In order to develop self-control in our daily lifestyle choices, we need to face the outcomes head on. There is a technique used in CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) that can teach you to do exactly this, and it’s called reframing.
Cognitive behavioural therapy is a field of psychology that challenges the way in which individuals think. When we encounter decisions relating to having self-control, often our desires and emotions can become overwhelming to a point where we’re not able to make the choice that would really benefit us. The reframing technique can be used to force us to face the outcomes of the decision head-on, making the inferior choice less appealing.
Decision to be made: Should I drink another glass of wine?
The first step to making this decision is to lay out your options. The options in this case are clear; you can consume another glass of wine, or you can refuse the glass of wine. For somebody with a lack of self control, this is when desire can easily take over the decision-making process.
By reframing the question, however, you change your options into choices with consequences making it easier to make the best choice. Drinking another glass may boost my mood for an hour vs. I can start the day with a clear head and be more productive tomorrow, boosting my mood for the whole day.
The reframing technique can be used for a myriad of difficult decisions in order to take control of your habits, addictions and desires. Should I skip my workout? Should I cheat? Should I order a pizza? When the outcomes of a decision are faced head on, the superior choice becomes obvious. Practicing this reframing technique as a daily habit when faced with uncertainty will help you to take control of your mindset and, in turn, your life.