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    Self Control Activities – How to Not Eat Cake

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    Often times, Self Control is a difficult state to achieve. Not just for children, but for adults as well. Looking at the common factors between a child who wants a toy and an alcoholic and you’ll find

    uncanny similarities. A drunk will kick and scream just as a child might. Both are attempts to gain access to some sort of tangible object.

    Bottom line, they are coping behaviors. Made by your experiences and what got you what you wanted in the past.

    There are so many things that contribute to control. Here are a few that are important, and that I’ll touch on.

    • Slow but steady removal of the habit
    • Avoiding Complicated or difficult situations
    • Get an enforcer
    • Reinforce yourself for doing your best

    These are just a few of the important things. When it comes to self-control, you’ll need some time to think. Later on, I’ll talk about some activities that give you that time to think. Like meditation.

    Self Control Can be Taught at Any Age

    Whether you are 4 or 44, it won’t matter. Everyone has some sort of issue with self-discipline or control.

    The real problem here is how to fix it. How do you stop yourself from eating the cake and the ice cream? Most would say something along the lines of “Just don’t do it” But it really is never that easy.

    What needs to happen is a change at the core level of your wants and desires. You have to replace that behavior with another that fits the same function.

    Here’s an example

    Grace loves to eat cake! She knows it’s not good for her. But that does not stop her from having one constantly in the fridge.

    How will Grace replace the cake without causing her to relapse into her cake love again? You can’t exactly quit cold turkey and instead of a cake have a bowl of broccoli instead? Can you?

    Well. I guess you could. But maybe there is an easier way? (Trick question, there is)

    Simply slowly replace that cake with a smaller cake or a different sweet treat that has less of an effect. You can see why this can be done at any age, no?

    After Slowly Replacing Comes the Sustaining

    After you’ve replaced the entire cake with something slightly less sweet and maybe a little healthier comes the sustain stage. This part is way more difficult.

    You have to start structuring your life around avoiding cakes for a time and place yourself in an environment where those slightly less tasty treats are available.

    Humans enjoy the path of the least resistance. In order to change your habits and gain self-control, you have to make it easy for yourself to replace that habit. You can make it easier by avoiding difficult situations until you are more satisfied with your current one.

    Now What Activity Can Really Help You With This?

    Good question. The answer is really anything. Play a video game for slightly less time than you normally would. Eat less than you have previously(Or more Depending).

    Just ensure you have a plan in place. You are much less likely to fall off of a plan you’ve put work into. So just make sure to put time and effort into whatever intervention you are planning for yourself.

    Another very important thing to note: find time to think about how you’ll avoid complicated situations.

    If you play video games for too long and you know it’s almost time to get off, don’t start a new quest to slay dragons just hang out in a farm field or something. You’ll thank yourself later.

    Meditation, or Just Time to Think

    When it comes to self-control activities, few tops the list besides meditation. It provides many benefits besides a calm mind.

    Find time to be alone. Maybe 30 minutes, where you can think about anything and everything. What this does is get your mind off of the activity or thing in question. It allows you to ponder whether you need it.

    Besides meditation you can:

    • Exercise
    • Nature walk
    • Go Hiking
    • Find somewhere secluded and think
    • Find a wonderful view and look at it for a long time
    • Play a game with an irritating friend(That’s sure to get your mind off things)
    • Draw

    As you can see, it’s easy to find activities to fill the time. And really, that’s all that’s needed when trying to control yourself.

    Find a Reinforcer/Enforcer

    Often times all that’s necessary is responsibility. You can find someone who is willing to help you say no to temptation.

    Maybe a friend or a spouse. This person needs to be consistent and willing to help with your given problem. Don’t let them fail, that way they can’t let you fail. This person will be your enforcer.

    And finally, find a reinforcer. Something that acts as a reward if you hit your goals. Something that doesn’t feed into the same function as the behavior you are trying to get rid of is best.

    Like, don’t give yourself candy for not eating cake. It’s best to use something completely different.

    Conclusion

    All in all, find something that works for you. Try everything. Reward yourself and find an enforcer. Those two things are key. But also ensure you are slowly fading out that bad habit. That will give you the best chance of controlling that behavior you might hate. If you aren’t satisfied with replacement behaviors, and you just want something to learn to be more controlling of yourself. Here is a list of activities that slowly teach that principle.

    A more comprehensive list of Self Control Activities:

    • touch your sides at the presence of the problem
    • Count backward from ten
    • talk to a friend or spouse
    • Go outside.
    • Inform others you are leaving the situation
    • Make any form of art
    • Surf the web or YouTube
    • Read a book
    • Play with a puzzle
    • Breath deeply ten times
    • Learn Square breathing
    • Learn a martial art
    • Learn a new language
    • Improve one of your skills(Like writing)
    • Go to get some coffee
    • learn to solve a Rubik’s cube

    The possibilities are endless. Just find something that fit’s your habits and integrates well with your world.

    Best,

    Patrick

    self-control-activities-how-to-not-eat-cake

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