“What we’re seeing with meditation is that when we get out of our own way, our brains naturally work better and we can really start to get into the flow of things and in sync with life.”
Dr. Jud Brewer
Addiction is tenacious. We’re all craven animals, vulnerable to habits that don’t serve us. Whether it’s constantly checking social media, binge eating, smoking, compulsive shopping or excessive drinking, most of us fall prey to compulsions we feel powerless to arrest.
Why is this? And what can neuroscience teach us about the nature of cravings and how to overcome them?
Dr. Jud Brewer has devoted his career to answering these questions. His discoveries just might change your life.
A psychiatrist, neuroscientist, thought leader and scientific researcher in the field of habit change and the “science of self-mastery”, Dr. Brewer is the founder of MindSciences and Director of Research and Innovation at the Brown University Mindfulness Center. Formerly, he served as an associate professor in Medicine and Psychiatry at UMass Medical School, an adjunct faculty member at Yale University, and a research affiliate at MIT.
Dr. Brewer has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. He has trained U.S.A. Olympic coaches. His work has been featured on 60 Minutes, Time magazine, Forbes, BBC, NPR, Businessweek and many other prominent media outlets. And his TED Talk, A Simple Way To Break A Bad Habit, is the 4th most viewed TED talk of 2016 with over 13 million views to date.
As a long-time recovering alcoholic prone to a myriad of compulsive behaviors, it’s fair to say that habit change is an obsession. Always on the hunt to extend my sobriety routine beyond 12-step, I came across Dr. Brewer’s book, The Craving Mind. A scientific primer on the mechanisms of habit and addiction formation, it makes the case for how mindfulness can help us transcend cravings, reduce stress, and ultimately live a fuller life.
I was compelled by Dr. Brewer’s findings. I needed to know more. And so here we are.
This is a powerful and potentially life altering conversation about the psychiatric and neurological nature of addiction. It’s a deep dive into the science of habit change. And it’s a master class on how meditation and mindfulness can help us finally overcome the unhealthy patterns that live between our reality and the best version of ourselves lurking within.
Note: As a special thanks for listening, Dr. Brewer was gracious enough to offer my listeners a special discount on his evidence based habit change programs specifically designed to overcome anxiety and cravings. Visit drjud/richroll and enter code RICHROLL2019 and you will receive 20% off a subscription to any of his three apps for Android or iPhone (Unwinding Anxiety, Eat Right Now and Craving to Quit). As a disclaimer, I am not an affiliate and have no financial interest or otherwise with these programs – just sharing the good doctor’s kind offer.
A companion piece to my recent podcast with Atomic Habits author James Clear, my hope is that this solution-based exchange assists you in overcoming the compulsions that don’t serve you
On a personal level, I learned a ton — and have already experienced positive results. May your life be similarly and positively impacted.
Peace + Plants,
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Check out Dr. Brewer’s latest book: The Craving Mind: From Cigarettes to Smartphones to Love – Why We Get Hooked and How We Can Break Bad Habits*
Connect with Dr. Brewer:
- TED: Judson Brewer | A Simple Way To Break A Bad Habit | TEDMED2015
- Brown University: Mindfulness Center
- MindSciences: claritasmind.com
- 60 Minutes: Anderson Cooper on Mindfulness & Anxiety
- TEDxRockCreekPark: You’re Already Awesome. Just Get Out of Your Own Way!: Judson Brewer MD
- NYT: Why You Procrastinate (It Has Nothing to Do With Self-Control)
- Mindful: Train Your Brain to Break Bad Habits with Judson Brewer
- TIME: Can Meditation Improve Your Health? Here’s What to Know
- WSJ: Can Meditation Gadgets Help You Reduce Your Stress—and Find Happiness?
- Forbes: The Simple Key That Will Finally Break Your Bad Habit
- Business Insider: A psychiatrist says this is the best way to break a bad habit
- Tricycle: The Mindful Way to Kick a Craving
- Washington Post: I tried mindfulness to quit drinking. It actually worked
Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy:
- RRP #208: Why All Roads Lead To Meditation
- RRP #346: Dan Harris On The Power Of Meditation For The Fidgety Skeptic
- RRP #188: Addiction Is Not A Choice: Dr. Gabor Maté’s Call For A Compassionate & Holistic Approach To Healing
- RRP #416: Addiction & Depression: Johann Hari On Lost Connections
*Disclosure: Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
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