IMPROVE: Break the Spell of BAD HABITS - MBSRx.


by Alexa Webster

Seeing what we get from our habits helps us understand them at a deeper level.  To know it in our bones so we don’t have to force ourselves to hold back or restrain ourselves from behavior.  We’re just less interested in doing it in the first place.
—  Dr. Judson Brewer
The opposite of addiction is not sobriety - The opposite of addiction is Connection.
— Johann Hari


Rather than opening an entire amalgam of conversation surrounding the fully loaded topic of addiction - I am going to keep it fairly streamlined, focused and, to the point with hopes that the regurgitated information can provide an opportunity to those who are simply, ready.  Bad habits are not necessarily addictions and addictions are not necessarily habits.  In bringing both topics up, simultaneously, we are essentially speaking about two different things.  However, they seem - together - to possess a fundamental weaving of commonality that relates to the idea of: Turning Towards - rather than away.  This is an important shift.  There are many ways to go about a personal transformation and, suffice it to say, until we are ready, nothing is going to take hold.  Having grown up in world, ridden with addiction and a home swallowed by the guilt & shame that occupies one's own shadow, climbing up from rock bottom is no small feat.  Yet, when one has entered into their own level of readiness, a most beautiful victory awaits.   When it comes to bad habits, however, small victories are at our fingertips more often than we realize.  

Simply stated, this is how a habit is formed:

Trigger + Behavior + Reward = Habit.

When a "bad habit" has taken over, we are faced, time & time again, with a choice.   

The following information, offered by Dr. Judson Brewer, feels compassionate, creative and - most importantly - possible!


  • 1. Look at Your Habit

    • Ask: What do I get from this? What is the reward? In the body, not in the mind. 

    • Why?We need to know what our rewards are before we change our habits.


  • 2. Coming back into our bodies with RAIN.

    • R - Recognize - If we cant recognize it, we will be lost.

    • A - Acceptance - Rather than run away, paradoxically, turn towards the craving.

    • I - Investigate - Put on the Sherlock Holmes cap and dive into body to see: "WHAT DOES THIS FEEL LIKE IN MY BODY?"

    • N - Note - Take a mental note.

What happens when we actively engage curiosity thru inviting the felt sense & visceral experience of the habit itself, to be brought to the forefront?

We move from knowing the answer in our mind, to feeling the knowing in our body.

We move from knowledge to wisdom!  

likely result:


This willingness to turn towards our experience rather than try to make unpleasant cravings go away as quickly as possibly. And this willingness to turn toward our experience is supported by curiosity, which is naturally rewarding. What does curiosity feel like? It feels good. And what happens when we get curious? We start to notice the cravings are made up of body sensations...and these body sensations come and go. These are bite size pieces of experiences that we can manage from moment to moment rather than getting clobbered by this huge, scary craving that we choke on. In other words, when we get curious, we step out of our old fear based reactive habit patterns and we step into BEING.

Which eventually leads to:

Naturally Letting go


not necessarily easy but, simple.

Check out Video HEre

Dr. Judson Brewer

A psychiatrist and internationally known expert in mindfulness training for addictions, Brewer has developed and tested novel mindfulness programs for addictions, including both in-person and app-based treatments. He has also studied the underlying neural mechanisms of mindfulness using standard and real-time MRI, and is currently translating these findings into clinical use.

He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, spoken at international conferences, presented to the US President’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, been featured at TEDx, Time magazine (top 100 new health discoveries of 2013), Forbes, Businessweek, NPR and the BBC among others.

We are honored to have him as part of our MBSRx presenters.  Click HERE for more of his offerings on Mindfulness.  Finally, if you're interested in going further into this specific topic, Order Dr. Brewer's new book, "The Craving Mind" !

And.. for an engaging and eye-opening look further into addiction and how we can support those we love who may be struggling.....


Alexa is a Colorado native, yogini, artist & founder of Seeds of Remembrance, a continually evolving and ever-blossoming movement of Activation, Awakening, Alignment & Adornment.  She is steeped in the Para Yoga tradition, honored to be contributing to Aspen City of Wellbeing and is inspired daily, by the work being done, on the ground, in Aspen to enact change and shift culture towards a more vibrant world.  

Alexa Webster