Willpower diminishes as the day wears on, but anything that reduces stress, boosts your mood, or recharges your energy can also reboot your stores of self-control. The following five strategies may look like temptations and distractions, but think of them as strategic indulgences. Help your willpower bounce back—by giving it a break.
Willpower is contagious. Many reality shows feature people working hard to overcome obstacles as they lose weight, face their fears, or organize their clutter. You can “catch” extra self-control just by watching someone else pursue a goal.
The brain uses more energy for willpower than for just about anything else. When your blood sugar level drops, your brain is less able to concentrate and manage your impulses. A small nibble that increases blood sugar can nudge the brain back into self-control mode.
It’s easy to disappear into an hours-long hole of piano-playing kitties and baby hedgehogs. But try to satisfy yourself with just a few minutes of cuteness. Research shows that watching a funny video restores depleted willpower and can help you get back on track with difficult tasks.