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How Ego Depletion Can Sabotage Your Willpower

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https://www.verywellmind.com/ego-depletion-4175496

verywellmind.com

How Ego Depletion Can Sabotage Your Willpower
Think about how you feel after a long, busy day. After running errands, working on projects, and rushing to appointments, do you still feel like you have the energy to work on your goals? Once the day was done, you probably want to collapse in front of the TV and avoid doing anything at all.

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Ego Depletion

Ego Depletion

Ego depletion happens when people use up their available willpower on one task.

We all have natural urges, desires, and tendencies that demand attention. When we curb those ...

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Self Control

People having a high level of self-control experience better relationships and have higher achievement levels. Lack of self-control is associated with social conflict and low-grade academic perform...

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Causes of Ego Depletion

Many emotional and physical factors contribute to ego depletion, like:

  • Emotional distress
  • Struggling to learn something new
  • Mental fatigue due to anx...

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Dieting and social behaviors

  • Chronic dieters seem to be more prone to ego depletion as they apply their limited willpower on controlling their food intake, therefore being more likely to lose their self-control when tem...

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Decision Making

The huge amount of choices that a consumer makes while shopping can lead to ego depletion, as they become mentally exhausted and overwhelmed.

This leads to the consumer picking something wi...

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Mental Performance

.. requires mental toughness and determination. When willpower is exhausted due to challenging mental tasks, it leads to physical exhaustion.

Example: Students having a tough exam befor...

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Addictions

Depletion of self-control can make people impulsively consume addictive drugs like alcohol or tobacco.

If all the willpower is exhausted in other tasks, the person is more likely to giv...

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Prevention of Ego Depletion

Prevention of Ego Depletion
  • Take steps to boost your mood.
  • Change your outlook and focus on the big picture.
  • Use positive self-affirmation to counter the effects of ego depletion.
  • Make sur...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Self-Control

 ... is the ability to regulate and alter responses in order to avoid undesirable behaviors, increase desirable ones, and achieve long-term goals.

Research on Self-Control

  • A 2011 survey found that 27 % of respondents identified a lack of willpower as the primary factor keeping them from reaching their goals. 
  • One study found that students who exhibited greater self-discipline had better grades, higher test scores, and were more likely to be admitted to a competitive academic program. 
  • The study also found that when it came to academic success, self-control was a more important factor than IQ scores.
  • A health study found that people who were rated as having high levels of self-control during childhood continued to have high levels of physical and mental health in adulthood.
  • Research has found that self-control is a limited resource. In the long-term, exercising self-control tends to strengthen it. 

Motivation and Monitoring

A lack of willpower is not the only factor that affects goal attainment.

  • There needs to be a clear goal and the motivation to change. Having an unclear or overly general goal and insufficient motivation can lead to failure.
  • You need to monitor your actions daily towards the achievement of the goal.
  • You need to have willpower.

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Sticking to a healthy lifestyle

Staying in shape is mostly about program compliance.

It’s not about having the best fitness program, but about having one that’s good enough, eating less junk food and making sure you...

Off limits foods

Successful dieters usually declare certain foods to be completely out of bounds, or allowed only during occasional designated cheat meals, rather than expecting themselves to eat everything in moderation.

Saying no to bad habits

It might seem like a simple matter of self-control. But it turns out that people with high self-control may not necessarily be better at resisting temptation. They might just experience it less often in the first place.

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Ego depletion

The theory of 'ego depletion' refers to the idea that there is a connection between willpower and one's limited reserve of mental energy. 

However, evidence has been brought to support a...

A self-defeating state of mind

Having a self-defeating state of mind makes one believe that he or she is not able to achieve certain goals, by providing a logical reason to give up.

Willpower as emotion

According to the psychology professor Michael Inzlicht, the individual is able to control his or her willpower, taking into account current feelings and events. 

This is perceived as a decision-making tool that enables its owner to have full disposal of the mental energy and, therefore, to accomplish even the most challenging tasks.