Last week we talked about how mindfulness seems to increase body awareness. This increased awareness has effects on many aspects of our lives.
A group of Chinese and American researchers have completed a pilot research on the influence that mindfulness can have on nicotine addiction. The focus of the research was not on the ability to quit smoking, but rather on self-control.
The researchers divided 27 smokers into two groups.
Group A followed a so-called “integrative body-mind training” with elements of mindfulness, Buddhist meditation and body relaxation.
Group B only ran relaxation exercises.
The participants in group A showed less desire for cigarettes; the subjects of the group B, on the contrary, continued to smoke normally.
Differences have also been noticed in the brain: in group A increased activity in areas of the brain self-control was highlighted (anterior cingulate and prefrontal cortex).
Although the effects of the mindfulness practice had effects but short (two weeks later, the subjects in group A returned to previous habits of smoking), the results of this research encourages greater attention to mindfulness in order to understand how to keep the effects in the long period.
Y-Yuan Tang, Rongxiang Tang & Michael I. Posner (2013). Brief meditation training induces smoking reduction. Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences. doi:10.1073/pnas.1311887110