The Psychology of Willpower: Training the Brain for Better Decisions
When you're stressed, the sympathetic nervous system takes over - also referred to as the "fight or flight system." It enables your body to respond quickly to perceived threats or stress. When this happens, your heart rate goes up and stays high, leading to feelings of anxiety and anger.
People with high levels of stress are more prone to poor self-control and focus. Stress will also shift your brain to a reward-seeking state: Whatever will make you happy at the moment will become a fixation. That is why people who are stressed are more likely to smoke, gamble, play video games, surf the internet or watch TV. The most effective stress-relief strategies include exercising, reading, listening to music, and spending time with loved ones.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
... is the ability to regulate and alter responses in order to avoid undesirable behaviors, increase desirable ones, and achieve long-term goals.
A lack of willpower is not the only factor that affects goal attainment.
Self-control is basically restraining yourself from doing something that may feel good in the short run, but may not be in your best interests in the long run. This includes not gorging on cookies ...
Self-control is a kind of mind muscle that if used continuously, tires out just like the physical counterpart.
Difficult days that rob our energy also sap us out of our willpower, make us psychologically weak and unable to resist the temptation to give up on our plan. We are more likely to skip the evening gym session if we were occupied the whole day, mentally and physically exhausted.
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.
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 like a muscle—it can get exhausted by overuse, but we might be able to strengthen our willpower by training it.