxious. So what
we did in probably in the first five minutes of his visit. I just pulled out a piece of paper in a pan and I just wrote down trigger behaviour result. I said. Ok, let me see if I've got this straight. You're triggers these thoughts, you're behind must avoid driving and then the result is that you can avoid those anxious thoughts, and here this aha in his eye as if he had never seen understood this before it's kind of like if we understand how our minds work. How can we possibly work with them so that example, I've been going back to your point, I would say the first staff is to relay in a before jumping and saying I'm going to do something about this, which can often come in the form of I'm going to fix this. You know even consciously or subconsciously, I'm not saying that's the case for you, but for a lot of my patients, it's like oh society. I need to do something to fix it, and so it's either. The first step is really just being able to these pieces out to sea, where there's a component that can be fed by worrying, and then
to be able to move into aspects, have experienced we can start to bring in basically awareness to see and feel you know see. Our thoughts feel our emotions on her body sensations, and then that can help that fuel from the fire, so that were not constantly stoking the fire of anxiety. Does that make sense it does? It but I want to get waymore granular on it. So, let's just take your patients who say they wake up in the morning it because their patient of yours, they have learned to serve checking when themselves and they notice. Oh yeah. I've got feelings of anxiety in my body? This is not an uncommon feeling for me. So what's the move them so the first move for them is to check to see if those feelings of anxiety are driving them into worry suffrage. Ample people in general as anxiety, disorder and this gentlemen, that I just mentioned, he met all the criteria for both.
And Disorder Andrew Noise anxiety to store okay, so his poster child for anxiety. So the first step there is to just see. Are these feelings, driving such thoughts that are then driving back and feeding the feelings. Can I met this out and then for them to jack throughout the day to map it out to see what else it is driving. So, for example, at this gentleman I sent him home. I gave our and when he is already happens, had just go map out your habit lips, and I failed to mention that gentlemen, was a hundred eighty pounds over way, so he had hyperactive. And he had a fatty lever yet obstructive sleep out, nay, his body was not doing well. He came back two weeks later and the first thing he said to me was he actually look better already, but first he said to me was o doc. I lost forty pounds and I look I'm kind of quizzically, because we had even talked about weight loss. At that point he said
mapping out my anxiety, habit loops. I realized that anxiety was driving me to eat and I thought that that was helpful, but it didn't actually helped me at all. So I stop doing that. He went on to lose over a hundred pounds. He's described is effortlessly because he just became less excited to do that The reason I mentioned, that is, that anxiety can drive a whole lot of other things, the din. Feedback, because he was worried about his health and he could actually start get a handle on his health, which then decreases health anxiety, which then decreased his general anxiety. So is the end. Stay here for people who live and anxiety to it's, not that you're never gonna feel the throbbing in your chest or whatever physical manifestations there are of fear. That you're gonna learn not to let it drive you into on constructive behaviors. Yes, absolutely
and I think there is a way that we can actually tap into our brains to do that. That's what I wrote a lot of the book about, but that's the end game is too I think of it as it's not about not having thoughts or emotions are sensations, is about changing our relationship to them and often in the process change our relationship to our motions we can see where were feeding them. We can stop feeding them and at this in time when they do show up. We dont resist them because that resistance is part of the feeding. You know what we resist persists and that's absolutely true. So those are two elements that were complimentary, so I can see here having this conversation with you and I may notice yes, says residual tightness of my chest, quick as I've. The last thing I did before I came to his interview with spend a bunch of time working on my book, or I may even just noticed the title in my chest while I'm working on my book, but I can be cool, with that aware of it? Now, making a big deal out of it and checking
either it's driving me and to serve obsessive thought but that doesn't mean I have to let it push me into thinking about Why am I so anxious I'm, never gonna, get better, etc, etc. Absolutely and just to give you in the moment example of that that last and so what I just said, those who can work complimentary. My boy sorry saying. Well, that's not grammatically correct bought up. So in this moment I could be here sitting thinking: oh man, I totally bombing it on this great podcast or I could be like oh yeah. That was not grammatically correct book go and then we move on with a more interesting conversation, absolutely I didn't notice it's just for the record. I thought that you mentioned that in the book you talk a lot about tapping into the brains, natural resources, in order to help us with this. I want to get to that. But just let me ask another: should have thirty thousand feet cos. And how do we know whether we qualify as having? sort of clinical level of anxiety or whether we have got.
Variety anxiety. How do you tranche these things you? As a professional? There is one of the tools that use most commonly clinically- and we use this in our research studies as Well- is called the God: seven generalise, anxiety disorders, seven, witches, surprise, seven genes and it can give it a marker of severity, but it can also help diagnose. It's not perfect for diagnosis, but we can use it to clinically back people's level of anxiety and there's below five is minimal. Anxiety of five to ten is mild. Ten to fifteen as moderate in above fifteen, is boy you're really anxious, I think, officially severe so we can use questionnaires and that ten, to be a godsend or right now in cycle. Dream and psychological research around anxiety, because we don't have physical markers
of anxiety. Certainly there can be surrogates but they're, not specific enough for any one. Individual hope everybody here listening if they feel like they need one, they should get a therapist psychiatrist, psychologist social work or what Do you think is right for you, but if I'm listening to this and I'm not working with mental health, Professional how do I gauge whether my anxieties, just a natural response to the fact that were living in a pandemic and any of the other, disturbing current events or whether I actually it's disrupting by The lady to function fully So here, it's pretty subjective and a lot of psychiatric dsm for those psychiatrists bible. There's often this coffee out at the end of you'd go through these checklist of symptoms, and then it says. And must be causing some disturbance and life. Basically, we can have a bunch of these symptoms and it might not be caught,
has any problem at all, and so I think that's a critical aspect is to ask ourselves. Oh, I met this checklist by law, but how am I actually dealing with this is this causing a disturbance, and I think, This really highlights the importance of looking out the relationship with our thoughts and emotions, rather than just looking at them objectively and saying: oh yeah, that's a problem. So, for example, I know you ve played a lot with like not eating sugar, this or that it's not that sugar is a problem, But it's how we relate to sugar it's very individual right, so its most sugar is a basic building block. It gives good salaries and in certain ways, when its delivered through non process fitted can be very nutritive in that sense. So it's really looking these things and how we relate to them. I think that's, really critical, I'd love to get you to say more about the methods you lay out in your new book on winding anxiety for how we can work with our fears.
