“To turn your dreams into reality, all your resources, efforts and concentration
should be aligned in the same direction.” ― Roopleen Prasad
There is a strong belief that willpower and self-control are essential for building a happy, fulfilling life. This is largely due to the connection between these skills and the ability to reach the goals we set for ourselves. Have you ever struggled to find the willpower to stay on track? Willpower is like a muscle. When flexed often, it becomes stronger. When you don’t use your willpower, it begins to fade. A more surprising way that willpower is like a muscle is that it requires energy in the form of glucose in order to function.
It’s true, and you’ve probably experienced this for yourself. Have you ever gone too long between meals? Maybe you got busy at work and skipped lunch, then suddenly you are on your way home when the hunger settles in. What will you choose to eat?
Research tells us that willpower may rely on the presence of glucose. When our blood sugar dips, so does our self-control. This is one of the reasons why it is so difficult to make smart choices when we are hungry. Instead, we tend to become impulsive and lose control. This may be something you’ve known intrinsically all along. What happens when you go grocery shopping on an empty stomach? When our blood sugar is low, we are more prone to overfill our grocery cart with processed junk instead of nutrient-dense whole foods.
Blood glucose is a vital component when it comes to having and exercising willpower. When levels fall too low, due to insufficient intake or poor usage, we are more likely to fail at self-control. Not so surprisingly, the data confirms that the times of day when people are most tempted to lose control are also the times when glucose is used least efficiently (Gailliot, 2007). Even when we are armed with the best of intentions and motivations, we can’t fight brain chemistry forever.
Fortunately, restoring healthy blood glucose levels is shown to also restore our willpower. If you are trying to eat healthier, stress less, exercise more, quit smoking, stop drinking, or apply any other type of behavior change, you’ll have more success if you ensure your body has adequate glucose from wholesome sources. Fuel your brain with the energy it needs to make healthy choices.
For more personalized guidance on finding your willpower, schedule a consultation with Rose today.
What to Remember:
Willpower is an essential component of happiness.
As blood-sugar drops, so does an individual’s impulse control.
It is impossible to fight brain chemistry forever.
Fuel your brain with adequate glucose to make smart choices.
Watch Energy Matters, LLC’s Video: Where Is My Willpower?
- What You Need to Know about Willpower: The Psychological Science of Self-Control. Retrieved from American Psychological Association.
- Lino, Catarina. (October, 2016). The Psychology of Willpower: Training the Brain for Better Decisions. Retrieved from Positive Psychology Program.
- Tunikova, Oksana. (March, 2018). The Science of Willpower: How to Train Your Productivity Muscle. Retrieved from Medium.com.
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