You might have heard about mindfulness on TV or in magazines. As our lives become ever more stressful and hectic, it’s become an increasingly popular technique for bringing calm and balance into our lives. But it’s not just stress that mindfulness can help with…
Mindfulness has been used by psychologists to treat an incredibly wide variety of behaviours. It’s been found to be an effective treatment for depression, borderline personality disorder, and relapse prevention for people with addictive behaviours. There’s also a lot of research supporting the use of mindfulness in treating people with impulsive behaviour habits such as binge eating or gambling addiction. A huge number of people have all seen positive effects from incorporating mindfulness into their treatment, but how exactly does it help?
It’s perfectly understandable if you’re a bit skeptical about this idea. Impulsive behaviours can be deep-rooted and may have developed over many years. So it may seem unlikely that something that sounds like a hippy meditation can actually produce scientifically valid results. But, extensive research and patient case studies shows that it really does. So, in this article, we explain exactly how mindfulness can prevent impulsive overeating, along with other impulsive behaviours…
#1 – Mindfulness Reduces Stress
Mindfulness has been shown to successfully reduce feelings of stress. In a study by Bowen and Marlatt, smokers who were taught mindfulness reported that stress no longer automatically led to them lighting up. So, by incorporating mindfulness into your routine, you’re less likely to experience a stress-related trigger. Many people binge eat in response to stress so this can stop the entire situation from coming about before it turns into an impulsive episode.
#2 – Mindfulness Reduces Cravings
A research study of smokers found that mindfulness reduced their cravings as well as the number of cigarettes they smoked. This means they faced less temptation and didn’t have to exercise as much willpower, because they just didn’t want cigarettes as much. The same principles can benefit people who are prone to binging or impulsive overeating.
#3 – Mindfulness Helps You Deal With & Resist Urges
Mindfulness doesn’t just help to prevent impulsive behaviours – it can also help you to deal with them in real time. By using techniques like urge surfing you can work through cravings and temptations instead of giving in to them. It gives you another tool to use in dealing with urges, so you don’t just have to rely on willpower alone.
This is why we teach mindfulness techniques as part of our Beat the Binge Online Program. It includes videos, guided meditations, and practical activities to help you regain control over impulsive behaviours. If you struggle with binge eating then it can help you to manage your impulses and develop a healthier relationship with food. Learn more here.