A group of investigators from the University of Illinois believes it may have found the key people need to use in order to withstand most types of temptation. They say that stopping any type of resistance, and simply relaxing, makes it a lot easier not to relapse in a habit, or eat something that is unhealthy.
Everyone knows that temptations are, well, tempting, but they are certainly not impossible to overcome. According to scientists, people who are actively trying to prevent themselves from relapsing stand a much weaker chance of actually succeeding.
The most likely to succeed are people who are more relaxed, and who use “inaction” words, such as for example pause and stop. Taking on more clear-headed attitude towards a particular former habit is apparently more helpful for the mental processes that enable us to resist temptations.
The research was led by University of Illinois psychology professor Dr. Dolores Albarracín, and was published in the latest issue of the esteemed scientific journal Motivation and Emotion. “Our research suggests that the relaxed state is better at inhibiting the pull of temptations,” she explains.
One of the main reasons why people motivated with strong, action words are more likely to fail is that their chances of going through impulsive decision-making phases increases significantly. This makes it a lot harder for them to handle temptations, PsychCentral
When an individual is more relaxed, they are more likely to simply rest or stop their own actions, therefore avoiding impulsivity, and minimizing their chances of relapse. This entire study was led so that experts could figure out which method of self-control was the most efficient.
Some believe that active self-control, when people impose their own limitations, is the most effective method, whereas others suggested that delaying the desired behavior is more likely to succeed.
“Popular views of self-control maintain that individuals should ‘exert’ willpower, ‘fight’ temptations, ‘overcome’ desires and ‘control’ impulses when they want to successfully control their own behavior,” explains Justin Hepler, a graduate student at the university.
“Ironically, in these situations people are often ‘fighting’ to do nothing – for example, they want to not eat a piece of cake,” he goes on to say.
“Becoming motivated for inaction or calming oneself down may be the best way to avoid impulsive decisions,” Hepler explains.