Health

Pay attention if you want to cut down on booze

Heavy drinkers may be able to cut down on the booze if they take a clear-headed, non-judgemental look at their actions, according to an experiment in the UK.

Researchers randomly assigned 68 non-alcoholic heavy drinkers to either a training session in relaxation strategies, or in mindfulness techniques to help them recognise cravings without acting on them.

Mindfulness, in psychological terms, is a process of actively paying attention to the present, or living in the moment.

Participants were encouraged to practise the techniques learnt over the next week.

Both groups reported reduced cravings for a drink.

Those in the mindfulness group drank 9.3 fewer units of alcohol - about three pints of beer - than before the training session.

Those in the relaxation group drank three fewer units of alcohol - a difference too small to rule out the possibility that it was due to chance, said researchers. - REUTERS

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