Mind & Life

Jud Brewer - Changing Habits

March 11, 2022

JudBrewer_sq.jpgIn this episode, Wendy speaks with addiction psychiatrist and contemplative researcher Jud Brewer. Jud is one of the leading figures in the use of mindfulness for addiction and anxiety, and his work emphasizes the brain's habit cycle, and how to change it. He's also developed a number of smartphone apps to deliver contemplative interventions widely, which research is finding to be highly successful. This conversation covers many topics, including:

  • his own use of meditation to relieve stress, and where that led;
  • the failure of willpower for treating addictions;
  • the benefits and downsides of the brain's habit mechanisms;
  • commonalities between Buddhist philosophy and modern psychology;
  • the key role of awareness in changing habits;
  • the basic "habit loop" (trigger - behavior - result);
  • anxiety as a habit;
  • mindfulness for habit change;
  • divisiveness as a bad habit;
  • research on the effectiveness of app-based interventions;
  • next steps for digital therapeutics;
  • insights on communicating science to the public;
  • and the power of kindness and connection as the ultimate reward.

Full show notes and resources


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