A new study says you should be more aware of your own thoughts and be aware of what you’re saying and feeling.
In a recent article for BuzzFeed, Lauren C. D’Andrea, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Maryland, said, “It is important to keep in mind that alcohol and drug use are both examples of mental and physical disordered thinking.
It is important for everyone, regardless of their age, to learn to be mindful of their thoughts and actions.”
According to the study, participants were asked to rate their feelings of intoxication and their thoughts during a 20-minute task.
Then, they were asked a series of questions, including the words, “Did you have any thoughts about sex?”
While the participants were distracted by the task, the researchers used a computer-generated image of a person’s face to show them their brain activity.
During the task participants also rated their thoughts, and the researchers then used computer-based algorithms to measure the accuracy of their responses.
“What is interesting is that the more time the participants spent thinking about their own thoughts, the more accurate their ratings of their own responses were,” D’andrea told BuzzFeed.
When the participants rated their own emotions, they showed higher levels of the cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques than those who were not paying attention to their thoughts.
“It appears that when we are distracted by our thoughts, we are less likely to accurately respond to them,” she added.
D’andresa added that the results also showed that the participants who were thinking about the emotions they were experiencing, were also more likely to have lower levels of alcohol and cocaine in their systems.
For the study to be replicated, D’ andrea said that researchers would need to do a larger sample of adults and have participants rate their responses over time.
But, as of right now, the research is not intended to recommend that adults abstain from alcohol and drugs completely.
Instead, D&E said that “the main goal of this study is to provide further evidence to suggest that we should not judge someone who is intoxicated on a day-to-day basis as having problems with their mental health.”
“However, it is also important to recognize that when you have a drug or alcohol problem, it might be helpful to consider the impact on your life,” she continued.
Follow Laura on Twitter: @lauracadrea