Heavy drinkers who listened to an 11-minute audiotape about mindfulness reduced their drinking over the next week by the equivalent of about three pints of beer, according to a study published in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology.
Interestingly, drinkers who listened to a similar audiotape about other types of relaxation techniques did not reduce their drinking.
“Practicing mindfulness can make a person more aware of their tendency to respond reflexively to urges. By being more aware of their cravings, we think the study participants were able to bring intention back into the equation, instead of automatically reaching for the drink when they feel a craving,” the lead study author said.
It should be noted that the study participants were heavy drinkers but did not meet the criteria for an alcohol use disorder.