Willpower is an exciting frontier that is slowly unraveling new dimensions of Human Potential.The question arises “Can Willpower be practiced through training?”.Recent Studies in Psychology have shown that when we plan,make choices and decisions the resource in the brain actually depletes!Studies done by renowned Psychologist Ray Baumeister and others from Case Western University have proven beyond doubt that when we have more choices or when we are under stress Willpower gets depleted.
Kelly Mconigal from Stanford University says that Willpower is a response of the brain and the body and is a reaction to an ongoing internal conflict.For example you are on a diet plan and then you are suddenly confronted with the tempting look and aroma of the delicious looking cheesecake or you want to hit the gym or finish the report but there are many times when you feel that you would rathe do nothing!
The more advanced part of the brain that is responsible for rational decision making – the prefontal cortex is also responsible for the regulation of our Willpower and Self Control.Studies prove that Willpower is finite and gets depleted on a regular basis.More so it is like a muscle and the more you practice that muscle the better it becomes!
Keys to Conserving and Optimizing WillPower
1.Learn and practice the art and science of managing stress through simple practicable exercises
2. Create your Own Success Plan and Encourage yourself to stick to it. In one research finding published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,it was shown that self affirmation can help you have more self control.A classic application of this principle is the difference between using the phrase “I don’t instead of “I can’t”.So start by saying “I don’t do this bad habit instead of ” I cant overcome”.
3.In order to manage your energy better get more sleep on a regular basis. Mconigal shares that getting adequate sleep on a regular basis improves the efficiency of the prefontal cortex.Sleep deprivations can result in chronic stress and the prefontal cortex actually loses control of regions responsible for wrongful cravings.Interestingly there are many studies that prove that we can offset this condition by getting adequate sleep.
4.Practice Meditation – Many studies have proven that regular meditation for as short as 8 weeks can strengthen areas responsible for WillPower ,including focus,attention and self awareness.
5.Eat nutritious food and exercise better – Planned Exercise regimen on a regular basis has been scientifically proven to increase resilience to stress.The right type of plant based nutrition makes more energy available to the brain.
6.In order to focus now on the right priorities learn to postpone other less important things for later.In his best selling classic “Willpower Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength” psychologist Roy Baumeister proves that practicing telling ourselves “Not now ..but later” actually succumb less to temptation than others who do not practice this.
Finally the experiment that showed the world the Power of our WillPower.