A Simple Tool for Impulse Control

by Rachel Miller

June 7, 2022

ABOVE :Tyler Nix

Sometimes, when you treat yourself, you want to keep indulging. It feels like you can’t stop. You want more even though you know it won’t really satisfy. The impulse is strong. How do you resist the urge to keep indulging when your impulse is at odds with what you really want, which is to not over-indulge?

Consider:

  • Weigh the rewards of your decision: what is to gain in saying “no” right now, and what is to gain in indulging in this thing? How long will that pleasure last? How long will the reward of deferring this desire last? Which provides the greatest gain? Is this thing worth it?

  • The pleasure of indulging is short-lived—it’s over instantly! But the consequence of giving in to impulse is long-lasting. You feel the effects long after the temporary reward of pleasure. You feel like you went against your will; you lost trust in yourself.

  • Think of the reward of choosing your ultimate desire over this thing: it grows and compounds with each time you defer immediate desire and choose what you ultimately want. You develop greater confidence in yourself–nothing compares to how good that feels. It’s a steady, grounding, assurance in yourself to which no momentary, material pleasure can compare.

  • Look at it as weighing the pleasure obtained from a thing, choosing the most rewarding option. Instead of looking at the pain of resisting impulse, look at what’s to gain in return: it’s not a sacrifice, but a choice to get a more satisfying result.

Tags: , ,

By signing up you will also receive new posts delivered to your inbox every week. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.