Some people say, “You have to take the good with the bad.“
The way our impulses and urges work confirms this statement.
Sometime I feel an urge to eat a handful of cookies or chocolates. Other times I feel a similar impulse to go get in an intense workout. Oftentimes the two are not interdependent.
I may eat some cookies and then feel I should run afterwards to offset my poor dietary choice. Inversely, I may get home from a long running session, or an arduous interval training, and I might feel that my hard work warrants a reward. I tell myself I’ve earned a sweet treat, or at the very least, I feel the urge to have one.
These are all examples of urges, or impulsive feelings and thoughts. These impulses fill the moments of our lives.
Some of these urges guide us. They’re our brain’s way of communicating what we should do, or need to do. The urge to workout, help others, spend time with loved ones, or to ask for a raise at work are all positive and beneficial. Alternatively, the impulsive draw to do drugs or drink alcohol, or to overeat and eat unhealthy foods, or to react negatively to those we come into contact with, are all equally powerful impulses.
The impulses to work out and to binge eat sweets are two major ones in my life. Writing and turning to an emotionally negative disposition are two others. Every moment for which I am confronted by my impulsiveness I tend to respond differently.
Sometimes I am in full control of my internal reactions and external behaviors. I may be able to ignore that bustling mound of cookies, or the call of my XBOX, with ease. Just as easily as giving in to that call to put on some shorts and sneakers, and then hit the trails.
It would seem equally as often that I succumb to those powerful impulses that push me in the opposite direction. I binge eat, or get lost in Candy Crush land, or in my social media feeds. I tell myself I’m too tired or too busy for a jog or to spend time with my family.
How we respond to these urges and impulses directly affects the paths we find ourselves on in life. So how do we embrace those beneficial urges, and control and contain the detrimental ones? That’s the Moving On Upwards question of the week.
For today’s Moving On Minute I wanted to ask you, the reader, for some help.
I want to hear your thoughts and stories regarding impulse control. What impulses do you struggle with? What do you do to resist or encourage those negative and positive urges? What are some helpful hacks and tips?
Even though I’m always willing to share my own tricks and best practices, impulse control is an area I consistently find myself struggling with the most.
That’s the whole purpose of Moving On Upwards. Caring, sharing, and bringing others with us on our improvement journeys does indeed take a village.
Please use the comment section below to share your stories and ideas. And if you aren’t comfortable with that, feel free to send an email to [email protected], and I will keep you anonymous.
I look forward to hearing from you all, in addition to being able to borrow your best ideas.