Imagination Some children avoided eating the marshmallow by imagining it as something else—a cloud, a table, a chef’s hat.
Pretend that the candy is only a picture, surrounded by an imaginary frame
Distraction Do other activities that makes you think, so you don’t think about the candy.
Self-talk Hmm, just two more questions to answer, I can finish this! The messages we “speak” to ourselves in our head to influence our thinking and our actions.
Exercise Students engaged in regular physical activity score higher on self-regulation measures.
Breakdown complex tasks Do attention training such as looking and listening for details, and observing closely for solving complex puzzles.
The Lesson: The kids who hadn’t been able to wait sixty seconds could now wait fifteen minutes. “All I’ve done is given them some tips from their mental user manual,” Mischel says. “Once you realize that will power is just a matter of learning how to control your attention and thoughts, you can really begin to increase it.”