If I told you there was a way to increase willpower, would you be interested? Imagine if you always had the willpower to eat right all the time, never miss a workout, walk the dog every day or stop a bad habit. It turns out that there are some very achievable things you can do to increase your willpower.
If you have ever read my “Owners Box ” in our club’s Program Guide, you know I like to read and often share what I have learned to help motivate others. I recently read The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonical, PH.D. I highly recommend this book if you wish you could control your willpower a bit more.
Here are 5 ways to increase willpower that I took away as “key nuggets” from this book:
- Try Breathing Techniques – Try some simple breathing techniques for just 5 minutes a day. This is a basic form of meditation in which you close your eyes and breathe as deeply and slowly as you comfortably can for a minimum of 5 minutes daily. You’ll want to slowly inhale as deeply as possible, hold for a few seconds then slowly exhale, holding again for a few more seconds before taking another breath. Ideally, you are aiming for about 4 breaths a minute. It’s normal for your mind to drift in and out of many different thoughts, but try to focus on just your breathing.
- Exercise – Studies show amazing results for individuals who start and stay with an exercise program. Without even consciously thinking about it, those who took place in regular physical activity actually ate better and began eliminating other unhealthy habits such as smoking and drinking.
- Get enough sleep – If you get a good night’s sleep and are well rested, you are much more likely to make better decisions. What’s interesting is that exercise is one the best things you can do to help fall asleep quickly and sleep more soundly throughout the night.
- Eat Right – To make sure your brain has the energy it needs to function at 100%, you need to eat “clean”. If you consistently eat poorly, this affects the processing ability of your brain , making you much more likely to make poor decisions. Your brain uses glucose and glycogen for energy, so when you go long periods of time without eating, you are going to affect your brain’s processing ability. This also holds true if you completely eliminate carbohydrates from your diet. Your body stores a great deal of glycogen in your muscle cells. By exercising, you actually start storing more glycogen over time, which in turn can be used by the brain. This is also why you have more energy when you work out regularly.
- Lower Your Stress Levels –Stress is a real downer if left unchecked. Unfortunately, some stress is a fact of life, and we need to learn control and manage what we can. My golden rule is not to “sweat the small stuff” or worry about the things you have no control over. Once again, exercise is one of the best things you can do to de-stress along with meditation or breathing techniques.
I hope these tips help you live a better & healthier life! If you need any assistance, just come and see us at the club! Contact Us.