Most people think of peer pressure as this awful thing that makes teenagers drink beer, have sex, and make regrettable fashion choices, but it turns out there is a positive side to this type of influence. New research reveals that peer pressure combined with diet or exercise can be a force for good. Many health-conscious individuals have discovered that a “just say yes” approach to peer pressure and other social stress can help them get (and stay) fit. How? Let us count the ways…
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You're walking by a Krispy Kreme. You want to walk in and buy, oh, a dozen. What do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO?! One of the most successful tactics for increasing self-restraint is chasing tempting thoughts from your head. It's the same strategy that children used in the now-ubiquitous Stanford Marshmallow Experiment. In the experiment, kids were placed in the same room as a marshmallow. They were told that if they waited 15 minutes and did not eat the marshmallow, they would be given a second one. The kids who didn't immediately chow down distracted themselves by covering their eyes, turning around, tugging on their pigtails, or stroking the marshmallow as if it was a tiny stuffed animal.
What's the adult equivalent? Call your boyfriend or husband, G-chat with a friend, walk down to a coworker’s cube, hop on Facebook—distract yourself with social activities. The craving will pass.