The Craving Mind: From Cigarettes to Smartphones to Love - Why We Get Hooked and How We Can Break Bad Habits
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 behaviors 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.
"This masterful, personal, friendly, compelling, humorous, and erudite book offers us a radically new perspective on learning, on breaking habits of mind not by force or through the application of will power or the desire for a reward, but by truly inhabiting the domain of being."-Jon Kabat-Zinn, from the Foreword -- Jon Kabat-Zinn "Accessible and enjoyable. The Craving Mind brilliantly combines the latest science with universal real-life experiences."-Arianna Huffington -- Arianna Huffington "Entertaining and profound, Judson Brewer's book brings our everyday addictions into clear view, helping us see how we get caught up in our habits, and giving us simple, grounded steps that we can take to overcome them. Wisdom infuses his research as he offers us a path of exploration to better our lives."-Jewel, Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, and author -- Jewel "The core perception that 'something is missing' drives us to addiction and deprives us of the chance to live fully. By bringing together cutting-edge Western science, the radical insights of Buddhist psychology, and mindfulness practices, Judson Brewer offers a direct pathway to freeing our minds from the domination of craving."-Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge -- Tara Brach "The Craving Mind is a remarkable book, one that will help free us from the powerful habits of craving and addiction. Brewer lays out a practical and empirically based pathway to greater freedom and ease in our lives. For many readers, this book will be life-transforming."-Joseph Goldstein, author of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening -- Joseph Goldstein "As Co-Chair of the Congressional Addiction, Treatment, and Recovery Caucus, I've seen first hand the need for action on addiction and substance abuse. I am thrilled that Judson Brewer has taken his extensive research on mindfulness and outlined its benefits for those battling this terrible disease. This book couldn't come at a time of greater need."- U.S. Representative Tim Ryan, Ohio, author of A Mindful Nation -- U.S. Representative Tim Ryan "Judson Brewer's revolutionary approach challenges all of us to look again and really see what gets us stuck in self-destructive habits, and how we can, at last, free ourselves from them."-Mark Williams, University of Oxford -- Mark Williams
Judson Brewer MD PhD is a thought leader in the field of habit change and the "science of self-mastery", having combined nearly 20 years of experience with mindfulness training with his scientific research therein. He is the Director of Research at the Center for Mindfulness and associate professor in Medicine and Psychiatry at UMass Medical School. He is also adjunct faculty at Yale University, and a research affiliate at MIT. He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, spoken at international conferences, trained US Olympic coaches, and his work has been featured on 60 Minutes, TED (5,000,000+ views; top 10 talks of 2016), TEDMED, TEDx, Time magazine (top 100 new health discoveries of 2013), Forbes, BBC, NPR, Businessweek and others. A psychiatrist and internationally known expert in mindfulness training for addictions, Brewer has developed and tested novel mindfulness programs for habit change, including both in-person and app-based treatments (e.g. www.goeatrightnow.com, www.cravingtoquit.com). He has also studied the underlying neural mechanisms of mindfulness using standard and real-time fMRI. His work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, American Heart Association, Fetzer Trust among others.