One of the most important aspects of a psychologist’s job is being able to find generalities in the problems of the people we care for.
In other words, much of our work focuses on the day-to-day experiences that cause them discomfort and on identifying patterns of behavior that explain several at once; the psychological predisposition that causes the person to stumble over and over with the same stone.
For example, through decades of research, we know that many of the problems faced by those who go into psychotherapy are due to poor impulse control, a pattern of behavior that can lead to various forms of discomfort: addictions, tendency to bite. anger management, etc. Therefore, in this article we will see tips to boost your impulsivity control with simple habits to apply from day to day.
Tips for improving impulsivity control through habits
Apply these habits to your daily life to strengthen your self-control and keep impulsivity at bay.
1. Keep your own record of automatic behaviors
First, it is necessary to be aware of the problem you want to solve introduce new habits into your life. To do this, you need to get into the habit of analyzing your own behavior for problematic behaviors related to poor impulse control; When you notice something like this happening to you, write it down in a notebook that you always have on hand everything about what you heard, thought, and did just before and after performing the problematic behavior.
The point of this habit is to start recognizing the commonalities on all occasions when the impulse “takes over” your behavior, which will help you slow down in the future.
2. Adopt Habits That Lower Your Anxiety Levels
Often times, self-control issues are fostered by strong anxiety, the feeling of being overwhelmed by the challenges around us. This is why, as a preventive measure, it is important that you introduce habits into your daily life aimed at avoiding exposure to accumulated anxiety.
To start, make sure you sleep wellBecause something as simple as not getting enough sleep will weaken you very mentally and predispose you to get carried away by your old habits, which include falling back into your usual mistakes over and over again.
Also, avoid drinking coffee beyond the first hour after waking up, and do moderate aerobic exercise to be able to follow the stress produced by your responsibilities, your worries, etc.
3. Set specific goals
Gradually, you see yourself setting very specific, short-term goals (days or a week or two in advance) that have to do with progressing in the direction in which you want to change your behavior. This way you will improve your ability to control impulses and at the same time have a clear view of your successes, Since you will not have defined your goals in an ambiguous and easy to interpret way too complacent.
In cases where you fail, adopt a constructive mindset, take note of your mistakes, and try again the challenge that you haven’t yet overcome.
4. Detects feelings of anticipation
Now that you have the experience of sensing the psychological states that precede the expression of those impulses that you need to control, it is easier to put them on hold before it is too late. When you notice that these thoughts, emotions or mental images arise in your consciousness, focus on performing a task that is incompatible with the behavior you want to avoid.
5. Relay incentives
Reward yourself for the progress you make, if possible without always having to rely on material rewards. For example, when you hit your goals for an entire week, you can go to a restaurant that you like, and at other times, you can give yourself a more symbolic or contextual incentive, like hanging something on your bedroom wall. . Who represents your progress.
Are you looking for professional help?
In some cases, it is not enough to try to change your habits and it becomes necessary to call in a professional psychologist.
In situations like this, psychological intervention consists of going through a “training” program in which psychologists give the theoretical and practical keys to progress and make improvements by constantly staying on time.
In a short time it is possible to achieve amazing results, and the benefits of these advancements are very visible in different aspects of life.
- Carr, JE and Chong, IM (2005). Treatment of habit reversal of tics: a methodological critique of the literature. Behavior Modification, 29 (6), pages 858-875.
- Christenson, GA, Crow, SJ (1996). Characterization and treatment of trichotillomania. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 57 (8): pages 42 to 47
- Rhéaume, J .; Freeston, MH; Dugas, MJ; Letarte, H .; Ladouceur, R. (1995). Perfectionism, responsibility and obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Behavioral research and therapy 33 (7): pages 785 to 794.