Matter where we are on the spectrum from my term, not yours, said garden, variety to all the way up to the spectrum of generalised anxiety disorder. So the first step we ve taught tests on a little bit, which is just mapping out these habit looks like I talked to use the example of my Patient and anybody can do this. They can pull out a piece of paper. They could write down trade- behavior result or they can and bring a piece of paper with them or taken on their phone or whatever and just map out any anxiety or worry, related habit lips. That's the first step. Ok, pretty straightforward, something that I make amendment five minutes or thirty seconds, even as I did with my patient. That's they actually the first part of the books Helping people not only see how anxiety and worry can be elemental, behaviors and how to map out those habit lives, but also how they can apply those two other habits as well as wine and there are lots of other habits related to anxiety. You don't like the quarantine, fifteen, it's the drinking, that's gonna, tremendously in the last year. It's that Netflix has gone off the chart,
because everybody's distracting themselves with Netflix, so we can. About all these other related habit, thieves as well, the second step, is really my favorite part, but its favourite from a research. Perspective, because this is so cool how the brain works? Okay, so of course he has mentioned. I've been approaching anxiety from a lens of habits like how can it be driven habitually through worrisome mental behaviour, so this goes back. The sum of the research that my lab is done around will reward value with other behaviour so, for example, there's this formula from the nation. Seven is called the risk or low Wagner model where we tend to hold certain reward value of a certain behaviour in mind. Ok stored in our brain so that we have to re. Learn that behaviour every day so, for example, the taste of of chocolate, for example, verses, broccoli or a cake versus breathless use, take as an example
So if we had this value stored in our brain, we don't have free, learn it every time there was partly disagreeing with Kate tastes like what we ve done is laid down this composite reward value every time you know, starting as a kid we gotta birthday parties in all. This we ve gotta celebrations where we ve eaten cake as we have eaten cake to cheer ourselves up. You know this gets lay down as a composite reward value and theirs hierarchy in our brain of reward value. So in a broccoli general it tends to be lower than cake for most people, so we can tell ourselves stop eating cake, but if it works, I would happily fund other job, and I wouldn't need to help my patience with obesity, because our thinking brain doesn't hold a candle to our feeling body. Our body looks it they taken says: That's pretty roaring eat it. What are you doing to staring at us? You know, eat the cake So the only way to actually update that reward value is to bring something that you might have heard up before? It's called aware
and what risk Garland Waggery talked about was, what's called a positive and negative prediction error. So if I'm looking a piece of cake, and I know it looks really good and I take up I did that Kate and it is absolutely delay. It's better than any chocolate cake that I've had before this something happens. Collar positive predictions are its more rewarding than I expected I bite into thy cake and the chef accidently used a bunch of salt instead of sugar, and I spit it out into skies I get this negative prediction error and what that dies is it my brain to say, hey, be better. Look out for that bakery. Whoever baked I cake might not be doing a good job so cake in that specific setting decreases in this, word value, so it's easier for me to go past that storm tasted like salt last time, I'm not interested okay. Now we research with this work can actually embed Michaelmas, laws into our apps, where we can actually measure award value on a moment to moment basis, and we can
people go through a mindfulness exercise and really pay attention, so they can update that reward value. So it's over eating. We have people with, I'd never eat and we have them do and then ask themselves how content do you feel right now when checking. Themselves within ten to fifteen times of people. Doing this exercise map out that Rywhere value change, that behaviour drops below the value of not doing it, and we ve seen this both with eating and we have also seen this was cigarette. Smoking. Cigarettes are pretty straightforward if they dont taste very good. They can be a little more subtle. So we can take that principle. And see that mindfulness is a key ingredient. Really awareness is that key ingredient, but that attitude of curiosity like whom, what did I we get from this is compared to saying. Oh, I shouldn't take. Those are very different things, when we really see that reward value. Clearly, that updates
brain- and this goes all the way back to ancient british psychology around becoming disenchanted with these old behaviors right. So here's distant Can't met in a modern day formula through math for those votes that like That's awesome, I'm not great at math, but I like that. There is a mathematical formula that my posts- can go in measure and calculate in right papers about, but we can actually applied this to worry as well and so that the next step is to really map out these habit, loops anxiety and worry right and then, when we're worrying, we can ask ourselves why what am I getting from this right now right feel into body. Oh, it's actually making more me more anxious, for example, until we can ask, is this actually solving the problem that I'm hoping that ourselves for example, in a common one is parents when they have teenagers in their kids, go out parting with their friends. They're gonna worry until they hear that door unlocked and the kids home safely. My guess,
is that the worry isn't actually making the kid safe. Just a guess so they can ask themselves, will what's worrying, getting me right now, while they're getting it Sir they're, getting you high blood pressure trying to control their kids lies. None of those are helpful. So that's one aspect that puts him attention to the other S, goes back to this resistance, if there's just anxiety and somebody's not worrying, particularly, They can see. I am trying to fix the anxiety and trying to find the problem. Why is this anxiety happening, and am I getting from the resistance or that trying to figure it out and solve it are trying to avoid it. Whatever the behaviour is it's not helping them just simply be with and accept their anxiety. Those feelings if they can just welcome the men, which is not did you do when somebody's first, starting whatever time when they realise that these feelings arson a body, sensations emotions. They can start to experience being with them
