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The One Thing You Can Control Right Now: Yourself

Self-Control And Mental Distancing

By using a third-person point of view, you create a psychological distance between you and the ‘object of your temptation’.

Studies prove that this quirky practice of talking to yourself decreases anxiety and stress.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

The One Thing You Can Control Right Now: Yourself

The One Thing You Can Control Right Now: Yourself

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-one-thing-you-can-control-right-now-yourself-11598403600

wsj.com

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Key Ideas

The One Thing We Can Control: Ourselves

Self-control is a necessary and much sought-after skill in this increasingly complex world. There are a million distractions, multiple stress-inducing outlets and a chronic lack of sleep for most of us, and self-control becomes the only bandwidth that we have.

People who are reactive will find self-control challenging, as compared to resilient and conscientious individuals.

Two Ways To Boost Self-Control

  • Form better habits: you can practice self-control on a daily basis by switching off the phone when you need to sleep or work, walking more, and getting to bed early to be able to wake up early.
  • Reframing your thinking: also called cognitive reappraisal, it essentially means broadening your perspective beyond the present moment.

Self-Control And Mental Distancing

By using a third-person point of view, you create a psychological distance between you and the ‘object of your temptation’.

Studies prove that this quirky practice of talking to yourself decreases anxiety and stress.

Creating An Alter Ego

  • A new identity, even if only in our imagination, makes us mentally transform into that person and imbibe their habits, and working style.
  • When kids pretend to be their favorite characters, they are able to regulate their emotions and manage their frustration.
  • Adults can use this ‘alter ego’ method to channel someone who is competent for the task at hand.

Time Travelling And Your Future Self

Thinking about past challenges that were resolved by us helps us get into the ‘glory’ mode and reclaim it in the present, along with envisioning a future point in time when things will be better.

Imagining our future self makes us harder to take the bait of instant gratification, and helps us identify the various challenges and obstacles that are inevitable.

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Our desk job followed by our home responsibilities will rob us of a good life if we are too busy to be curious.

Curiosity Keeps Life Novel

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Smartphones and Social Media

Across age groups, social media is potentially hazardous, with its tendency to amplify the social divide.

There is a strong relationship between anxiety/depression and the use of smartphones, particularly social media usage among kids, though the data also seem to show the positive effects of staying connected with their peers. Online distractions also make youngsters give up their offline life, leading to isolation and further depression.

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Self Control and Eating Healthy

While it’s obvious we need to exhibit a certain amount of self-control while choosing what we put in our bodies, that is not the whole story.

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The Pleasures Of Life

There is a lot of stuff available for us to do that makes us feel better instantly. Watching TV, going to the beach, drinking alcohol, smoking, and almost every other activity that seems pleasurable to us, giving us temporary pleasure in a jiffy. When we keep doing that, the long term effects are bad, and we feel older, weaker, sicker, while not having any achievement in our lives.

This is a natural process of a slow movement towards disorder, is also the second law of thermodynamics, called Entropy.

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Why self-control matters

People who have high self-control aren’t missing out on enjoyment. Not being able to resist temptation and enjoying life are not the same things.

They tend to eat in a healthily way, exercise more, sleep better, drink less alcohol, smoke fewer cigarettes, achieve higher grades at university, have more peaceful relationships, and are more financially secure.

Biological limits to self-control

Research showed that self-control is ultimately limited by our biology. We can’t exercise effortful self-control indefinitely – the brain has to do regular maintenance to remain functional.

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