We fall prey to temptation, be it an extra five minutes of sleep, an extra spoonful of dessert or splurging on the latest gizmo, only to regret it later. Temptations are ever present in life. The key is to not let them get the better of you. Let’s see how
1 Temptation is
temporary: You might fool yourself into thinking that this latest gizmo will keep you satisfied for many months to come. The truth, unfortunately, is that the gratifications of temptations are temporary and new temptations begin to vie for our attention in the blink of an eye.
2 Distract yourself: It is never easy to say ‘no’, whether to others or yourself. When you find yourself getting swayed by temptation, the easiest way to deal with it is to distract yourself and move away from the situation.
3 Understand the consequences: Indulgences often have harmful consequences, sometimes for your health and at other times, for your finances. It is important to fully understand the consequences of your actions and then take an informed decision.
4 Maintain a clear sense of priority: It’s important for you to know what things are most important to you and what is secondary. Be clear about your priorities and stick by them.
5 Take responsibility for your actions: Making excuses and pinning the blame on external pressures is a bad idea. You can develop a strong sense of self and resist temptations only if you become answerable to yourself.
6 Keep an eye on long-term goals: Temptations often distract us from the things that really matter to us. Always keep an eye on your long term goals and stay focused on your targets.
7 Don’t be overcritical of yourself: Giving in to temptations can be a guilt-ridden and demoralising experience. But it is best not to brood over it. Learn from your mistakes and be careful you don’t repeat them.
8 It’s all about willpower: Recognise that temptations are a natural part of life and we all grapple with them at each phase of our lives. All it takes to resist the urge is determination and a strong will.
9 Give yourself a pat on the back: It is not easy to resist temptations. When you do successfully manage to overcome them, it is important to acknowledge your willpower and effort and give yourself a pat on the back.
10 Stick to the middle path: Temptations aren’t always bad. Sometimes it is also important to have fun. The key is to not go overboard; moderation and a sense of balance are essential.
The author is director, Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Healthcare