All these practices that you know from your own experience can help at least start to get our foot in the door of not just constantly end, Clay, trying to get rid of anxiety as quickly as possible, so that step two, I have questions about subdued, but I won't let you finish the step so I'll. Keep him in my head, so we'll go quickly. In this chapter in them and go back to step to cast up three, is relatively simple I think of it. As you know, if your brain has found that something is unrewarded, it's gonna say: ok, give me something: So I think it is the baby out the bigger better offer ideally we would find something that is intrinsically rewarding, not something external, so you could say well, if your anxious disco look at your pictures of poppies, uninstall ground whatever our debates on ethics, but our brains become habituated to those things there is. Such a thing is too much of a good thing. It offers like just a godsend talking about yet try just having
sex for a long long long long long time it just doesn't work out that. Well, you know you gotta stop at some point, so there is too much of a good thing. And our brains become habituated. That's how our brains learn is like well, I I get the queue pictures of poppies now you know give you something cuter, so we need to- internally, if possible. This aid, of having superpowers for a brain. I think you. You first introduced that to me and if the animal would you talk about my from this as a superpower? What what? What specifically, I think I said that sounds like something I would say: yeah. I know. Definitely so I think it was mindfulness. Reelect Michael is like a superpower. I think of the attitudinal quality of mine from my. So you think of it. My voice being awareness and an attitude you non judgment is what a lot of people say, I think of it as curiosity, you can positively frame it. That way, I think of curiosity is a superpower and when my lads actually done research on this, but basically anybody listening can ask themselves what feels better, being anxious or being cured
about that anxiety in this moment. Right curiosity feels better. We ve done with hundreds of people looking the reward value, a bunch of different mental states occur, the Bush people rank Curio, today kindness connection much higher than anxiety and fear and worry, and things like that, so it's about finding that bigger, better offer ends the nice thing mindfulness and awareness is that awareness is intrinsic and curiosity is intrinsic. It's just about awakening it, so we don't become habituated to it and if we think oh I'm bored of being here, as we know, what's it feel like to be bored curious. You know they were curious again. So that's the third step think of it as any. I think of it is any my from his practice that can help us step out of the old habit loop. The way this would work in practice is again just because I haven't, get broken the habit of self. Let me just stick with myself Second, as uneasy example, I'm sitting here still have the throbbing in the chest
the baby, oh, would be hey. Would you cannot just be curious about it, not curious like Why am I such an anxious person but curious about what are the physical sensations right now and what kind of star bursts of thought? Might these sensations be triggering that I could drop out of an see as they have absolutely- and I think, you're touching on an important point that I didn't actually know until two years ago, which is there are two different flavors of curiosity- and you just named both of them, so one is called deprivation. Curiosity judges, as it sounds not having information right which drives our brain to go, get information because information is food for our brain and food for helps us survive. Not knowing the answer to something you're, not knowing why I'm anxious, for example, is a rabbit hall. What does it feel like We ask you what you feel like when you're like all, why my anxious does it feel more closed down or, as a few more opened up, definitely closed down yeah, so the others called interest. Curiosity where the guy thing of deference,
curiosities their destination. Once you get the answer your you ve arrives at the end of your journey interest. Curiosity is about just exploring the journey, the job discovery so in the moment, if you just focused on the interest, curiosity, does that film closed down or does not feel opened up anymore Now we're example with the whatever time is, I'm feeling in my chest, if I just can be gently curious about what is this feel like without trying to dive into story yeah, it feels much better than trying to do amateur sex therapy on myself, Yes, that's actually what my lab is done. So when we mapped out these fourteen mental states and looked at the reward value, we also asked people does one feel more open, more closed and uniformly people reported that the ones that felt open include. Curiosity were more rewarding, so there may even be this intrinsic continuum between contracted in closed down verses opened up there already a different era.
Wrench one the reward spectrum one feels better than another, which is good news for the human race speak highs Gunnar and frustration and divisiveness feel much worse and more closed down then connection and kindness. If we could just get everybody to wake up to that and that's about the waking up part it's about being aware of the result. Of being mean versus the results, have been kind to each other sticking with that. Loop around anxiety, the baby, oh again is to put a fine fine point on this step three in terms of the unwinding. This anxiety is getting to the bigger better off or so you're sitting. There feeling your anxiety, wherever you feel it in your body and you I notice that you might be headed toward them. Of Doritos But then you remember actually now I've been
where, through the burrito been several times and seeing that it just makes me feel terrible, but myself and terrible physically, so I'm just gonna drive back into like checking out what does it feel like to be with these feelings right now and that in and of itself is the reward? That's the baby. Oh yes, absolutely especially when you compare the two: you can feel back into what is like to dive into the bag of Doritos, and then you can compare that to what is like right now exploring those sensations and the results. What do I get from just exploring verses if I were to dive into the bag, clinical example, a patient that I just saw maybe a week or two ago she just or one year of sobriety indices. Inner fifties she's been drinking a long time. Let's say so we used a lot of mine from his practices with her and she actually loving This issue is using our own running his idea as well.
