Controlling the Urge
In her book, the willpower instinct, Kelly McGonigal describes one of her favourite studies of self-control. She calls it a torture experiment. It explains how mindfulness can be used to break even the worst of habits.
Sarah Bowen, a research scientist in the Addictive Behaviors Research Center at the University of Washington, conducted a study on willpower. She invited smokers who wanted to quit smoking to participate in her research. Each had an unopened packet of cigarettes of their favourite brands. They sat on a round table, and torture began.
She asked them to take out their pack of cigarettes and look at it. Then she gave instruction to remove the cellophane and open the box. She took the participants one by one and gave them subliminal suggestions to want to smoke. The preparations started from breathing the smell of the packet to pulling out a cigarette, holding it and looking at it with focus. She also asked them to put it in their mouth and ignite the lighter but not light the cigarette. She was merely trying to figure out if mindfulness can make smokers resist the carvings.
As Bowen already knew, urges were temporary. They ultimately pass. If you can just surf on them and let them pass, it is good enough. The technique is called Urge Surfing. The method states that when you have an innate urge to do something you don’t want to do, you should imagine the urge as a wave in the ocean. It will build in intensity but ultimately fall off. You are not supposed to fight the wave, just imagine it and let it pass.
The participants were released from study after an hour. They were not asked to quit smoking or fight their urge. She just told them to keep track of how many cigarettes they smoked each day. A number they need to keep in mind. In seven days time, there was over 37% decrease in the number of cigarettes they smoked.
Triggering Your Will Power
When you are mindful and calm, you can tackle your bad habits, problems and situation in a much better way. When you exhale the Nitaai sound, you become aware of everything you do. You become the observer and a witness. You can tackle your bad habits with ease. Mindfulness triggers your willpower. Nitaai Breathing triggers mindfulness.
A Fresh Start
If you are looking to increase your willpower to stop yourself from distractions and get work done, make sure you exhale the Nitaai sound every single day. Don’t worry about the rest because Nitaai automates the self-improvement process. It helps you create a streamlined process for thoughts that you can stay put with confidence and willpower.
Smoking is not the only habit that requires willpower. Sleeping on time, getting up early, meditating at the same time, communicating well, and all your day to day activities need willpower and discipline.
The tiny habits like making your bed can also be used to stimulate willpower and feel confident. Nitaai Breathing gives you a fresh start in self-discipline and willpower. It is a motivation fundamental to all secular self-improvement.
1. Bowen S, Marlatt A (2009). Surfing the urge: brief mindfulness-based intervention for college student smokers. Psychol Addict Behav, 23(4):666-71.