A clock reading 7:00 against a pink and blue background that a future client of Empower Counseling is staring at as she procrastinates

Counseling for college students with Empower counseling for procrastination. It works.

Why is it so difficult to go from idea to action?

Why is it so hard to take that first step?

Why do I always seem to procrastinate?

My friend, you are not lazy. There is nothing wrong with you. You are totally completely normal human with a normal human brain.

Most people procrastinate at one time or another.

Procrastination actually turns into a bigger problem when we judge ourselves and tell ourselves things like“there is something wrong with me” and get down on ourselves and become insulting with how we talk to ourselves. You know what I’m talking about, that voice that gets that mean tone that we use to berate ourselves when we are less than perfect. 

So by having an understanding of what causes procrastination and how to get past it we can avoid all that judgment and negative self talk that comes at us like an avalanche down a snowy mountain when we think we are different from everyone else.

Counseling for college students with Empower Counseling can help your college student finally stop procrastinating so she/he can succeed in school and beyond.

Let’s talk a little about the neuroscience behind procrastination or difficulty taking that first step.

Many people think that procrastination is due to lazy habits or just plain incompetence, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. Procrastination actually finds its roots in our biology. It’s the result of a constant battle in our brain between the limbic system or the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex.

The amygdala is a small, almond-shaped set of neurons that are involved in our emotional processing and fear response.

The amygdala helps us survive by scanning the environment for threats.

When it detects a threat, it releases hormones, mainly adrenaline, that allow you to flee or attack.

The amygdala is fully formed by some point in our teenage years. That is why teens’ emotions can be more volatile or extreme than in adulthood. Teens’ brains are dominated by the amygdala. The prefrontal cortex of the brain is not fully formed until about age 25. 

The prefrontal cortex contributes to executive functioning and our ability to self-regulate.

While it seems like a cruel joke that the amygdala is fully formed long before the executive decision making part of the brain—-we needed the amygdala to keep us from death to make it to full development of the pre-frontal cortex.

If you’re procrastinating, you’re experiencing a kind of dance or tug of war even between the amygdala or the limbic system, the emotional brain, and the prefrontal cortex.

When we procrastinate, it is because our brains come across something unappealing that we don’t want to do because it causes anxiety or we are afraid of poor results.

Our brains want immediate rewards. Procrastination is the present self saying it would rather feel good now. The problem is, we might feel a fleeting immediate reward, but procrastination always comes back around to bite us.

One study by Dr. Dianne Tice and Dr. Roy Baumeister tracked the performance, stress, and overall health of college students through an entire semester. The procrastinators displayed less stress temporarily but at the end of the semester they were more stressed and earned lower grades than students who did not procrastinate.

If your college student is struggling with procrastination, Empower Counseling can help.

We use proven methods to ascertain what is causing your student to procrastinate and provide tools to stop procrastination, so that she or he will be able to succeed in school and beyond. Empower Counseling provides counseling online or in-person for college students at the University of Alabama, Auburn University, Samford University, Birmingham-Southern College, and other colleges in the state of Alabama.

In our counseling clinic serving the entire Birmingham area, including Mountain Brook, Homewood, Vestavia, Hoover, and more, we specialize in Acceptance Commitment Therapy for teens, college students, young adults, professionals, and those going through difficult transitions. In fact, Kathryn is advance trained in ACT. Call Empower Counseling today of you are suffering from procrastination and want to become more productive. 205-730-6570.

Another article Kathryn has recently contributed to:

Why Do I Fall in Love So Fast and So Easily?

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