The Connection between Stress and Willpower

It is believed that willpower is not an inherited characteristic that you are either born with or without. Instead, it’s a complicated body-mind reaction that can be compromised by nutrition, lack of sleep, and stress. However, you can strengthen your willpower through some practices. Let’s discuss the relationship between stress and willpower and how stress can affect your healthy willpower!

Stress and Willpower

The Relationship between Willpower and Stress


Both willpower and stress are produced in the mind. According to psychologists, willpower is like stress to a great extent. It’s not only a mental experience but also a complete mind-body response. Stress is a response to an external threat. In comparison, willpower is a response to an internal clash.


The requirement for self-control makes a lot of changes in the body and mind, which helps you control your temptation and revoke self-diminishing wishes. This is known as the pause-and-plan reaction that keeps your body in a quiet state, not like the adrenaline rush of the stress levels. Moreover, it conveys additional energy to the brain’s prefrontal cortex, which keeps track of your targets and helps you supersede cravings and impulses. As a result, you have the motivation, objective, and mindset for doing the most important task.


How Stress Can Impact Your Willpower


The biology of willpower and stress is not compatible. Hence, if you are under severe stress, you can’t find your willpower. The fight-or-flight reaction steals all energy from your brain where you make all wise decisions. Moreover, stress can encourage you to concentrate on short-term, instant targets and results, but self-control needs to keep the big image in mind. Learning the ways to cope with stress can help a lot when you feel tempted or overwhelmed. And this is the best way to boost your willpower as well.


How to Train Your Brain for Better Willpower


To enhance the willpower of your brain, you can go for physical exercises and meditation.

Physical workout causes some changes in the brain, particularly the prefrontal cortex. Nevertheless, the reason is unclear. Regular workout – both mindfulness exercises like yoga and intense cardio training – also makes the mind and body more flexible to stress, which is an excellent way to enhance willpower.

Meditation training also improves an extensive array of willpower skills, incorporating self-awareness, impulse, stress handling, focus, and attention. It transforms both structure and functions of the brain for aiding self-control.


Take-Home Messages


Stress is one of the biggest hindrances to willpower, while focusing is one of the best allies. Willpower difficulties involve combat between the impulsive system and the cognitive system. So, an efficient method is training yourself for observing when you are deciding something, instead of acting on autopilot. Willpower boosting activities like relaxation, meditation, healthy eating, and physical exercises usually enhance your self-control ability.


So, next time if you experience willpower difficulties, what will you do? How are you going to deal with stress and willpower effectively? We would love to hear from you. Just put a comment below.