By Stephanie La Leggia
Psychiatrist Judson Brewer’s TED Talks session sheds light on how successful mindfulness training can be when it comes to breaking bad habits, like smoking or binge eating. When he asked the smoking participants to be mindful and curious about their sensations, such as how they actually feel while smoking, they became aware of the taste, smell, and physical effects of cigarettes, which many of them admitted they didn’t like. After repeating this process of being mindful when giving in to a bad habit, rather than being overwhelmed by the feeling of a craving, your body learns to pick apart the sensations the habit creates. Over time, the brain learns to abandon the habit and replace it with a new, and hopefully better, one.