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PodcastThe Antidote to Anxiety

The Antidote to Anxiety

"Instead of coping with anxiety, we often fill our calendars with back-to-back appointments and our lives with endless distractions. But what if we didn’t? What would it look like to just accept anxiety as a fact of life and deal with it head on? Andy Puddicombe, former monk and co-founder of Headspace, stops by to help us to identify ways to cultivate a more mindful approach to life, deal with emotions as they come, and find more presence."

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Better mental health starts with Headspace. Unrivaled expertise to make life feel a little easier, using guided meditations, mindfulness tips, focus tools, sleep support, and dedicated programs.

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Better mental health starts with Headspace

(gentle music) Unlike Thomas who had big plans for 2020, I set out with just one. This would be the year that I cured my anxiety once and for all. It was my only resolution. For a long time, I had been constantly living in the past clinging to memories of when I last felt normal. So when the new year rang in, I decided that there was no better time to figure out how to live in the present. I committed to spending lots of time alone, in therapy, off social media, meditating, exercising, trying to clear my head and weed out what was keeping me up at night all these years. Oh, I'm sure you can guess how that turned out. COVID-19. Coronavirus. Pandemic. The global pandemic. Coronavirus. COVID-19. The virus. Maybe I should have known better. I had tried to cure my anxiety before, and if I'd succeeded the first time, we wouldn't be having this conversation. I was 19, kind of floating through my life until one day, I hit a breaking point. One of those moments of clarity that punctuates your life into a before and an after. I had just finished my first year in college where, I wish I was kidding, I had only attended class 10 times that whole year. My parents and teachers made sure that I knew that they were really disappointed in me. But even with all the pressure, the time I spent alone was actually the worst. I had a constant hum of anxiety, kind of like the static you hear on a radio station. It was just always there below whatever music's playing. So I became the king of distraction. Anything you could think of, I'd find to fill every waking hour, watching TV, dating, drinking, gaming, maybe doing homework once or twice, but mainly, I was partying. And on August 13th, 2011, I was doing just that. I was home for the summer just kind of bumming around. My parents were out of town and I had the house to myself. So obviously, I invited some friends over who invited some more friends over until eventually the front door was just wide open screaming, "Come on in." At one point, I realized I didn't recognize a single person in my own freaking house. I went to the bathroom to hide and that's when I saw him in the mirror, some guy staring back at me that I didn't know. I was so untethered from myself, I didn't even recognize me anymore. And that's when the constant hum of anxiety grew into a full blown panic. This was it. I didn't want to be that guy in the mirror anymore. I made a promise to myself. I'd get my shit together, I'd stop partying and start doing the work, I'd change. And I did. I started going to class, I cut out people that were toxic and I dedicated myself to growing into the person I wanted...


Duration38 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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