Many times, in a day we have to choose between things we want to do and things we should do. Do you also struggle with choosing between say watching your favourite TV show and revising that important chapter before the next class? You are not alone.
We all have impulses that come in the way of our longer-term well-being and goals. Yet for some, it might seem easier to control themselves while for some it may seem a downward spiral. So, what does it take to have strong willpower? Let’s find out in this article.
The dictionary meaning of willpower is the ability to control one's own actions, emotions, or urges. However, it is much harder to explain realistically. In simple terms, our willpower instinct is the driving force that reminds us, resists us from temptations, and pushes us forward to do things we are supposed to do.
It largely is a function of the prefrontal cortex part of our brain and is limited in its capacity. Additionally in the technology-driven and globalized world, our willpower gets constantly bombarded due to a huge number of choices, temptations, and distractions. So, what is the way out? Let’s have a look at some strategies you can use on a daily basis to improve your willpower.
Strategy 1: Get adequate sleep
Research shows that sleep-deprived individuals are far more likely to give in to impulses. They also tend to focus less and are at a greater risk of making risky or questionable decisions. So, for your physical health as well as exercising of greater willpower, make sure you get the right amount of sleep.
Strategy 2: Practice meditation and slow breathing
Science reveals people who meditate on a regular basis have increased neural connections between regions of the brain important for staying focused. One important aspect of meditation is also conscious breathing. The way to do this is to slow down your breath with shorter inhales and longer exhales.
A typical cycle to have is four to six breaths per minute. Carrying forward this breathing practice in your day-to-day life will help you shift into a pause and plan mode. Thus, you will have greater self-control and better response in difficult situations.
Strategy 3: Reflect and forgive yourself
Studies show that being too harsh on ourselves doesn’t help much in the long term. It is better to reflect on our shortcomings, understand where exactly is the scope of improvement and keep a positive mindset while working on yourself. The more you believe you have control over your willpower, the better you will be able to exert it.
To conclude, improving willpower is all about finding the right strategies for yourself, being consistent with your good habits and sailing through tempting or boring situations with a positive mindset. We hope this article will help you move forward in the right direction. Do share your experiences with willpower in the comments below.