Life is full of choices and it takes a degree of self-control to make good ones, but according to psychologists, self-control is a limited resource. As it gets used up, your self-control lessens until the reserves can be restored once again.
How can the levels be restored?
Self-control is the human capacity to override thoughts and emotions to change a behavioural response. Researchers noted that self-control diminishes when people are tired, but also when they have to do something repeatedly. As fatigue sets in they experience a change in priorities and a change in motivation. They become more willing to do things they like (or want to do) and less likely to do things they feel they “should” do. A good example of this might be making healthy food choices for dinner after a long day at work. It might just seem easier to grab some takeaway on the way home as you’re feeling too tired to cook.
Psychologists believe the key to maintaining self-control during fatigue is to consciously change the way your brain thinks – by changing, “I have to” into “I want to”. For instance, making a plan to eat healthier food is likely to be far more successful by using the phrase “I want to eat that salad”, rather than “I should eat that salad”. This principle can be put to use in working towards other goals like fitness, career opportunities or personal development. If you want to do something, the chances of success are far greater if you want to do something, rather than feeling like you’re only doing it because of what others think, or what you believe is appropriate behaviour.
Reframing thoughts is all about choice. Infinite self-control can be attained with the right mind-set!
Nepean Naturopathic Centre – making health easy