Willpower is finite - Deepstash

Willpower is finite

Willpower is like a muscle—it can get exhausted by overuse, but we might be able to strengthen our willpower by training it.

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"I can't" vs "I don't"

Every time you tell yourself “I can’t”, you’re indicating that you’re forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to do.

Tell yourself "I don’t do that" instead. You're punishing yourself by saying “I can’t,” because that is a reminder of your limitations.

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Increase your capacity for pressure

Our prefrontal cortex loses out in the battle for our energy when high-stress is involved.

Learn how to manage your stress. Stop to take a few deep breaths when you feel overwhelmed or tempted. 

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Meditate

Meditation has also been linked to increasing the reserve of willpower we have available. Brain changes have been observed after eight weeks of brief daily meditation training.

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What willpower is

The willpower response is a reaction to an internal conflict. You want to do one thing, but know you shouldn’t. Or you know you should do something, but you’d rather do nothing.

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Postpone things for later

If you’re trying to break a bad habit, tell yourself “not now, but later.” People who do this are generally less afflicted by the temptation of something they are trying to avoid.

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Get enough sleep

Your brain manages energy better when you get enough sleep.

Sleep deprivation causes the prefrontal cortex to lose control over the regions of the brain that create cravings and the stress response. Sleep between 6.5 hours and 7.5 hours every night.

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How willpower works in the brain

The prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that helps us with things like decision-making and regulating our behavior, needs to be looked after.

Feed your brain with good-quality food so it has enough energy to do its job and get enough sleep.

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Exercise

Regular physical exercise can make us more resilient to stress; relaxing, mindful exercise like yoga and intense physical training can provide these benefits.

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RELATED IDEAS

Sleep deprivation makes you weak and tired. It has a direct impact on your focus and decision-making, whilst slowly exhausting your source of energy.

Sleep between 7.5 and 8.5 hours a night. A good rest makes it much easier to deal with daily activities and challenges.

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What willpower is

Willpower is the ability to resist or delay short-term desires to achieve long-term goals. Other names for willpower are self-discipline, self-control, self-regulation, determination, drive. Willpower consists of three things:

  • "I won't" power - Saying "no" to temptation.
  • "I will" power - Saying "yes" to the things you know will lead to long-term satisfaction.
  • "I want" power - Remembering your goal.

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The brain is a decision making muscle and needs to be sufficiently fed to provide the necessary willpower.

Eat meals at regular intervals. The meals should contain healthy proteins, vegetables and complex carbohydrates, to avoid the glucose rush.

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