Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind by Judson Brewer

Part 3 Find That Bigger, Better Offer for Your Brain: Third Gear

15. The Bigger, Better Offer

  • Being aware of bad behaviors can make you disenchanted with them. Judson refers to this as second gear. In order to replace a behavior, you need a greater reward. You need to substitute a behavior like having candy instead of smoking. This is an external reward, which in this case leads to weight gain. Substituting idleness doesn’t work as it’s boring. The goal is to substitute mindfulness or mindful curiosity as the new behavior, while leads to more satisfying internal rewards. Jud calls this third gear. If you can do it, it’s practical and always at the ready. As we all know, joy beats anxiety.

16. The Science of Curiosity

  • Curiosity is the strong desire to learn or know something and it comes in two distinct flavors. I-curiosity stands for interest, the pleasurable aspects that come with the hunger for knowledge. D-curiosity stands for deprivation. This is when you recognize that you have an unpleasant need to know something that you forgot or some vital information like when your train will arrive. The interest type feels good because there wasn’t a knowledge deficit in the first place. You didn’t know what you didn’t know. Curiosity builds on reward-based learning. This type of curiosity is also never-ending. D-type helps you survive, I-type features the childlike joy of discovery.
  • You can use curiosity when you find yourself in a bad habit loop. When you catch yourself, ask yourself what you feel and where in your body the feelings occur. The mantra here is hmm, as in hmm I wonder what is happening here. You can also use this hmm mantra to stimulate curious feelings as you navigate the world around you.

17. Dave’s Story, Part 3

  • Our ancestors living on the savanna were constantly on alert. While this behavior isn’t necessary today, some people feel that they may be unsafe a lot. Like Dave, all you need do is become curious about this feeling, check to make sure you are safe and feel it dissipate. When you feel that you are out of your comfort zone, curiosity can move you into a growth zone. As you practice this behavior, your growth zone gets bigger as your panic zone gets smaller. This also moves you towards a growth mindset.
  • Watching young children is a good way to see curiosity in action. Another big technique is to focus on your breathing whenever you encounter a bad habit loop. Your breath is always available. Paying attention to it helps you step out of your habit loop and breathing doesn’t feed the habit loop itself. It also helps keep you in the present moment.

18. What’s Good About Rainy Days?

  • RAIN is an acronym Jud uses to guide people as they deal with stress. First you Recognize that stress is happening and Relax into it. You then need to Allow and Accept it and not try to push it away. Investigate it carefully and ask where does the feeling originate and what does it feel like. Ride the feeling until it is completely gone. Then Note the Experience. Review what just happened.

19. All You Need is Love

  • The act of judging yourself and others is often stressful. Instead, Jud offers a Loving Kindness method that can replace judgment. It’s a meditative effort, but can even be done while you are moving about. First, think of a dear friend. Repeat to yourself “may you be happy” as you breathe it in. “May you be healthy.” “May you be free from harm.” “May you care for yourself with kindness.” Now shift to yourself as you bring some of your own good qualities to mind. Then offer yourself the same phrases you offered your friend. You can also do this for people you find to be difficult. If someone bothers you, send them some loving-kindness rather than hatred or judgment. You will feel a lot better.
Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter Share this page via Google Plus
DrDougGreen.com     If you like the summary, buy the book
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5