If you or your loved one has sought treatment to combat addiction, you know the challenges that come with it. Knowing how to build willpower will greatly help in your journey to overcome addiction. Addiction is an invisible enemy that is difficult to fight. It is important that people understand that addiction is a disease, and with willpower and persistence, it is possible to fight and overcome it. There are different factors behind addiction, such as mental health problems, childhood environment, genes, and trauma.
Knowing the driving force behind addiction is of utmost importance. It is the first step to beginning the journey to recovery. People should understand that willpower is important when combating addiction. You have better chances at a life without addiction when you have willpower.
What Does Willpower Mean?
Before we dive into ways to build willpower, let’s first look into the definition of willpower. Among the many definitions are the following:
- The control exerted to hold back from negative urges or control to push oneself to do something
- The ability to control one’s actions, urges, and emotions
- The strong drive that pushes oneself to do a difficult task
- The ability to steer clear of temptations with instant gratification
Since the journey to addiction recovery is not easy, it is willpower that will give you the push you need to attend meetings even when you don’t see the point of going, make use of the things you learned in therapy, and follow through with your recovery plan. While your recovery plan and therapy are the main factors that will bring you towards a better life, your willpower will help you stay on track.
How to Increase Willpower
They say that the more you practice your willpower, the better it gets. There is this widely popular willpower study called the Marshmallow Test. The researchers left a room full of preschoolers with a plate of marshmallows. Each participant was told that the person in charge had to leave the room. If the child waits for the researcher, they will be allowed to get two marshmallows.
If the child wants the marshmallow right away, they have to ring a bell for the researcher to come back, but they will only get one marshmallow. Over the years, researchers monitored all the participants. Those who waited for the researcher were doing better compared to the others. They have better SAT scores, lower BMI scores, and they have better coping mechanisms when it comes to frustration and stress.
There are things you can do to boost your willpower. Here are some of them:
1. Exercise Your Willpower Muscle.
If you want to exercise your willpower muscle, you can start by doing small tasks that are normally uncomfortable for you. For instance, you can try brushing your teeth using your non-dominant hand. You will be tempted to switch to your dominant hand but try your best to finish the task without doing so. Try doing these exercises for a few minutes every day, and you will strengthen your willpower.
2. Determine the Reason You Want to Get Sober.
When you have the motivation to do something, you’ll do anything to achieve it. There are things that will put your willpower to the test, so it is important that you know your values and that you keep them in mind as you go on with your everyday life.
Determine the reason you want to get sober. If it is for yourself and your loved ones, always think about them when you don’t feel like going to your meetings or if you feel like you want to use the substance again.
3. Clean Your Home.
You should create an environment that pushes you to become better. In this case, a clean home. When you have a clean place to stay, you will have an easier time declining invitations to parties or situations that can put your sobriety to the test. There are also studies that show that a clean home, in general, can boost your willpower.
The study put participants in a clean home and some participants in a messy home. They were then asked to make decisions relating to food and donating to charity. Participants who were in an orderly environment made better choices. They chose healthier food and were willing to donate money.
When you go to a clean home, you’ll have more willpower to do exercises or make better choices for your well-being.
These are some of the things that you can do to boost your willpower. With these, you’re one step closer to enjoying a life of sobriety. If you are looking for a recovery center near Nashville, Haven House will help you. We can guide you through your addiction recovery journey. We have a 12-step, Christian-based treatment program. Call us today, and we’ll see how we can fit your needs!