Marian Miner Cook
Athenaeum

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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Tuesday, September 29, 2020 - Evening Program
The Craving Mind: From Cigarettes to Cupcakes to Anxiety to Smartphones, the Mechanisms Underlying How Mindfulness Helps Change Habits
Jud Brewer

We are creatures of habit. Driven by biological processes set up to help us survive, our minds are constantly craving experiences and substances—from smartphones to romance to alcohol—and this craving leads to habit formation. Using examples from his clinical experience and laboratory research, Jud Brewer, associate professor at Brown University's Mindfulness Center will explore the behavioral and mental processes that foster craving and consequent habit formation, the impact these have on individual and societal health, and how we can “hack” our own neurobiological reward circuitry using practices such as mindfulness, to foster greater health and wellbeing.

Jud Brewer, M.D. Ph.D., is an associate professor and the director of research and innovation at the Mindfulness Center at Brown University’s Schools of Medicine and Public Health; he also serves as a research affiliate at MIT.

A psychiatrist and internationally known expert in mindfulness training for addictions, Brewer has developed clinically proven app-based mindfulness trainings including to help people quit smoking, stop overeating, and reduce anxiety. 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.”

Brewer 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 own scientific research therein. He has developed and tested novel mindfulness programs for habit change, including both in-person and app-based treatments for smoking, emotional eating, and anxiety. He has also studied the underlying neural mechanisms of mindfulness using standard and real-time fMRI and EEG neurofeedback. He has trained U.S. Olympic athletes and coaches, foreign government ministers, and his work has been featured on 60 Minutes, TED, the New York Times, Time magazine, Forbes, BBC, NPR, Al Jazeera, Businessweek and others. His work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association, among others.

Dr. Brewer founded MindSciences to move his discoveries of clinical evidence behind mindfulness for anxiety, eating, smoking and other behavior change into the hands of consumers.

View Dr. Brewer's video.

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