The definition of willpower is to control exerted to do something or restrain impulses. Most of our bad habits are due to laziness or lack of will power.
Willpower is the ability to resist short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals. Some people believe that a lack of willpower is a mental disease. Willpower allows you to do what you said you would do when you said you would do it. It is willpower that allows you to wake up early, schedule your week, loose those extra pounds and to do those things you have been putting off.
If you take a look at gymnasts and body-builders, they have a huge amounts of willpower.
Survey participants regularly cite lack of willpower as the No. 1 reason for not following through with such changes.
We exert willpower everyday in one form or another. You resist the urge to retaliate when someone is attacking you, instead of fighting back. You try and eat healthier when you are craving junk food. Some experts refer willpower to a muscle that can get fatigued from overuse, which takes a mental toll.
We only have so much willpower and as we go about our day, stress and normal self-control depletes our resources. We need to reduce our stress levels, as our bodies energy is used up in acting instinctively and making decision’s based on short term outcomes. The brain is a high-energy organ powered by a steady supply of glucose (blood sugar). When you maintain self control, your brain cells consume glucose faster that it can be replenished. Therefore, restoring glucose may increase willpower. Sleep, exercise and nutrition are the most ignored route to higher willpower. Other studies show the effects of a good mood and high spirits can also increase willpower, due to effects normally seen after exercising self control.
Scientists suggest that increasing your willpower is in fact not that difficult. Strengthening willpower is in fact the secret to self-control, resisting temptation and having the best life. Besides the scientific information above, here are a few extra ways you can increase your willpower.
- Take a few breaths when you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed. Meditation is also a great tool, both will help manage your stress levels.
- Get enough sleep to restore your energy.
- Make sure you are eating healthy and getting the correct nutrition, this will support your brain glucose much more effectively.
- Exercise releases endorphins and the body effectively releases glucose from storage on demand, thus helps you be more resilient when under stress.
- A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology reads that self-affirmation is the difference between telling yourself “I can’t” and “I don’t”. Taking back control of the situation using the phrase “I don’t” has been shown to be more effective at helping you to stick to your plan and break bad habits. So, try telling yourself that “I don’t” do that bad habit, rather than punishing yourself by saying “I can’t.”
- Smile, a good mood, high spirits and laughter also increases willpower. Try watching more comedies and surrounding yourself with happy people.
- Clench your fists. This exercises aids in self control which causes you to become more disciplined. When you are trying to fight temptations, clench your fists, squeeze your eyes shut or even hold your breath.
- Set reminders. Little notes or alarms remind you not to give into temptation. Write little notes that you can see, to remind you to accomplish what it is you set out for yourself. Set your alarm clock to remind you to move onto other tasks.
- Self-forgiveness. Feelings of regret decrease your willpower. When you give into temptation, be compassionate towards yourself and learn to forgive yourself.
- Committing to improving your willpower to have the kind of life you want and deserve.
Set the goals you want to achieve, use the steps above to increase your will power to achieve these goals. REMEMBER: Some people believe that a lack of willpower is a mental disease. Willpower allows you to do what you said you would do when you said you would do it.
Need some more willpower, check out these amazing Youtube Videos:
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