What she does every morning she wakes up and she asked herself. What would I get if I drank one phrase for this is playing the tape forward. You know, so we can think we have to draw on old memory to projecting the future. So what that does is it draws back on what she did in the past that lead to her drinking and what the results were verses. What it's like right now to be sober and for her being sober feels great, you know compared to drinking are being drunk Do you ever have people say I mean Doc, you're telling me that the reward is mindfulness. I mean come on: how can that compared to venging on whatever it is? I want to binge on to shut down these feelings, I'll, be a temporarily of fear anxiety, etc, etc. While I think the difference here is that over indulging on anything is not physiologically. Adaptive inside our brains know this, and there say, hey you better cool it on whatever. That is actually what feels good.
This kind of this you demonic, a state of being where there's just this ease. There's balance, there's we're not in and when, moreover, indulging not only do we get the consequences of over indulging where we have to deal with a headache for their hang over or that full stomacher, the guilt or whatever. But this, time all those pieces are driving us too. Crave that thing more and that craving is very unsettling assist. Do something do something do something so, especially when you bring all those peace, they the gather it feels much worse than simply noticing other some chocolate and my hungry, or do I just one little piece for a little bit of sweetness and can I stop there. You know, there's always a pleasure plateau that we're gonna hit, but if we don't pay attention so they wearing this comes in we're just gonna keep doing those things habitually driving us You really are a bunch of different negative outcomes, so you I'm awareness helps.
See how unrewarded these other things are. Yet the awareness itself helps us go through life, not constantly pulling it doesn't pushing it, then looking at this and pushing at that through not using meditation or mindfulness or awareness as a each or vegetables good for you type thing you're using it as a way to orient the brain toward what actually feels good right now, always Yes, and I would argue that eating your vegetables actually feel pretty cut as you know, the feeling healthy feeling energetic not having a sugar russian crashing now pink stability in all these things, they come from eating our vegetables, eating or food for me no brainer, I mean it. So much better. More of my conversation with Doktor Jed brewer right after this and twenty twenty one, it's finally okay to talk about our mental health. But what is there appear its whatever you wanted to be? Maybe you're feeling and secure in relationships or at work, or not very
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At National Geographic, a show that takes you to the edges of our big, weird and beautiful world. The latest stories from overheard will transport you to the Himalaya to search for snow leopards to Mars. To look for ancient life will also uncover the truth about Amazon warriors and unravel a map makers, dangerous decision, listen to overheard at National Geographic, wherever you like to listen You talk about curiosity being the super power. Could you substitute or add in a word the sick big word not in length, but in cultural heft. Could you add in something along the lines of love? Absolutely, yes, I would say: well my lads researched types of love, and I think you know about this bit.
We look at the commonality between, say, curiosity and love. They share a quality of experience. The witches this opening up this expansion right so wait, I'm feelin love from somebody or when somebody's kindness to me in other kindness. It feels good it I feel more connected. More open and when I'm curious about something I feel more open, I feel more connected with the world. So I think the two have slightly different flavors. You know like it slightly different phenotypes, let's say but at their core. That opening is the same and I think number deep, a man who is this famous meditation teacher. Somebody asked her, you know what's the difference between loving kindness and awareness or something like tat- and she said there is no difference- I hope I'm not miss quoting her on that.
But the idea there is at the courts the same end at the core of these practices, whether its kindness practices, is or love truly selfless, love night or love you. If you love me back type of thing, which is more transactional, that core of opening I would suggest is really a key aspect of mine from us itself is helping a sea basics how unrewarded it is to be contracted in whatever leads to that so device. Nestle the contraction and how great it feels to be open and connected which both love and curiosity do so. I don't know if that gets at your question or just provokes more questions, but that's how I see it right now. I've always been confused. When you hear meditation teachers say things like love, is attention or attend in his love, but I think starting to understand it that just this oh ban, interested
is also a loaded word but caring, but not caring, necessarily in the sense that you're like Florence Nightingale, but just like you, I, like the expression just north of neutral. You know you do give a crap on some very basic level, I am new to me. It feels like those two can be. Not interchangeable these closely closely related. Absolutely I would suggest that they can foster each other. They can support it their because anything that helps move us in the direction of opening helps us see how rewarding it is and helps us for other things that will do the same thing here my hands, for me, why a fully balanced meditation diet includes both and I discovered this very late in my meditations career, both straight up mindfulness watching the real feeling the breath and then, when you get distracted, start again and love kindness, You know where your actively boosting your capacity to care, part of for me where I confused on this is that love is afraid,
word in our culture and we start hearing string, music and, seeing you know, white lights at blah, blah blah, but actually, if you define it down, it's quite useful to think about, As you know, just are in ours. Are wired rna capacity, hard wired capacity to care, absolutely and you can direct that towards yourself in moments of anxiety and for meat can even have a cognitive aspect to it of okay, I m noticing that I fear, but you know this is the organism trying to protect itself can't I just I think, I'm stealing that line from Jack Cornfield to I love and and then I can be like our get ya get it. This is, I don't have to fight against. This idea, can relax a little bit and feel it doesn't make any sense. It makes a lot of sense and actually I'm thinking of one of my pay since he said when we are training her any kind of seeing this for herself She would use the little man when she would get anxious. She would just say: oh, that's am my
works to remind herself exactly what you're talking about, which is my brains trying to protect me? It's old thing in modern day, everything is not a survival threats, yet my brain per se. It. That way, So let me give my brain a break and in the process, It's like putting ourselves in our brain shoes at his big weaken then have compassion for brain? Because we understand how it works inside out. You know it's ok, brain and that also helps it get out of its little right too. In terms of understanding, though- and this gets back to the issue of Curiosity- does it not make some sand because I think this happens a lot and therapy, at least in my experience, to try to get a sense of what happened. Your personal history and maybe even back in your family history, because we know that intergenerational traumas continent,
same thing. Is there no value to that kind of excavation? done well so, certainly done? Well, it probably doesn't hurt anything yet, guy love, this theirs is quote, forgiveness, is giving up hope of a better past, veer that before her like that So the idea is, if you look at it from a habit perspective habits are prepared, so it lets say itself judgment, ok for our past, or you know, or whatever, giving up hope of at our past means it's not about why this is happening right now, it's about what is happening right now, because what drove it too, and right now is less relevant, then that it is happening right now and having people devote their energy the white as compared to the. Why is really helpful in helping them step out of these things now I could certainly see seen those
turns where, if somebody is an abuse of relationship for example, and that as a result of general Don't follow. You know where their parents were in a decent. Relationships where it is just comfortable and that's what they know being able to see that pattern is obviously very helpful because it might actually helped them step out of it a little more easily and also seeing how the deck and actually be perpetuated just because its comfortable, maybe just as help as knowing ok, well, I've seen that pattern over and over and over I get why it's happening. We can also get why it's happening from a brain perspective. It knew nothing of this is backed our k per cent ancestors. The cave was our comfort zone right where in safety we don't have to have our alert systems on when we got the savanna foraging. We have to go on high workers. We don't know, there's danger out there when we go out into some new territory. This could be, let's say enemies, relationships. Somebody lose out.
Side of an abusive relationship. It feels very uncomfortable because they are the safety of the relation Yet, even though it was an abusive one right we can move out into this discomfort and we freak out and Gunnar Panic Zone were really a running back into the safety or finding somebody else as quickly as possible. That might repeat the pattern or weak then bring curiosity in and say. Oh, this is my brain, so my brain works I'm. Being out of my comfort zone into the growth zone, this is new, indifferent. What if I did it different people, for example, for hung out indifferent environments and know that that uncertain He is part of our brain survival mechanism, but it doesn't mean we need to run quickly back into the cave, because that could actually be detrimental. For us, so there certainly understanding the past can be helpful, but us I'm just understanding some basic biology. If our brains work. Some basic psychology, I would suggest, can help
identify those patterns in the moment that their happening and that's what helps change habits. I dont have hard and fast views, this, but I think, gun to my head. I would have to say I'm kind of both and on the salami, like kind of gently challenge you with again just a personal example. I was talking to my psychiatrist recently about the aforementioned move that has provoked summit. Anxiety. Some financial concerns as a matter of fact, and I was kind of laying it out to him and he would challenge me on it and you ve pretty quickly arrived at the fact that their and much evidence to support the financial concerns we ve made responsible decisions financially Dennys pivoted too. What was the attitude around the house when you a kid around money and
I started remembering I am. My parents didn't want to run the heat too much, so we war Park, as in the winter and yeah like my parents, drove like really crappy cars, even though they both were very successful, physician, etc, etc. Are quite flinty new englanders and he is like well. Is it a pass? well that you know some of the anxiety, you're feeling right now is this sense of maybe you're breaking your parents rules you know how to comport yourself as a grown up in there, just some kind of like a little bit. He didn't use this word, but maybe a little bit in Tyler childish and it was helpful, me to see my anxiety in that historical perspective, so felt helpful, somewhat my missing, if anything, so that certainly can be helpful- and I would say the key is- when you feel anxiety in those moments. How do you work with it right. So is it your thinking, brain Imagine the Slovak earlier thinking brain doesn't hold a candle to our feeling body,
and so, if we get really start to get really worked up, trying to think selves out like a well. My parents me like this. When I was a kid you don't that may not actually snuff out there. Aim of anxiety in that moment, but what is possible We more guaranteed is, if you in your my fulness practices in those moments to work at the anxiety. So it I think it's about, and so they seeing it and single that's how it got set up, but how it got set up is. In the past, what's happening. Right now. Is that showing up and the best way not to, beat anxiety, is to make sure you're not fuelling it. The psychologist, I believe, is a psychologist. Jonathan height from an why you Jonathan fearless him you're invited on the show I was reading a book. He rode recently called the Righteous mine where he describes the way the mind works, like an elephant with a rider human rights are the elephant, is our subconscious are feelings the
rider is our thinking. Capacity and often the writer is just a pr agent for the elephant or a lawyer for the elephant. We We're really running the show, but it's this unseen. I and animal in that kind of jobs with what you are talking about here. Yes, it might be helpful to give the writers and historical perspective on the roots of his or her their anxiety, but learning to work with the elephant there were seeing through awareness is gonna be more powerful overtime. Slowly, so you can think of it as that, seeing their historical origins be like. Oh, this is an elephant as compared to a kitty cattle or who puppyish Vienna and then learning how to write it. Ok ones. Technical question and then I want to get to a long running debate we ve been having over email. The technical question is in order to do the Doktor Jetson Brewer unwinding anxiety steps. We ve talked about my Was an awareness? Do you think that method?
