This Is How You Break a Bad Habit, According to an Addiction Expert

Updated 10/23/17

We start out each year with the best of intentions—to eat better, quit smoking, exercise more, or drink less—but for some reason, many of us eventually give in to temptation, and our focus wanes. The simple truth is that being disciplined takes effort, and that can be challenging when we’re all so easily distracted all the time. But that’s not entirely our fault. In fact, at his recent TEDMed talk, psychiatrist Dr. Judson Brewer, founder of Claritas MindSciences and creator of Craving to Quit, said studies show that “even when we’re trying to pay attention to something at some point, about half of us will drift off into a daydream, or have this urge to check our Twitter feed.” It’s sad but true.

So why is it so hard for us to pay attention? And what does this have to do with breaking bad habits? Well, a lot actually. Scroll down to find out why we form addictive behaviors and Dr. Brewer’s simple solution for breaking them.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg $18
Willpower by Roy F. Baumeister $19
Switch by Chip Heath $16
Mindfulness by Ellen J. Langer $14

To watch Judson Brewer’s TEDMed talk, visit TED.

Have you ever broken a bad habit? How did you do it? Would you consider using this mindfulness approach? Share it in the comments below.

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