For the NY Times Article A Brain Hack to Break the Coronavirus Anxiety Cycle featuring Judson Brewer, MD (creator of Mindfulness-Based Habit Change) click here
This class is for those who feel stuck from habits caused by the uncertainties of everyday life and for those who are new and would like to start a regular mindfulness meditation practice. If you are sometimes overwhelmed with worry, distracted by recurring thoughts, experiencing problems with restlessness, tension, or insomnia you may have a habit or even be addicted to anxiety or stress which is often an upstream cause of other habits and behaviors.
An estimated 40 million Americans are affected by anxiety on a regular basis. For many it’s a developed habit that can be untangled with mindfulness practices. Stress and anxiety follow a habit loop of specific triggers, behaviors, and rewards that support this loop when we get anxious. Our brains get caught up in “thinking or fix it” mode that leads to more anxiety or moves us to avoid stress with unhealthy behaviors like stress-eating, smart phone overuse, substance abuse, or procrastination causing obstacles to happiness, health, sleep, connections with family, friends, and even ourselves.
This course introduces mindfulness skills that train you to become more aware of and help gain control over anxiety. The program will demonstrate science behind the habit loop and the theory of how we form distracting thoughts that can lead to worry and avoidance strategies. You apply the knowledge of how your mind and body works to respond with healthy behaviors that lead to more resilience, calm and happiness. You actually use the habit loop to diminish your unwanted habits including Anxiety.
Mindfulness Based Habit Change (MBHC) is based on the work of researcher and addiction psychiatrist, Judson Brewer, MD, PhD. Integrating both ancient wisdom based on Buddhist psychology and new learnings from modern science, Dr. Brewer developed a step-by-step approach to habit change demonstrated to be effective with anxiety, stress eating, and smoking cessation. You can learn more in his Ted Talk – click here
MBHC is an 6-session program aimed at teaching you to:
- Describe how habits are formed and perpetuated with regard to anxiety.
- Describe how mindfulness affects brain processes and how to apply mindfulness skills.
- Identify anxiety-driven habitual behaviors.
- Discuss how mindfulness approaches can help change addictive habit patterns and break the cycle of worry and panic.
- Observe how mindfulness skills and knowledge of reward based learning are implemented with group participants.
- Discuss observations/insights of weekly practices in a group setting.
- Relate to difficult emotions with greater moment-to-moment acceptance
- Motivate themselves by letting go of cognitive distortions, rather than willpower.
- Integrate experiential learning techniques to increase freedom of choice.
- Recognize and cultivate skillful, wholesome mind-states and habits.
- Integrate core mindfulness exercises into daily life.
Participants will receive electronic materials including access to the Unwinding Anxiety App with daily lessons for up to 60 days, guided meditations, articles, and links to other videos. You also get access to a global online community through journaling and a live midweek video meeting with other expert facilitators. Initial data from this program shows a 48% reduction in anxiety after following the program for 28 days.
Recommended reading by Judson Brewer:
The Craving Mind: From Cigarettes to Smartphones to Love – Why We Get Hooked and How We Can Break Bad Habits
Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind
skipping Aug 12
“This course helped me change my relationship to anxiety and helped me see numerous habit loops I wasn’t aware of and to be kind to myself while changing my before. It was a great follow-up to MBSR.”
“Robert and Elliott both had an ease about them that allowed participants to be vulnerable and feel safe.”
“This is a great way to learn how anxiety works – to recognize the components of anxiety, and how to handle it to alleviate anxious thoughts.”
“Robert was professional, courteous and very respectful and empathetic to the needs of all participants. Would definitely be interested in future classes he offers. I would recommend this program to anyone. The tools I have learned can be applied to someone who is looking to improve their quality of life. I learned so much and I am very grateful that I was able to sign up.”
“This was a wonderful class, full of great information that I can share with my clients and colleagues.”
Continuing Education Units:
Psychologists: Continuing Education Credit for this program is provided by UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
This course offers 9 CE credit. California licensed MFTs, LPCCs, LEPs, LCSWs: Continuing Education Credit for this program is provided by UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness. The UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. 9 CE credit may be applied to your license renewal through the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. For those licensed outside California, please check with your local licensing board to determine if CE credit is accepted.
Nurses: UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP16351, for 10.75 contact hours.