Judson Brewer: A simple way to break a bad habit
Psychiatrist and addiction expert Judson Brewer researches mindfulness techniques that effectively help quell cravings of all kinds. Full bio
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pay attention to my breath,
to bring it back.
in the middle of winter.
because it was really hard work.
trying to pay attention to something --
will drift off into a daydream,
to check our Twitter feed.
of the most evolutionarily-conserved
currently known in science,
nervous systems known to man.
and negative reinforcement,
to our brain that says,
and where you found it."
our creative brains say,
than just remembering where food is.
something good so you'll feel better?"
when we're mad or sad,
coming from our stomach,
outside smoking and we think,
and that was no accident.
that urge to smoke a cigarette
with these habits.
of morbidity and mortality in the world.
to pay attention,
reward-based learning process ...
in our momentary experience?
could help people quit smoking.
to pay attention to my breath,
themselves to quit smoking.
had tried this before and failed --
and instead focused on being curious.
about what it's like when you do."
from one of our smokers.
that smoking was bad for her,
curiously aware when she smoked
that smoking was bad for her
disenchanted with her behavior.
from an evolutionary perspective,
that we shouldn't smoke.
to help us change our behavior,
that third, that fourth cookie.
to control our behavior.
when we get stressed out,
in our own experience.
like yell at our spouse or kids
it's not going to be helpful.
is so important.
at a deeper level --
ourselves to hold back
in doing it in the first place.
when we get caught up in our behaviors,
naturally letting go.
magically we quit smoking.
to see more and more clearly
about being really interested
in our bodies and minds
to turn toward our experience
cravings go away as quickly as possible.
to turn toward our experience
are simply made up of body sensations --
sensations come and go.
by this huge, scary craving
fear-based, reactive habit patterns,
that next data point.
too simplistic to affect behavior.
we found that mindfulness training
at helping people quit smoking.
the brains of experienced meditators,
of self-referential processing
is that a region of this network,
by craving itself
when we get sucked in,
of what's happening --
mindfulness training programs
that's driving us to distraction
of our unhealthy habit patterns
and other addictive behaviors.
about context-dependent memory?
to peoples' fingertips
to be curiously aware
or stress eat or whatever arises.
to check your email when you're bored,
yourself from work,
to that text message when you're driving,
this natural capacity,
and mind in that moment.
and exhaustive habit loops ...
compulsively text back,
ABOUT THE SPEAKERJudson Brewer - Mindful addiction doctor
Psychiatrist and addiction expert Judson Brewer researches mindfulness techniques that effectively help quell cravings of all kinds.
Why you should listen
Psychiatrist Judson Brewer is a thought leader in the "science of self mastery," having combined nearly 20 years of experience with mindfulness and scientific research therein. An expert in mindfulness training for addictions, Judson has developed novel treatments to help individuals with substance abuse and eating disorders. He has also studied the neural mechanisms of mindfulness using standard and realtime fMRI, and is translating these findings into clinical use.
In 2012, Judson founded Claritas MindSciences to combine mindfulness and neurofeedback techniques for a variety of conditions; the latest apps are Craving to Quit and Eat Right Now. Judson is currently an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Medicine at University of Massachusetts School of Medicine, where he is Director of Research at the Center for Mindfulness.
In 2017, Brewer published a book, The Craving Mind: From Cigarettes to Smartphones to Love – Why We Get Hooked and How We Can Break Bad Habits, that unpacks the topic of his TED Talk.
Judson Brewer | Speaker | TED.com