10 Ways to Strengthen Your Willpower

Kardelen Sepetçi

Kardelen Sepetçi

İAL13'/ YTÜ / #biryenipalmiye

Are you a fan of your friends who managed to put them back into the freezer after taking only two balls from the chocolate ice cream box, who can tolerate the environment they sometimes have to be in, update their internet résumé every three months for possible job opportunities and wake up early every day? It is actually not that difficult to gain the willpower, the ability to control yourself, not by staying away from anything or escaping from it any more. You can learn ways to improve your inner discipline by reading this article.

1) Know to use the word “No”

If you perceive the concept of will as being deprived of something, this could be the underlying problem. “The idea of trying to control yourself motivates you. But if you see this as some kind of pressure, you will lose your motivation.” says Assistant Professor Ethan Kross of the University of Michigan’s Psychology Department. At this point, make a decision to say “no” when you are in a situation that you should not do or do not want to.

Many are unhappy with the work they have to do because they cannot say “no” in their business or personal life. Do not succumb to your current short-term happiness or a small appreciation, you can say no.

2) Turn your attention to another direction.

It may sound unreasonable, perhaps you should not concentrate too much to use your willpower. Experts say that it might be helpful to divert your attention, so it suggests a kind of “out of sight, out of mind” behaviour. As soon as you hear that request, stand up and walk a little in the office. If you like, you can take your notebook and draw something or do something else. Or for example, do you want to avoid eating dessert? Allow yourself to eat them only when you’re out. If you cook a chocolate cake at home, you will definitely eat more than one slice.

3) Fill your tank.

According to a report published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the culprit of some habits stemming from inability may be lower the blood sugar. Glucose nourishes your brain activities, so in cases of hunger, fatigue and stress with low glucose levels, you will also be less likely to resist anything you wish or say no. Eating small meals rich in protein makes you strong-willed throughout the day.

4) Start with small steps.

When you need to change things, if you want to guarantee your long-term success, you should start with small steps. Regular small activities help you improve your ability to control yourself. For example, instead of immediately implementing a demanding exercise plan, you can start by exercising twice a week. Or by putting aside the money you spend on latte every day, you can take the first steps to build a nest egg. If you want to start the day earlier, you can gradually change your sleep patterns.

5) Choose the right time.

The frontal cortex of our brain, that is, the region responsible for the willpower, when is filled with knowledge, our willpower begins to weaken. In a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, a group of participants was asked to keep a seven-digit number in mind. Another group was given a two-digit number. All the participants were proposed a slice of cake or fruit salad and most of those who tried to memorize the seven-digit number preferred the cake. This is because people who are loaded with information tend to make emotional choices rather than logical choices. If you want to spend time on the treadmill every day, make healthy choices in the market, or if you want to work steadily in your business, in the enterprise, do such activities or making decisions in the morning. During these hours your brain is not yet full of details. Deciding on all the fatigue of the week on Friday afternoon of a difficult week may not be right. Because then, fatigue and laziness will come into play and as the willpower will be weak, it will be difficult to resist the right thing to do.

6) Lock on target.

We usually fail when we forget to see the big picture. In order to prove your work skills to your boss, you want to finish that project as soon as possible, but for some reason you always linger or be too lazy to do. Researches has found that people who think about their goals can control themselves better. When you want to leave things for later, remember what is more important to you. Make a to-do list and hang it where you can see it. Or take a photo of something you really want to buy and promise yourself to buy it as a reward when it reaches your destination.

7) Turn your goals into action.

When a person can turn his/her difficult demands into action, he/she will use his/her will. When we cannot make free choices,  we cannot act in line with these choices that even if we do choose, we could still have a lack of will. For this reason, do not leave the decisions you take as a word and prepare an action plan as soon as possible, start right now without waiting.

8) Don’t throw the blame on anyone else.

The person’s action can be based on the choices of others. If we act based on the choices of others, we are not demonstrating our will. In this condition, our actions are the product of another will. For example, if we are engaged in a profession that is not suitable for us by taking the wishes of our environment, we can think that we do not display our own will in this regard. When we put the responsibility to others of what happened to us, we would say unconsciously between the line: “The responsibility of what happens to me belongs to someone else, not to me; so there is no use in doing anything to get rid of the situation I am in. ‘This way of thinking is wrong; it is an expression of resistance for doing something. Throwing the responsibility at others creates problems in two main areas. It makes it difficult for individuals to get rid of mental problems, as well as prevents the development of societies and organizations, in a sense, impairs their mental health and management of health. Make your own decisions and know that you are responsible for the results.

9) Pay attention to breathing exercises and sports.

Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Once you realize that your mind is beginning to wander, bring it back and keep focusing on your breath. By activating this prefrontal cortex, it will quiet your stress and desire centres of your brain. You may find meditation very difficult when you first start. This is completely normal: in our daily life, we often cannot realize how scattered and loud our minds are. Sitting without move while trying to focus on breathing brings all that confusion into our attention. But, no matter how bad you are in meditation: research shows that even 5 minutes of meditation a day will be useful to you at personal checkpoints. Don’t be afraid to start with small steps. Setting routines for yourself and trying to comply with those routines allows you to exercise regularly. Deciding to wake up early in the morning and take a walk three days a week, and to continue this practice even if the weather is bad or late in the evening, keeping a sports diary can be useful to strengthen your will and develop habits.

10) Don’t blame yourself all the time.

We must stop feeling guilty and blame ourselves for our failures that we think that are related to our willpower. When you look, the reason for our lack of will is a result of the chemicals in our brains, not our character deficiencies. If you do not expect the muscles to carry unlimited weight, you cannot expect the brain to have an unlimited will.

Kategoriler: Life, Psychology

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