How to train your willpower daily
Every our action, mental or physical, is accompanied by a volitional act. In its essence there lies the general state of mental stress. Let us consider this aspect in more detail and see how you can train willpower.
Will as a function of the psyche
The psyche stops parallel mental processes that prevent the beginning of action (conflicting emotions, thoughts) and let others through. The act of volition itself stands out from behavior as a state of strong emotional charge. In terms of structure, the entire nervous system is responsible for the formation of a volitional act, but the main importance is attributed to the controlled function of the frontal lobes.
Psychophysiological blocks of the brain, which the volitional act depends on:
1. unit responsible for the physical clarity of consciousness - wakefulness - sleep. It includes subcortical structures, reticular formation;
2. the unit responsible for receiving and storing information;
3. frontal lobes, where the creation of meaning and motive takes place - here the mental control of behavior occurs.
At the core of the feeling that precedes the planned action there is a sense of responsibility for the act. The semantic content of the goal is considered in the modal framework of "possible" or "necessary." The willpower is directly connected with our desire, in case of a divergence of desire with social norms, the emotional tension increases greatly.
The development of will initially occurs through external control of behavior — communication with other people at school, in the garden, at work, at home. The approval of parents and the loved ones reinforces the will to perform complex tasks.
The rules of behavior are gradually established, the will is transferred to the internal conscious control. Strong self-motivation leads to overcoming one's own laziness, developing useful abilities.
Repetition of skills, accompanied by volitional efforts, is fixed in the behavior. At the same time, conscious control weakens, and actions become automatic (stereotypization). Conscious development of abilities helps to reduce mental energy for volitional act. Thus, the brain saves effort.
Will affects the moral and ethical sphere as part of the personality. Our consciousness is fully socialized and lives according to the principle of reality, morality points to actions for which we love ourselves and feel good - there is almost no need for willful effort. However, generally accepted morality is not applicable to scientific discoveries and actions. Therefore, for example, scientists who have created a hydrogen bomb can be considered immoral in relation to the value of human life, but not lacking willpower.
According to Freud's psychoanalysis, the impulse to action within the framework of “perhaps” is carried out when the act does not affect other people's interests, but superpersonal attitudes can ignore social approval, as in the example with scientists. In the latter case, rather, it manifests the power of self-expression and the upholding of interests, both vital and intellectual.
Strengthening willpower should occur internally and externally. It is necessary to learn to ignore insignificant goals, put the main thing in the foreground. Exercise on willpower includes different motivations:
1. Enhance self-esteem.
2. Improving abilities and achieving high results.
3. Control over their actions.
4. Raising the status, expanding social ties.
5. Increased stress tolerance.
It is necessary to remember that even a weak will in the course of training will grow to a high level, it can be developed, figuratively speaking, just like the body muscle.
How to train willpower
1. Control your diet. Daily diet should include natural and high-quality products. It is better to give preference to fresh vegetables and fruits, boiled dietary meat. Meals should be divided into 4-5 receptions, you should eat not a lot, but more often, avoiding the feeling of hunger. It is necessary to abandon substandard products, fast food. Start to train your willpower - prepare the dishes yourself individually.
2. Fighting bad habits - smoking, reading books at the dinner table and so on. This also includes the rejection of ready-made junk food, ready-cooked food.
3. Exercise on willpower by weakening conscious control. For example, if you have decided to quit smoking, you should not hide cigarettes in a distant cupboard, hoping that the thought of smoking will not irritate you. Keep cigarettes in an easily accessible place, somewhere in sight. From the fact that you will know that no one forbids smoking, mental resistance will decrease, negative thoughts will disappear. Then you begin to think that you yourself are able to give up cigarettes. You can use images of smoking people as additional “provocateurs”.
4. Scientists have found that the strengthening of the volitional impulse contributes to muscle tension in the body. If you are tempted to skip the desired goal for the sake of others, tighten the muscles of the arm, squeezing your hand into a fist. Thoughts with physical movement will strengthen the emotional state.
