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Publisher's Summary

A step-by-step plan clinically proven to break the cycle of worry and fear that drives anxiety and addictive habits

We are living through one of the most anxious periods any of us can remember. Whether facing issues as public as a pandemic or as personal as having kids at home and fighting the urge to reach for the wine bottle every night, we are feeling overwhelmed and out of control. But in this timely book, Judson Brewer explains how to uproot anxiety at its source using brain-based techniques and small hacks accessible to anyone. 

We think of anxiety as everything from mild unease to full-blown panic. But it's also what drives the addictive behaviors and bad habits we use to cope (e.g. stress eating, procrastination, doom scrolling and social media). Plus, anxiety lives in a part of the brain that resists rational thought. So we get stuck in anxiety habit loops that we can't think our way out of or use willpower to overcome. Dr. Brewer teaches us map our brains to discover our triggers, defuse them with the simple but powerful practice of curiosity, and to train our brains using mindfulness and other practices that his lab has proven can work.

Distilling more than 20 years of research and hands-on work with thousands of patients, including Olympic athletes and coaches, and leaders in government and business, Dr. Brewer has created a clear, solution-oriented program that anyone can use to feel better - no matter how anxious they feel.

*This audiobook includes a PDF of the behavioral tendencies questionnaire from the book. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.  

©2021 Judson Brewer (P)2021 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

"One of the hardest things about tackling a bad habit is confronting the anxiety behind it. Jud Brewer has given us a breakthrough program with great tips and hacks that anyone can use to feel better.  We all need this book!" (BJ Fogg, PhD, New York Times best-selling author of Tiny Habits

"Unwinding Anxiety provides a step-by-step guide to Judson Brewer’s personally designed, clinically proven path that can alleviate your mind from anxiety, obsessive thinking, addiction, and more.  It guides your brain to rewire in helpful ways as it inspires your mind to understand it’s inner processes more deeply and to live with more freedom, gratitude, interpersonal connection, and joy." (Daniel J. Siegel, MD, New York Times best-selling author of Aware)
 

"You cannot thrive if you’re perpetually anxious. It’s that simple. Jud Brewer has given us a plan that can help us overcome our anxious thoughts, feelings and habits to create true well-being. It is absolutely game-changing." (Arianna Huffington, founder and CEO, Thrive Global) 

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What listeners say about Unwinding Anxiety

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misleading title

Maybe there was already too many ( good) books on habits and so he decided to use the word anxiety instead, but this is a book on habits period. It really is missing good editing as well and at times seems all over the place.

If your anxiety are caused by bad habits like eating mindlessly then this book might be helpful somewhat. I say somewhat because there are way better habits books that are also well edited. As an habit book, I may have given it 2.5-3 stars as i have read way better ones. actually, I wouldn't have written a review about it. It is just that the misleading title requires clarification.

Sorry, but bad habits can cause behavior that can make anxiety worse but often it is not the cause of the anxiety.

If you are looking on habits books, the power of habits , Atomic habits and the will power instincts are all great choice.

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Excellent education

I heard the author speak on a weight loss series. The information he shared there intrigued me enough to seek out this book. I am thrilled I did. As a nutritionist I am always looking for tools for my clients and this is definitely one I will be adding to my recommendations along with his app.

I enjoyed that the author read the book himself. I have found that when the author reads the book it tends to come across with more passion.

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  • JMS
  • 2021-04-28

Just say no to #AnalysisParalysis 🙃

This audiobook shares concrete, practical steps to apply mindfulness to anxious habits. I’ve listened to a lot of podcasts and books about mindfulness, but what I distinctly enjoyed about this audiobook was how Brewer uses storytelling and simple analogy to illustrate key concepts. For example, he compares the mindful process of unwinding our habit loops to using bicycle or car gears. His sense of humour and narration style also made this a deeply enjoyable listen.

Listen to my complete audiobook review on the Audiobook Reviews in Five Minutes podcast on Apple, Anchor, Breaker, Google, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, and Spotify

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  • adodson
  • 2021-03-09

Truly Life Changing

Dr. Brewer is a fantastic narrator. I find his voice soothing and genuine. I have used the App Unwinding Anxiety and found it truly life changing. I would never have considered myself an anxious person until I started to untangle some sticky habits. The science backs up his method. I have changed so many habits from using this program. I thought having a couple of glasses of wine several times a week was fun and social but it lead me to over eat and and a bunch of other behaviors I didn’t enjoy. When I started actually asking myself “ What do I get from this?” Feeling into my body not using my thinking mind.. it became so easy... no force, no struggling. I now have a glass of wine probably once every 4 months because I want it not because I think I need it. Dr. Jud not only talks the talk but he walks the walk and is patient, kind and the real deal. I would never have believed that I could learn to work with my anxiety from drinking, insomnia to control freak level planning... this has given me back my life. This has changed my relationships with my husband, children and friends on a level I never thought possible. This is the best book for truly embarking on a life with less anxiety and more peace and ease in life.

31 people found this helpful

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  • Monique Sondag
  • 2021-04-11

Anxiety kismet

I've been listening (and re-listening) to 'Unwinding Anxiety' by Dr. Jud Brewer for the past month. My doctor tipped me to him a couple years ago, and I'd been anticipating the release of this new book. Life happens in the right time and space and often at a pace we painstakingly try to outpace, only to find ourselves back in the loop of anxiety and disease, displeasure, and a dissatisfied life. Rather, it's in the unforced pace–the one that looks more like surrender and defeat–where the conditions are ready, the information arrives, and the connection becomes near-kismet. 'Unwinding Anxiety' has quite literally become that for me and given me my life back. Those are strong words to say and ones I don't use lightly. The book offered the perspective that my soul and bones have needed, articulated in a way that blends both understanding and practical application–reinforced over and over again throughout the book–that quite literally unwinds and rewires your tangles with each passing chapter.

