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6 Ways to Improve Your Willpower | Buffer Blog

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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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

6 Ways to Improve Your Willpower | Buffer Blog

6 Ways to Improve Your Willpower | Buffer Blog

https://buffer.com/resources/willpower-and-the-brain-why-its-so-hard-to-avoid-temptation

buffer.com

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Key Ideas

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.

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.

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.

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. 

"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.

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.

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.

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.

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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Get More Sleep

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....

Meditate

Meditation improves your attention, focus, self-awareness, and lower your stress levels.

Meditating for even just a few minutes every day will help you to clear your head while activating the areas of your brain related to decision-making and emotions.

Develop Good Habits

When we are stressed, we tend to unconsciously fall back on ingrained habits, whether they are helpful or harmful.

Creating good habits helps you get through stressful situations without affecting your willpower.

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Protein rich meals

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, ve...

Slow and steady

Willpower can be increased, but it is a slow and gradual process (just like increasing muscle mass).

Real change requires one small start at a time.

Dark chocolate

Sometimes we are in a position where we need to make a quick decision, and it feels tough. 

Take a bite of dark chocolate to help boost your willpower.

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Self-control

We all possess the ability to develop self-control. 

Instead of immediately responding to impulses, we can plan and evaluate our actions beforehand.

Master Self-control
  • Eat. Our brains need fuel to run properly, and when that fuel runs low, the brain has difficulty regulating our emotions. Eat high protein foods.
  • Meditate. Devote a few minutes a day to simply focusing on your breath and your senses. You will be calmer and your decision making will be sounder.
  • Sleep. Your brain’s ability to absorb glucose is significantly diminished without rest. Stay consistent with your sleep every night.
  • Exercise.
  • Force Yourself until a new habit is formed.
  • Get Others Involved. Find a support system.
  • Do Your Research. Whatever your struggle, make it your priority to be the master of it.