asian formal meditation practice is required here. How are you defining formal meditation practice, sitting eyes closed or open and following some setting structures about how to work with the mine for a few minutes at a time. Ok, so here I'll, give historical precedent and research abbot, where I was suggested, no its not required so historically. If you look at Tibetan Buddhist schools, they talk about. Actually these short moments many times where a lot of the teachers will talk about a moment of mine from this will help in a moment of mine from us. If you think about habits set the habit of awareness. If you, throughout the day short moments many times, then that's gonna help set that habit about life as well as in context. My my research I love when I set up I bought this is on totally wrong. I learn more from that. Then, when the hypothesis is confirmed when we do
First. Studies as well are smoking studies long time ago, where we found five times to quit ways to go sooner treatment. When we looked at the data to see what was driving that was the informal mindfulness practices as compared to the formal once my hypothesis, because I had trained, informal meditation practice was it the former ones. It wasn't that they weren't helping There is certainly a correlation between for malpractice and Alan but it wasn't nearly astronomers the informal. What I would suggest- especially for somebody just starting trying this out, short moments in many times throughout the day and having that being supported by even shorter, like I think, you're great job of advocating like just a few minutes, the former this is, can really help deepen things, but if we just jump right in here like oh, it's all about levitating off my cushion we're gonna, be fine. Traded right from the get going. We might be more likely to give up, so I've actually taken their protocol
those data that we start with the informal actually starting by helping people understand why the heck their meditating in the first place, mapping out these mentally looking at the pushing Paul. Seeing that in their everyday context, so that, they then go to sit on a cushion or sit on a chair to walk in medicine, whatever? Formerly they can aware of those patterns much more easily. They can be on the lookout for them and in that respect it might oddments the utility of doing the formal practice So obviously I like both, but I've actually started with a little for informal peace. Helping people understand the mind first and then having in the formal practices. After that, you may say so. If I missed it, I apologise. But what do you mean by the little informal practices of short moments many times so going back to the research ample. So they said earlier about where we were building mindfulness practices into these apps. Where we have people pay attention as they eat food right. We have people pay attention as they
like a cigarette? So imagine if somebody smoking a pack a day they have twenty times a day where in practice being really mindful with specific activity. So those the short moments or any found somebody walking down the hall in their feeling anxiety. They can take a moment to simply note what that anxiety feels like in their body, or they can take a moment to take a mindful breath. Those are the short moments. Not like. Oh I'm, driving down the highway and feeling anxious. I need to pull over in pull out the cushion out of my trunk and meditate on the side of the highway. It's about in that moment when their driving on my when their feeling anxious- and they noticed this worry thought- come up to note that others, this worry thought so that they can be less identified with those tossing. Thus, that's what I'm talkin about each of those moments is a month of mindfulness that will help support the next one to talk about the perverse thrill of being wrong. I love the perverse thrill of having something completely obvious.
Reassert its prominence in my mind at something that's worthwhile so like I do find that taking deep breaths, which of course like every parent, tells their kid to do his mid temper tantrum is phenomenally helpful. I'm feeling worried, and I know, there's a lot of science there? Okay, so let's get it back Royal here I've been inquiring with you for quite a while, and this goes back to the episode we did a year ago on this package when the pandemic was really just first. Come in and we wanted to talk about how people can work with anxiety, and we talked on that episode about something called the Yorks Dodson LAW and Eurasia. She's about the legality of that law, and also this was privately with me, and then you also, and then I kept pushing back on whether is basically the starts in luck. You know I'm going to shut up. Will you describe this alleged lie and why? What your problems with it are by this goes back either. I, when I'm working with
We don't whether teaching a seminar giving a talker, whatever people invariably come we afterwards and say, but isn't a little bit of anxiety good for my performance and I'm thinkin. For me, it's not where you getting this and then Somebody actually wrote me a very, very long, email after a weakened seminar needed explaining all the ways that was helpful, and I think I don't know who's that and are somewhere reference, this your thoughts in law, and so I went. I looked it up and it turns out in there's this great review article on this that I cite in my book back nineteen o eight. There were these two researchers aptly named Yorks and Dodson, and they were steady, japanese dancing? Mice? Ok, I don't know why What prompted them to do this study, but they started shocking these my c a mild, moderate and severe shock, and they were testing to see how much each of these shocks, which affect their ability to navigate amaze or something or whatever they were doing to test the cognitive performance of these japanese dancing, mice and they found,
the victim bought, you know is like Goldilocks. You know the moderates Crazy enough to get them off their bites and ran down the maize, but there too little and too much It was like this. My personification of japanese fancying malice getting shot so that paper, winds, largely ignored for half a century serves only cited. I think four or five times in fifty years, So in the nineteen fifty, if there was a guy conciliate, relatively well known psychologist, who posture without evidence, Maybe this japanese dancing mouse thing performance thing could be applied to anxiety as well, and one of his former graduate students ran with it so he did a study with rats held their heads underwater, and found that if he held the rats head underwater just the right amount of time, they did better, but if you tell them underwater too long, they decrease their performance and he entered
enjoyably used the words, anxiety and arousal and all this stuff, so it complete sense that we need to be awake and are somewhat have some level of arousal to do things right. If we're comatose, we can check up to do list, but what these, guys, we're suggesting was the theirs is sweet spot in terms where a little bit of anxiety gets a suffer but to do things but too much phrixus out and were paralysed. So these folks started talking about the Yorks Dodson experiment. Does the Yerkes Dodson LAW, because it was you know, that's a psychological law must be true. If you look at this in this review paper that I have found only four percent of studies supported, The evidence for this inverted you ship curve, everybody loves the symmetry of an inverted. You shaped Cartwright Little bed, not so much. You know just there Mt Goldilocks everybody wins and too much the beds to heart. The is too cold or too hot. So four per cent of studies supported this forty.
