Beyond Body Shape: Why Self-Control Matters More Than Obesity for Your Health and Success

Why is obesity a bad thing?

Because your body shape reveals your lifestyle and self-requirements.

When a bloated figure appears in front of people, it is equivalent to announcing to everyone that he or she is a person who has lost control of his life.

Americans all have a consensus that body shape is a symbol of class. Most people in the middle class and above have the habit of fitness and exercise, and they are in good shape.

People in the middle and lower classes have a relatively high obesity rate and are generally out of shape.

Self-control ability will be reflected in your appearance. How to control your body, and then control your life, requires super self-control ability, which is Self-control.

In life, are you someone like this:

I yell to go to bed early and get up early every day, but I spend more than an hour scrolling through my phone in bed.

Although I am determined to lose weight, I can’t control my mouth.

I often set goals for myself, but few of them stick to them.

I have always wanted to improve my work efficiency, but I have been plagued by procrastination.

The essence of these problems is a manifestation of insufficient self-control.​

This article hopes to share with you, what is self-control?

Why does success come from the ability to control one’s own desires?

What affects our self-control? How can we improve our self-control and ultimately have a perfect life.


What is self-control?

Self-control is refers to a person’s ability to control one’s emotions, impulses and desires. It includes the regulation and management of one’s own behavior, thinking and emotions< a i=2>.

Self-control is an important mental ability that is critical to achieving personal goals, maintaining healthy relationships, and improving quality of life.

What would you choose between giving you 1,000 yuan today and giving you 2,000 yuan next month?

The famous marshmallow experiment examined this issue.

In 1966, Dr. Walter Mischel of Stanford University conducted a series of classic psychological experiments on self-control in kindergartens.

In the experiment, children can choose the same reward, marshmallows, cookies or chocolate, etc. If they wait for 15 minutes, they will get double the reward.

A lot of kids, most of them, couldn’t resist the temptation and ate the marshmallow before they could wait 15 minutes.

Only about 30% of children could endure it for 15 minutes and successfully get two marshmallows.

In 1981, the children in the experiment were in high school.

The staff sent questionnaires to their parents and teachers, asking about their situation, including their ability to make long-term plans, problem-solving skills, getting along with classmates, etc., as well as their SAT scores (American college standards) entrance exam).

Findings show that children who are not good at waiting appear to be more likely to have behavioral problems, both at school and at home.

Some have poor SAT scores, some are not good at coping with environmental pressure, and some are not focused enough and cannot make friends.

Children who were able to wait 15 minutes and received the double reward had an average SAT score that was 210 points higher.

Afterwards, many people conducted the same experiments in different countries, and they all came to the conclusion that Success comes from the ability to control one’s own desires .

Walter Mischel believed that the experiment forced the children to find a way to turn the situation in their favor.

They want a second marshmallow, but they have to have self-control.

We cannot control the world around us, but we can control how we view the world and control ourselves to succeed.

Self-control can help you achieve many things that you may not dare to think of. The difference between you and another person who is almost as smart as you may be in self-control .

A person who can overcome the weaknesses of human nature and have complete control over himself will definitely be able to live the way he wants.

Psychologist Professor Kelly McGonigal has discovered through many years of research that self-control has a great impact on people’s success.

In his super best-selling book”Self-Control”, it provides a step-by-step and effective method to help you understand own goals and enhance self-control.


What affects our self-control?

What is it that interferes with our will and affects our self-control?

The author Kelly McGonigal explained from the perspective of neurological principles that the factors that affect people’s self-control includeinstinct system and < /span>Two aspects. Automatic control system

In addition to some primitive impulses, the instinctive system also has preferences such as laziness, high-calorie food, fear of risks, and avoidance of danger. These are innate human nature and cannot be changed.

The principle of the instinctive system is to enjoy the moment. It is hidden in the brain. When the rational and rational brain is about to do something serious, it will come out to hinder you and control your behavior.

The self-control system is the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which determines whether we can restrain and defeat the primitive brain.

The prefrontal cortex is the cerebral cortex located on the forehead and is mainly responsible for our memory, judgment, analysis, thinking and operation.

It can control what we pay attention to, what we think about, and even how we feel.

Many people with severe mood swings and bad tempers are often caused by an underdeveloped prefrontal cortex.

It is divided into three areas to take charge of, the three forces of “I want to do”, “I don’t want” and “I want”.

The power of “I want to do” is located in the left area. I want to do when we devote ourselves to boring and difficult work, doing things that we may not want to do, but must do.

The power of “I don’t want” is located in the right area. It helps us resist the urge to do something and resist temptation.

The power of “I want” is located in the lower middle area of ​​the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which represents our goals and desires.

We always think that willpower is a personal quality, but in the final analysis it is a physiological problem that needs to overcome physiological limitations.

The temptations we face in life are so great, but the self-control acquired through training is still not enough. To defeat them, we must form habits through deliberate practice.


How to develop self-control?

Efficient study and work do not rely on strong self-control, but benefit from the habit system we have established.

So how do we establish our habit system?

Generally speaking, it takes a minimum of 3 weeks to form a habit.

If you understand the 21-day rule for developing habits, you can start the following 21-day self-control training.

First, escape the control of dopamine and strengthen your goals.

In 1954, American scientists conducted an experiment using mice. They put the mice into a cage, connected an electric switch to the brain of the mouse, and set it on the pedal in the cage.

Under the inducement of the experimenter, every time the mouse actively stepped on the pedal, a weak current would stimulate its brain, thus making the mouse excited.

Some mice became obsessed with the sport and tirelessly pedaled again and again until they finally weakened and died.

This classic experiment proved that there is an area in the animal brain that can produce excitement in the animal. This excitement can be obtained by simply stepping on the pedal.

For the mice, finding the pedal was like seeing ultimate happiness.

This area is called the reward system by neuroscientists and is part of the most primitive motivational system in the human brain.

When the brain sees an opportunity for a reward, it releases a neurotransmitter called dopamine.

Dopamine tells other parts of the boss what they need to pay attention to and how to make us succeed.

Whenever this area is stimulated, the brain asks for another try, which makes you feel good.

A large amount of dopamine does not produce a true feeling of happiness, that feeling is more like an incentive or desire.

It’s like a person who is addicted to online games. He keeps reading posts. He is not really happy, but he is always looking forward to happiness.

Like a lab rat, the world is full of stimulating things.

From delicacies to lottery tickets and online games, these may make us unable to extricate ourselves like contracting a virus.

If you don’t want to be a guinea pig, you need to be clear about your goals and stay away from these false rewards that distract us and become addictive.

Goals are the inner motivation behind building a habit.

Memorizing words is to pass the English exam, running is for good health, and wanting to learn to play the guitar is to show off one’s skills easily.

Identifying goals allows you to get positive mental feedback as you develop good habits.

The clearer and more determined your goals are, the more you will be able to endure the pain and repetition in the process of change.

Second, slow down your breathing or try meditation.

Studies have shown that reducing the breathing rate to 4-6 times per minute, which means taking 10-15 seconds for each breath, is slower than usual, which can stimulate the preneocortex and effectively improve willpower.

After just a few minutes of training, you’ll feel calm, in control, and able to overcome your desires to meet challenges.

So when faced with a small temptation, you might as well try this.

For example, when you are losing weight, if you are faced with the temptation of cake, before you start eating, do a few slow-breathing exercises. Maybe you will be able to resist the temptation of low-quality cakes after finishing it.

You can also try meditating. In just a few minutes, you will find that your self-control will greatly improve.

Third, exercise can improve self-control.

Two psychologists from the University of Sydney have found that exercise can improve the function of the prefrontal cortex, thereby increasing self-control.

For example, 15 minutes of jogging can reduce the temptation of chocolate – for people who want to go on a diet, and cigarettes, and for people who want to quit smoking. If it is just to improve self-control, 5 minutes of housework, walking, etc. , walking the dog or stretching will do.

If you are a white-collar worker, it is okay to walk around the office and chat with your colleagues.

Many people may want to ask, what kind of exercise is the most effective? In fact, as long as you exercise, it will be the most effective for you.

Fourth, replace what you don’t do with what you do.

Our brains have an insurmountable reversal mentality. For example, if you are asked to concentrate within 5 minutes without thinking about a white bear, you will find that you can’t do it.

Many times we fall into the trap of not wanting to do something but being unable to stop wanting to do it.

The correct way to overcome it is to change your mind and replace what you don’t do with what you do.

For example, when you want to smoke, think about jogging or watching a movie. When you want to play games, you might flip through a magazine, or listen to music quietly. These actions are simpler than simply not wanting to do anything.

It is not necessary to note that self-control has a limit and will be consumed, so it is recommended to use self-control selectively and use it where you think it is most important.

Fifth, give yourself some rewards in a timely manner.

People have long used the promise of rewards to overcome addictions.

American psychologists invented an intervention treatment method for smoking cessation and drug addiction – the fish tank method.

Patients who pass their drug test are given the opportunity to pull a piece of paper from the fish tank. Half of the paper has a price written on it, ranging from $1 to $20. There was a piece of paper with the larger reward written on it—$100. Instead of a price, the other half of the paper said “Keep up the good work.”

This means that when you reach out to the fish tank, you may receive a reward worth $1 or a word of encouragement. This shouldn’t be much of a motivator, but it works.

In one study, 83% of patients who were promised a “fishbowl reward” persisted in the full 12 weeks of treatment, compared with 20% of patients who were given regular treatment without the promise of a reward.

80% of patients with the “fishbowl reward” passed the drug test, compared with 40% of patients receiving ordinary treatment.

After treatment, people who used the fishbowl method were less likely to relapse than people who used regular therapy—even when there was no promise of reward.

Isn’t it amazing that the “fishbowl method” is more effective than paying patients to pass drug tests?

In fact, the patients’ final reward from the fish tank was much less than they expected.

This proves the power of unpredictable rewards.

Our “reward system” is more exciting for the possibility of a large bonus than a guaranteed small reward.

It drives us to do whatever it takes to win a prize.

Rewards are a crucial part of habit formation, but they are often overlooked by us.

Why are bad habits so easy to form?

Because these rewards are often immediate and very obvious, you can get instant pleasure from playing games or eating snacks.

Good habits are developed precisely because short-term rewards are not obvious enough. Reading, fitness, and calligraphy often take a long time to see the effects, so we have to give ourselves some rewards from time to time to develop them.

Habits can be spiritual or material, such as posting on Moments to encourage yourself, treating yourself to a delicious meal, etc.

04 Summary

Today I shared with you that success comes from the ability to control one’s own desires.

We always think that willpower is a personal quality, but in the final analysis it is a physiological problem. We must face this point. The goal is to support your inner motivation to build habits. Rewards are a crucial part of habits. It is often ignored by us.

All in all, improving self-control is a lifelong practice that accompanies us.

When you have self-control, you will find that your life has never been out of control, your life direction has not deviated, and everything will become better and better.

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