Researchers say how we react to our cravings could impact our happiness. When you pass a window full of decadent pastries or a store with a big sale do you give in and go for it or show some self-control?
That regret we feel after an extra slice of cake or glass of wine could be a predictor of overall happiness.
In a study published in this month's Journal of Personality, researchers from the University of Chicago found the more self-control people reported having, the more satisfied they reported being with their lives.
Dr. Nick Nacarri, a psychologist, says the immediate gratification of giving into a desire can wear off quickly and leave you unhappy. He says a better approach is to wait and give some thought before giving in.
"So it's not like denying yourself entirely, but being more selective about when and how and under what circumstances, because when you do that it makes the things more enjoyable," Nacarri says.