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Quick 'Mindfulness' Fix May Lower Alcohol Drinking

时间:2017-09-10 16:14来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]


A small experiment shows that mindfulness training exercises may help people who drink large amounts of alcohol.

Mindfulness is a method of quietly, but fully1, experiencing what is happening in the present, both in and around you.

The mindfulness study involved 68 heavy drinkers in the United Kingdom. The subjects were not alcoholics3, but they did have more alcohol to drink than most people.

Some of the subjects received training in relaxation4 methods. The other subjects took part in an 11-minute training program in mindfulness exercises. The program was designed to help them recognize their desire for a drink without acting5 on it.

Over the next week, the group that received mindfulness training drank much less than they had during the week before the study started. But the subjects in the relaxation group did not drink much less.

Damla Irez is with University College London. She says the study did not involve ‘treating’ people who needed help cutting down their alcohol use.

“But it did suggest that people who drink too much, but don’t have an alcohol use disorder6, might be able to reduce their consumption, at least in the short term, by practicing mindfulness,” Irez said by email. The Reuters news agency reported her comments.

A report on the study was published in The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology.

During the mindfulness training, people were told to pay attention to their desire to drink instead of ignoring this feeling. They were told that, by noticing bodily sensations, they could accept them as temporary events without needing to act on them.

The other group – those in relaxation training – was told that softening7 the muscles, calming and unwinding the mind and releasing tension in the body could reduce the desire to drink.

After receiving one of these trainings, all 68 people were asked to use the techniques they learned for one week.

Right after training, both groups reported a reduced desire for a drink although the reduction was greater in the relaxation group.

However, people in the mindfulness group drank 9.3 fewer units of alcohol in the week after the training than they did in the week before the study began. This is about equal to three pints8 of beer – or about 13,000 milliliters.

In the relaxation group, people consumed just 3 fewer units of alcohol. This difference was too small to rule out the possibility that the cause was chance.

One limitation of the study was the small number of subjects. Another limitation was that the researchers depended on the subjects to remember and report how much alcohol they drank. Researchers also depended on them to be honest about whether they had been diagnosed with alcohol use disorder. In addition, the study was too brief to show how much training people might require to see long-term changes to their drinking behavior.

William Marchand is a psychiatry9 professor at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. He wasn't involved in the British study. But he said it was new and surprising that such a short training period would have an effect on behavior.

In an email to Reuters, Marchard said he would have thought much more training would be needed to change behavior. “What we don’t know,” he said, “is whether there will be a lasting10 impact on drinking behavior.”

Still, the first step in targeting addictive11 behaviors is to notice them, said Stefan Hofmann, a psychology12 researcher at Boston University in Massachusetts. Hofmann told Reuters in an email that humans usually develop habits and link behaviors to situational signals.

For example, for drinkers, this might mean that being around certain people or in places, such as a bar, will make drinking more probable, he said.

Ordering another drink can become automatic in these situations, but becoming watchful13 of signs that lead to more drinking can help change how people react to these signs.

“This is why mindfulness can be a very powerful strategy,” Hofmann said. He said it stops automatic behavior by making people more thoughtful.

I’m Alice Bryant. And I'm Bryan Lynn.

Words in This Story

heavy drinker – n. a person who drinks a large amount of alcohol

alcoholic2 – n. a person who often drinks too much alcohol and is unable to live a normal and healthy life

relaxation – n. something that you do to stop feeling nervous or worried

consumption – n. the act of eating or drinking something

diagnose – v. to recognize a disease or illness by examining someone

impact – n. a change that results when something is done or happens

addictive – adj. causing a strong and harmful need to regularly have or do something

habit – n. something that a person does often in a regular and repeated way

automatic – adj. involuntary; done as if by a machine


1 fully Gfuzd     
  • The doctor asked me to breathe in,then to breathe out fully.医生让我先吸气,然后全部呼出。
  • They soon became fully integrated into the local community.他们很快就完全融入了当地人的圈子。
2 alcoholic rx7zC     
  • The alcoholic strength of brandy far exceeds that of wine.白兰地的酒精浓度远远超过葡萄酒。
  • Alcoholic drinks act as a poison to a child.酒精饮料对小孩犹如毒药。
3 Alcoholics Alcoholics     
n.嗜酒者,酒鬼( alcoholic的名词复数 )
  • Many alcoholics go on drinking sprees that continue for days at a time. 许多酒鬼一次要狂饮好几天。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • Do you have a copy of the Alcoholics Anonymous book? 你手上有戒酒匿名会的书吗? 来自互联网
4 relaxation MVmxj     
  • The minister has consistently opposed any relaxation in the law.部长一向反对法律上的任何放宽。
  • She listens to classical music for relaxation.她听古典音乐放松。
5 acting czRzoc     
  • Ignore her,she's just acting.别理她,她只是假装的。
  • During the seventies,her acting career was in eclipse.在七十年代,她的表演生涯黯然失色。
6 disorder Et1x4     
  • When returning back,he discovered the room to be in disorder.回家后,他发现屋子里乱七八糟。
  • It contained a vast number of letters in great disorder.里面七零八落地装着许多信件。
7 softening f4d358268f6bd0b278eabb29f2ee5845     
  • Her eyes, softening, caressed his face. 她的眼光变得很温柔了。它们不住地爱抚他的脸。 来自汉英文学 - 家(1-26) - 家(1-26)
  • He might think my brain was softening or something of the kind. 他也许会觉得我婆婆妈妈的,已经成了个软心肠的人了。
8 pints b9e5a292456657f1f11f1dc350ea8581     
n.品脱( pint的名词复数 );一品脱啤酒
  • I drew off three pints of beer from the barrel. 我从酒桶里抽出三品脱啤酒。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Two pints today, please. 今天请来两品脱。 来自《简明英汉词典》
9 psychiatry g0Jze     
  • The study appeared in the Amercian science Journal of Psychiatry.这个研究发表在美国精神病学的杂志上。
  • A physician is someone who specializes in psychiatry.精神病专家是专门从事精神病治疗的人。
10 lasting IpCz02     
  • The lasting war debased the value of the dollar.持久的战争使美元贬值。
  • We hope for a lasting settlement of all these troubles.我们希望这些纠纷能获得永久的解决。
11 addictive hJbyL     
  • The problem with video game is that they're addictive.电子游戏机的问题在于它们会使人上瘾。
  • Cigarettes are highly addictive.香烟很容易使人上瘾。
12 psychology U0Wze     
  • She has a background in child psychology.她受过儿童心理学的教育。
  • He studied philosophy and psychology at Cambridge.他在剑桥大学学习哲学和心理学。
13 watchful tH9yX     
  • The children played under the watchful eye of their father.孩子们在父亲的小心照看下玩耍。
  • It is important that health organizations remain watchful.卫生组织保持警惕是极为重要的。
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