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7 Surprising Science-Based Hacks To Build Your Willpower

7 Surprising Science-Based Hacks To Build Your Willpower
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Tempted by that second doughnut? Struggling to resist checking your phone? Shopping impulsively on Amazon? Slacking off by reading Lifehack instead of doing work? What you need is more willpower! Recent research shows that strengthening willpower is the real secret to the kind of self-control that can help you resist temptations and achieve your goals. The great news is that scientists say strengthening your willpower is not as hard as you might think. Here are 7 research-based hacks to strengthen your willpower!

1. Smile :-)

Smile

    Smiling and other mood-lifting activities help improve willpower. In a recent study, scientists first drained the willpower of participants through having them resist temptation. Then, for one group, they took steps to lift people’s moods, such as giving them unexpected gifts or showing them a funny video. For another group, they just let them rest. Compared to people who just rested for a brief period, those whose moods were improved did significantly better in resisting temptation later! So next time you need to resist temptation, improve your mood! Smile or laugh, watch a funny video or two.

    2. Clench Your Fist

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    Fist

      Clench your fists or partake in another type of activity where you exercise self-control. Studies say that exercising self-control in any physical domain causes you to become more disciplined in other facets of life. So do whatever works for you to exercise self-control when you are trying to fight temptations: clench your fist, squeeze your eyes shut, or you can even hold in your pee, just like UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

      3. Meditate

      FV_International _Insights_eja1

        Meditation is great for a lot of things – reducing stress, increasing focus, managing emotions. Now research suggests it even helps us build willpower! With all these benefits, can you afford not to meditate? An easy way to get started is to spend 10 minutes a day sitting in a calm position and focusing on your breath.

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        4. Reminders

        SONY DSC

          Our immediate desires to give in to temptations make it really challenging to resist them. Our emotional desires seem like a huge elephant and our rational self is like a small elephant rider by comparison. However, one way to steer the elephant is to set in physical reminders in advance to remind ourselves of what our rational self wanted to do. So put a note on your fridge that says “only one doughnut” or set an alarm clock to buzz when you want to stop playing video games.

          5. Eat

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          Eat

            Did you know that your willpower is powered by food? No wonder’s it’s so hard to diet! When we have low levels of glucose, our willpower goes down the drain. The best cure is a meal rich in protein, which produces a constant and steady glucose level and enables the most optimal willpower.

            6. Self-Forgiveness

            Forgive

              How is self-forgiveness connected to willpower? Well, what the science shows is that feelings of regret deplete your willpower. This is why those who eat a little too much ice cream and feel regret are then much more likely to just let themselves go and eat the whole pint or even gallon! Instead, when you give in to temptation, be compassionate toward yourself and forgive yourself. That way, you’ll have more willpower going forward!

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              7. Commitment

              Commitment 2

                The most important thing to strengthen your willpower is commitment to doing so! Only by committing to improving your willpower every day will you be able to take the steps described above. To do so, evaluate your situation and why you want to strengthen your willpower, make a clear decision to work on improving this area, and set a long-term goal for your willpower improvement to have the kind of intentional life that you want.

                Then break down this goal into specific and concrete steps that you will take based on the strategies described above. Research shows this is the best path for you to build your willpower! So what are the specific and concrete steps that you will take?

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                Photo Credit: Smile!, Fist of Fury!, Gleb Tsipursky meditating in the park, 225/365 Reminders, pai eating, Forgive, Commitment

                Featured photo credit: Temptation/Lowes via flickr.com

                More by this author

                Dr. Gleb Tsipursky

                Cognitive neuroscientist and behavioral economist; CEO of Disaster Avoidance Experts; multiple best-selling author

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                Last Updated on July 12, 2021

                100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier

                100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier
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                Want to learn some quick and easy life hacks that are easy to do, low cost and saves you time?

                By tweaking little things in your daily life, it can make your life much more convenient!

                Here’re 100 of the most practical life hacks so you can just pick up any of them right away!

