Activating Your "Prepare and Plan" Response – Willpower Tips Day 15 (of 21)

You might’ve heard of the Fight/Flight/Freeze Response. You probably haven’t heard of the “Prepare and Plan” Response.

Like the Fight/Flight/Freeze Response, the Prepare and Plan Response is an inbuilt response we all come equipped with thanks to evolution.

Whereas the Fight/Flight/Freeze Response is about reacting quickly in the face of possible immediate danger, the Prepare and Plan Response mobilizes the brain areas associated with long term, “big goal” orientated thinking.

You can activate your Prepare and Plan response in moments of low willpower by doing ultra slow breathing (4-6 breaths a minute) for a few minutes. You’ll need to practice this in advance of needing it.

If you can’t get your breathing down to 4-6 breaths a minutes, anything under 10 breaths minute is likely to help, so just get as close to 4-6 as you can.

You could do this and then go do a behavior that’s incompatible with giving in to your willpower temptation. For example, going outside to put the washing out rather than staying in the presence of binge food.