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Can the practice of mindfulness really reduce cravings? Interesting question!


“Buddhist beliefs include the concept of tanhā, which is discussed in the Four Noble Truths. It’s a thirst, a wish—it can be either mental or physical—and if linked to an inappropriate tendency, can bring about suffering. Now, not all craving is bad. Craving a nice salad and some time to yourself is a good thing. But when craving leads to cigarettes or too much alcohol, a craving is a negative. Meditation has been used as a way to avoid and treat unhealthful cravings, even dating back to the early Buddhist texts. But how does it work? A new study from the City University London sought greater understanding of whether mindfulness strategies reduce cravings, change behavior, or work in a combination of effect.

Can meditation help you avoid chocolates,  smokes, or reduce any other cravings? A new study says yes.

reduce cravings with mindfulnessThe work was a review that dove into data from 30 experimental studies involving mindfulness interventions to treat cravings, usually for food or a specific drug. These mindfulness techniques might have included, for example, promoting feelings of acceptance toward uncomfortable feelings or greater awareness of the body’s sensation. After reviewing the studies, the study author concluded that mindfulness reduced craving most likely due to loading working memory, the part of our short-term memory that is associated with immediate perception and linguistic processing. Those immediate benefits were also enhanced by a medium-term benefit, of “extinction processes,” where the individual inhibits the craving-related behaviors, a nice cycle that also leads to fewer cravings.

Though further research is still necessary, Dr. Katy Tapper, the author of the review and a senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology at City, University of London, wrote, “There is some evidence to suggest that engaging in regular mindfulness practice may reduce the extent to which people feel the need to react to their cravings.”

mindfulness reminder braceletBut here is the problem most people face: We all get so caught up in our busy lives? How can we consistently remember to remember to practice mindfulness?  That is where the meaning to pause® bracelet comes into play. This ingenious precious/semi-precious stone bracelet provides a gentle vibration every 60 or 90 minutes prompting you to redirect your thoughts and focus on what is important to you.

This wonderful tool has been adopted by members of Weight Watchers, Alcoholic Anonymous, and many other related organizations.

If you would like to read more information on the meaning to pause® bracelet please click here.

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