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Urge Surfing

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today I'm going to talk about a mindfulness practice called urge surfing. So urge surfing is a technique created by the psychologist, Alan Marlatt. And this is a technique that can be used to help you avoid acting on any behavior that you really want to reduce or stop. So for example, say you wanted to stop smoking, biting your nails, overeating, spending money compulsively, or maybe lashing out at somebody in anger.

So what often goes unnoticed with all of these unhelpful habits and addictions is that they start with an urge. So what urge surfing actually teaches us is how to notice an urge or impulse without playing it out or exhausting ourselves fighting against it. Instead, we simply learn to surf it. So by practicing urge, surfing your brain gradually learns that it doesn't have to react to all of your impulses and urges. So they gradually lose control over you.

So imagine urges like ocean waves that crest and subside. They're quite small when they arrive and then they tend to grow in size and eventually they dissipate and dissolve. So surfers can trust that even the biggest wave they ride will eventually get smaller and dissolve and they'll be able to rest again. They know, in other words, they're not going to get stuck on a huge way forever. In a similar way, we learn to ride the wave of any urge or impulse until it subsides, knowing that they always do.

In fact, research shows that urges pass within 30 minutes if we don't feed them. So, in what ways do we feed urges? We feed an urge by ruminating about it, planning to fulfill it, suppressing it, or fighting it. Also by trying to talk ourselves out of the urge or compulsively distracting from it. All of those strategies, feed the urge, make the urge bigger and tend to keep that around longer. The mindful view of urges is that it's better not to try and get rid of the urge.

Instead, we simply accept it and ride out the urge without giving into it. Urges then simply pass on their own. And when they leave, we're free to choose a nourishing way of, of living or behaving that actually leads to our fulfillment and wellbeing. So in today's meditation, I'm going to guide you through a practice of urge surfing. And once you know this technique, you can use it at any point in the future or you can always come back to this guided practice in the library as a support.

So let's settle in for our meditation practice now and give this a try. And as always thank you for your practice and your presence here with us.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

Urge Surfing

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today I'm going to talk about a mindfulness practice called urge surfing. So urge surfing is a technique created by the psychologist, Alan Marlatt. And this is a technique that can be used to help you avoid acting on any behavior that you really want to reduce or stop. So for example, say you wanted to stop smoking, biting your nails, overeating, spending money compulsively, or maybe lashing out at somebody in anger.

So what often goes unnoticed with all of these unhelpful habits and addictions is that they start with an urge. So what urge surfing actually teaches us is how to notice an urge or impulse without playing it out or exhausting ourselves fighting against it. Instead, we simply learn to surf it. So by practicing urge, surfing your brain gradually learns that it doesn't have to react to all of your impulses and urges. So they gradually lose control over you.

So imagine urges like ocean waves that crest and subside. They're quite small when they arrive and then they tend to grow in size and eventually they dissipate and dissolve. So surfers can trust that even the biggest wave they ride will eventually get smaller and dissolve and they'll be able to rest again. They know, in other words, they're not going to get stuck on a huge way forever. In a similar way, we learn to ride the wave of any urge or impulse until it subsides, knowing that they always do.

In fact, research shows that urges pass within 30 minutes if we don't feed them. So, in what ways do we feed urges? We feed an urge by ruminating about it, planning to fulfill it, suppressing it, or fighting it. Also by trying to talk ourselves out of the urge or compulsively distracting from it. All of those strategies, feed the urge, make the urge bigger and tend to keep that around longer. The mindful view of urges is that it's better not to try and get rid of the urge.

Instead, we simply accept it and ride out the urge without giving into it. Urges then simply pass on their own. And when they leave, we're free to choose a nourishing way of, of living or behaving that actually leads to our fulfillment and wellbeing. So in today's meditation, I'm going to guide you through a practice of urge surfing. And once you know this technique, you can use it at any point in the future or you can always come back to this guided practice in the library as a support.

So let's settle in for our meditation practice now and give this a try. And as always thank you for your practice and your presence here with us.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

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