Beat your cravings
Are your bad habits harming your everyday life or your health? There’s a trick you can use to help break them
Not all addictions are hugely selfdestructive ones like narcotics or smoking. Many of us are constantly craving something, whether it’s a bet, unhealthy food or just that buzz when one of our social media posts gets liked. And when this becomes a habit, it can affect our productivity, our health and our relationships.
When psychiatrist Dr Judson Brewer set up a pilot study to see if mindfulness could help people quit smoking, he hoped it might prove as effective as the American Lung Association’s tried-and-tested methods. The results surprised even him: subjects who used mindfulness gave up at twice the rate as those using the established approach – and they proved more likely to stay smoke-free.
Mindfulness, simply put, is the state of being highly aware of what’s happening, and you can use it to figure out when cravings are triggered, how they make you feel and how you can break the habit loops that cause them to happen repeatedly. One of the key mindfulness techniques is a four-stage procedure that Brewer calls RAIN and it can be applied to any addiction, helping you put a stop to damaging habits once and for all.
The Craving Mind: From Cigarettes To Smartphones To Love – Why We Get Hooked And How We Can Break Bad Habits by Judson Brewer is out now, RRP £16.99 (Yale University Press)