Anxiety Management

“Headstand Psychologist” talks anxiety symptoms, myths, while standing on his head

Dr. Shaun Nanavati, co-founder and Chief Science Officer of AQ, is the world’s only psychologist who both dispenses anxiety tips and busts anxiety myths while standing on his head

This makes him not just the world’s only “Headstand Psychologist”, neuroscientist and anxiety expert but – given that he offers this advice in the format of talk show-style interviews – also the world’s only startup founder who gives media interviews while standing on his head. 

His latest two new, short educational videos, based on interviews with AQ colleague Meredith Travers – while Dr. Nanavati stands on his head and Travers remains seated the conventional way up – are titled “Anxiety Symptoms and Tips” and “Anxiety Myths”. 

Anxiety Symptoms and Tricks

Common symptoms of anxiety, Dr. Nanavati explains in the first video, include shallow breathing, sweaty palms and a spiking heart rate (of the kind, as it happens, that AQ users can track through app, via their Apple Watch).  

So, what, asks Travers, looking down towards Dr. Nanavati on his head, are some simple tips on ways to manage and lower your anxiety?

“Putting your feet up against the wall will help you heart rate stabilize and give your brain the blood it needs,” is Dr. Nanavati’s first tip. 

His other quick tips are: 

  • “Taking a deep breath always helps.” 
  • “Taking a walk outside is really helpful for anxiety.” 
  • “Earlobe massage also works very well and immediately stabilizes your heart.”  

But in the end, he says, it comes down to finding what works best for you personally (in a way, as it also happens, AQ will help you do). 

Anxiety myths-and why they’re wrong

In the second new video of headstand interviews, Dr. Nanavati answers Travers’ request to explain some of the most common anxiety myths and why they are wrong. 

There are, of course, many myths about anxiety but in this short video, Dr. Nanavati identifies and debunks three of the most common ones. 

The first myth he busts is that you need a drug to cure anxiety. 

“That’s not true. There are a lot of things you can do in your normal daily life that are natural and organic and that can be used to help you manage and treat your anxiety.” 

Indeed, AQ explains many of these things – both in the app’s “SOS Library” of exercises to tackle acute anxiety and, for less acute, throughout the app. 

The second anxiety myth that Dr. Nanavati tackles is that just because you sometimes feels anxiety then you must be an anxious person. 

That’s also untrue, he says. You may feel anxious at points during the day. “We all do. That doesn’t make you an anxious person.” You are, as the saying goes, not your diagnosis. 

“You are just someone wrestling with anxiety – but by understanding your triggers and the things in your environment that trigger your anxiety, you can learn to resolve it.” 

The third and final myth that Dr. Nanavati tackles in the new video is the myth that all anxiety is bad. 

“The fact is that anxiety is a valuable signal in which your body’s communicating something from your unconscious to let you know something that may be going on.” 

And the first step to lowering your anxiety is heeding that signal and taking the steps needed in response.

IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTICE: Please note: NO-ONE should do a headstand without an expert to teach them how to do one properly and, above all, safely.


AQ™ is the world’s first app that tracks and measures your anxiety and mental health in real time – and provides targeted, real-time advice and treatments to manage your anxiety and improve your mental health and performance.

Created by Mindwell Labs, AQ™ is your personal mental health coach, in your pocket. AQ’s patent-pending proprietary technology and AI analyzes your vitals collected by the Apple Watch in real-time throughout the day to help you understand what in your life makes you anxious or calm. AQ uses your mental health profile to provide you with personalized care based on your specific needs. You currently need an Apple Watch to use AQ™ but will soon be able to use any smartwatch.

AQ™ is available for free download on the App Store; try the premium version, with full personalization and all features, totally free for 14 days; pay $39.99/year or $4.99/month after the free trial.