The following is a basic outline of the R.A.I.N method to Break Unwanted Habits and Cravings.
It was developed by neuroscientist Dr Judson Brewer who is director of research at the Centre for Mindfulness and associate professor in psychiatry at the School of Medicine at Brown University.
This technique really brings into play his long experiences with mindfulness.
First of all, just think about the habit you want to stop. Spend a few minutes really thinking about that habit and what it does for you, what you get from it.
What does it feel like in your body, what are the rewards? Dr Jud says it’s imperative to understand why we do the habit.
R.A.I.N is a simple acronym that makes the technique easier to remember, and simpler to apply.
Four Step Process for cravings and unwanted habits
Now anytime we feel a craving or unwanted behaviour, we should apply the following fours steps.
- Recognise: First of all, we just need to recognise when we are doing the habit. Otherwise, we are just on autopilot.
- Accept: Rather than pushing away the craving or habit we just accept it.
- Investigate: Now, we investigate those feelings and notice where we feel them. This should be playfully curious and light without judgment or criticism. Is there a feeling in the stomach? What does the mind do? What are the feelings involved? We want to be really curious and look deeper at the craving & behaviours, and their effects on our bodies.
- Note. Finally, just note down those feelings and experiences for a minute or so.
Dr Jud recommends using this technique for cravings, or unwanted thought patterns. Repetition is key.
Every time we repeat the process the cravings will get weaker and we will gain more control.