Why Our Brains Make Us Anxious: A Conversation with Psychologist Shawn Smith

According to psychologist Dr. Shawn Smith, your mind is not built to make you happy; it’s built to help you survive. So far, it’s done a great job! But in the process, it may have developed some bad habits—like avoiding new experiences or scrounging around for problems where none exist. Is it any wonder that worry, anxiety, and self-critical thoughts so often get in the way of enjoying life? Today we’re sharing an exclusive interview with psychologist Dr. Shawn T. Smith. He discusses his audiobook The User’s Guide to the Human Mind: Why Our Brains Make Us Unhappy, Anxious, and Neurotic and What We Can Do about It. This audiobook is a road map to overriding the mind’s natural impulses toward worry, self-criticism, and fear. It offers helpful guidance for overruling your thoughts and feelings and taking charge of your mind and your life.

What’s in this episode?

In this enlightening conversation, Dr. Shawn Smith offers advice helpful information for anyone struggling with a mind that isn’t cooperating and hits you with waves of anxiety. He discusses the skill of psychological flexibility and offers a few tips to help eliminate worry and anxiety.

Shawn T. Smith, PsyD, is a psychologist in private practice in Denver, CO. He is also author of the audiobook The Woman’s Guide to How Men Think, and writes a blog at ironshrink.com. Smith enjoys various manly activities, including being a husband and father. He lives with his wife and daughter, and their dog. Visit his website here. Listen to another recent conversation with Dr. Smith: How Men Think: Insights & Tips for Women.


Watch the Video

It is possible to peacefully coexist with our own minds. That task is easier when we peek behind the curtain and expose the mind’s motives. When we know what that little bundle of neurons is up to, it’s harder for our thoughts to sneak up on us.

Shawn T. Smith, PsyD

author of "The User's Guide to the Human Mind"

Buy or Download this Audiobook Free at

Audible.com (US)  | Audible.co.uk (UK)  |  Audible.com.au (AUS) | Audible.ca (CAN)

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