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If Stress And Worry Are Causing Bad Habits, You Might Be Caught In An Anxiety Habit Loop

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This program originally aired April 8.

Many of us have developed some troubling habits during the pandemic, like stress eating, procrastination or endless doom scrolling on social media. Perhaps you’re even drinking more.

Don’t chalk it up to boredom. All these habits could be masking underlying anxiety or another mental health issue. Experts say they’ve witnessed a marked increase in both during these COVID-19 days.

One neuroscientist and psychiatrist, an addiction expert, believes shedding these bad habits begins with breaking the cycle of anxiety. He says willpower and just trying to change your mindset don’t work. So, what does?

We explore just how to unwind anxiety.

Guest

Dr. Judson “Jud” Brewer, addiction psychiatrist and neuroscientist, associate professor in the School of Public Health and Medical School at Brown University and executive medical director at Sharecare. He's the author of "Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind."

Erin Keever is Senior Producer of WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. She has been with the show since joining the station in 2006. She's a native Charlottean.