Can Imagining Someone Exercise Self-Control Boost Your Self-Control?

Do you know anyone who seems to have an endless supply of self-control and hope that you can borrow some of that? You don’t have to be envious anymore—in fact, you can even take full advantage of that. According to one study, you can become infected with someone’s self-control simply by visualising or imagining that person exercising self-control. The authors found that ‘merely perceiving someone use self-control can improve one’s self-reported self-control ability and reduce one’s feelings of fatigue’. Continue reading


Reduce Procrastination With One Statement

‘I have to finish something big and important and do it perfectly while working hard for long periods of time without time to play.’ Does this sound familiar? If yes, you probably procrastinate to some extent. Continue reading

Thinking About Money Boosts Willpower

Money is the root of all evil? Not exactly, since having lots of it can provide a greater sense of control. Besides, research has found that this feeling of self-sufficiency actually translates to more self-control. Fortunately, if you don’t have real cash, you can still elicit that effect by thinking about money-related stuff, which is similar to how religious thoughts can boost willpower. Mark Twain was right—the lack of money is the root of all evil—without money, you probably will lack willpower. Continue reading

Self-Distancing Reduces Aggression

Someone has just boiled your blood. How do you regain composure? We tend to dwell on and imagine everything happening to ourselves again. Unfortunately, this will only intensify negative feelings. But luckily, psychologists have found a simple trick to help you regain self-control in the heat of the moment—imagine yourself as a fly on the wall, visualise and replay the conflict unfold from a distance from a third-person perspective. Continue reading

Train Self-Control Like A Muscle

Self-control is a muscle, and this more than a metaphor. Studies have consistently demonstrated that practising the right kinds of self-control tasks for merely two weeks can increase your overall self-control, like the way strength training increases the size of your muscles. Seemingly trivial tasks like opening the door with your non-dominant hand and telling yourself to maintain a good posture can actually help tackle more daunting willpower challenges! Continue reading

Forgiving Yourself Can Help Defeat Procrastination

Put off doing the dishes again? Do you detest yourself for always putting off doing a task as important as that? Research has shown that you’d be less likely to delay doing something in the future if you forgive yourself for your past procrastinatory sins. Admit that you’ve failed horribly at regulating your own behaviour, feel guilty and regretful about it, and finally stop hating yourself and understand it’s actually no big deal. After all, the worst that can happen with dirty dishes is only a few uninvited guests. Continue reading

Religious Thoughts Can Boost Willpower, Even For Nonbelievers

Feeling bad because you always gorge on all the cakes and chocolates and leave your friends with nothing during a party? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Fortunately, God may be able to help, albeit indirectly. Studies have shown that keeping religious concepts in mind can help us tolerate more pain, resist temptations, and even persist longer when the going gets really tough. So get a thesaurus and brace yourself for the next party by arming yourself with a list of faith-related words! Divine, holy, God, spirit, saint… Continue reading