We operate on impulses every day.
- We stop at the store on our way home and buy things we hadn’t planned.
- When we’re on a diet, we have a huge dish of ice cream while watching TV.
- We abandon our goals every day, depending on how we are feeling in the moment.
We all follow our impulses from time to time. But when our impulses constantly supersede or replace legitimate needs, we’re headed for trouble.
Today on my blog and podcast, I’ll suggest tips for replacing reactive thinking, which can lead to impulse addiction, with proactive thinking, which helps us control our impulses.
The key to making good choices is the ability to accurately assess what is happening in the moment.
If our responses to people and events are based on old, outdated and inappropriate past reactions, it will be more difficult to become proactive.
Identify, Challenge and Replace
My last three posts have dealt with emotions and how patterns of thinking and feeling are established. Understanding how and why we feel the way we do can help us take advantage of opportunities. When anxiety, fear, or anger constantly overwhelm us, we will have difficulty finding the solutions we need.
How do we know if our emotional responses are based on the here and now instead of past experiences? We do that by becoming aware of our patterns of behavior and challenging the logic and reliability of the automatic thoughts and beliefs associated with them.