9 Simple Strategies to Reduce Impulsivity

An impulsive person is inclined to do things without putting a lot of thought in their actions. Impulsivity means action without forethought, and without considering the consequences of those actions. Impulsive actions may be poorly thought out, inappropriate, and sometimes even risky. Impulsivity is often the result more serious underlying mental disorders, such as ADHD or personality disorders. Impulsivity is the most common symptom of ADHD.

Impulsivity can be a serious problem, and can sometimes affect the quality of a person’s life. It manifests itself in many different ways. For example, if you have a problem with impulsivity, you can be very impatient. You will have a hard time waiting your turn in line, or waiting for your turn in games, for example. It will also be difficult for you to show restraint in your emotions, which means you will blurt out inappropriate things at inappropriate times, you will interrupt people’s conversations, and you will generally act without regard for your actions’  consequences. Your impulsiveness can also manifest itself as overeating, over shopping, or general overspending.


It will be difficult for you to make and keep friends, and you will generally have problems with authority. Your actions can also put your life in danger. Impulsive people are also very  susceptible to vices such as alcoholism, drug and substance abuse or casual sex.

However, not all is lost. There is hope for impulsive people. You can employ a few clever strategies to control your impulsiveness and lead a relatively normal life. If you do not have serious impulsivity issues, which have developed to ADHD or substance abuse disorders, there are several strategies and methods you can employ to manage your problematic impulsiveness. These strategies to reduce impulsivity will be what we will focus on today.

1. Understand Your Impulsivity

Different people exhibit impulsivity differently. You need to know how your impulsivity shows through before you can begin to manage it. Accept you are impulsive, and figure out how you are impulsive. Do you interrupt people’s conversations? Do you overindulge in food, cigarettes, alcohol? Do you overspend? You need to know. This is the most vital step, because it opens the door for all other methods of intervention.

2. Make Your Long Term Goals Seem more Achievable

Break your goals to bite sizes. For example, if you need to quit smoking, cut down to one cigarette every five hours, then one a day, then one a week, and so on. Make your goals seem more achievable or easier to achieve and you will be more motivated to go for it.

3. Have A Commitment System for Your Goals

This can be in the form of rewards or denials. If you eat impulsively, you can buy yourself something nice on the day you stick to your diet. Create a commitment system and stand by it. Sharing this commitment system with someone can also help to keep you honest.

4. Eliminate the Option of Changing Your Mind on Things You Commit to Doing

For example, if you impulsively check your phone or social media, download an up that locks your screen or a timer or locks your apps for a specific period of time so that they are inaccessible to you. If you go for a drink with your friends every day after work, have your spouse come pick you up instead. The idea is to eliminate the option of going back on your decisions, especially on impulse.

5. Have A To Do List and ‘Why I Need To Do This’ List

Sometimes understanding the reasons why you need to do some things can be enough motivation to do them and put off what you would like to do on impulse. Why do you need to keep studying and pass that test? Why do you need to show up to your daughter’s birthday sober? Why do you need to keep your job?

6. Meditation

This does not necessarily mean meditation in the traditional sense. What you need to do is to think about your actions and recognize them for what they are. Identify your impulsiveness and label it, so that you can see it coming before it happens. This may take a little practice, but it can happen. At first, you might recognize your impulsive action after it has already happen. When this happens, think about it. Analyze it and label it, so that next time you will be able to recognize the signs before the action. For example, with a little practice, you might be able to say to yourself, “This feels familiar. I am about to get up off my seat and interrupt my teacher. It didn’t go so well the last time that happened.” Then take a pause and coach yourself through it. “Take a deep breath. You don’t need to do this. Count to twenty. Stay calm.” Traditional meditation everyday can also instill the discipline and clearness of mind you need to think through your actions, so you can try it too.

7. Talk To Someone

You need a support system. Talk to someone about what you are going through. Sharing is caring, so find someone who genuinely cares about your wellbeing and open up to them. Talk to your friend, family, colleague, teacher, or spiritual leader. You will share the burden of managing your condition with someone else, and it will feel great to have someone who understands you.

8. Make it Hard To Act Impulsively

After knowing what impulses you have, make them more difficult to manifest. For example, if you shop impulsively, leave your credit card at home. Simple habits like these can go a long way in controlling your urges. Work on your strategy with your psychiatrist.

9. Get Treatment

When all is said and done, if you feel like your actions show the signs of impulsivity, the best thing to do is to get help by consulting your doctor. Psychiatric help can go a long way in ensuring you lead a normal life despite the challenges posed by impulsivity. There also are several prescription medications that can help manage and control the condition. Seek professional help.

One more way is to use hypnosis – it’s quick, easy, effective and with this impulsivity hypnosis download it’s also discreet.