How to Strengthen Your Will-Power

Most of us struggle with having enough will-power to improve our character and our habits. We have an ideal self of how we would like to be and how we actually are. These two parts of our self are often in conflict where one part wants to achieve the goals of choice and another part feels lazy and lacks the motivation to take action and put the energy and effort into the goal of our choice.

When we are well rested, we have a stronger will-power against temptations and can choose what matters most to us.

When we walk around in a state of stress and sleep deprivation, our will-power weakens and we give in to temptations to gratify our immediate needs in an attempt to reduce stress and anxiety.

People with a weak will-power often do things that they would rather not. They indulge in impulsive behaviours that afterwards leave them feeling guilty and disappointed with themselves.

An example of this is reaching for a piece of cake instead of an apple if your goal is to eat a healthy diet. The apple would work just as well to satisfy any discomfort of hunger.
Image result for prefronta cortex and brain stem
According to scientific research, the prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that controls will-power. We can train our brain to strengthen our willpower and reduce stress.

The body’s energy is used up as the stress levels increase and our willpower weakens. We react impulsively to gratify our immediate needs. This depletes our willpower to maintain focus on our long term goals. Our lower functioning brain stem becomes active as our stress levels increase.

Managing our stress levels by training our brain is key to increasing our willpower.

Here are eight keys to managing your stress and keep your willpower strong.

1. Pause. Breath gives you a resting space to redirect your energy to the present moment and to plan your action.
2. Pay attention to your self talk. If you notice negative self talk, replace your self talk with a positive statement about yourself and acknowledge success.

3. Compassion. Invoke compassion by using your intention to activate compassion from your heart to the parts of you that you dislike.

4. Tolerate discomfort. Tolerate self-control when you observe your physical and mental discomfort and resist the impulse to gratify your immediate needs.

5. Rest and sleep. The body heals when in a relaxed state. Getting enough sleep and rest regularly is important to your overall wellbeing and will reduce your stress and increase your will-power.

6. Eating a well balanced and nourishing diet. This is important for your organs, body and mind to receive adequate nourishment for optimum health. Include fresh vegetables and protein in your meals.

7. Physical exercise. Choosing an exercise you enjoy will help you become more resilient to stress and boost your will-power. Endorphins are released from your body boosting your mood, and your overall health and mental strength.

8. Social engagement system. Activate the feeling of connection with your family and friends, feeling cared for and supported. Maintain engagement and care for others.

When you implement new behaviours regularly for 40 days, your brain will adjust to the new behaviour and will experience less resistance as you continue with your desired goals and aspirations.

Scientific research shows that when you practice a new habit for 10 minutes every day for 40 days your brain rewires to the new habit you wish to establish.

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