London: Researchers have developed a technique known as cognitive defusion, which according to them can help people distance themselves from temptation of gorging on a chocolate bar.

Dr Katy Tapper of City University London, and Kim Jenkins of Swansea University, have written that in cognitive defusion, people are encouraged to create a mental distance both between themselves and their thoughts and between their thoughts and reality, a daily reported.

The research involved 135 participants divided into three groups, mostly females, who wanted to reduce their chocolate consumption. First group of participants were taught cognitive defusion and were asked to imagine that they were the driver of a minibus and any thoughts about chocolate were awkward passengers.

Second group learnt the technique of acceptance and were told to accept and observe their feelings rather than giving in or trying to defeat them. Third group learnt a relaxation technique, which involved tensing and then relaxing various muscles.

Then a transparent bag of chocolates was given to the study participants who were told to keep it with them at all times for five days and maintain a diary of any other chocolate they ate.

At the end of the five days 45 percent of both the second and third group ate some chocolate but only 27 per cent of the cognitive defusion group indulged.

The study has been published in the online version of British Journal of Health Psychology.


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