Six percent or ten times that many supported it complete, inverse relationship. The more anxiety there is, the worst people do, and performance and if you look at the Yerkes Dodson LAW, it went from being cited fewer than ten times by one thousand nine hundred and ninety two a hundred times in like the year two thousand and two over a thousand times in the year. Twenty ten. So there's Exponential rise in people. Look at this horrific, probably with the help The internet saying oh yeah, that makes sense I'm on a site this and not actually look at the raw data so goes from japanese tent. Most drowning rats, take humans, improving their performance because their anxious and wait. My peach dimension, The nuclear she's great, he would say true true an unrelated. Could you be anxious and could you perform well, but it doesn't mean that there is a causal connection, that anxiety is causing better performance and when I get performance when I'm anxious I perform worse, that's an end of wine. All these studies are backing up the
there really isn't any evidence for their being that sweet spot of anxiety that improve performance. So that's the Ex Dodson. I would say more myth, then law. I think the Thea statutes need to be updated or Howard the legal speakers for so let me just keep pushing, This is because the way I've heard this disc in the way I talk about it to folks is in a very open to revising the. So that's the Spirit in which I'm gonna say what I am about to say. The way was presented to me in the way I presented to others is we're in the middle. Pandemic is wrong with you, if that scary, so, yes an amount of like oh yeah, this is a big scary pandemic. I need to make sure I have enough masks. I need to make sure that I'm getting tested on the regular. I don't wanna, go see my elderly parents if I haven't taken precautions, etc, etc. A certain amount of that makes sense its when your paralyzed at your on the wrong side of the inverted you shape so
Maybe what I'm describing is like a definition anxiety or stress, but help me understand where the fusion here. Is he has so what I went, what the data are suggesting? that no amount of anxiety is actually helpful, so this goes back to the thinking and planning part of our brain tissue. Can plan r prefrontal cortex needs to be working optimally and there is no evidence to suggest it. Anxiety actually helps are prefrontal cortex perform. So let's use the opposite example. When we perform our best, I think that example that I can think of that bus personifies there, sir or exemplifies this is flow right I've looked into flow a little bit and wrote about it in my last back, but the ideal behind flow is when somebody is at peak levels of performance. This is in described in music performance, are sports for somebody's doing such an amazing job.
That. Not only are they just crushing it, but there actually sucking the crime in with them, because everybody is feeling that energy, so I'm gonna use that as an example of optimal performance, and when you look at flow me, I took them. I call this term he's a psychologist, wrote a book flow in the nineteen seventies. He talked about it being effortless self, bless. You know there's nothing in there about anxiety theirs, nothing in there about any of that. It's about actually being completely free of all of these worries. So that we are just merging action and outcome right. Don't dispute any that except, I think many of us, it's a bit utopian. So I think times. Yes, why play the drums- and there are times when I'm playing the drums I enter into flow or their terms of meditation when I enter the flow of their times, even when writing, but it's not just like perennial
fully available to me and so therefore, a certain amount of like deadlines for writing. Deadlines are stressful to me, but they actually can focus the find and get me a little bit up on the useful part of the UK's does in law, which is not obviously along said there. I would They do the parallel experiment, and I would say that I agree with you. It's you know We think of flow is binary. I'm either not in flower. I'm inflow, then that's gonna be a problem, but if we think of as a continuum, and I think of that contracted call you to close down quality of experience that we talked about before that's anti flow, that's moving in the opposite direction, but anything that helps us open up an open, open, open up how This move along the flow continuum, ok so here. It's not that we have to try to get into flow because trying is going to get in the way. This is the Yoda quota. Luke, you know looks as I'm trying and Yoda says do or do not. There is no try right. This is about
just doing getting out of our own way and just doing these things so anything that help us. I see where we're getting in our own way and anything they can help us kind of open up a bit. Helps us move in the direction, whereas you can think of flows the extreme end of that spectrum. So here with deadline, if wicked, Clone Dan here and do the parallel experiment and say ok at the beginning of the week. Dan is gonna, compete with com down, who is just a little more open? Let's just do a little night toward open versus closed right. The open Dan again still meet? That deadline is again me that, in a way that doesn't feel like it's another deadline but like oh here's, a deadline right, so it could be that oversees. Oh if we meet that with curiosity, does the curiosity how
us motivated meet that deadline in a way that even helps us perform better. Then, if it's the owl, he also, though, of course, I sometimes work that, if I right in and we haven't invoke this term thus far, but I'll put it into the conversation if I right in what might be described as a sort of self compassionate way where I'm listening, my body not pushing myself too hard are very interested in that I do find that I do better when I do that part My brain is telling me yeah, actually, You do need, like hair on fire deadlines to actually get your stuff done, but that's just a habit. Yeah could just be habit right where its that's, what you ve done in the past. That would help to us seated with getting a dime, yet you can now do the parallel experiment and distant.
Feel into what it feels like to really be you'd. Have writing feel into what it feels like to be. Thinking about these things feel into all the rewarding aspects of your experience versus d, the very that the kind of the stick you know the current versus the stick mentality show, but let's get back to the pandemic for a second we'll make sure I'm not confusing fear, which you said, has redeeming qualities and anxiety. Some fear in the face the headlines were seeing on the news seems to make sense and to be evolution, airily adaptive, but that is different. From anxiety, which is uncontrolled, worry in the face of that fear, to have that right, absolutely safe think of it as we have a huge amount of uncertainty right now, if you think of it from a health perspective, unprecedented in our lifetimes. I can't think of it globally, whereas the world's population has been less certain about its health right.
