Push (Compel) and Pull (Impulse)

21 Aug

The other day, as I slowly delighted in half of a homemade brownie, I immediately fought with my inner desire not to get the other half. I distracted myself with work and then began to think about impulse control and the lack of it. I managed to quash the “need” for baked goodie and started looking into the science of why it’s so hard to stop at just one chip, cookie, kiss, etc.

Apparently, impulse control is influenced by an imbalance in serotonin levels, which also affects anxiety, depression and panic. I’ve always thought it as more mind over matter and self-discipline but then again that’s why I’m not a scientist. I can almost get it. You know that ping you get when you walk down the snack aisle and you want to sweep your arm across the entire Lay’s display. You feel like you know better but there is a larger part of you that is charging you forward to the undue behavior.

At the opposite end, instead of trying to not do something, I often find myself struggling to find the compulsion to do things. Must-do items like write and exercise, things of that sort. Now that I no longer have the luxury of work-sponsored gym membership or apartment amenities, I joined the nearby 24 Hour Fitness. I know exercise is good for you and all that jazz, but I truly find balance when I’m active and physically expending my frustrations.

So the note I keep in my head: don’t be so hard on your impulses, even if they do involve cupcakes, and compel yourself to three times a week in the gym, especially when you’re paying for it!

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