Everyone makes a rash decision from time to time, but what if the occasional impulsive decision is a regular habit for you? Since just about everything can be harmful in exceedingly large quantities, it’s essential to be able to control your impulses before they begin to control you.
Of course, understanding the importance of self-control is one thing, while putting it into practice is quite another. Since the journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step, here are a few ways to get your impulses back under control or prevent them from getting out of hand in the first place.
From the beginning, it’s important to understand that it’s sometimes necessary to seek treatment for an impulse control problem, whether it has to do with substance abuse or overspending, or anything else. Treatment centers like Mission Harbor in Santa Barbara are staffed with specialists in these disorders and able to identify symptoms of binge eating disorder. Tips and tricks are great, but there are certain situations where a diagnosable psychological issue may be the root cause of the struggles you’re facing. Talk to a trusted friend or loved one who knows you well to determine if this is the correct course of action. It’s important to remember that asking for help is one of the bravest and most honorable things you can do.
Write It Out
Writing, in various forms, can be a powerful tool to help improve your impulse control. For example, writing a grocery list before you head to the store can protect you from overspending. Writing down the foods that you eat can go a long way to help you avoid overeating. Even writing down potential consequences of certain actions, such as a substance abuse issue, is sometimes enough to realize just what’s at stake. Whatever you write, be sure to be completely honest and thorough to provide the most powerful and longest-lasting impact.
Don’t Go It Alone
Another powerful tool in the fight for self-control is to enlist the help of others. If you assemble a group of trusted friends and loved ones around you, you are far more likely to succeed in your quest for greater impulse control. Have these people ask you hard questions so any slip-ups you have won’t go undetected. The strength that comes from knowing you have a group around you that is cheering you on and holding you accountable is a powerful tool in those moments when you feel weak.
In some cases, the key to overcoming your impulsive decisions is to listen to others who have been there before you. If you struggle with gambling, reach out to one or more people who have struggled with and overcome gambling addiction. If you struggle with overspending, reach out to one or more people who used to overspend and now are great at managing their money. Whatever issue you’re facing, hearing the stories of those who have gone before you can provide the extra motivation you need to find success for yourself.
The road to improved impulse control could be a long one in some cases. That’s why it’s so important to celebrate your successes along the way. Celebrate victories big and small in healthy and affirming ways that motivate you to continue on the path to success. Of course, it’s crucial to avoid activities that will only tempt you toward backward progress. For example, if your struggle is overspending, it’s probably not the best idea to celebrate a victory by going shopping. Wise celebrations, though, can be a guidepost that leads you to the end.
On the other end of your journey are victory and freedom. When you arrive at these milestones, the best thing you can do is to share that power with others. Perhaps you were aided along the way by someone who had gone before you. Well, now, it’s time to do the same for someone else.
Seek out someone who is struggling with a similar issue so you can pass on the knowledge and wisdom you gained from facing those circumstances yourself. This action will motivate the student and empower the teacher, indeed a win-win situation.