How Does It Work ?

To practice urge surfing, we connect with our breath and bodies. 

 

  1. Find a comfortable seated position. You can set a 3-5 minute timer if that is easiest for you, or you can count breath cycles.

  2. Close your eyes and begin noticing your breath. Don’t change it, just notice. Commit to a practice of nonjudgement throughout this exercise. If your mind begins to wander, bring it back to the rise and fall of your breath. 

  3. Begin conducting a mental body scan. Start at your crown and work your way down, noticing where you’re holding stress, tension, agitation, pressure, or unease. How does each part of your body feel? 

  4. View these sensations with curiosity, rather than wishing them away. Notice if they change or reform as you continue reconnecting to your breath

  5.  Imagine yourself as a surfer, riding the waves of this urge. Imagine yourself maintaining control of the surf.

  6. Stay in this mindfulness until your timer goes off, or until you’ve finished 5 breath cycles. Return to your awareness and notice if your craving has changed in any way. 

  7. Drop back into this mindfulness practice as needed, until the craving feels manageable. 

 

Urge surfing can be an incredibly helpful technique to bring into all aspects of our lives, and is a great introduction to mindfulness work. When we successfully surf an urge until it recedes, we build our distress tolerance for the next craving. 

Dartmouth-Hitchcock. (n.d.) Urge Surfing. https://med.dartmouth-hitchcock.org/documents/Urge-Surfing.pdf


Mindfulness. (2016.) Urge Surfing. https://www.mindfulness.org.au/urge-surfing