In my outpatient clinic, I’ve helped hundreds of patients overcome unhealthy habits from smoking to stress eating and overeating to anxiety. My lab has studied the effects of digital therapeutics (a fancy term for app-based training) and found app-based mindfulness training can help people stop overeating, anxiety (e.g. we just published a study that found a 57% reduction in anxiety in anxious physicians with an app called Unwinding Anxiety), and even quiet brain networks that get activated with craving and worry.

I’ve published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, trained US Olympic athletes and coaches, foreign government ministers and corporate leaders. My work has been featured on 60 Minutes, TED, Time magazine, The New York Times, Forbes, CNN, NPR, Al Jazeera, The Washington Post, Bloomberg and recently, I talked to NPR’s Life Kit about managing anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I’ve been posting short daily videos on my YouTube channel (DrJud) to help people work with all of the fear, anxiety, uncertainty, and even how not to get addicted to checking your news feed.

Come with questions about how coping with panic and strategies for dealing with anxiety — Ask me anything!

I’ll start answering questions at 1PM Eastern.


Comments: 1085 • Responses: 25  • Date: 

Ffdfggfgdrfwfzdf744 karma

Hi why is it so easy to enter flow state and feels rewarding and motivated when we play games, that is so meaningless. And why is it so hard to enter the same state when we do actual work and difference in our lives? How to have more of that? Aren't there any natural (evolutionary) mechanisms developed that reward the "doing the actual work and difference"?

npr268 karma

It's because we haven't found the joy in work. When we do find the joy in work, doing work can become a flow state itself. More tips on entering the flow state here.

UlyssesEatPant120 karma

Hey there Dr. Jud-- as a clinical physician-scientist, do you believe getting both an M.D. and a Ph.D. was catalytic to your success? I've heard there are some who believe it to be overkill. If you were to do it over again, do you think you would have opted for just the M.D. or the Ph.D.?

Also, what frontiers in neuropsychiatry research do you feel are the most exciting in terms of massive implications for the future?

npr179 karma

I wouldn't do it any other way. Getting a Ph.D. taught em how to think and being a physician helps me apply all of my research questions to real world clinical problems. There are so many exciting developments. My favorite is applying what we're learning about the brain to help people change their habits.

psychasaurusrex31 karma

What is your favorite metaphor to use in therapy to help patients understand a therapeutic concept?

npr103 karma

Wow, there are so many great ones. I think it really depends on the concept. One particular saying I like for myself as a therapist is "don't just do something, sit there." This reminds me to notice if I'm catching any emotion from a patient (e.g. anxiety) via social contagion, and to make sure I'm not jumping in trying to fix them to scratch that itch that is my own.

naiarala26 karma

Hey Dr!

What would you say is the most common misunderstanding and misuse of mindfulness in modern society? And how can this be changed/ improved?

npr99 karma

I see many. One of the "top hits" is this thought that mindfulness is about clearing our mind of thoughts and emotions. Quite the opposite. It is about changing our relationship to them.

AuxiliaryTimeCop19 karma

For those caring for anxious children, what are some mindfulness techniques that may be appropriate and accessible at younger ages?

npr34 karma

My favorite is five finger breathing.

rcknrll5 karma

Hi Dr. Jud,

I've never been able to follow a routine and never put things back where I got them. My friend would say that I'm smart and caring but disorganized. It seems like a like conscientious is something I lack, where do I start?

npr8 karma

What's wrong with being a bit disorganized? Perhaps start by seeing if/where it causes you trouble, then go from there

npr4 karma

Thanks everyone for your great questions. Here are a few resources if you'd like to learn more or if I didn't get a chance to answer your question:

1) Web Site [articles, research, animations, free healthcare provider course]

2) YouTube [lots of short videos related to working with anxiety and other habits during the pandemic]

Cristtynina4 karma

How can family and friends help people who are obese and feel broken from multiple failures at loosing weight?

npr12 karma

This is a short answer to what really needs to be unpacked as a discussion: start with unconditional love.

ForHimForSure2 karma

Do you ever feel stressed or anxious? Or are you highly tolerant of those 2 things?

npr7 karma

Sure, I get stressed :). And I find that mindfulness training has helped me learn to bounce back much faster instead of going over the event horizon into the black hole of stress or anxiety

Shaltaqui1 karma

What do you recommend when people trade 1 addiction for another? Even when the new addiction is not necessarily bad/illegal, but it consumes all thoughts and motivates behavior anyway.

npr1 karma

Learn to step out of the substitution habit loop itself.