The Willpower Response is a response to a conflict inside a person. You want to do something you know you shouldn’t, like smoke a cigarette or eat a huge lunch. Or you know you should do something, like file your taxes or go to the gym, but you’d rather not.
The part of the brain right behind your forehead is called the prefrontal cortex. It helps us make Tips to Avoid Bad Decisions and keep our behavior in check. Self-control or willpower is part of this category, so this part of the brain is in charge of it.
The prefrontal cortex needs to be taken care of if we want to be able to control our urges and make good Tips to Avoid Bad Decisions. This means giving it good food so it has enough energy to do its job and making sure it gets enough rest.
How Willpower gets depleted throughout the day
McGonigal says that one of the most commonly found things about willpower is that it seems to be limited, meaning that we only have so much and it runs out as we use it.
Trying to keep your cool, block out distractions, or say “no” to seconds all draw on the same well of strength.
Willpower is like a muscle in that it can get tired from overuse, but just like physical muscles, some researchers think that we might be able to strengthen it by training it.
Here is How Willpower Works? 6 Tips to Avoid Bad Decisions;
1. Raise your tolerance for stress by learning how to deal with it.
McGonigal says that we should start by taking care of our stress. When we are under a lot of stress, our bodies use their energy to act on instinct and make Tips to Avoid Bad Decisions based on what will happen in the short term. When we are under a lot of stress, our prefrontal cortex doesn’t get as much of our energy.
McGonigal says that stopping to take a few deep breaths when we feel overwhelmed or tempted is a great way to start managing our stress and building our willpower.
2. Tell yourself to follow your plan.
A study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology says that self-affirmation can even help you have more self-control when you’re running out. This makes it even easier. The difference between telling yourself “I can’t” and “I don’t” is a good example of this. Using the phrase “I don’t” to take back control of a situation has been shown to help you stick to your plan and break bad habits.
So, instead of telling yourself “I can’t,” try telling yourself that you don’t do that bad habit.
3. Get more sleep to help your brain manage energy better
McGonigal also says that how well our prefrontal cortex works is greatly affected by how much sleep we get.
McGonigal also points to studies that show we can turn this to our advantage by making sure we get enough sleep.
And if you want a rough idea of how much sleep is enough, here it is: Daniel Kripke, a well-known sleep researcher, found in a recent study that people who sleep between 6.5 and 7.5 hours a night live the longest, are the happiest, and are the most productive Tips to Avoid Bad Decisions.
4. Meditate (for as little as 8 weeks)
Meditation has also been linked to giving us more willpower and improving our ability to pay attention, focus, deal with stress, and understand ourselves. McGonigal says that this can even work quickly.
5. Getting more exercise and eating better is the most overlooked way to have more willpower.
Regular physical exercise is another great way to train the brain that is often overlooked or undervalued. It can make you much more resistant to stress and Tips to Avoid Bad Decisions, in turn, boost your willpower. Both yoga and intense physical training can have these effects, but McGonigal says that we still don’t know why.
6. Put things off until later so you can pay attention to what’s important right now.
If you want to break a bad habit, putting off something you really shouldn’t have can help. Roy F. Baumeister says in his book Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength that people who tell themselves Tips to Avoid Bad Decisions “not now, but later” are usually less tempted by something they are trying to avoid (his example is eating chocolate cake).