If you're trying to resist temptation-whether that temptation is in the form of a bad boy (who you know is going to be a heartbreaker, but you're also pretty sure he'll be a bed-breaker too) or a pair of expensive shoes or a cupcake-you'll want to know about a new study just conducted at Northwestern University. Researchers found that the best way to avoid giving into temptation is to not think about what's tempting you.
By Zoë Ruderman
It sounds a little too simple (it also sounds like it needs to be filed under #duh), but listen to this: A lot of experts previously thought that if you're trying to resist something, you should think-about why it's a bad idea and about why you should say no to it. And then your logical side would take over, win out, and convince your impulsive side to not drop $375 on those shoes.
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One of the authors of the study, Loran Nordgren, explained that old way of thinking like this: "If we think of the reason versus passion struggle, we tend to think [of] the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. Your thoughts-the angel-are in the right place, but you give into temptation-the devil." But this new research claims that putting mental energy into the decision doesn't do any good. Nordgren says that thinking "corrupts the cognitive processes that would help you interrupt that [impulsive] behavior." So essentially, when you think too much about it, "you have the devil on both shoulders," and it's more likely that using your rational brain will make you succumb to your craving.
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So the way we see it, you need to distract yourself when temptation strikes. If your coworker put out a bunch of sugary snacks in the pantry, go on Facebook and look at the most recent photos added. Or if you're trying to keep yourself from texting some bad boy, distract yourself by going for a run or giving yourself a mani (you can't text during either of those activities).
Do you have any tricks for resisting temptation?
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