Americans are stressed out, and seeking treatment for anxiety and depression in record numbers. Experiencing all of those bad feelings each day leads us to consume more and more high-calorie junk food.
We each have one reservoir of will and discipline, and it gets progressively depleted by any act of conscious self-regulation. So if you spend energy trying to resist a fragrant chocolate chip cookie, you'll have less energy left over to solve a difficult problem.
Your capacity for self-control is not unlike the muscles in your body. Just as well-developed biceps sometimes get tired and jelly-like after a strenuous workout, so, too, does your willpower "muscle."
Do you have the feeling, as I do, that in the tsunami of everyday life, we're getting too much of stuff we don't need, and not enough of what we do? Herewith my first set of suggestions about how to redress the imbalance.
Something insidious has happened. The same device most of us use to get our primary work accomplished is also now the repository of 1,000 distractions and every imaginable source of immediate gratification.