                83 tie a small piece of bright colored fabric

                  84 write random letter

                    85 use a rubberband

                      86 dorm smell bad

                        87 lean your phone on your sunglassess

                          89 how to waterproof your shoes

                            90 take a picture of the name card

                              91 iron inside out

                                92 old newspaper

                                  93 tumble try shoes

                                    keep a card like this

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                                        94 soap bar

                                          95 make a hole

                                            96 drop the battery

                                              97 use a coozie

                                                98 when taking a picture

                                                  use a clean dust pan

                                                    try a pants hanger

                                                      use your cellphone light

                                                        use a spring from an old pen

                                                          quick and easy iphone speaker

                                                            user binder clips

                                                              wrap a wet paper towel around your beverage

                                                                put pancake mix in a ketchup bottle

                                                                  clean out an old lotion bottle for your beach

                                                                    use a muffin tin to serve condiments at a bbq

                                                                      doritos are great for kindling

                                                                        use nail polish to identify different keys

                                                                          use a hanging shoe rack to store cleaning supplies

                                                                            freeze grapes to chill white wine without

                                                                              use paper clips to organize your cables

                                                                                almost finished your jar of nutella

                                                                                  sick of having a box full of tangled

                                                                                    unroll the rim to increase the capacity

                                                                                      cut open toilet paper rolls and use as a cuff

                                                                                        remove the stem from strawberries

                                                                                          turn an old bottle into a simple little cord holder

                                                                                            for iced coffee and iced cappuccino, use frozen coffee cubes

                                                                                              how to fold a fitted bed sheet

                                                                                                tired of snoozing past your alarm

                                                                                                  place a rubber band around an open paint can to wipe your brush on

                                                                                                    ut a wooden spoon across a boiling pot

                                                                                                      use bread clips to save flip-flops

                                                                                                        take pictures of friends holding items

                                                                                                          how i always know which headphone is the left one

                                                                                                            put a stocking over the end of a vacuum

                                                                                                              How to make sure you drink enough water

                                                                                                                user a can opener to open blister

                                                                                                                  good sandwich guide

                                                                                                                    turn your muffin pans upside down

                                                                                                                      50 pounds of groceries and living on the 5th floor

                                                                                                                        the right way to make a blt

                                                                                                                          add one teaspoon of baking soda

                                                                                                                            38

                                                                                                                              hair straighteners equals to collar irons

                                                                                                                                stack your clothes vertically to see them all

                                                                                                                                  the right way to make cookies in the summer

                                                                                                                                    how to clean a blender

                                                                                                                                      the right way to eat a popsicle

                                                                                                                                        use bread clips to label and organize power cords

                                                                                                                                          to get the built up residue off of your shower head

                                                                                                                                            user a hair clip to orgainize long wires

                                                                                                                                              a frozen saturated sponge in a bag

                                                                                                                                                rub stuck zipper teeth with a graphite pencil

                                                                                                                                                  use a soda pop tab

                                                                                                                                                    50

                                                                                                                                                      51 How to multiply large numbers in your head.

                                                                                                                                                        52 How to open a bottle if you dont have a corkscrew.

                                                                                                                                                          rub a walnut on damaged wooden furniture

                                                                                                                                                            kids fall out of bed

                                                                                                                                                              use toothpaste to clear up hazy car

                                                                                                                                                                58

                                                                                                                                                                  59 keep pizza out while driving home

                                                                                                                                                                    60 put your straw through the tab to keep it from rising

                                                                                                                                                                      hold oreos with a fork so your fingers

                                                                                                                                                                        Never lose your remotes again

                                                                                                                                                                          hiding your emergency money

                                                                                                                                                                            use a bread tab to hold your spot on a roll

                                                                                                                                                                              if you are at a hotel and run out of chargers

                                                                                                                                                                                keep a square of cardboard in a ziplock bag

                                                                                                                                                                                  If you need to pee or smoke at a bar

                                                                                                                                                                                    drill holes in the bottom of your garbage

                                                                                                                                                                                      use an accented letter as your passcode

                                                                                                                                                                                        use a squeeze ketchup bottle top with your shopvac

                                                                                                                                                                                          do something unusual when locking the door

                                                                                                                                                                                            when heating leftovers space out a circle in the middle

                                                                                                                                                                                              dont burn yourself in those hard to reach candles

                                                                                                                                                                                                put a small amount of water in a glass when you microwave your pizza

                                                                                                                                                                                                  75 use a piece of paper to organize

                                                                                                                                                                                                    use half a pool noodle

                                                                                                                                                                                                      pencil case to store cables

                                                                                                                                                                                                        78 clothespin to hold nail

                                                                                                                                                                                                          79 make blts

                                                                                                                                                                                                            80 take a picture of your fridge

                                                                                                                                                                                                              81 fill plastic water bottles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                82 right ways to eat chips

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  99 if your plug keeps failing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    100 put the banana on the wire

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      88 before you throw away a post it

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Source: Reddit LifeProTips

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There you go, 100 awesome life hacks that you can try right now to make your life a lot easier!

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