If you struggle to resist temptation or snacks then here’s a hot tip for you – simply holding your breath can boost your willpower enough to allow you to walk away!
It might sound bizarre, but a series of 5 studies by Hung and Labroo (2011) confirmed that when people firmed up their muscles they were better able to resist tempting food, take unpleasant medicine and even withstand immediate pain – as long as doing so is seen as providing a long term benefit.
The desire to snack or be tempted away from your diet is driven by the emotional part of the brain. It naturally seeks to move us towards pleasure and away from pain, and it uses tension as a way to motivate us into taking the action it wants.
By deliberately creating tension, either by clenching fists, gritting your teeth or holding your breath, you can take back conscious control and override the tension created by emotional part of your mind.
Holding your breath is an especially effective way to create emotional tension as we use it naturally and automatically to create strong emotions.
Think back to the last time you felt a strong emotion building up – such as anger, frustration, fear, panic (or even ecstasy!). Chances are, you will have been holding your breath – even if you weren’t aware of it at the time.
So next time you are faced with temptation to snack, give it a go and would you please do us a favour and let us know how you get on by leaving a comment below?