How The What-The-Hell Effect Impacts Your Willpower - Deepstash

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The What-The-Hell Effect

The What-The-Hell Effect

It's the cycle where you indulge but then regret what you've done but you keep going back for more. Your brain tries to justifies the actions you take by saying "Hey, you've already done it so why not just finish the entire thing?"

The phrase was coined by dieting researchers but it can affect one's willpower during setbacks or challenges.

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From Guilt to Compassion

When we enter in the cycle of the What The Hell effect, we often put blame on ourselves and act harshly towards ourselves which makes us feel guilty, ashamed, and embarrassed during our relapse stages. If this is you, then it has been suggested that instead of getting angry at yourself try to show compassion instead.

More self-criticism helps no one. Indulging is not a crime and it is important to forgive yourself so that you won't completely be consumed by guilt.

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What You Should Do During Setbacks

  1. Slow down and check-in with yourself. Are you angry at yourself? Why? Try to be more understanding of yourself instead of spiraling into negativity.
  2. Normalize taking a step backward. Setbacks are a part of life.
  3. Think about what you would do if your friend came to you with the same problem you have. Would you throw criticism onto your friend? Would you approach them the same way you treat yourself?

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The Can-Control Mindset

An important thing to keep in mind to build up resilience against stress is to remember the places or things you have control and influence upon. It will help lessen the pain of hopelessness.

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