Psychology

How to harness willpower

In this podcast, Kelly McGonigal, Mindful.org blogger and author of The Willpower Instinct, talks about strengthening willpower, especially when dealing with bad habits and distractions.

Photo © flickr.com/Paul Stainthorp

Listen as Nora Young, from CBC's Spark (a radio show about technology and culture), interviews McGonigal about the science of self-control, and how we can use it to improve our health, happiness, and productivity. These are themes from McGonigal's recent book, The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters and How to Get More of It.

She explains how, for example, getting more sleep and meditating are fantastic ways to reduce stress and train the brain to have more willpower. She also says people need to slow down and investigate why they think certain things:

In both the book and in the class, I do far more telling people to pay attention than to go in actually try to control and change things right away. It's that the paying attention that really helps.

Listen to the podcast here. The interview with Kelly McGonigal begins at 42:54.

To read posts from her blog, "Heart & Mind," here on Mindful.org, click here.