You’re Not Lazy : How To Force Your Brain To Crave Doing Hard Things

I found myself struggling to stick with the gym eat healthy or reduce my alcohol consumption even though I know it's good for me and probably what I'm supposed to be doing for the last 5 to 6 years I struggled with binge eating and body dysmorphia quite a lot and no matter what method I would give it a try having a healthy relationship with my body and with food seemed like impossible but over the years I've learned that it's not about lack of motivation or willpower even though a lot of people say that way it's about mastering a skill we all can learn doing the hard work without relying on motivation when I started to dig deeper into how we can control ourselves I've stumbled upon a book called the marshmallow test it's basically about a study where they gave children a choice to either consume one marshmallow immediately or wait and receive two marshmallow later to measure their ability to delay instant gratification AKA doing the hard work I probably would fail you might think that the test was a simple psychological experiment but in follow-up studies they found that the children who managed to wait longer were assessed as being more successful in life so they were better at focusing planning and also they scored higher on their SATs and also were better at maintaining personal relationships they also scanned the participants brains and they found that those who excelled in the marshmallow test so those who waited had much more activation in their prefrontal cortex the front part of their brain so what does it mean how does the activation in our prefrontal cortex relates to delink gratification I know it sounds complicated but let me explain our self-control depends on two systems that are functioning in our body one that instantly reacts to our environment and one that controls our Behavior our emotions and basic biological needs are regulated by our lmic system also called the hot system so the hot system immediately reacts to any arousing stimuli so let's say when child sees a marshmallow his hot system makes him want to eat it right away instead of patiently waiting for more on the other hand we also have a cool system so it's located in our prefrontal cortex so in the front part of our brain and it's the part of our brain that's responsible for self-control now it start to make a lot of sense the cool system is essential for making decisions for planning or anything you know making decisions and planning ahead etc etc so when we need to control ourselves our cool system is active and people with ADHD like me has lower activation in their prefrontal cortex which means that their ability to control themselves is L I don't know why I'm so hyped up about it like it's like one of the things that ruins my life but anyway Although our hot system is functional straight from birth the cool system develops throughout childhood so this is why it's much more difficult for young children to resist any immediate gratification so if you have a kid and if they can't resist you anything don't be mad at them okay they don't have the cool system yet be patient as we get older we gain more self-control so everyone has the ability to improve their self-control which is a good news because our life experiences are constantly remodeling who we are this also means your self-control can also decrease too so the Ling gratification is one of the most important skills in my life in my opinion if you want to have a happy fulfilling life okay let me explain why let's say you're super angry like to someone you love and you want to argue with them you want to shout at them or something but instead of giving into these immediate emotions you could choose to use your communication skills to find a constructive solution like you can take a step back you can think about the situation and rather than shouting them you can come up with a resp response that builds rather than breaks I'm quite sure that you also had an experience of saying things that you regret while you were angry right I mean I do but if we practice delayed gratification we decrease the chance of losing to our anger another example can be binge watching Netflix or endly scrolling through social media like looking at Kardashians or something it's easy it's comfortable but is it really serving us no instead we could use our time to gain skills or knowledge that will advance our career and life turning that time into a personal invest one of my all-time favorite quotes goes we must all suffer from one of two pains the pain of discipline or the pain of regret the difference is discipline weights ounces while regret weights tons isn't it cool so can delayed gratification and self-control can be learned if so how the great news is even though some people have better impulse control I don't it's proven that delaying gratification is a learned behavior a behavior that I couldn't learn one of the ways to practice delayed Gra navigation is creating if then systems it's basically a way to improve self-control by creating easy to follow rules you make a rule where if certain thing happens then you do a specific action for example if I want to binge watch Netflix shows I will do it at the gym while walking on a treadmill or let's say I feel like eating a chocolate I will go to the supermarket by walk and get one I want store it at home I'm not saying that quit chocolate but if you want to do that then you will go to the supermarket so the first step in creating an if then plan is to identify the hot spots that trigger the impulsive reactions you want to control let's say you've been struggling to quit drinking every night you can a rule if you want to drink alcohol you will wait 15 minutes and then decide whether you still want to want it the hard part is identifying these impulsive reactions can be quite difficult since most of us live on autopilot like I don't even remember what I did yesterday and one of the practices I've been doing is jotting down simply whenever I'm doing something I shouldn't be doing for example I use like my iPad menu quite often for that or just simply writing on my journal or just taking a note on my phone if I'm doing something that I should have been doing scrolling on social media I just take a note saying that I'm scrolling on social media even though I shouldn't be doing it the more you write the more you will realize on the areas you struggle and it raises the awareness towards your actions because then you will be able to see how many times what kind of an action you've been doing even though you don't actually want it right like I've seen myself writing so many times scrolling on social media without any purpose I have to mention another thing that has been really helping me head space okay so now I know what you're thinking right oh here comes the sponsored part secure the bag but the truth is I genuinely believe in the impact it has had on me because heads space is an app that guides you through mindfuln

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