What’s Instant Gratification & How To Overcome It

What is instant gratification? Why is it so tempting? How can we easily overcome it for good? Check these out proved methods to find out

In case you’re not sure if you struggle with instant gratification, ask yourself a question “does this happen to me?” 

  • You want to stay in to study – You get drunk instead.
  • The next day you feel bad, to distract yourself – You play video games.
  • When the guilt about playing video games strikes – You consume junk food to uplift your mood.

If it does. Don’t worry. It happens to everybody.

  • We all know by now, that everything that’s nice, what provides us with great pleasure is also bad for us if we overindulge. Which we often do. Whether it be a substance or anything else. We all know how hard it is to drink one beer, eat one piece of chocolate or go to bed and not watch one more episode of some tv show. There are many ways you can overcome instant gratification. Here I’ll mention one I find the best, out of my personal experience. First, let’s focus on a well-known maxim: “the best way to appreciate anything is to experience how it’s not having it”. 

What Is Instant Gratification? Why is so tempting?

According to the APA dictionary: “the experience of satisfaction or receipt of reward as soon as a response is made”. 

The emphasis here is on omitting the journey. And getting the result right now. In this case pleasure. Contrary to working towards achieving a long-term goal. When you get the results at the end of the process. To feel the gratification immediately, without delay, is something we all lust after.

What Can You Do to Overcome Instant Gratification?

To make resisting instant gratification simple to start with. You can make a trade-off arrangement with yourself. Make a list of obligations you need to fulfill that you put off all the time. You can start with small things. And when you do it, you can do something you would feel guilty about if you haven’t accomplished anything that day. 

You can start with:

  • If you want to watch a game tonight – Clean the house
  • If you want to go out – Work on your project for at least 2 hours
  • If you want to watch Netflix all afternoon – Go to the gym that day
  • If you plan to eat fast food all weekend – Eat healthy during the week.

How Restricting Yourself Actually works?

When you don’t allow yourself to do or consume what you want all the time, you get what is good for you most of the time. And you get to enjoy it much more anyways than you possibly could if you didn’t have any restrictions. It’s simple:

  • If you eat cheesecake all the time, you’d numb your sense of taste and you’d be unable to feel the aroma.
  • If you sleep as much as you want to, the opportunity to sleep longer is like on holidays or on off days. Wouldn’t mean a thing to you.

If you can’t resist an impulse it has control over you. When you resist it. You absorb its power. 

Not resisting instant gratification is being unable to abstain from short-term pain in order to attain a long-term gain. Instead, not resisting instant gratification results in long-term pain.

You have a craving for sugar (short-term pain) + resistance = you stay fit (long-term gain)

You have a craving for sugar (short-term pain) – resistance = you become fat (long-term pain)

We all tend to fall prey to instant gratification, from time to time, when we are lazy or we’re feeling down. That usually doesn’t solve our problem but makes it worse. Instead of dealing with one problem, we end up on top of that dealing with the guilt of not solving it in the first place.


By making a deal with yourself, you create a perfect balance that can’t be disrupted. By introducing some restrictions, you kill two birds with one stone. You get your bad habits under control, and you become more productive. If you are persistent with it, you will develop a habit. Then you wouldn’t need to think of it as a task that hangs above your head. It will be your modus operandi. If you’re curious about how you can change who you are click here

To get in control you need to be willing to go over some hardships. To tame a raging bull, you have to grab it by the horns. If you don’t go for instant gratification as a means to feel better. You’re left face to face with a problem. What’s causing you to feel bad in the first place? And you increase the chance of solving it.

At first, you will not find restrictions joyous. But enjoying things has two sides. You can get a lot of delight with video games, sugar, pornography, shopping, etc. Or you can enjoy being in good health, in control of your bad habits, or being better than you were last year. Both will satisfy you. But only one will work out in the long run. 

In order to avoid the situation where looking back at your life causes you to immediately look away. Let’s contemplate the famous quote:

how to overcomve Instant gratification

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