Resisting Temptation for a Healthy Body and Healthy Mind
Temptation is all around us: the temptation to have that extra candy bar, the temptation to skip the gym and head out for cocktails with friends instead. Sometimes giving in to temptation is good for us, and helps us to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle. But sometimes, particularly if you are working on overcoming addiction or are committed to reaching a specific health or lifestyle goal, it’s important to commit to resisting temptation. If you’re trying to resist temptation but find your resolve wavering, here are a few hints and tips:
Learn How to Say No
Learning how to say no is an important life skill and one we should all develop, but it is also something many people find really hard to do. Sometimes you need to say no for the good of your health and wellbeing: because you need to time to exercise, to rest and rejuvenate, or simply time to yourself to relax. Yet we fear saying no to our friends, or to social invitations, because we worry that our loved ones will feel rejected, or will value us less. In good relationships this simply isn’t the case, and it is important to say no occasionally both for your own quality of life, to help to learn how to resist temptation, and to create healthy boundaries in your relationships.
Reframe you Resistance
We all know that being told you can’t have something often makes you want it more. That’s why reframing I can’t as I don’t is a brilliant way to help you to resistant temptation. So rather than say “I can’t drink” for example, instead say “I don’t drink”. The psychological shift here is important. Drinking becomes something you simply don’t do, rather than something you can’t do but wish that you could. ‘Don’t’ gives you power and control that ‘can’t’ takes away from you: by reframing your resistance you actually give yourself power and are much less likely to give in to temptation.
Stop Your Cravings before They Start
Proactivity is important to making any change, and that includes making the change to live a more healthy lifestyle and stop giving in to temptation in its many guises. You can train yourself to be ahead of the curve and resist the temptation to give into cravings before they even start. Avoiding situations where you might be tempted is a great example of this: if you are trying to avoid eating junk food, for example, don’t go and sit in a fast food restaurant or pop in ‘just for a coffee’: by avoiding the fast food restaurant completely, you are much more likely to resist the temptation to eat that burger or portion of fries. Instead meet your needs in a healthier way: so pop to your local coffee shop to get your caffeine fix, rather than the fast food joint, as you will be much less likely to purchase a high calorie accompaniment for it.
Take Control of Your Life
The most important thing to remember is that the only person that can take control of your life is you. You are the master of your own destiny. Buy stopping making excuses, adopting new mantras and reframing the relationship you have with food, you can take control of your temptations, and choose when to resist or give in to them. Satisfying an urge will give you a quick hit of dopamine: a temporary high. But once that is over and you come crashing down back to reality, you are likely to feel guilty, unhappy, and like you have let yourself down. Research shows, for example that chocolate's comforting effect lasts only three minutes: the guilt of eating the chocolate bar will last much longer. Be proactive and choose to take control of your own temptations, in order to control them.