Hack Your Brain’s Habit Loops

A practice for recognizing when our habit loops flare, and observing what happens in our mind and our body when that happens.

We’re going to be exploring how our minds work and how to work with our minds.

We form habits in a very specific way, which is great news. It means this is a system that can be observed, examined, and even altered. But first we need to understand how it all works.

In these four sessions, we’ll begin by learning how a habit gets formed in the mind and body. We’ll get more concrete in the second session, exploring habits that are formed around eating. Then, in the third session, we will work with habits around our cell phones. In the fourth and final session we will examine more closely the habits formed specifically around stress and anxiety.

The goal here is to first understand the mechanics and observe them at work in our mind and body; then, by bringing awareness, and injecting curiosity and kindness into the process, we look at specific habits we might have. We might even manage to change a few habits in the process. But the first and most important thing is to get better at recognizing when our habit loops flare, and get good at observing what happens in our mind and our body…

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About the author

Judson Brewer

About Dr. Brewer: Judson Brewer MD PhD is a thought leader in the field of habit change and the “science of self-mastery”, having combined over 20 years of experience with mindfulness training with his scientific research therein. A professor and researcher at the Mindfulness Center at Brown University, he has developed clinically proven app-based training to help people with emotional eating (www.goeatrightnow.com) and anxiety (www.unwindinganxiety.com). He is the author of The Craving Mind: from cigarettes to smartphones to love, why we get hooked and how we can break bad habits (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017).