Reboot Your Anxiety

We created this 5-day course on anxiety with Josh Roman, COO at Claritas MindSciences, and Dr. Judson Brewer, Claritas MindSciences founder, Director of Research at the Center for Mindfulness at UMASS, author of The Craving Mind, psychiatrist, and addiction expert.

Join us for a rich learning experience about the nature of anxiety – how it works and how it shows up for you – so that you can begin to shift out of anxiety more easily, fastly, and harmoniously.

“I learned to see the way my mind was seeking things to feel anxious about. In the process, I realized that it was safer for me to be anxious than angry.”

Jerry Colonna

Jerry Colonna



Welcome to the Anxiety Reboot!

Anxiety is something that many of our clients — and many of us here at Reboot – have struggled with. We wanted to shed some light on how to free oneself from the grip of anxiety, so we joined forces with Josh Roman, COO at Claritas MindSciences, and Dr. Judson Brewer, Claritas MindSciences founder, Director of Research at the Center for Mindfulness at UMASS, Author of The Craving Mind, psychiatrist, and addiction expert, to bring you this five day course. We’ll look at the difference between stress and anxiety, how anxiety works in our brains, how it shows up for you, what makes us anxious and finally – how to step out of the anxiety cycle. We hope to share with you tools work with your anxiety in a generative way.

– Team Reboot



Day 1 | The Difference Between Stress and Anxiety

Are you just stressed, or really anxious? Today’s lesson introduces you to how your well-meaning brain goes from a natural fight or flight response to developing chronic stress and anxiety. You’ll learn a simple way to tell the difference between stress and anxiety and how to put that information to good use to regain control over your life.




A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit
Can we break bad habits by being more curious about them? Psychiatrist Judson Brewer studies the relationship between mindfulness and addiction — from smoking to overeating to all those other things we do even though we know they’re bad for us. Learn more about the mechanism of habit development and discover a simple but profound tactic that might help you beat your next urge to smoke, snack or check a text while driving.

Startup Podcast – Sell the Apartment, Keep the Startup
Jasen Yang gave up the security of a high-paying Wall Street job to launch his company, Polly Portfolio. It’s been three years since then, and Jasen still isn’t taking a salary. It’s put a lot of strain on his family, and made it difficult for Jasen and his wife, Lynn, to make important decisions about their future. So we brought in executive coach Jerry Colonna, who helped Jasen find the unlikely source of his anxiety.




Why Anxiety Is So Persuasive — and Pervasive
“My dear friend Sylvia Boorstein jokes that she is a recovering catastrophizer. Anxiety is her default energy. “When in doubt, worry,” she says. “If there is the slightest ambiguity, worry. I phone my son and he doesn’t answer. He must be dead. Now, there could be a thousand reasons he is not answering the phone. He’s in the shower. He fell in love. He’s sleeping. But my mind goes to the worst extrapolation of that. Anxiety is the free-floating hyperactivity of the mind that only wants to consider the worst possible outcome.”” – Sharon Salzberg

Looking ahead: When are you stressed look like in your life? What does anxiety look like in your life? When does each show up?

“Have you ever had a moment where you were consumed, overwhelmed, overrun, and completely blindsided by your anxiety? I can remember one specific moment last year in the middle of one of our bootcamps. The group was out on a walk, and I needed some space so I went for a walk of my own. The skies were bright blue and the snow was blindingly white, and my body felt like it was breaking. I felt dizzy. I felt short of breath. I felt a pain in my chest. My vision was blurred. The tears streamed down my face, and the images of my girls being without a dad ran on a loop in my head. I was dying. I was sure of it. My knees buckled in the deep snow…”

Dan Putt

Dan Putt


Day 2 | My Brain on Anxiety

Starting with a self-diagnostic quiz, in today’s lesson you’ll map out how and where anxiety shows up for you and take a deeper dive into the physical feelings of anxiety. Then we’ll do a 30-second science experiment together to see how your experience lines up with activation in a brain region that my lab found to be correlated with meditation. As a bonus, you’ll get to hear what happened to Anderson Cooper’s brain when we measured his brain activity. You’ll finish with a short practice that will help you work with your stress and anxiety.




Reboot Podcast #67: The Energy of Our Emotions – with Dan Harris and Ben Rubin
In this episode, Ben and Dan open up to Jerry about what it’s like being co-founders. They shed light on how their mutual anxieties affect their relationship and their company.




What to Do When Anxiety Overwhelms You
“The overwhelm of anxiety builds and builds — as one thought generates two more thoughts, four more spring from those. The mind proliferates, taking each feeling as fact and conjecturing another frightening scenario on that, and then another. If this, then that, and then this, and this, and this, and then we all die in a raging fire.” – Sharon Salzberg

Looking ahead: Tomorrow, we’ll look at what makes us anxious. 

“There’s been some anxious moments the last few weeks in the startup I’m working on. It’s the typical fears that you deal with in this stage of a startup (basically, what if we fail?). I’ve been deep down this fearful road before, but this time it feels different. I’ve been able to watch and notice more than ever, and it’s really interesting what I’ve seen.


