Home Health & Fitness Willpower Is Like A Muscle – How it Works in The Brain

Willpower Is Like A Muscle – How it Works in The Brain



A growing body of evidence indicates that willpower and self-control are essential for a happy and successful life.What willpower is and how it works in the brain: Kelly McGonagall, PhD and author of The Willpower Instinct says willpower is a response that comes from both the brain and the body.

Keep a journal to help you keep track of your progress, and to motivate you, when you aren’t making as much progress as you want. The prefrontal cortex (that section of the brain right behind your forehead) is the part that helps us with things like decision-making and regulating our behavior. Self-control, or willpower, falls under this heading, and thus is taken care of in this part of the brain.

To be effective at controlling our urges and making sound decisions, the prefrontal cortex needs to be looked after. That means feeding it with good-quality food so it has enough energy to do its job and getting enough sleep.

How willpower gets depleted throughout the day

We can look at willpower like a muscle—it can get exhausted by overuse, but just like our physical muscles, there are some researchers who believe we might be able to strengthen our willpower by training it.


Identify your goal and keep it reasonable…

Understand that sometimes a lack of willpower can result from unrealistic goals, which couldn’t be achieved.

Eat the elephant chunk by chunk…

Break the goal up into smaller, more manageable ones so that it all gets easier.

Set a deadline…

Deadline should be set such that it is reasonable with the difficulty of the goal. It shouldn’t be too strict or too loose. Once deadline is set try accomplishing its day by day goals efficiently.

Set your goal and go for it….

First plan and set your goal very carefully then don’t look back and start working on it with determination and commitment.

Find thee reason of lack of willpower…

If you lack willpower there must be some reason behind it. Finding out what is the hurdle that is keeping you from winning is a wise step to accomplish your goal. When you know problem you can find the solution too!

Hurdles may include

You are afraid of failing or your goal is too big to be accomplished all in one go.

Figure out your fears and hurdles…

Figure out what is holding you back from your goal. Overcome your fears and tell yourself that you are better than them.

Feeling of accomplishment….

Feed yourself with the glories of accomplishment of your goal. It’s not time to give up just because something is hard. Don’t let difficulty be an excuse not to do something.

Take difficulty as a challenge…

Be proud at the difficulty of the task. So that once you will have accomplished that goal you might feel proud at the difficulty you faced to get what you wanted.

Don’t underestimate yourself….

No one else knows how hard a task may be for you, you might have faced more difficulties than any of them.

Determination and persistence…

Don’t stop at ay hurdle that comes along keep going further and keep trying. Every second that passes can be a chance to gain a part of your goal.

Try try again…

You can’t get anything in one shot always. If your goal is worth it you should understand that it would require a commitment. Even if you don’t reach that certain goal in one shot you still learn and gain experience which might help when trying again for it.

Find a companion…

Find somebody with whom you can share your burden and who can advise you when needed. This can make all the hard work easier and fun.

Announce the goal…

Say it aloud without hesitation so that if you would need help in future you might get it. But do use your sixth sense and judgment and don’t involve negative people who would make your road rougher, rather than helping at all.

Write it down….

Writing it all down would help you to figure out that what is your goal really and what you need to do in order to reach it. It will show the gradual accomplishment of the goal and you will know clearly how far you still need to go.



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