Is your lack of self-control getting in the way of taking your healthy lifestyle to the next level? If you are like the vast majority of Americans, you are likely to have at least some trouble with self-control. Listed below are some important tips to help you practice better control in situations where you feel tempted to make unhealthy choices.
Top Tips for Improving Self-Control
1. Focus on what is ahead. When following stern programs, steps, or rules, it is easy to get frustrated or overwhelmed, which can cause you to binge and lose control. If you find that you get frustrated when trying to reach your health and fitness goals, then take a moment to reflect on the big picture ahead of you. Sometimes it is extremely valuable to remind yourself of how far you’ve come and that the end result will be worth the hard work.
2. Sleep is your friend. You had a bedtime when you were younger so you could learn that sleep is important for the next day ahead. This is one way you learned the principle of preventative health. As an adult, there are a number of distractions that can keep you up late, but if you are not getting adequate sleep, there is an increased chance of you having some control issues throughout the day. In addition, a lack of sleep can cause hormonal imbalances, which can result in overeating. Consider getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night to keep your mind stable and sharp.
3. Drink more water. Our water intake is actually tied to our hunger hormones. If you are not adequately hydrated, you may mistake it for hunger, so make sure you drink the recommended amount of water every day.
4. Avoid temptation. If you are looking to improve your self-control or gain it back, you may want to simply avoid the temptations until you have stronger willpower. If your temptation is something that can be used as a reward, you can use it to teach your mind that delayed-gratification is a healthy way to improve self-control and increase your inherent value to the reward at stake. Use your temptation as your weekly or monthly reward for your healthy lifestyle.
5. Train your mind with self-affirmations. Daily self-affirmations are a great way to train your mind and help increase self-control. You can look at yourself in the mirror and immediately teach yourself to say “no” or whatever phrase you desire. Teaching your mind a phrase when given a situation can be a great way to improve your self-control in a similar way athletes practice for their given sport. Find a phrase that works best for you and say it every day into the mirror in front of you.
6. Meditate. A great way to improve your self-control is to learn how to effectively meditate. In as little as five minutes a day, learning to free your mind with deep breathing techniques can help free any negative emotions (including self-control issues) in your mind. This will cause you to be ready in any given situation and your self-control “switch” is virtually switched on when you regularly meditate.
30-Day Self-Control Challenge
Use any of the tips above to help shape your thinking over the next full month to help your mind overcome any self-control issues. If you already have great self-control, encourage someone you know to improve theirs so they can live a healthier, more fulfilling life.
References https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/8-easy-ways-to-increase-your-self-control/  http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/mental-health/8-tips-to-improve-your-self-control?page=all  http://www.forbes.com/sites/travisbradberry/2012/09/17/the-six-secrets-of-self-control/