5. Scientists have found that will power is reinforced by good actions towards other people. For example, give some money to a beggar. This forms the opinion that you are a good person and you should respect yourself. Another effect of the act is control over bad aspirations. A person who has accumulated numerous positive experiences is unlikely to want to cross it out.
6. The development of the ability to switch and focus. Distractions and conversations that are not related to your goal should be ignored and you should focus on important tasks. Also, in the current unfavorable situation for the selected task, you can switch to a different kind of activity - other thoughts will occupy your mind.
7. Creating new habits. Habit is a skill or action brought to automatism. In order for an action to happen unconsciously, it is necessary for some time to consciously force yourself to do this or that work. For example, learn to write, wash dishes or brush your teeth with your left hand.
8. Constant sleep mode enhances willpower. Set the evening time, for example, at 11 pm and try to get to bed no later than that time. Set morning wake up at 7 o'clock. Such a schedule disciplines you, it will help to maximize the accumulation of body resources at night. As a result, the occurrence of disturbing, awakening thoughts will be reduced, lack of sleep will be eliminated, working capacity and psychological stability will increase during the daytime.
9. Strong communication. Try to keep all your emotions and feelings under control. In a conversation, show them only when necessary. Do not express excessive emotions if the interlocutor does not require it. Facial expression and gestures should also be appropriate and contain a volitional focus.
10. Fight against laziness. If you have accumulated several tasks, do not postpone them for later. It is necessary to go for a walk with a dog - take a leash, a dog and go outside. Try not to look for excuses - rain, cold, sleepy, just do it. In addition to training willpower, exercise increases productivity in business. Instead of a dog, sports can be used as an incentive. As for work and study - here the ability to start performing tasks at once is even more important and will be directly related to your success.
11. Give up senseless activities that are easy to quit.
12. Complete your plans. As a regular exercise, for example, if you are reading a book, formulate the task to finish it to the semantic end (for example, to the end of the current chapter) and try to implement it. Try to read thoughtfully - it will increase interest and attention to the text. When reading, do not be distracted by extraneous factors, control thoughts.
13. Encourage yourself. If you have completed a task that has been postponed for a long time, please yourself with a sweet or a small gift. This will reinforce the feeling of self-satisfaction and will at first. However, do not overdo it.
14. Know how to relax. Sit on a chair or in a armchair, calm your thoughts. Do not allow any part of the body to move (despite the feeling of unpleasant inaction), such a state gathers all mental energy together. Relaxed tone reduces the effects of extraneous thoughts and focuses attention on the right things. In such a state, it is easier to “study” thoughts, to comprehend events, leaving the energy impulse beyond consciousness.
15. Motivating actions through modeling results. Imagine that putting off cases will cause you and others negative reviews; you will spend more time on your laziness than on actions. Then imagine how the situation will change when you finish things earlier than you plan - with satisfaction and mental relief of consciousness. Comparison of different options for a possible future creates an emotional charge, a nervous impulse to action.
16. One should understand and explain one's personal intentions, plan the result. Present all stages and intermediate results on the way to achieving the main goal. Without a clear planning, a person is inclined to be distracted by small, intermediate actions, to focus on their development. Or, on the contrary, he sees the main goal much closer than it really is. In such cases, direct implementation can lead to frustration due to the fact that the person is not prepared, expecting some abstract result.
17. Do not grab at all the exercises of willpower at once and “cram” them into the daily schedule. Start with the most simple for you in accordance with the free time. Gradually transform the daily routine. To begin, try to perform at least one or two exercises during the month. Then you can add the third one or change the applied ones.
The main thing in the development of the will is a steady intention, a willingness to change one’s way of thinking and living to achieve a sustainable effect. This, by the way, is also the training of willpower! As a result, you will be rewarded, because, as they say: "Success is the result of serious work."