Do you know the Marshmallow Test? It is a study about self-control. In the study, results indicate that children who practiced self-control have better outcomes in life. Thus, the study proves that self-control is vital in the fulfillment of goals. Indeed, the ability to control our desires, emotions and impulses can ultimately lead to a happier, healthier and wealthier life. But the question now is how to practice self-control.
Here are some tips on how to improve your will power:
1.Believe in Willpower
Willpower is the ability to control one’s thoughts and actions. Believing that you can actually accomplish something gives you a strong determination to accomplish a difficult task. In other words, it is a belief that you have in yourself that you have in your hands the power to create success or failure.
If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.– Henry Ford
Rather than thinking that you can’t do something, shift your thinking to “I will do it” or “I choose to do it.”
A new study from the University of Kansas reveals that exercising is a simple way to increase our self-control. Physical activities affect our mood, and this can ultimately affect how people make decisions. The study shows how regular physical exercise altered and improved the decision-making of the controlled group in areas relating to self-discipline such as anger control, healthy eating, spending, studying habits and commitments. The study also reveals how exercise reduced unhealthy habits such as smoking and caffeine consumption.
3. Look at the Bigger Picture
When you look at the bigger picture, you are not just looking at satisfying your desire for now. Instead, you are focusing on your bigger goals and what you ultimately want to accomplish. In short, there is change in the perspective of things. It is easier to divert and refocus. In the end, you will be able to make decisions based on your true priorities.
For example, you have always wanted to have your own car. And your goal is to raise enough money for the downpayment of the car. But a new cellphone model has been released. And you want to purchase one. However, you are well aware that if you purchase that cellphone now, it means a step further away from having your own car. So, what do you do in this scenario? It is so easy to succumb to your immediate desire. But a person looking at the bigger picture will have a different decision.
Meditation puts us in command of our emotions. Through mindfulness practice, we get to learn to observe our thoughts and feelings. As we begin to become aware and pay attention to the bodily sensations that accompany a specific emotion; we begin to master impulse and behavior control. Awareness and acceptance increase our capacity to inhibit such impulses.
5. Stay Away from Temptation
Assess yourself, are you the type of person who is simply not wired to have excellent self-control? If so, then the best thing to do is to stay away from temptation. Why subject yourself to torture and struggle when you can easily remove it.
For example, you love eating junk foods. Resisting them is a big challenge for you. Then, the best thing to do is not to purchase one. Don’t fill your pantry with junk food. Avoid that aisle in the grocery. If it is not readily available, then there is nothing to eat. In short, out of sight, out of mind. Period.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay