Let’s face it we are an impulsive society. We want it and we want it now, and we teach our children and loved ones this thought process. We want the drive-thru line to be faster, and the internet to be lightning speed, and when it is not, we are beyond frustrated.
What can we learn from being patient? Why do we think being uncomfortable for a few minutes is impossible?
To learn to sit with our impulsivity and not get that thing we think we are entitled to, right this minute, might just be enlightening. We can curb our impulsivity by becoming aware and then intentional. We notice when we are impulsive and then we communicate to our brain, the most powerful organ in our body that believes everything we tell it, that we can wait. We can do without this thing and we can sit with this impulse and roll it around in our head a bit and decide, why do I think I need this thing right this very minute? What happens if I get it? What happens if I dont?
Set up a new dialogue with your mind that questions your impulses. Teach your mind to be indifferent to your impulses. Remind yourself that, yes you could have that thing, but you are choosing not to.
Have we never heard those wise words “good things come to those who wait?”
Impulsivity is about bad communication with our brain. Our brain, which we train to believe and implement everything we tell it. Your brain does what it thinks you want, so tell it a different story. For example, if you are on a diet and your brain tells you it wants ice cream, you tell it, yes, maybe I do, but I want to see my scales drop tomorrow, MORE than I want the ice cream, and I don’t mind waiting for that thing I want or doing without it for something I want more.
When we are impulsive, we have to stop and look at that thing we are being impulsive about, and we have to decide if that is the right choice for us. We have to talk to our impulsivity. Sometimes we have to talk it down out of the trees, and then wait. Until the impulse passes.
Why? Because waiting is worth it and it is part of making wiser choices sometimes. Much of the time, it is worth it. The thing we waited for, we typically appreciate so much more when we wait for it.
Our society is moving further away from waiting, and more towards impulse, and we are more anxious than ever. Very seldom do I see a client that does not mention anxiety. The cousin of impulse.
Think about where the candy bars are in the supermarket, at the check out with the other impulse item. The story we tell our minds goes something like this, we did our shopping and we deserve that hit of chocolate , so why not? This is the beginning of the impulse cycle that ends in remorse.
Impulsivity is a habit of action, a thought process, when we change our thought processes we are less impulsive. When you change the way you think, the action changes forever. The impulsive behavior that gets you into so much trouble can be changed, and this can improve your life.
I see you out there struggling to stop doing that thing that is wrecking your life, and your days. I can tell you that impulsivity is part of this behavior and changing that is possible. And this is a good thing, because the road to regret is paved with impulsivity.