More willpower is something many people feel they need in order to eat healthy, exercise and lose weight. If I told you there was one thing you could do to increase your self-control, would you do it?
I don’t believe willpower is the only thing that helps you live a healthy life. Strong chemical cravings, emotions, stress, and habits all play a part in why you choose to eat junk food or sit in front of the tv. However, willpower can help move you forward in your healthy living journey.
Willpower is your ability to control yourself. Having self-control is similar to a muscle in that it can become exhausted when it is used. The more you make decisions of any kind throughout the day, the more likely you will have less willpower as the day goes on…ever wonder why evenings seem to be hardest for most people to eat well?
Scientific studies typically focus on what decreases self-control such as making decisions, but it rarely looks at what might strengthen willpower.
I came across this study, Personal Prayer Buffers Self-Control Depletion.
We know there are many benefits of personal prayer. People who pray tend to be more forgiving, kinder, and feel less stress, but now this study states that it can increase your self-control.
This study didn’t give a reason for why that might be, but I can tell you in my own personal experience, the more I prayer, the more I learn to let go of my need to be in control. The first two-thirds of my life I planned, organized, moved, and gave orders to make sure I had everything under control. But what I have realized is that I am never in control. God is in control. He allows me the illusion of control.
In my prayer time as I have drawn closer to God, I am able to let go. I used to pray more with petition…asking for things. Now as trust in God’s divine omnipotence grows, I spend more time in adoration and thanksgiving. I can let things happen as they are meant to happen. Don’t get me wrong, I still plan, organize and move. I still ask for things, however, it is with the thought that I must do what I can, and God will handle the rest.
When I start my day in prayer, I feel less stressed, I feel kinder, and I am more forgiving because I trust that things will work out the way they are meant to work out. I guess I have let go of much of my self-control.
The paradox is that the more I let go, the more strength I seem to have. I can control my desires. Oh, I am far from where I want to be, but I do see the progress and feel the reduction in stress and worry.
There you have it, the one thing you can do to increase your willpower is to spend time in prayer.
Do you pray? Do you think prayer can increase your willpower? Tell me in the comments when and how you pray?