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How to BOOST your WILLPOWER!
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How to BOOST your WILLPOWER!

Hi everyone! You were all SO nice to me that I had to contribute in some way.

There was an article posted in the New York Times newspaper and no doubt it will be taken down so I'll just copy/paste it right here so that everyone can read it. =)

Some really great tips. Try some of the little things and try to find new ways to exercise the "muscle." Maybe after a while, the addiction process will become easier and easier? It's worth a shot!!  Worth a sticky?

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The New York Times
Friday, December 6, 2007,  11:52 AM

HOW TO BOOST YOUR WILLPOWER

Every day, we are tested. Whether it’s a cookie tempting us from our diets or a warm bed coaxing us to sleep late, we are forced to decide between what we want to do and what we ought to do.

The ability to resist our impulses is commonly described as self-control or willpower. The elusive forces behind a person’s willpower have been the subject of increasing scrutiny by the scientific community trying to understand why some people overeat or abuse drugs and alcohol. What researchers are finding is that willpower is essentially a mental muscle, and certain physical and mental forces can weaken or strengthen our self-control.

Studies now show that self-control is a limited resource that may be strengthened by the foods we eat. Laughter and conjuring up powerful memories may also help boost a person’s self-control. And, some research suggests, we can improve self-control through practice, testing ourselves on small tasks in order to strengthen our willpower for bigger challenges.

“Learning self-control produces a wide range of positive outcomes,’’ said Roy Baumeister, a psychology professor at Florida State University who wrote about the issue in this month’s Current Directions in Psychological Science. “Kids do better in school, people do better at work. Look at just about any major category of problem that people are suffering from and odds are pretty good that self-control is implicated in some way.’’

Last month, Dr. Baumeister reported on laboratory studies that showed a relationship between self-control and blood glucose levels. In one study, participants watched a video, but some were asked to suppress smiles and other facial reactions. After the film, blood glucose levels had dropped among those who had exerted self-control to stifle their reactions, but stayed the same among the film watchers who were free to react, according to the report in Personality and Social Psychology Review.

The video watchers were later given a concentration test in which they were asked to identify the color in which words were displayed. The word “red,” for instance, might appear in blue ink. The video watchers who had stifled their responses did the worst on the test, suggesting that their self-control had already been depleted by the film challenge.

But the researchers also found that restoring glucose levels appears to replenish self-control. Study subjects who drank sugar-sweetened lemonade, which raises glucose levels quickly, performed better on self-control tests than those who drank artificially-sweetened beverages, which have no effect on glucose.

The findings make sense because it’s long been known that glucose fuels many brain functions. Having a bite to eat appears to help boost a person’s willpower, and may explain why smokers trying to quit or students trying to focus on studying often turn to food to sustain themselves.

Consuming sugary drinks or snacks isn’t practical advice for a dieter struggling with willpower. However, the research does help explain why dieters who eat several small meals a day appear to do better at sticking to a diet than dieters who skip meals. “You need the energy from food to have the willpower to exert self-control in order to succeed on your diet,'’ said Dr. Baumeister.

Kathleen Vohs, professor of marketing at the University of Minnesota, says that in lab studies, self-control is boosted when people conjure up powerful memories of the things they value in life. Laughter and positive thoughts also help people perform better on self-control tasks. Dr. Vohs notes that self-control problems occur because people are caught up “in the moment’’ and are distracted from their long-term goals.

“You want to look good in a bikini next summer but you’re looking at a piece of chocolate cake now,’’ said Dr. Vohs. “When we get people to think about values we move them to the long-term state, and that cools off the tempting stimuli.’’

Finally, some research suggests that people struggling with self-control should start small. A few studies show that people who were instructed for two weeks to make small changes like improving their posture or brushing their teeth with their opposite hand improved their scores on laboratory tests of self-control. The data aren’t conclusive, but they do suggest that the quest for self-improvement should start small. A vow to stop swearing, to make the bed every day or to give up just one food may be a way to strengthen your self-control, giving you more willpower reserves for bigger challenges later.

“Learning to bring your behavior under control even with arbitrary rules does build character in that it makes you better able to achieve the things you want to achieve later on,'’ said Dr. Baumeister. “Self-control is a limited resource. People make all these different New Year’s resolutions, but they are all pulling off from the same pool of your willpower. It’s better to make one resolution and stick to it than make five.'’

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Best wishes to you all~
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4 Comments Post a Comment
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271792_tn?1334983257
I believe that the terms "willpower" and "self-control" should not be used in the same sentence as addiction. If I had either of those two things, I would not need to be here.
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Avatar_m_tn
Well Kleen, I agree with you again... I also enjoyed Personable's article from NYT's a lot...might even go clear back to that idea someone had that maybe we are all responsible for our own actions and deeds moreso than we care to accept occassionally.......when I attended Indiana University I also had a part time job as custodian for the Monroe County Community Schools - An English teacher that I cleaned up after she kept requesting that I was to be assigned her classroom, and we had long frshman talks into the night about changing the world....to make that long story short, I found out later that Teach was one of the SDS (students for a democratic society) more radical members and that she was one of the four convicted for killing the custodial staff in the Math Research Building in the middle of the night.
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352798_tn?1343321200
Amen to IBKleen. I have always lacked self-control. That is a very good area for all of us to work on. Thanks for the post.
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318928_tn?1248181016
Here's my favorite part of the article: "Studies now show that self-control is a limited resource..." HAHAHAHA That's my life in a nutshell and I have to laugh that 'they' are only coming to this conclusion "now". I have long held the belief that diet has everything to do with keeping on track.  I am all about protein and whole grains.  I have a serious sweet tooth though and know that when I indulge it, I run into serious problems.  My mood, my energy and my sleep get all screwy but I LOVE the sugar!!! So yes, my name is Melissa and Im a refined sugar addict.  Its call out to me, I need it daily and I love the way it makes me feel! Damn!  Is there a 12 step for this?? I am powerless over the sugar and my life becomes unmanageable......
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Avatar_f_tn
thanks for sharing the article, buddy... I plan to read it AGAIN tomorrow... i think there's something to be said about this, for some of us...

thanks again for taking the time.. :-)

warmly,
mj
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318890_tn?1297968920
I really like the artical. I no what other are saying about will power & self control to an addict. It's a bit late really.
But ever since i've had my addiction. My eating pattern has stoped, I do eat but not alot. Mabey if like suggested in the artical i ate more. It's worth a try & not to mention  must lol. I also stand & say my name is natalie & i'm a suger addict. I will atper on that in due time lol.
Please don't think i'm making light of it. I really did find it a good artical.
I showed me some thing's i didn't no
Thank you peace nat xxx
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