Graeme Newell

Avoid Temptation

Most of us envision our brain as a lot like a computer – a big collection of electrical circuits. But our brain isn’t just ELECTRICAL, it’s also CHEMICAL. For example, when we get scared, our brain signals the release of adrenaline which increases our heart rate, raises our blood-sugar level, and oxygenates our blood.

And here’s the ticklish part: once our brain releases these powerful chemicals, they’re going to stubbornly compel us to act on instinctual desires until our body has had time to metabolize them out of our bloodstream. Estimates say this can take around half an hour. And we all know the carnage that can be inflicted on a jumbo bag of Oreos in half an hour.

So if you want to resist instinctual temptations like overeating, drinking or smoking, the secret isn’t to RESIST temptation. The secret is to NEVER EXPOSE YOURSELF to the temptation in the first place.

No temptation = no powerful surge of brain chemicals = no irresistible urge to misbehave.

Want to eat healthier? Stop perusing every aisle in the grocery store. Use the grocery store app. Go straight to the items on your list. No strolling. Keep your eyes firmly on the floor throughout your journey.

Want to save money? Eliminate the triggers. Stop checking the shopping websites. You’ll be amazed how easy it is to resist when your brain hasn’t let loose a flood of greed chemicals to poison your resolve.

Want to feel more peace? Then stop perusing the breaking news sites that freak your brain to pump quarts of fear juice into your bloodstream.

Once powerful mood chemicals have flooded your bloodstream…the battle is lost. The secret to exemplary behavior is to keep those chemicals out of your bloodstream in the first place.