Friday, January 1, 2021

A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit

It's the first day of 2021! Have you made a New Year's resolution to curtail your junk food habit or quit a similar bad habit? I did that a couple of years ago and have mostly been able to keep my bad snacking habit in check by using a simple method that I learned about through Dr. Judson Brewer's TED Talk titled A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit.

My big take-away from Dr. Brewer's talk was the idea of thinking about why I engage in a bad habit while I'm doing it as a means to breaking that habit. For example, my bad habit is eating potato and tortilla chips when I'm stressed out. Brewer's suggestion is to think about why I'm doing that when I do it and I'll be less likely to do it again. For the last two years I've used this strategy of using mindfulness to curtail my stress-snacking habit. It has worked...most of the time. Between using Brewer's strategy and regular exercise I lost over 30 pounds in 2019 and kept it off through 2020.  

Applications for Education
The concepts and examples that Brewer shares in the talk are ones that high school students can relate to. For that reason, with the exception of one “PG word” in the talk, you could use this video to create a mindfulness lesson in a high school classroom.