Why Self-Control Is Overrated

Self-control is an idea taught to us from the moment we enter this world, as old as the original sin.

That's not to say boundaries aren't important, in fact they're pretty much the one thing preventing our society from turning into complete and total anarchy. We're just happy to report that the so-called "strength" you demonstrate by showing self-control isn't all it's cracked up to be.

We all know from personal experience that humans can be bad at resisting temptations at times, although psychologists like Kentaro Fujita (Ohio State University) have found that resisting temptation has not shown to provide any long term benefits at all.

Wait, I thought it was: no pain, no gain? Actually no (see our article on Bulll$#!t Fitness Mantras), in fact pain or discomfort is a negative reinforcement to the brain. Meaning we're working uphill, expecting our pain to suddenly become our pleasure. Maybe exercise and dietary masochism is your thing, and if so, embrace it, but for the rest of us it's more productive if we accept this and look for a smarter way to do the things we don't like. That doesn't mean you should kick exercise or nutrition to the curb all together; we're simply suggesting that you find balance instead.

Here are 4 easy ways:


It's easier to have self control when you structure your life in a way that helps you avoid having to make a self-control decision in the first place. Plan ahead and stick to a comfortable routine.


You like fruit, but you hate kale. So put a small handful of kale in your berry smoothie. You hate running, but you need cardio. Take a Poise class, it's only one minute ;-)


A lot of time impulsive behavior is an indirect reaction to an outside stressor. An easy way to soften the blow is to simply breathe. This can be in the form of meditation where steady breath is maintained for an extended period of time, or if you don't have the luxury of time, a few deep inhales and exhales will help center anyone.


You are your own normal. Everyone else is different and lives on the outside of what your body likes, needs and can handle. So self-reflect and find a balance in what works for you. Life is too short to be unhappy. DO YOU.One mo' time: Do YOU!

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