App-based mindfulness training drops anxiety by 57% (and burnout) in physicians

Dr. Jud’s lab at Brown University studied the effects of the Unwinding Anxiety app to see if it could reduce anxiety in physicians, who not only struggle with burnout but also report that they don’t have time for self-care. Before the study started, 60% of clinicians reported moderate to severe anxiety and 52% reported feeling … Read more

Mindfulness training for addictions: has neuroscience revealed a brain hack by which awareness subverts the addictive process?

Intro: This article describes the theory behind how mindfulness taps into reward-based learning to help people overcome habitual behaviors   Abstract: Addiction is an age-old problem with desire pitted against self-control and will-power. In modern day substances (including food) and experiences (e.g. social media, internet gaming) are being increasingly engineered to get individuals “hooked.” Current … Read more

Can Mindfulness Address Maladaptive Eating Behaviors? Why Traditional Diet Plans Fail and How New Mechanistic Insights May Lead to Novel Interventions

Intro: This article describes common pitfalls of traditional dieting, and how mindfulness works in a different way to help people change their relationship to eating   Abstract Emotional and other maladaptive eating behaviors develop in response to a diversity of triggers, from psychological stress to the endless external cues in our modern food environment. While … Read more

Testing a mobile mindful eating intervention targeting craving-related eating: feasibility and proof of concept

Intro: This study showed that Eat Right Now reduces craving related eating by 40%. It is the first to show that an app-based mindfulness training can decouple craving and eating (and reduce eating in response to negative emotions by 36%). Link to press release summary.   Abstract Theoretically driven smartphone-delivered behavioral interventions that target mechanisms … Read more

Mindfulness training for smoking cessation: Results from a randomized controlled trial

Intro: This is the first study comparing mindfulness training to gold-standard treatment for smoking cessation. Four months after treatment mindfulness was found to be 5x better at helping people quit smoking.   Abstract (Brewer 2011) Background: Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the world, and long-term abstinence rates remain modest. Mindfulness … Read more

Mindfulness training for smoking cessation: Moderation of the relationship between craving and cigarette use

Intro: This study investigated the psychological mechanisms of how mindfulness helps people quit smoking. It found that mindfulness helps people not act on smoking urges -to “be” with them rather than habitually react. Background Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the US, while abstinence rates remain modest. Smoking has been shown to be perpetuated … Read more

Craving to Quit: Psychological models and neurobiological mechanisms of mindfulness training as treatment for addictions.

Intro: This is the first paper that links ancient and modern psychological mechanism together of how mindfulness works to change behavior. Abstract: Humans suffer heavily from substance use disorders and other addictions. Despite much effort that has been put into understanding the mechanisms of the addictive process, treatment strategies have remained sub-optimal over the past … Read more

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