What causes impulsivity

Control impulsivity: more impulse control!

What do you think of when you use the term impulsiveness Listen? Probably to the people who are prone to unpredictable and risky acts. Or the people who get angry about nothing or who just do what they want. In fact, these traits can also be signs of impulsiveness, their true nature but shows it in completely different situations ...

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Impulsivity Meaning: A definition of impulsive behavior

Impulsivity is a behavior that is characterized by impatience and the Inability to procrastinate needs.

Impulsive behavior in adults means that they have poor control over their actions and one low tolerance for frustration have.

This leads to action from the moment, without long-term consequences being considered. Many of you are probably familiar with a situation in which you have acted rashly and without hesitation. At a Impulse control disorder However, this happens more frequently and, above all, automatically.

That is, there is an urge; the respective person can not willingly or it is difficult to prevent impulsive action. At the moment when this behavior is, so to speak, inappropriate because harmful to yourself or against others, one can speak of a mental disorder.

Impulsivity is a symptom of many neurological disorders. For example, it suggests attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But others too mental illness such as the emotionally unstable personality disorder, including borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, and antisocial personality disorder, show these symptoms.

Those affected quickly distract themselves from the actual problem, they prefer to lead meaningless conversations Or try to get to the next level with a light online game - these pursuits seem more important and satisfying to them because they are theirs current wishes correspond.

Impulsiveness: The Four Characteristics

Impulsiveness manifests itself in the quick judgments of man on his own desires. A thought occurs to you and you need to do it right away. The behavioral psychologists Martial Van der Linden and Mathieu D’acremont have investigated Impulsivity and Decision Making as early as 2005 four characteristics of impulsivity highlighted:

  • urgency: These people want to do the deed right now.
  • Automatism: You do something without thinking and without planning in advance.
  • impatience: You are quickly disappointed in the long-term task.
  • attractiveness: You choose the pleasant tasks.

People are impulsive to different degrees - some more, some less. What makes the difference is the ability that own desires to control. Those who are highly impulsive also have more problems with internal motivation.

They leave a task to which they have invested several weeks of time and energy to themselves, and follow an impulsive desire through which they positive emotions gain. The new urgent impulse has a higher priority for them than an issue they have been working on for weeks. In this case, there is no question of planning - what counts is what it does now want.

Impulsivity leads to procrastination

You can do procrastination with a weak one WiFi signal compare - it's so weak that the website loads for ages. The metaphor is very simple: You get stuck for a long time without having the strength to do the really important things.

Does this situation sound familiar to you? Unfortunately, only a few people affected know the right way out. The difficulty lies in the fact that although they are consciously ready to concentrate on the task and carry it out, the little one Distraction factors but can't resist.

Procrastination manifests itself in many ways, that Rationale but it's the same: you postpone unpleasant problems later and impulsively only do what you like better and require less effort.

Many people let themselves through the household, social networks or even a chat over coffee with colleagues distractinstead of devoting oneself to the important and urgent things, as these are usually much more uncomfortable tasks.

Controlling impulsiveness: what do I do as a colleague?

But it's not just the distractions that impulsive people can't resist. Impulsive behavior in direct contact with colleagues and partners can become really critical.

People who are impulsive react dramatically and / or violently, depending on the situation Outbursts of temper.

The reasons can be varied - are conceivable Fears of loss, but also a craving for recognitionsuch as narcissistic personalities. As is so often the case, the cause is a mixture of genetic predisposition and upbringing.

It becomes difficult for those around such people: How do I behave as a colleague when a team member comes back? completely unpredictable runs out of the skin? If your colleague is apparently unable to control his impulsive behavior, you can have a de-escalating effect by ...

  • Take your colleague seriously

    Try to empathize with the other person and be empathetic. Even if his behavior appears exaggerated and irrational to you from the outside. If you do not signal understanding of the other position, you provoke anger and hurt in the colleague.

  • Keep calm

    Raising your voice can quickly create an argument. But by acting calmly and relaxed, you also take away the drama of the situation when the other person is in a state of excitement and is about to commit a rash act.

  • Keep the distance

    This can be understood both in terms of content, for example that one does not take outbursts of temperament personally, but also literally: Avoid being close to this colleague. You cannot get along well with every type of colleague, but at work you often cannot completely avoid each other. However, you can spend the lunch breaks elsewhere or limit conversations to the bare minimum.

