The Secret to Self Control

We engage in unhealthy behaviors because. of our genetics, because of brain neurotransmitters, because of environmental influences, such as peers and the media, each of those pieces of the puzzles are not things that you and I can solve on our own..

But there is one piece of this puzzle that may hold the key, our choices about what we do with our cravings to engage in addictive behaviors like smoking or overeating.

There is a new science of self-control that may hold the key to reversing these epidemics, It’s called willingness, Willingness means allowing your cravings to come and go, while not acting on them by smoking or eating unhealthy.

But actually, I am not talking about willpower, and I am not talking about “Power through your cravings”, instead I am talking about a different notion of cravings that looks like this: Dropping the struggle with your cravings, opening up to them, letting them be there, and making peace with them.

Willingness is part of acceptance, that’s being used to help people with anxiety disorder, addictions. Even some innovative companies are now using it to help improve their employees’ performance and reduce their stress.

“I’ve been tracking my cravings, I’ve been tracking them all the time, and now I can’t stop thinking about smoking”

We’re often just not aware of what we think, what we feel before we act.

One of the exercises is “I am having the thought”

What is this exercise did is it gave me a little bit of space between me and my thoughts, and it’s in that space that I can choose not to run off the stage in front of 1500 people.

The secret to self-control is to give up control.

Because otherwise, we get into a tug-of-war with a monster, a craving monster, and the craving monster says, come on, smoke a cigarette, come on, have that cookie, come on. And you say “no craving monster, I am going to distract myself from you. I am going to ignore you, no no no. And craving monster says, no no no, you know you want it, and you’re just back here, and you are going back and forth and back and forth, and pretty soon, the craving monster overpower you, and you have that cookie, and you have the cigarette until the craving monster comes back, and you’re in the tug-of-war again doing what we’re learned how to do, unless, you drop the rope.

And what we discover is that if you just allow the monster to be, to occupy a space in your body, you discover in the few minutes that the craving monster is not as threatening as he appears, and sometimes he even goes away.

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