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The Craving Mind

From Cigarettes to Smartphones to Love ! Why We Get Hooked and How We Can Break Bad Habits
Paperback Book
Yale University Press
February, 2018
In stock now: 
$20.95 CAD
Banyen's Description: 

A leading neuroscientist and pioneer in the study of mindfulness explains why addictions are so tenacious and how we can learn to conquer them.

We are all vulnerable to addiction. Whether it’s a compulsion to constantly check social media, binge eating, smoking, excessive drinking, or any other behaviors, we may find ourselves uncontrollably repeating. Why are bad habits so hard to overcome? Is there a key to conquering the cravings we know are unhealthy for us?

This book provides groundbreaking answers to the most important questions about addiction. Dr. Judson Brewer, a psychiatrist and neuroscientist who has studied the science of addictions for twenty years, reveals how we can tap into the very processes that encourage addictive behaviours in order to step out of them. He describes the mechanisms of habit and addiction formation, then explains how the practice of mindfulness can interrupt these habits. Weaving together patient stories, his own experience with mindfulness practice, and current scientific findings from his own lab and others, Dr. Brewer offers a path for moving beyond our cravings, reducing stress, and ultimately living a fuller life. Fascinating! This is science at its best.

We can learn to ride the waves of wanting by surfing them. First, by RECOGNIZING that the wanting or craving is coming, and then RELAXING into it. Since you have no control over it coming, ACKNOWLEDGE or ACCEPT this wave as it is; don’t ignore it, distract yourself, or try to do something about it. This is your experience. Find a way that works for you, such as a word or phrase, or a simple nod of the head (I consent, here we go, this is it, etc.). To catch the wave of wanting, you have to study it carefully, INVESTIGATING it as it builds. Do this by asking, “What does my body feel like right now?” Don’t go looking. See what arises most prominently. Let it come to you. Finally, NOTE the experience as you follow it. Keep it simple by using short phrases or single words. For example: thinking, restlessness in stomach, rising sensation, burning, etc. Follow it until it completely subsides. If you get distracted, return to the investigation by repeating the question, what does my body feel like right now? See if you can ride it until it is completely gone. Ride it to shore.

Judson Brewer is a thought leader in the field of habit change, having combined nearly 20 years of experience with mindfulness training with his scientific research therein. He is Director of Research at the Center for Mindfulness and associate professor in Medicine and Psychiatry at UMass Medical School.  His 2016 TED talk has been viewed over 5 million times!

Publisher’s Description: 
A leading neuroscientist and pioneer in the study of mindfulness explains why addictions are so tenacious and how we can learn to conquer them

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