Deceiving Your Own Brain for Your Own Good

April 27, 2012 by  
Filed under blog

We all think we know our own brains but sometimes what seems logical is the exact opposite of what our brains are pushing us to think and do.

Here is a startling truth from David DiSalvo’s book What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite that seems totally counter intuitive.

In the section of the book “Imagine Eating the Treat to Short-Circuit Food Temptations”, DiSalvo refers to the results of scientific research to show that your brain acts in ways you wouldn’t expect. “If you imagine looking at a tempting treat, your desire for it will increase. But … if you imagine eating the same treat, your desire will lessen. The reason is that to our brains, imagining an action and doing it are not to dissimilar. We can trick ourselves into feeling like we’ve already enjoyed the treat, leaving our brain with less reason to target the genuine article.”

In other words, we don’t need to actually experience what we are craving to satisfy the brain’s demand to act. Can you imagine just how useful this trick can be, not only to avoid food temptations but also to get though other challenges you’re struggling with? Try it next time you are faced with a desire you know you shouldn’t act on. Imagine eating every bite of that cake, buying and wearing those expensive shoes, or getting out of the car and screaming at the guy who just took your parking space. Go through the whole experience in your mind. Then once you’ve imagined it, let it go. You’ll find it incredibly easy to do so now that your brain thinks you’ve actually done what it was urging you to do.

This idea of using our brain’s odd way of working to help us when we need more inner strength and will-power is something I’ve been reading up on a lot lately. I’ll be bringing you more tips and ideas in the upcoming posts.

**If you like what you’ve read in this blog please send it on to people you know and love, to people who you think this message and information may be very helpful. There is nothing in the world that brings greater satisfaction than helping other people. Don’t you agree?


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