Replenishing Willpower

Do you know how to nourish your willpower? Whenever you resolve to maintain good habits or change harmful ones, you come face to face with temptation. Amazingly, new research reveals that willpower is like a muscle. It gets fatigued when over used and underfed. You’ve likely already noticed it’s harder to resist indulgence at night when you’ve spent the whole day being disciplined. Likewise, low blood sugar puts you in a danger zone for temptation as willpower requires glucose. Studies also show that suppressing feelings similarly depletes will power. Here are some things you can do to give your willpower the TLC it needs to stay strong.

First, keep taking emotional medicine. Cry when you’re sad, stomp when you’re mad, tremble when you’re scared, stop when you’re done and focus on the inevitable relief! Safely, responsibly, briefly expressing embodied emotion is not only good for your mood, your immune system, your heart, it’s also good for your will! Second, manage your glucose levels with foods that help keep blood levels steady: berries, sweet potatoes, nuts, etc.

Next, be strategic. Do self-care routines in the morning when will is high. Attend to important or difficult work/creative tasks early in the day before decision fatigue sets in.  Avoid blood sugar crashes. Move enticing substances out of your house. Take naps to give body, mind and will the pause that refreshes.

Finally, be ever so kind and loving to yourself no matter how well or horribly you’re managing habits. Replenishing your will begins with loving yourself enough to keep on keeping on.

Penelope Young Andrade LCSW,,,
Twitter @EmotionalRx,
(858) 481-5752

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