Habit change can be challenging, so it helps to know if the benefit of a change will outweigh the effort involved. Today we’re sharing an exercise from the 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,” written by psychologist Dr. Shawn Smith. This exercise will help you approach habit change the way a psychologist might: methodically and in small steps.
Your mind is not built to make you happy; it’s built to help you survive. 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 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, and offers helpful tips to eliminate worry and anxiety.
In moderate amounts, anxiety and depression can improve our focus and performance. That doesn’t mean that depression and anxiety are always useful. In large doses, they are debilitating. However, one of the most important truths about our minds is this: we don’t always have to obey them.
In this episode, we hear from psychologist Dr. Shawn Smith, author of the 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.” Dr. Smith talks about the biology behind anxiety and depression. He calls them “ancient tools”—tools that aren’t well-suited for modern times. While anxiety and depression can often be debilitating, in small doses, these seemingly negative feelings can actually help you excel.
Fear of public speaking has its roots in the fear of being scrutinized by others. Sweaty palms, racing hearts and upset stomachs are the mind’s way of urging us to run and hide. We humans are deeply wired with an understanding that scrutiny might result in being ostracized by others. Social acceptance is very important to us, since we aren’t equipped to survive alone. Psychologist Shawn T. Smith shares insights into the biology behind the fear of public speaking, as well as how to challenge and disrupt irrational thought.