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Do you struggle with self-control? This one’s for you

"Whatever choice you make, try to bring a spirit of caring and kindness to yourself," said Jonathan Bricker, health behaviour expert.

Jonathan Bricker is a health behaviour expert. In this video, he talks about the self control technique of 'willingness'. (Source: Youtube/TEDx Talks)

Do you regret giving in to your temptations? Have you been trying to quit something but haven’t been able to? You must watch this powerful Tedx talk by Jonathan Bricker, a health behaviour expert.

He started off by talking about his mom who was a runner and has climbed Mount Everest. During his speech, he admitted learning the value of science from his father and the importance of health from his mother.

“We engage in unhealthy behaviours because of our genetics, because of our brain neurotransmitters, and because of the environmental influences such as peers and the media,” he said on common unhealthy addictions.

“There is a new science of self-control: willingness. Willingness means you allow your cravings to come and go,” he explained. “In my research world, we’ve learnt to avoid. Avoid smoking and avoid thinking about cravings.”

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Showing the audience a picture of cookies, he continued, “You can’t just turn off your cravings. It’s futile.”

Further, he revealed a common exercise that he practises with his patients which starts by making them think “I am having the thought” followed by thinking “I am noticing that I have the thought.”

“What this exercise does is that it gives a little bit of space between you and the thought,” he explained.


When it comes to shame, Bricker said, “What support would you offer a close friend who was feeling the way you do? Could you offer the same care and kindness to yourself?”

“The secret to self-control is to give up control. Because otherwise, we get into a tug-of-war with a craving monster. Unless you drop the rope. And what you discover is that if you just allow the craving monster to be, to occupy space in your body, you discover that he’s not as scary as he appears. Perhaps, he may even go away,” he said.

“Whatever choice you make, try to bring a spirit of caring and kindness to yourself. That is the mountain that we are all climbing.” He concluded.


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First published on: 07-10-2022 at 02:10:40 pm
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