Saying No is Satisfying

self control

We’ve all been there. You’re out to dinner with friends, and someone goes and orders a salad instead of a burger. Suddenly everyone around the table is either feeling guilty for not choosing a healthier option, or feeling deprived for sticking to their diet plan, right? It’s a common misperception that people who say no to things like indulgent food in the name of sticking to a diet are making themselves miserable or are too uptight to break their own rules every once and a while. However, a recent study surveying people on their mood using their smart phones, found that when people had good self-control when choosing between virtues and vices, they were happier. These people experienced less unhappiness because they made fewer choices that benefitted them in the short term, but punished them in the long term, and overall felt like they were acting in line with their life goals. While the person who opts for self-control may initially feel deprived of the instant gratification, long-term, they may feel more content. These findings hint that rather than making you dismal and dreary, self-control makes you happier. Remember that the next time the gorgeous purse outside your budget or the cupcake in the window is calling your name. Saying no to something in the moment might be saying yes to what you want later on.

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