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Watch > Episode > Dr. Judson Brewer - Coronavirus Anxiety Is Real: How To Stay Mentally Strong During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Dr. Judson Brewer - Coronavirus Anxiety Is Real: How To Stay Mentally Strong During The COVID-19 Pandemic


How To Process Your Fear Response

Judson Brewer, M.D., Ph.D., is an American psychiatristneuroscientist and author. He studies the neural mechanisms of mindfulness using standard and real-time fMRI, and has translated research findings into programs to treat addictions.

Brewer founded MindSciences, Inc. (now known as DrJud), an app-based digital therapeutic treatment program for anxiety, overeating, and smoking. He is director of research and innovation at Brown University’s Mindfulness Centre and associate professor in behavioural and social sciences in the Brown School of Public Health, and in psychiatry at Brown’s Warren Alpert Medical School.

Dr. Brewer specialises in helping people process their fear response, and gives practical advice to keep our minds from going out of control. He has trained US Olympic athletes and coaches, government ministers and corporate leaders, with his work appearing on 60 minutes, Forbes and CNN.

The world and how we live in it changed completely within a matter of weeks. The COVID-19 pandemic brought changes, confusion, anxiety, and stress to everyone’s life. Even if no one in your family contracts the virus, businesses, schools, and society shut down and that has brought mental health concerns and financial stress as well as the many physical concerns raised by the pandemic.

Keep reading to learn what Dr. Judson Brewer, Mindsciences founder and psychiatrist, suggests to help cope with the anxiety and stress of the pandemic and life in general.

Who is Dr. Brewer? What Makes Him an Expert?

Dr. Judson Brewer isn’t just the founder of Dr. Jud, formerly known as Mindsciences. He is a psychiatrist, and associate professor of social and behavioural sciences at Brown University and the head of research and innovation at the university’s mindfulness centre.

Dr. Brewer has been helping people cope with fear and emotions in society for years and helped create the concept behind the app Mindsciences which enables people to get support with their anxiety and stress at the touch of a button. He has also delivered popular and entertaining TED Talks and presentations on overcoming fears, addictions and other mindful topics.

His research and practical experience with the subject gives his counsel the wisdom to put forth some solid suggestions when it comes to fears and stress in your life today.

Don’t Catch Someone Else’s Anxiety Wave

It’s easy to get caught up in the sensationalism of the news story or to read the extreme social media posts of influencers and celebrities. While it’s good to stay informed, it’s crucial to ensure the information you pay attention to is accurate and helpful. Don’t let others feed into your fear for ratings or attention.

Look For the Helpers

There will always be a lot of sad and devastating stories in the media, online, even in your own community. It can seem overwhelming and start to get depressing or invoke anxiety for fear of what’s to come. Always look for the things to be grateful for and the helpers in every situation.

If you can focus on the good, even in the middle of the chaos, it won’t seem so overwhelming. Take some time each day to acknowledge the helpers and the positive things that you accomplished and that you had happen in your day. These are the things that will get you through.

Take Time to Meditate

The world is a noisy and bossy place. Everyone and everything is demanding your attention all the time. If you want to reduce stress and anxiety in your life it’s critical that you take time to shut out the noise and focus on your inner voice or silence rather than the world around you.

Dr. Jud says one of the best ways of coping with anxiety associated with self-isolation and social distancing can be difficult to cope with but taking some time every day to meditate and destress can make it easier to get through.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

It’s easier said than done but it is possible to let go of the worry and stress that is plaguing your psyche. Meditation can help you do that. Using apps like the Dr.Jud app is a great way to start making your peace of mind and mental health a priority rather than an afterthought.

Don’t forget to check out our other great episodes on mental health.


00:00 | Trailer.
02:17 | Brian’s introduction.
03:09 | Dr Judson Brewer explains how our minds and brains work and why there is so much anxiety now.
05:24 | The difference between a physical virus and a social virus.
07:10 | How social contagion spreads.
09:09 | Dr Judson Brewer explains how to practice social media hygiene
17:20 | What people can do to interrupt their pattern of anxiety which can lead to panic.
22:02 | Curiosity, kindness and the bigger, better offer.
34:21 | Dr Judson Brewer advises on how to start meditation easily within your daily life.
38:50 | Worry is a unique beast. Worry can be addictive and you can make others worried.
42:25 | Dr Judson Brewer gives Nelson Mandela as an example of how to be in isolation without freaking out.
49:03 | How to deal with a panic attack.
50:47 | Learning to avoid the feeling of needing to panic buy which to others is alienating and could be dangerous.
52:36 | Dr Judson Brewer explains what fear is.
54:18 | Physical exercise helps us cope with mental and brain health.
55:37 | How we can prepare for the predicted worsening of the news before things improve.
58:09 | What acts of kindness can we do at the moment.
1:01:28 | The things it would be wonderful to come to general understanding through this process, towards a better world.
1:03:20 | How Dr Judson Brewer is working through the pandemic and able to help others.
1:05:06 | Dr Judson Brewer’s final advice.
1:05:53 | How to learn more from Dr Judson Brewer.
1:06:40 | Brian’s summing up.


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