Stunning Benefits of Weak Self-Control

Monday, 23 June 2014 0 comments

It’s not often that anyone talks about the uses of low self-control. That’s because usually low self-control has bad consequences: over-eating, over-spending under-exercising and the rest.

Self control

That said, there are some circumstances in which being in a weakened state can be good news for our diets, our health or even our credit cards.

These arise out of the way that Styles work. Typically we perform Styles automatically and unconsciously.

Let’s say you’ve got a long-established habit of going to the gym before work or of practising the piano in the evening.

You might imagine that when self-control is weak, as it will be in these situations, you’re more likely to give up on relatively demanding tasks and have a lie-in or watch some TV.

But that’s where the twist comes in. Because established Styles tend to activate automatically, the exact reverse is true. Tiredness and low self-control actually make established routines more likely to be followed. 

It takes a mental effort not to follow your usual routine. So, when your self-control is low, you are actually more likely to get to the gym or practice the piano.

Sounds unlikely?

A brand new psychology paper demonstrates exactly this pattern in a series of 5 studies. When people in these studies were feeling weak, they were more likely to perform strong Styles in the same situations.

In other words, all things being equal, if the gym-habit was strong, they were more likely to go to the gym when their self-control was low.

Once established, though, strong Styles repay the effort made to build them up many times over. So try to build up good routines that are activated by regular situations that you are in. Strong Styles have the power to pull us through in difficult moments, even when we don’t feel like performing them.
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