As a recovering addict, one of the most challenging things in the world was having the willpower and self-control to stay sober after rehab. I felt lost without drugs and alcohol because they were my clutches whenever I was anxious, stressed, or sad. In fact, I endured more relapses than I want to admit. However, I realized over time that despite feeling that changing for the better or staying clean was impossible – it was only a mindset, and negative mindsets, especially, can always be overcome.
The number one obstacle between us and the things we want in life or the circumstances we hope to change is our mind – primarily, the willpower and self-control we exercise with it. Tackling them is the first step to enhancing the quality of life overall.
Check out these following techniques to improve your willpower and self-control
Clean up your diet and establish an exercise regime
Eating healthy and exercising are undoubtedly two actions that will always positively impact both our emotional and physical well-being. First and foremost, junk food is delicious – we all know that for a fact! However, we also know that junk food, whether it be sweet or savory, does nothing but give us temporary spikes of energy that end in unforgiving crashes, bloat our bellies, and induce laziness. As a result, we don’t ever feel our best after eating junk food; and when we don’t feel our best, we won’t be motivated to do anything.
Therefore, we need to make an effort to choose food that is healthy so that we can fuel our bodies with the essential vitamins, nutrients, and minerals to keep it functioning at its prime. In conjunction with that, exercise should be an unavoidable activity a few times during your week.
Eating clean and exercising daily are the catalysts for productive momentums since both our mind and body will constantly feel genuinely energized and refreshed thanks to both, thus sustaining motivation.
Discipline yourself to develop good habits
Good habits are the foundation for a person’s success. While they may not seem like much when you reflect on them in a day – when looked at in the bigger picture, you will realize that your everyday actions continuously affect one another.
For example, if you wake up early, you may feel more inclined to hit the gym. After the gym, you will want to help your body recover from the workout by eating a healthy meal, and so on and so forth. It’s a never-ending domino effect of positive and productive habits! Think of both the good and habits you currently have right now. Keep those good habits but find alternatives for your bad ones.
Bad habits occur mainly due to stress or boredom. Let’s say you reach for a drink whenever you have a terrible day. Instead of doing that, reach for a glass of water or brew a cup of green tea. Hydrate rather than hurt yourself!
Embrace positive affirmations
Like many others, I get uncomfortable with the idea of praising myself. However, I seem to have no problem criticizing myself. Sound familiar?
This type of negative thinking is harmful and hindering to our personal growth. Instead of being comfortable with self-criticism, we need to embrace positive affirmations instead.
Showering yourself with positive words will naturally going to feel weird at first, but if you do it enough times, you realize that developing confidence and self-love is a great thing! Otherwise, our brain gets used to a negative thought cycle that can trigger depression and anxiety. Some examples of positive affirmations include telling yourself you can succeed or that making mistakes is human, and you can always get back up and try again. You need to say to yourself that you will develop the willpower and self-control to accomplish your goals. Thoughts ultimately manifest themselves into actions.
Learn how to manage stress effectively
Did you know that stress is the main contributing factor that diminishes our rational thought?
As a result, our willpower and self-control suffer from it. That’s why managing stress effectively is so important. I used to be the kind of person who would avoid stress or the paralyzing emotions it caused at all costs, and I know I didn’t do it in the healthiest of ways: I drank or did drugs whenever the going got tough which ultimately made me an addict.
The way you deal with stress affects your ability to handle difficult emotional circumstances, so it’s imperative that you are doing it healthily.
When we’re stressed, we never think clearly and are more inclined to make impulsive decisions. That’s why we need to find methods that both combat stress and ease our tension so that in the future, we can think more rationally in the face of overwhelming stressors and make better decisions.
Make meditation a daily part of your routine
Last but not least, make some room for meditation in your everyday routine.
Meditation is the mental practice where you bring awareness to the state of both your mind and body in the present moment.
When implemented daily, you strengthen your introspectiveness, which will make you comfortable with analyzing your thoughts and emotions, as well as being honest with yourself. These are vital to helping you stay grounded, understand your motives, and focused on the course of action you should be taking to stay productive.
Improving your willpower and self-control is no easy task that can be accomplished in a day. Doing so is going to take some time, but that’s the beauty of it: you continuously build your emotional resilience every day with the right techniques and actions, so that one day, self-discipline will no longer feel difficult to achieve. Rather, it will just come naturally to you, like putting down a bottle or taking another step forward.