Last Updated on August 22, 2020

5 Ways to Gain Impulse Control to Get Rid of Compulsive Behaviors

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It is pretty normal to have wants and needs. This is how you get by in life and survive life as we know it. However, there would be times that you go overboard and could not control yourself. You know that you have to stop eating too many sweets, for example, but could not do it due it providing an excellent feeling. Before you know it, you have already gained too many calories and are overweight. If only you had impulse control, this scenario would not have happened. This article is all about controlling your impulses and maintaining them in a low-key manner.

Ever heard of the saying, “Enough is enough?” This translates to the fact that you have all the freedom to do what you want, but you also have to limit yourself and be responsible for your well-being. You have to know when to say no and when you have had enough of all the things that you like to do.

1. Understand your risks

This calls for a self-assessment exercise. You need to know what caused the problems that are happening in your life. Different people have different issues and different causes for each one. It can be the difficulty to stop overeating, the inability to control one’s anger, unable to stop spending even when an accumulation of debt has started and many more. Doing a root cause analysis of yourself might not be enough. You will need someone else about their opinion of you and would see things that you don’t. That way, you will receive constructive criticism that would help make a better you.

2. Make plans for the risks that you take

Once you have ascertained your impulse control risks, you can now create a method, a system that you can use to combat these situations. Take, for instance, an impulse to take alcoholic drinks while partying. If you have an issue controlling your liquor and always waking up with a splitting headache in the morning, it would be best if you remove alcoholic beverages from your house. 


If you could not stop buying impulsively every time you see a sale even though you do not need the items, try staying at home, stay away from shopping malls and do away with your credit cards. If the people around you are encouraging you to do things that might bring out a negative result in you, you might want to lower the time that you spend with them and spend more time with yourself. This list of examples can go on forever but the fact of the matter is that if you focus yourself away from the things that hamper with your impulse control, then you would be fine.

3. Try your best to delay your impulses

If you employ delaying tactics on your impulses, chances are that you can overcome the urge. Try counting from 1 to 10. Then while doing that, try to think away from the things that are egging on your impulses. Once the so-called excitement dies down, you are out in the clear. Now, if counting to 10 is not enough, go for 100 or 1000; whatever floats your boat.

4. Always check your impulse control

Assessing yourself and knowing your capabilities would help you control your urges. This is especially true when you keep in mind the important things and your priorities. Having an impulse is normal. However, there is no need to act on it, especially if you could not afford the consequences of your actions. Always try to make constructive criticism on yourself as part of your learning process.

5. Get useful feedback from the people who know you

Despite knowing yourself and your capabilities, there will still be times that even your constructive criticisms on yourself would not be enough. You might not also listen to yourself because you believe that you are not doing anything wrong. This is the best time to talk to the people closest to you to help to put you back in line. 

It certainly feels great to act on an impulse. However, if it will do you harm than good, you might want to check first if it will benefit you in the long run.

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