I’ve noticed that often times we connect the anxiety and the situation as one, therefore calling it an “anxious situation.” The tendency is to act quickly, swiftly, aggressively to solve these anxious situations. In my own moments of high startup anxiety, I’ve responded by working longer hours, setting up elaborate tasks list, creating crazy work rules for myself, and lost hours of sleep. The funny thing is those all actually increase the anxiety. Why? Because my work or work ethic was not the issue, the anxiety was the issue. I’ve learned you need to work through that first, which often times requires a break and a breather, and then you can come back and deal with the tasks at hand (which usually are NEVER as bad as they look when you were anxious).


In fact, sometimes the anxiety can be so high it can actually prevent you from putting together the structure you need (to make you feel less anxious!).


There’s a big difference between the anxiety and the situation. The anxiety is not tied to the situation, the anxiety is your reaction to the situation, and the anxiety makes dealing with the situation more difficult. Step back, reflect, separate the two, and move forward…”

Dan Putt, excerpt from "Feelings Are Not Facts"

Dan Putt, excerpt from "Feelings Are Not Facts"


Day 3 | Why Am I Anxious?

Now that you have a better sense of how anxiety shows up for you (and your brain), it’s time to dive into the science behind how our brains got hijacked from learning how to survive, to developing anxiety as a habit. Yes, you can learn to be anxious – even to the point where it becomes habitual. Thankfully, you can unlearn it as well. We’ll give you a method to begin mapping your mind, which is the critical first step in stepping out of habits you might have developed around stress, anxiety and other unhealthy behaviors.




Reboot Podcast #75: A Pattern of Habits – with Judson Brewer
In this discussion, Jeff and Jerry ponder identity, how beliefs about our character might shape the way we show up to meet the world, and the ways in which our perceived identities restrict and confine our sense of self.

Looking ahead: Tomorrow, we’ll look at how our modern world makes us anxious and what we can do about it.


“We live in a society bloated with data yet starved for wisdom. We’re connected 24/7, yet anxiety, fear, depression and loneliness is at an all-time high. We must course-correct.”

Elizabeth Kapu'uwailani Lindsey

Elizabeth Kapu'uwailani Lindsey


Day 4 | Too Much! How Our Modern World Makes Us Anxious.

Isn’t being “in the know” a good thing? Well, it depends. Building on yesterday’s training, today you will learn the connection between setting up habits and how your brain tries to get as much information as possible (to help predict the future). Then we’ll teach you how in modern day, this can blow up in our face, thanks to social media and smartphones. You’ll also learn how to put this information to good use, so you can get back in control and use technology wisely, instead of getting triggered by it.




#22 – Does Anyone Really Know What They Are Doing? – with Sharon Salzberg
We’re often in (or feel we’re in) uncharted waters – a place where making things up as we go is a necessity. Feeling lost in those places can be anxiety-inducing. We feel incompetent. We feel shameful. We can end up feeling that everyone has figured it out but me. But how true is that, really? And perhaps the better question–how can owning my own anxiety in these areas help me step more fully into my authentic self and even increase my capacity for happiness? In this conversation, Sharon and Jerry discuss Sharon’s own entrepreneurial path, a new definition of success (and failure), authenticity, and loving kindness.

#21 – The Pathless Path – with William Morrison
In this episode of the Reboot podcast, Jerry is joined by Bill Morrison founder of Constellation Behavioral Health, which offers specialized treatment programs for alcohol and drug addiction. With Jerry, Bill explores the deep and complicated connections between his purpose, his mission, the peaks, the valleys, and the fear of going off plan.

Looking ahead: Tomorrow, we’ll look at how we can step out of the anxiety cycle.

“If you don’t understand the behavioral mechanisms, how are you going to work with them? You might actually be feeding them.”

Dr. Judson Brewer

Dr. Judson Brewer


Day 5 | How We Can Step Out of The Anxiety Cycle

Today you’ll get a check-up to make sure your mind-mapping is going well. We’ll also give a short background on anxiety medications, and how they affect our brains – both positively and negatively. And we’ll link in some of the scientific history of how mindfulness training came onto the scene, both with Jon Kabat-Zinn’s groundbreaking work creating Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), and Judson Brewer’s own research on habit change (spoiler alert: it works pretty well for anxiety).




#11 – Stop and See: Mind hacking, Meditation and Leadership – with Vincent Horn
In this episode, Vince and Jerry talk about their own mindfulness practices, how Vince navigated his own ups and downs as an entrepreneur and how meditation and mindfulness can create better leaders, and better organizations. *Be sure to listen all the way through the end, as Vincent has included one a 10 minute guided meditation for you to kickstart your own mindfulness practice.

#79 – The Space Between Stimulus and Response – with Nicole Glaros
On this episode of the Reboot Podcast, Nicole Glaros, Partner at Techstars, joins Jerry for a thoughtful conversation on perceived awareness, the power of mindfulness, and the inherent resiliency which arises when we master the ability to widen the gap between stimulus and response.




Do Not Judge Yourself for Being Anxious
“Mindfulness is not about what arises. It is about how we are when something arises — how much presence, balance, compassion are we bringing forth in relation to that anxiety or rage or whatever is causing us pain.”- Sharon Salzberg

Wondering About Wonder
“Living and leading with integrity means listening to our own voices. It means we can stand in the swirl of our experience (feelings, thoughts, sensations, longings), even if it feels like a space without words, and being present for what unfolds without controlling what’s next. From there, you can discover what’s in store in that swirl of your very own humanity. ” – Ali Schultz

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