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How to stay calm in moments of difficulty

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Learn to control your impulsivity and behave more rationally with these 6 tips.

An impulsive person is someone who acts more often than not on an emotional level, without leaving room for rationality — and consequently without thinking about the consequences of his or her actions. Impulsiveness, as a personality trait, is present in the day-to-day behaviors of people who possess it.

It involves multiple factors that lead us to act capriciously and unreflectively, without foresight or consideration of the consequences. As a result, impulsive behavior tends to be inappropriate and risky, with undesirable consequences.

Learn to control your impulsivity and behave more rationally with these 6 tips:

Take responsibility

The first step you must take to control your impulsiveness is to realize that you need to do so. Becoming aware of the moments in which we tend to act impulsively is essential.

Determine the stimuli that make you act impulsively

It can be helpful to write in a notebook a brief description of the moments when we’ve acted recklessly during the day, and the causes or triggers of that behavior.

Practice self-control

Learn how to recognize when your temperamental volcano is going to erupt, and make a conscious effort to stop your impulsive behavior before it appears. Practicing control over smaller impulses will help us be prepared to deal with stronger ones.

Take your time before you react

A good way to learn to change the way you respond is to form the habit of letting a few seconds pass before acting or reacting. You can use that time to let your rational mind kick in, so it can control your impulsive behavior.

Develop alternative behaviors and thoughts

Impulsive reactions tend to involve similar forms of behavior. We can make the appearance of impulsive reactions less probable if we can find alternative behaviors to practice whenever we fear we will react impulsively. The goal is for you to develop your own series of key ideas that allow you to focus your life in a more rational way.

Channel your energy and learn to relax

One of the characteristics of impulsiveness is that it activates and prepares our body to respond immediately to a specific situation. To decrease our disposition towards impulsiveness, it helps if you learn to be habitually more relaxed. Physical activity is also a great help, as it permits you to release negative tension and energy.

Not all impulsiveness is negative

Let’s remember that impulsive behavior is also a defense mechanism that keeps us from losing time in thought when an immediate reaction is needed to overcome a real danger. Impulsive reflexes are good when they help us avoid a traffic accident due to an imprudent driver who puts us at risk.

The secret is in maintaining a healthy internal equilibrium that comes from good stress management

We need to practice ways of handling frustration and the difficulties of day-to-day life, so we can react rationally and strategically. Although it may be more difficult as we get older, we continue to learn new behavior throughout our lives, so controlling impulsiveness is possible for us all.

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