A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit
A TED Talk by Judson Brewer

A sense of curiosity is nature’s original school of education.  —Smiley Blanton

I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity. —Eleanor Roosevelt

What if curiosity is the key to creating the changes you want? Judson Brewer, psychiatrist and director of research at the Center for Mindfulness Studies, has studied bad habits — why we have them and what we can do about them.

In this 10-minute TED talk, you’ll see how cravings and addictions — smoking, stress eating, compulsive urges to check email — emerge from habit loops wired into our brains. We know they are bad for us, we want to change, we try to make ourselves change, and then find ourselves reaching for another cookie.

Learn from a thought leader in the science of self-mastery how to step off the hamster wheel and experience a much more enjoyable — and effective — path to freedom from habits that aren’t really what you want.


Judson Brewer, MD, PhD, is a thought leader in the science of self-mastery. An associate professor of psychiatry and medicine at UMass Medical School, where he is director of research at the Center for Mindfulness, he is also adjunct faculty at Yale University, and a research affiliate at MIT. Dr. Brewer has developed two smartphone apps: Craving to Quit, to help with smoking cessation, and Eat Right: Now! to help users with the practice of mindful eating. He is the author of The Craving Mind: From Cigarettes to Smartphones to Love, about how to break bad habits and addictions.


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