Mar 22, 2018
Our guest on this episode of The Addicted Mind podcast is Jonathan Horowitz, founder and director of the San Francisco Stress and Anxiety Center. Jonathan is a clinical psychologist who studied anxiety research in graduate school before transitioning to being a clinician and opening the Stress and Anxiety Center.
It is a misconception that anxiety is always a bad thing; in fact, our minds were built to experience healthy anxiety when our bodies sense that they need to be alert to their surroundings. Anxiety starts to become a problem when we cross the line from heeding the warnings of our anxiety and benefiting from it to worrying about our anxiety and taking steps to try to get rid of it. A significant number of Johnathan’s clients are high-functioning, high-achieving individuals who may be having a difficult time coping with the pressures of their careers. These individuals might develop behaviors like procrastination, avoidance, or even developing an addiction of some kind in order to numb the anxiety that they are feeling. Anxiety can also be the result of giving up an addiction because the individual does not know what to do in place of their previous addiction.
Jonathan’s advice to those dealing with problematic anxiety is to (1) connect your change in behavior to something that is powerfully meaningful to you, and (2) establish goals and values for your life that involve emotional and cognitive steps or milestones. The goals can be achieved through mindfulness meditation training, breath work, cognitive restructuring, or other practices as directed by a clinician. Above all, it is crucial to know that anxiety, whether it is manifested in panic attacks, phobias, or social anxiety, is treatable, so seek the help you need.