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A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit


Dr. Judson Brewer




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.


When I was first learning to meditate, the instruction was to simply pay attention to my breath. And when my mind wandered, to bring it back – sounded simple enough. Yet, I'd sit on these silent retreats, sweating through T-shirts in the middle of winter. I took naps every chance I got because it was really hard work. Actually, it was exhausting. The instruction was simple enough, but I was missing something really important.

So why is it so hard to pay attention? Well, studies show that even when we're really trying to pay attention, like maybe during this talk, about half of us will drift off into a daydream or have the urge to check our Twitter feed. So, what's going on here?

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