Whether you struggle with a life-halting grip of anxiety, or simply have a few habits that seem rough to shake, the information in 'Unwinding Anxiety' can be a flashlight to guide your path forward. 'Unwinding Anxiety' is readable and practical to every day–every life–situations. I can't recommend it enough. Thank you Dr. Brewer (and Dr. Marci for pointing me to his work).

13 people found this helpful

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  • Chad
  • 2021-03-21

Helpful tools for anxiety

I really enjoyed this book. As someone who has felt the effects of anxiety my whole life, but never really learned much about it, this was super helpful to learn to the see the patterns and have the tools to create new patterns.

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  • Jessica
  • 2021-03-14

Useful for everyone

I can’t imagine there’s anyone who couldn’t get some useful strategies for managing anxiety from this book. The author explains the science clearly, and Is pleasant to listen to. There are discussions of procrastination and worrying, which are common enough. But I was surprised by the heavy focus on smoking cessation and binge eating, both of which I’ve battled in the past. The book made me realize that although I eliminated those symptoms on my own, I probably never addressed the underlying anxiety, leading to my current issues which are more nebulous and hard to pinpoint. I look forward to re-listening to this book and implementing the methods it recommends.

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  • Joe
  • 2021-05-15

Even Better than 'The Craving Mind.' (Hmmmm....)

No surprise here: this book is about more than just anxiety. It's about all habits of the mind, how to understand them, crack them and move beyond them into a happier life.

I don't suffer from a whole lot of anxiety. I guess that makes me lucky in one respect. But I'm certainly not a perfect human being. I have a laundry list full of things I could improve about myself. But as soon as I saw this book in my audible recommendations, I ordered it simply because I'm a big fan of Dr. Brewer's research and work. I'd love to be able to spend a day in his lab! I read to his first book, "The Craving Mind" more than once. I loved it and really profited from reading it. "Unwinding Anxiety" is a good 'part two' to that earlier work. What makes me like 'Unwinding Anxiety' even more than the first book is how it provides more concrete behaviors, mental hacks and actual homework to help you overcome specific negative mental states or compulsive behaviors. I particularly enjoyed chapter 16 "The Science of Curiosity" and the practice of actually saying "Hmmmm..." in a curiosity-provoking way to break habit loops and open yourself up to greater consciousness and more joy.

This book is for more than just anxiety. It's exactly what you'd expect from a Judson Brewer book: it's heavily science-based, filled with fun anecdotes, written in clear language and (probably most importantly) filled with helpful, concrete strategies to help you improve as a person. It's research like what Judson Brewer is doing that can help transform the world into a better place.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Anna Beutlich
  • 2021-04-08

Not for everyone

I-am-very-smart stream if thought. Anecdotes, tradition and personal experience more than science. Good if self-diagnosing.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Phillip Falk
  • 2021-05-07

Stick to the science and it’s good

This is a pretty helpful book to understand and modify habits and I appreciate the authors scientific background and approach. When he gets off that track the writing is cumbersome and clichéd, and he is not doing himself any favors by doing the reading himself.

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  • Cuthbert
  • 2021-05-03

Missed Opportunity

I was interested in this book because the last book I read in this area touched on the impact of corporate behavioral scientists on news, social media, social capital,
and the "funneling" cost of subscriptions to these carefully engineered, predatory affirmation feedback loops.
While Dr. Brewer does a great job of introducing us to a scholar's view of these dangers, he does so by preaching to an audience that he assumes is wholly committed to these
media and actively seeking, and being rewarded with, social capital from one side or another of them. Meanwhile, he himself takes a couple of opportunities to weigh in on
socio-political issues that have been used as tremendous ammunition by those powers, and he does so in such a way that shows he is probably more of a subscriber, and more
group-tethered politically than many of his listeners.

It's worth noting that in some regards I was as enthused by this book as I have been by any non-fiction work I can remember. The idea of gamifying a complex and thoughtful
attack on behaviors that have many pinned in cycles they didn't know existed is something I can truly get behind and I do not wholly regret my support for that reason.

I do think that any audiobook worth recording is worth the cost of a professional narrator. Dr. Brewer's energy dropped so suddenly toward the latter half of his book that
I was certain a new narrator had taken over. He then regained his energy at the end.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Quade
  • 2021-05-15

Game changer in the field of mindfulness!

Dr.Brewer has applied his personal and professional work in so many important ways that can help us with likely at least 90% of our behaviors that fall into essentially habit loops! His research also heavily backs it up which separates this book from the many others out there just peddling the next form of an in vogue self help or personal development strategy. I was honored to interview Dr.Jud on my podcast Injured to Elite and can tell you that he is absolutely the real deal. This is a potentially life changing book for many of you and I strongly recommend getting started with it ASAP to start making the changes you want in life. You are the right reader...

4 people found this helpful

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  • LovesToRead
  • 2021-03-16

This is a game changer

I have dealt with panic anxiety for decades amd never looked it as a habit. Now I see like my loved ones who have recovered from addiction I now believe I can heal my anxiety with the tools outlined in this book. The author is sincere and caring and that comes across.

I’m just in the beginning of my journey but between this book and his app (by the same name) I feel hopeful for the first time in well, years, that I can indeed break this habit and live a life that is much happier and not be a slave to my fears.

3 people found this helpful