Anxiety and Unwinding It

If someone had asked you in early 2020 if you were an anxious person, what would you have said? I’d have probably said no.

And yet, in January 2021, I started using Unwinding Anxiety, an app-based behavior-change program developed by Dr. Jud Brewer.

Now, after two years of practicing many, small moments of mindfulness around uncomfortable behavior habits, I’ve concluded I was more anxious about more things than I’d realized.

And from what I read in the news, see on social media, and observe during weekly zooms with Dr. Brewer and program participants, I’m not alone.

If someone told you anxiety is a feeling of worry or nervousness or unease about an imminent event or something with an uncertain future outcome, you might be suspicious that anxiety is nibbling away at the corners of your calm.

Our world is full of opportunities to feel worried, nervous or uneasy.

Add in an ingenious brain, and one can find lots of additional, uniquely personal reasons to feel worried or uneasy. I’m a champ at second-guessing my own thoughts, wrestling my inner judge, and observing fisticuff fights in my head when faced with making choices or decisions.

God-help-me if I do something my brain translates as “wrong,” which in my brain’s dictionary, is broadly defined. When that happens, the judge shows up instantly to berate not only my action, but my character.

It gets old. It’s exhausting. 

Wouldn’t it feel nice if I could befriend myself more frequently?

Unwinding Anxiety is helping me interact differently with my internal harassers, making me aware these are habitual behavior patterns that got established long ago. While they’ve been there a long time, the brain can change them. Dr. Brewer’s tools and practices help effect that change.

For me it’s like taking a habit stream that flows in one direction and, bit-by-bit, mindful-moment by mindful-moment, redirecting the stream in a new direction.

By bringing awareness and curiosity to the old habit pattern, the brain learns the behavior isn’t actually rewarding. It stops flowing in that direction and flows, instead, down a more satisfying path.

The old habit may still be there, but it’s a trickle of its former self, slowly replaced by something kinder.

Photo source: Pete Linforth on Pixabay



4 thoughts on “Anxiety and Unwinding It

  1. Bobbi Taylor

    Great to see you writing again!

    Hope the house sells soon for your sakes. Sure hate to think you won’t be back at the lake, though! Love, Bobbi

    Bobbi Taylor



    1. Nice to have someone I know out there see this. A lot of the bloggers I followed two years ago have, like me, gone silent. Not all of them, but many. I hope to get back to this more regularly. Great to hear from you and, yeah, lots of changes. xx


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