I am a huge fan of Ezra Klein and his podcasts. In this recent one, “That Anxiety You’re Feeling? It’s a Habit You Can Unlearn,” he interviews Jud Brewer, an associate professor of psychiatry at Brown University and the Director of Research and Innovation at the Mindfulness Center. His new book, “Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind,” applies that research to anxiety, which he understands as a kind of addiction. As with any addiction, you must understand its rewards in order to begin addressing it.
Please, please, remain diligent, even as you obtain your vaccinations for COVID-19. We still don’t know what the impact of the multitude of variants will be. Reading thisshould remind you that youth and good health do not always prevent severe illness and death.
Long-Covid is real and can have a devastating impact on younger individuals, as this article highlights.
Under the Affordable Care Act and as of 1/1/2021, women and girls over 13 can now be screened for anxiety as part of a routine checkup. Read more here.
“It legitimizes the fact that anxiety is a very serious condition that needs treatment and has huge consequences for people, and for women’s lives particularly. It’s not that it’s only in women. It’s just that it’s twice as prevalent in women.”
Every Sunday morning, my phone displays a report of my screen time for the previous week. I am often astonished at how high the number is!
Yes, I read three newspapers online, which certainly adds to the total. But the truth is, I also spend countless minutes doing mindless things such as scrolling on Facebook and Twitter.
After watching this documentary and reading this article (admittedly, both on a screen), I was frightened on many levels, especially knowing how much more time my grandchildren spend on their phones during the pandemic. I think you will find these eye-opening too.
#justdontgetit and #itdidnthavetobethisway
If you have read this newsletter over the past few months, you know I espouse the mantra of #justdontgetit as a point of emphasis about not contracting COVID-19 in the first place. Also, I often find myself angrily stating #itdidnthavetobethisway!
And so, it’s no coincidence that I was fascinated by a recent Politico article describing the power of anger and grievances:
“It turns out that your brain on grievances looks a lot like your brain on drugs. And that is a problem not just for the outgoing president, but for the rest of us.”
The work of these two journalists has been critical to my education during this pandemic: