Finding Happiness by Delaying Gratification

Finding Happiness by Delaying Gratification

Finding Happiness by Delaying Gratification

“The ability to discipline yourself to delay gratification in the short term in order to enjoy greater rewards in the long term, is the indispensable prerequisite for success.”Brian Tracy

From professional athletes to company presidents, everyone who has ever succeeded at anything has learned to delay gratification. By learning to delay gratification you’ll live a happier and more successful life.

Psychological studies confirm what your mom used to tell you, having the self-discipline to delay your gratification is one of the best ways of finding happiness and can yield extraordinary results!

Here are some of the rewards you’ll receive by delaying gratification

1. Enhance your performance at school and/or at work

A psychological study has looked at the link between a kid’s ability to delay gratification, grades and SAT scores for over four decades. This study, known as the marshmallow test, has linked the ability for a young child to put off reaching for a marshmallow for 15 minutes to higher SAT scores, less substance abuse, and parental reports of better social skills as a child grows into adulthood.

Those dividends continue to accrue throughout the children’s lives, making them happier, more satisfied and successful.

2. Strengthen your relationships

Delaying your gratification increases your patience. This increase in patience makes you less susceptible to anger and its tendency to drive others away.

Patience also gives you the ability to take a step back and take a look at the big picture. This gives you a better ability to take other’s feelings into account.

3. Improve your health        

Today illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes and cancers are our biggest killers. These diseases are caused by poor fitness and eating habit resulting in becoming overweight and obese.

“Low delayers” or people who have trouble delaying gratification, tend to have higher body fat. By learning to delay gratification you’ll improve your body fat levels and health and life in general.

4. Reduce addictive behaviors

Addictive behaviors such as drug and alcohol abuse, smoking or even obsessive shopping or television watching can be highly destructive. Learning to delay gratification can reduced or eliminate these types of behaviors entirely.

5. Achieve your goals

Self-discipline is what enables you to set and achieve your goals. It also helps you focus your energies and efforts on activities that move you in their direction.

Delayed gratification helps you make better choices and accomplish more while allowing you to see a setback as an opportunity to grow.

Tips for Delaying Gratification

1. Identify your impatience triggers

Under certain circumstances you are already delaying gratification. It’s the ones that tempt you that you need to get under control.

When you have trouble resisting temptation, rather than thinking of yourself as helpless, identify and track the circumstances that cause you to leap before you look. This process can enable you to make constructive changes in your life.

2. Distract yourself

Delaying gratification can be as simple as turning your attention away from the piece of chocolate that’s tempting you or the annoying remark your co-worker just made. This will instantly make you a little happier while improving your behavior.

3. Take a moment to think

Taking a moment to think about your compulsion to do whatever is tempting you can help you get your impulse under control and make a better decision. Just pausing for a as few as five seconds before acting can help you resist your reflexive response.

During this reflective moment you can choose whether to see your kids or spend another hour at the office or take that morning run rather than sleeping in for another half hour.

4. Use visualization

As a San Diego hypnotherapist I teach many of my clients how to use visualization to see the future. It’s an extremely powerful technique.

One way you can use visualization is to try visualizing the pair of shoes that you’ve fallen in love with that are over your budget as lacking any real substance. This can help you resist overspending and make those shoes easier to forget.

5. Think long term

If you can’t imagine using visualization, then try thinking long term. Back to those $400 shoes, they could get ruined in the rain or scuffed while climbing the stairs, but putting that $400 in a retirement account can benefit you long into your future.

6. Look for good models      

Child psychologists have long suggested finding good peer models as a highly effective tool for helping your child learn good character traits. Neuro Linguistic Programming teaches that one of the simplest ways to improve your skills and behaviors is to seek out good role models and then copy their behavior.

No matter what your age happens to be, you can gain some valuable insights by observing and then modeling self-discipline and the patience it teaches.

7. Practice your new habits

“In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.”Yogi Berra

No matter what it is you want to improve, in order to actually become better you need to practice. Look for strategies that you can use and that motivate you to practice.

Delaying Gratification Can Change Your Life

Whether it’s saving for retirement or adopting a new healthy eating program, try to discover new ways of delaying gratification daily. Through this process you’ll teach yourself the patience you need for finding happiness and a fulfilling lifetime of success.

Delaying gratification is one of the most important keys of success. Start using it today!


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About the Author

Wil Dieck is the founder of Total Mind Therapy©, a system that uses Neuro Emotional Conditioning (NEC)©, a process that combines advanced hypnotherapy (hypnosis), NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming techniques and the deep breathing meditative breathing techniques from Qigong, a Chinese Martial Art into a highly effective healing and transformation process.

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