How to kill bad habits with mindfulness

How to kill bad habits with mindfulness

Bad habits can be happiness killers.

Bad habits can not just suck the life out of your happiness but cruel any attempts you make to live your best life.

Bad habits are the enemy of happiness, health and success.

But the good news is that bad habits can be changed. And as this great article shows, mindfulness may well be the solution…

by Eric Barker

We all struggle with bad habits. Resisting them is hard. Changing them feels impossible.

Now there are plenty of tricks from standard psychology on how to deal with bad habits. But what if there was a way that really helped you understand yourself better? Something that wasn’t just a “lifehack”, but actually led to a fuller way of living life?

Yeah, that’s a big fluffy promise. But this solution still comes from hard scientific research.

Judson Brewer is the director of the Therapeutic Neuroscience Laboratory at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

He’s also the author of The Craving Mind: From Cigarettes to Smartphones to Love – Why We Get Hooked and How We Can Break Bad Habits.

He does a lot of work with addiction psychiatry — and let’s face it — that’s what bad habits are. Addictions. He founded the Yale Therapeutic Neuroscience Clinic and wanted to help people conquer one of the toughest bad habits: smoking.

What tool did he use? It was that “mindfulness” thing everyone is always blabbing about.

He was hoping mindfulness could match the results of the “gold standard” for treating cigarette addiction, a system called “Freedom From Smoking.” But mindfulness didn’t match it…

It crushed it.

From The Craving Mind:

When the data came back from our statisticians, the participants in the mindfulness training group had quit at twice the rate of the Freedom From Smoking group. Better yet, nearly all mindfulness participants had stayed quit, while many of those in the other group had lost ground, yielding a fivefold difference between the two!

We’re often told that you can’t get rid of a habit; you can only replace it. Heck, even I’ve said that.

But mindfulness didn’t replace smoking with anything: “Our data showed that mindfulness decoupled this link between craving and smoking.”

So he’s really on to something here. Something you can use to beat your bad habits. (And something I can use to stop checking Instagram while writing blog posts.) So how’s it work?

First we gotta ask the question nobody usually bothers to ask: why do we have bad habits in the first place?

…keep reading the full & original article HERE