Especially at the beginning, but even now The new variance in the vaccines there are so many elements of uncertainty there. They answer is telling us hey pay attention. This is important your survival. But what we do with that uncertainty is critical for their survival peace where, if we're worrying about when I'm gonna get a vaccine or my vaccine gonna work for this very answer, you know Bob a bar were actually giving ourselves slow burn of anxiety of killing is chronically verses acknowledging the uncertainty. Seeing that we don't all the answers, maybe looking at some trusted sources for information and then importantly, letting go when we don't have the surf like being ok with being uncertain? I can we be comfortable with the discomfort. Somewhere in that action mode, though right, urging thinking planning, hopefully not infused with anxiety. What would you
all that, would you call that arousal, given that fear may be present, is inappropriate for there to be some level of stress. I guess I just don't want to stay. It hung up on not having the right words. Yes, so if you look at I think time scales can be helpful here. So if you look at the timescale of fear, it tends to be pretty short. You know peaks and then it goes away. We can't just be like super afraid super afraid super afraid to read the whole day or physiologist not set up that way it. Actually, if you look at it, we're gonna have very very fast reaction, The things were so let's say I stepped out into the street. I'm looking at my phone, my weapon of mass strikes and right now forget to let pathways before crossing the street step out in the street, I look up. I see this boss barreling down at me before. I can think before I can even be afraid. I'm Java knock on the sidewalk I don't have time to be afraid. I need to survive. So there's
level which happens like a millisecond about your reflexively, then we have this fear. Responses is wow, you should probably put your phone away when you're crossing the street. So there where the learning comes in right. That can happen pretty quickly, but what we do with them. Peace is where the anxiety come said. Where you know it's like. I can't believe that driver I should go see my psychiatrist goes. I might have a death wish her. You know whatever that peace is the chronic peace that is completely option. Where we can be like video that we, I should put my phone way. We learn from it. We let go of that. We move on. If you look at animals, I think it's dogs will shake when they ve had something stressful, that it literally shake it off, and then they move on things
Ie browser wild animals like that, will jump in kick after they ve been chased by the lion so that they don't get chronic stress, citing vast difference here and you can. You can tell generally in history for way based on timescale. So I've been giving this speech for the last seven years, as I wrote, tempers and happier where I talk about how my dad told me that the price of security is insecurity and that I use that is my little mantra. My pre mindfulness day's work Alek days and it had a negative outcome, many negative outcomes, one of which was Suno, getting depressed self medicating with recreational drugs in and having a panic attack. I didn't come back to the price of security is insecurity at the end of the speech and say still kind of believe that. I still believe that, if you're gonna do anything grade in your personal, national volunteer life, whatever certain amount of,
king and plotting and planning does make sense. It's just that we tend to carry it too far and its useful life on this is like us, the wheat thresher that can separate We from chaff and help you see oh yeah. When am I in you those rumination as opposed to serve what I jokingly call constructive anguish. Do I need to revise that? You think? No, I think that pay It's pretty well and I write in my book about moving out of our comfort zone into panic zone verses growth zone. So I would say that insecurity that your dad was talking about the play save scurries insecurity that is moving out of our comfort zone into some new territory into the growth zone. And it's you know moving from the oh, no, which can be paralyzing too, that this is different, which helps us. Why new territory, that's an indicator that we can grow and that's where breakthroughs happen, not in their comfort zones it's in the grove zone. So it's not like doing
things is gonna mean like willing yourself into a constant state of flow. You are gonna, be uncomfortable, but how wanna be without discomfort. You wanna be locked down around it and anxious. Strolled worrying or do you want to be opening key Various around whatever challenges your facing right now and monitoring. When you lapse over into uncontrolled worry yeah, can we be comfortable with the discomfort? Basically till they agree before I let you go. Can you just remind us of the book remind us of the set are out there and where we can go is are one stop shopping for one all things stepper, so the is called unwinding, anxiety, the Alps, women on money, anxiety, amp debts, right about a lot of research that we ve done in the book and announced actually bookmark this with you. I think I mentioned medication. In that number needed to treat five point, one five we ve done so Clinical studies with this I'm running anxiety up now and the number needed a trade for that is one point. Six, the effort
see there, and if I'm playing that lottery, I want a lower number and then we eating our colleague right now, one for smoking call craving to quit, but folks can find out Judd Brewer on the totally self referential doktor Judd dot com, website Georgi. You d dot com and then they can find the book anywhere books are solved, but there is also link to the booksellers on my website, brilliant excellent job Judd and really appreciated. Thank you. Thank you became dad always great to connect with my friend thanks as well to the folks who works hard on this show. This show is made by Samuel Johns DJ. Cashmere Maria were tell engine point with audio engineering by ultra violet audio and always a hearty salute, ABC News, comrades, Ryan Kessler, Our co hand at a b c, we'll see what Friday for a bonus, I wrote
the London about a nine page analysis of what I thought he said nation wise from best case studios and ABC audio. Listen to in plain sight, Ladybird Johnson, a new pact asked about the power of a political partnership. That somehow it doesn't show up in the many many accounts of Lyndon Johnson presidency told through Ladybird own audio diaries then available. Now, wherever you listen to podcast.
Transcript generated on 2021-03-11.