What does curiosity feel like? It feels good.And what happens when we get curious? We start to notice that cravings are simply made up of body sensations — oh, there’s tightness,there’s tension, there’s restlessness — and that these body sensations come and go.These are bite-size pieces of experiences that we can manage from moment to moment rather than getting clobbered by this huge,scary craving that we choke on.
In other words, when we get curious, we step out of our old, fear-based, reactive habit patterns, and we step into being. We become this inner scientist where we’re eagerly awaiting that next data point.
Now, this might sound too simplistic to affect behavior. But in one study, we found that mindfulness training was twice as good as gold standard therapy at helping people quit smoking. So it actually works.
And when we studied the brains of experienced meditators, we found that parts of a neural network of self-referential processing called the default mode network were at play.