Solved: Describe your reflection, after you watching the TED that is The Illusion of Control- Human

Describe your reflection, after you watching the TED that is The Illusion of Control- Human Behavior and Donuts by Dr. Elissa Epel.

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The talk primarily is about the loss of conscious control and the ways to control will power, primarily in relation to obesity. She suggests two methods to control obesity

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Solved: Describe your reflection, after you watching the TED that is The Illusion of Control- Human
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  • Internal- mindfulness
  • External- environment change

We do not have control over us most of the time. We live in the past- causes depression or worry about the future- causes anxiety. We don’t live the present consciously. We have an imagination or impression about us-which we collected over years of experiences –Karma. We don’t see the world; we just see the impression of the world. We are not fully aware of the surroundings and details. As a result instead of we living our lives consciously, it is our sub-conscious mind that lives.

John Lennon, ’Life is what happens when we are making plans for the future’

The speaker talks about Caroline. Caroline over time develops impressions based on her experiences and along with stress. The sub-conscious makes her crave for pleasure and let-outs. She is not very much conscious of her choices. She also passes it to next generations through inter-generational transfer. I find that we all are like Caroline. Lost in the turmoil’s of life, we let our sub-conscious over power our conscious mind and we lose years of life.

The doctor suggests two practices

  • Being mindful of eating. I would like to extend it to everything. Being mindful of every activity. Being, mindful of living and being present.
  • We may not be under full control always. Hence Dr.Epel suggest that the environment and society should also change its offering of unhealthy foods

Some other key points also come across my mind. We have limited will power resource. If I have 100 % will power I share it, in a day, with so many tasks. The more the number of tasks the more the consumption. Also, certain tasks drain will power.

We also learn how Stress inhibits control power and the role of an Over stimulating environment

At the same time, I would like to disagree with some assumptions inherent in the talk.


  1. Increase in calorie intake is the cause of obesity.

When caloric intake is greater than expenditure, weight gain occurs. But the current obesity epidemic, I strongly believe, is not due to excess calorie intake, but rather due to modern sedentary lifestyle. Children and men/women who are very active can still take a lot of calories to meet their energy requirements. I will have to repeat that only intake in excess of expenditure, calorie imbalance, will lead to weight gain

  1. Junk foods are the cause of obesity.

Not really. Even the healthiest of food, if taken in excess thus affecting the calorie balance will cause weight gain.

In short, being mindful helps to increase self-awareness, observe our thoughts, emotions & feelings and live our life to the fullest

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