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Got a craving?

Toni-Ann DiSantis

Got a craving? Mindfulness may help.

[Daily Dose] The call of the wild is one thing. The call of the chocolate chip cookie is quite another. Cravings sometimes have a way of rendering the best of intentions null and void. Whether you’re trying to cut down on sugar or trying to quit smoking, mindfulness techniques may help you manage your cravings, and new research explains how they work. In a common form of mindfulness meditation, you sit comfortably and focus on your breathing. Instead of judging or getting carried away by thoughts, sensations, and emotions that arise, you practice simply noticing them, with acceptance and kindness. In a mindfulness technique called a body scan, you close your eyes and pay attention to each part of your body, slowly working your way from your toes up to your head, noticing sensations and any thoughts or feelings that come up. According to the study, mindfulness techniques like these involve a part of the brain that also contributes to cravings. If you feel a craving coming on, it’s possible to interrupt it using a mindfulness technique. Over time, practicing mindfulness may help you become more aware of your body and mind, more accepting of uncomfortable feelings, and less impulsive and reactive, all of which can help you manage cravings.