How to stop being impulsive: 5 keys to getting there

Impulsivity can become a big problem, both when it comes to relating with others and when it comes to managing our emotions and behaviors. Therefore, there are those who consider themselves too impulsive and look for ways to put a limit to this tendency to get carried away.

In this article we will look at a number of tips on how to stop being impulsive (Since impulsivity is a matter of degree).

    Tips to stop being impulsive

    Any psychological change requires at least two things: time and effort. This is because behaviors are not like purely biological processes, some of which can be changed in a matter of minutes by introducing a substance into the body; psychology is fundamentally about changing habits and routines, which requires continuous practice.

    So knowing how to stop being impulsive is to be aware that this change will not happen overnight and requires commitment and effort, which it always causes a minimum of discomfort when leaving the comfort zone.

    With that said, let’s take a look at the tips, keeping in mind that they all need to be tailored to the specific conditions that each one lives in, because each person is a world.

    1. Change your environment to change yourself

    One thing that many people do not understand is that individual psychological changes do not occur independently of the environment, but maintain a two-way relationship with it. Therefore, the most lasting and significant changes come at least from changing the environments in which we move and in the usual way and to which we are exposed so that their characteristics shape our way of being.

    So to stop being impulsive a person has to try avoid exposing yourself to contexts where impulsivity is a frequent reaction to what is happening. For example, places with violence or physical danger in which a rapid response to almost any stimulus is needed, or places full of elements that invite us to enter the vicious cycle of obsessions or addictive behaviors.

    2. Focus on your actions

    The main theoretical model used to explain how self-control works in humans indicates that the control of actions it is linked to the regulation of emotions and thoughts.

    Therefore, one factor that can help you stop being too impulsive is to focus on not giving in to physical outbursts. Be clear about this goal when the temptation to take harmful action arises.

      3. Live a healthy lifestyle

      Much of the impulsivity can be due to stress.

      Walking in a state of alertness caused by mental exhaustion, a feeling of having many fronts to do and tasks to complete, or a feeling of being in a hostile place, can make you feel low. Reason to be frustrated fall into impulsivity, either by tackling a problem aggressively, or by evading responsibilities by sensations that distract us (Eating too much, wanting to buy, etc.).

      So, the most common solutions to reduce stress and anxiety usually result in reduced impulsivity, and among them it is necessary to emphasize the maintenance of a balanced diet and sleep schedules. adequate.

        4. Move away from dependencies

        Addictions are a constant source of frustration, And that leads us to be impulsive. For example, if you feel an extreme urge to go out and smoke on the streets, you’re much more likely to respond aggressively to someone who offers us something that would delay that date with the cigarette.

        5. Challenge your beliefs

        There are beliefs that predispose us to be impulsive in certain contexts. Ideas that dehumanize some people, for example, invite them to be treated as objects, i.e. disregard their feelings, so the socially acceptable behavior filters do not apply here. .

        Changing these beliefs is essential, and it is something that can be done, for example, through cognitive restructuring in psychotherapy.

        6. Surround yourself with non-impulsive people

        Finally, this element is also very relevant: stay in a context where impulsiveness is not a constant in the world.

        We are in part what we see in everyday life, so constantly interacting with impulsive people will make us tend to be more impulsive. In this way, changing social circles will help us a lot to leave impulsiveness behind us.

        Bibliographical references:

        • Berkman, ET; Graham, AM; Fisher, PA (2012). “Self-monitoring of training: a general approach to mastering translational neuroscience.” Child Development Outlook: n / a
        • Heatherton, TF; Baumeister, RF (1991). “Eating cravings as an escape from self-awareness.” Psychological bulletin. 110 (1): 86-108.
        • Nigg, JT (2000). “On inhibition / disinhibition in developmental psychopathology: perspectives of cognitive and personality psychology and a taxonomy of work inhibition”. Psychological bulletin. 126 (2): 220-46.
        • Hofmann, W .; Schmeichel, BJ; Baddeley, AD (2012). “Executive functions and self-regulation”. Trends in cognitive science. 16 (3): 174-80.

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