Just noticing, being aware of our thoughts and behaviors, can lead to new insights and healing, according to Dr. Leslie Carr. She believes the things we do to avoid negative emotions, coping mechanisms which can include drinking, shopping, and sex, often cause more problems than the original issues. Mindfulness, or bringing conscious awareness to problematic areas of our lives, can make these patterns clear to us and enable us to make needed changes and move on. Carr calls this a “shift in orientation,” and says it can be a powerful tool in addressing common self-defeating habits.