Reading time: 2 minutes Aug 2nd 2016

Handling Temptation

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges we face in our efforts to be happy and healthy is the challenge of temptation. The urges we have aren’t always compatible with what is good for us. This can rear its head in any context from trying to resist texting the person you shouldn’t be texting to staying sober to saying no to that chocolate croissant to refusing to open Facebook. We all have some kind of addiction in our life.

Such addiction can dominate our mind and prevent us from thinking clearly. We find ourselves justifying and using every logical tool of persuasion we can muster to convince ourselves that it is okay just this once. Of course, no sooner that we give in and we instantly feel terrible and massive amounts of regret. So what is the secret to being able to overcome such temptation?

The real trick lies in the process of thinking things through fully. One of the problems most people have is that they just imagine the moment they do what they feel like doing. They do not consider what will inevitably happen afterwards. When you force yourself to run the movie on in your mind and imagine the consequences that will happen as a result of you giving in, you will find yourself beginning to feel differently. Every single time you consider giving in keep playing out the full array of likely scenarios that will occur as a result. The more you do this, the more you will train your brain to associate the expected pain with the behaviour and make you less likely to engage.

There is a reason why you are trying to stay off chocolate or Facebook or avoid texting that person. It’s because you are aware of the negative impact it is having on your mind and body. This realisation comes from reaching a threshold of pain as a result of such things. We tend not to always remember this pain in these situations which is why reminding yourself on purpose is an essential skill to master to handle temptation.

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