July 3, 2018
Everyone has their fair share of bad habits and vices. Despite the fact, they can always be overcome! What a person needs most is the will-power to face their bad habits and vices head on, and exercise their self-control around them.
Self-improvement does not happen overnight, but it will come with time, patience, and effort.
This is how to improve your willpower and boost your self-control:
1. Understand your triggers
The first step to developing self-control is to understand why you have triggers in the first place. That way, you can establish a clear path and implement the steps needed to surpass it. Therefore, take the time to think about where triggers stem from.
For example, some people eat junk food while stressed to redirect their energy into an enjoyable activity and to experience temporary relief from their stress – which in this case, is indulging in a sugary treat or salty snack.
The trigger here is stress, while the action to cope with it is unhealthy eating. Initially, on the surface, it may not seem harmful to eat a small amount of junk food, but the constant habit of doing so puts the individual at risk for suffering health consequences in the long-run such as diabetes or obesity.
2. Avoid triggers
When you understand a trigger, you can take more action to avoid it. This means to avoid any scenario, person, or object that reminds you of that trigger. Doing so otherwise would you put you at risk to relapsing into your bad habit or vice once again.
If you must be in the presence of a trigger, equip yourself with emotional techniques to combat succumbing to it. Let’s say you had an addiction to alcohol in the past, but have decided to become sober. However, you’re invited to a relative’s party to celebrate a holiday and wine will be served at it.
To resist the temptation, bring a drink that makes you feel safe, such as a bottle of water. Whenever you feel an urge to reach for a glass, drink the water instead.
3. Focus on developing healthy coping mechanisms
Healthy coping mechanisms help you maintain a calm and rational state of mind when stressed. Choosing a strategy that healthily copes with a trigger gives you the strength to maintain both your willpower and self-control for every event or stressor that you will face in the future.
The coping strategies that are both healthy and beneficial for your well-being like exercising, spending time with friends, journaling, or going outside. While they provide a temporary distraction from the source of stress, they improve your health and also help you confront stress with a clear mind when you’re ready to do so.
You never want to go down the route of unhealthy coping mechanisms that are harmful, such as drinking, abusing drugs, or recklessly spending money. These strategies also provide a distraction, but they encourage actions that hurt rather than help you.
4. Meditate daily
When you need a break from the hustle and bustle of life, take a moment to meditate. Meditation is the practice of connecting the mind and body to focus on the present moment and explore thoughts and emotions.
Daily meditation enables you to embrace self-reflection, strengthen your introspection skills, and cultivate self-awareness. No matter what you meditate on, meditation will act as the foundation for helping you understand yourself and every emotion you feel.