Impulsiveness: This is how productivity is influenced

Not every impulsive act is automatically bad or harmful. The problem only arises when the sufferer has his reaction to the impulses not under control Has. Here is an example to make this clear:

You're in the office working on one Month-end closing. Suddenly the cell phone comes to life and you receive several messages on Facebook. Of course, you reach out to take a quick look.

The next 30 minutes then go something like this: You open the app and read the notifications. Then suddenly you see a cute picture in the timeline, go to the linked page, read the article completely, come to the comments in which you come across something stupid that you want to comment immediately ...

Then you look at the clock and realize that the last 30 minutes is a absolute waste of time you scurried from one impulse to the next and actually did nothing at all.

Do you recognize the four stimuli in this story? These four elements distracted you from work and suddenly everything came to you more important before the month-end closing, which is not exactly exciting, but still has to be done.

Did you recognize yourself in this story? Then you feel like many others. It's hard to put the brakes on and yourself in time to show: This is just a waste of time. Productivity also suffers as a result.

The worst part is that Snowball effect: If you had ignored the notification directly, the three further stimuli would not have occurred in the first place. The best thing to do is to mute the cell phone and complete the notifications to ignore.

Training self-control: tips against impulsiveness

Dealing with impulsivity is similar in many ways to dealing with the Anger. Sometimes it is absolutely necessary to get angry - but you lose them control, the consequences can be severe.

It is the same with impulsivity - it is one Character peculiaritythat needs to be controlled. The following methods can help you train your self-control:

  • Practice attention and concentration

    To be attentive means to concentrate as much as possible on one task. You recognize exactlywhat you do, what you think and what the consequences are. Attention assumes that you control your own thoughts and thus do not give the impulses a chance to control your behavior.

    Fortunately, you can Train attention. If you are really struggling with your impulsiveness, these exercises will feel like torture at first, but they are well worth it. Attention is not just a quality: it trains the brain to focus better. Individual concentration exercises you'll find here.

  • Shift distraction factors

    Your impulsiveness tries to convince you that if something is not done immediately, the chance for it is lost forever. You can get around this feeling by doing yourself a day a fixed period plan for these factors. If you want to distract yourself, don't just say it NObut promise yourself this impulse somewhat later to give in. Any seasoned procrastinator knows that it is easier to postpone something than to ignore it completely.

    Take, for example, 30 minutes in which you dedicate yourself to the accumulated distraction factors and enjoy them behind each other can savor. After that, you can concentrate fully on the day-to-day business again and you know that the time for that pleasant little things will come back soon. There is a simple solution for the above example with the cell phone: Set the cell phone to airplane mode for the duration of the working hours or at least in such a way that you are not distracted - the weak point is identified and eliminated.

  • to do sports

    This advice actually helps in almost all situations. It's all about exercise - you don't have to be a competitive athlete. Nevertheless, jogging has proven to be a suitable sport, for example, and it is not for nothing that so many managers jog: They get outside in the fresh air clear your head. In addition, exercise has been shown to reduce stress, including tension:

    So if you have a lot to do at work, for example, or if a problem makes you incredibly angry, at some point you will no longer be able to think clearly. When exercising, on the other hand, you need to focus on other things like your body and breathing, so that momentary Problems take a back seat. Then you can look at many things with a much more relaxed and distanced view. The fact that you also do something for your health is a nice side effect.

  • Acquire relaxation techniques

    Get to know yourself better. Observe how you react in which situations: When does it get critical? What can you do about it? As I said, sport is a possibility. But there are just as many exercises around mindfulness. They can help improve your Recognize warning signsif you are about to blow your skin or make an ill-advised decision.

    Also relaxation exercises, for example progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, or breathing exercises can help to relieve stress and tension, to see things more calmly.

Understanding impulses will help you focus on tedious tasks, even if they are not fun and you can hardly motivate yourself to do them. Use your strength and energy to put your thoughts in to direct a river and either not allowing the distraction factors in the first place or dealing with them properly.

Depending on how strong the Effects of your impulsive behavior and how great your psychological stress is, you should consider therapy. In cognitive behavioral therapy, for example, you learn to recognize your behavioral patterns and to change them accordingly.

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