“Unwinding Anxiety” by Jadson Brewer from 2021 is a book about how to break anxiety by documenting it as a habit loop so you can identify future triggers more quickly.
Brewer offers a unique approach to tackling anxiety by delving into the root causes of this common mental health issue. As someone who has struggled with anxiety, I was eager to see what insights Brewer had to offer.
I appreciated Brewer’s straightforward and detailed writing style the most. He breaks down complex concepts into easy-to-understand language, making the book accessible to a wide range of readers. Additionally, his explanations and methods are easy to understand with the real-life examples he provides.
Brewer’s central premise is that anxiety is a habit we can break by understanding the triggers that lead to it. To overcome anxiety, we must understand what thoughts, feelings, and behaviours cause it and change our response to them.
Being anxious is, unfortunately, a habit. We have a trigger, behave accordingly, and then come to a result. For example, I’ve had a long, tiring day at work (trigger), so I sit down on the couch in the evening and eat a bag of chips (behaviour). At that moment, I feel good, but in the long run, it leads to other problems like weight gain.
When you understand the triggers, you can prepare yourself better for when they arise in the future, allowing you to take proactive steps to avoid the behaviour. Such as having healthier snacks on hand or exploring other activities instead of engaging in the previous behaviour. This way, you can create new, healthier routines and break the cycle of bad habits. Rather than beating ourselves up for feeling anxious, we can learn to accept our feelings and constructively respond to them.
Moreover, mindfulness is essential for managing anxiety. Brewer emphasizes being present in the moment and not getting caught up in past regrets or future worries. By practicing mindfulness, we can learn to identify and control anxiety.
Overall, I found “Unwinding Anxiety” to be an informative and practical guide to managing anxiety. While the book may not offer groundbreaking insights, it provides a solid foundation for understanding anxiety and developing strategies for dealing with it. I highly recommend this non-fiction book to anyone who struggles with anxiety or wants to learn more about it.
My rating for ‘Unwinding Anxiety’
I really enjoyed reading this book. Although it didn’t give me the same excitement as a 5-star book, I can totally recommend it.
About the author
Judson Brewer is an American psychiatrist, neuroscientist and author.
He has developed and tested mindfulness programmes to change habits, including both in-person and app-based treatments for smoking, emotional eating and anxiety. Therefore, he has over 20 years of experience in mindfulness training and scientific research.