Having the right motivation can make the world of difference to your plans for success and finding that motivation is a key element in changing our habits, developing new behaviours and building the foundations for complete wellness.
Ask any dieter and they’ll tell you that the moment of temptation peaks when the refrigerator door opens or when the dessert trolley is wheeled into view! The latest research in cognitive behaviour suggests that the problem is not in the temptation itself but in how the mind perceives the object of desire.
It seems that the prefrontal cortex, when engaged to deal with any source of temptation, can be incredibly creative in offering different ways of perceiving the source of the challenge. This diminishes the urge to give in and indulge the craving. It does not require some superhuman effort of will. It requires practice, persistence and a degree of determination. Yes, I know. These ideas do not resonate very easily in an age of instant gratification. If we are being brutally objective, it seems that our culture has lost touch with the concepts of self discipline, self control and self mastery.
Ancient cultures promoted these ideals as the worthiest expressions of human potential but they appear almost meaningless today. Discipline is perhaps wrongly associated with complete denial and abstinence and it is too easy to polarise the argument and imagine that we must either have total and absolute self control, denying ourselves everything that might be interpreted as pleasurable, or lapse into some hedonistic abyss of self indulgence!
Self control really does provide enormous benefits to the individual but certainly not to the extreme point of complete self denial. Self control enables us to enjoy things selectively. We are free to enjoy our appetites rather than be the slaves of our cravings. When you identify the things that are harmful to your health, to your well-being and to your goal of permanent weight control, you can learn to see them as objects that are repugnant: the sweet trolley can be imagined as crawling with cockroaches, the fizzy drink can full of rat droppings.
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