Urge surfing is a technique for managing your unwanted behaviors. While practicing, you will ride out an urge, like a surfer riding a wave.
Psychologist Dr. Alan Marlatt developed the concept of urge surfing as a metaphor to visualize the art of resisting cravings in addiction recovery but it can be used in any situation even with managing your anger.
Just as waves can be intense, cravings can be intense, too. But like waves, they usually don’t last very long.
In a study of smokers, Dr. Marlatt found that those practicing urge surfing were able to reduce their smoking by twice as much as those using willpower alone.
Just as in other mindfulness practices, the goal isn’t to distract yourself from your thoughts and cravings. Rather, it’s to accept your thoughts and feelings while giving yourself time to manage them so they don’t control you.
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