Looking to form a new habit that just won’t stick? Or are you trying to kick an old one that isn’t supporting your growth? This can take extremely strong willpower and self-discipline, which meditation can help with.
Learn more about the numerous health benefits of meditation
How Meditation Strengthens Willpower and Self-Discipline
Willpower, self-discipline, and cognitive control can be grown through conscious effort and consistent practice. Meditation is a tool that will help you to strengthen these skillsets which will impact your entire life.
To give you some information on scientific studies proving this, within only an 8-week mindfulness meditation program activity within the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex has been shown to increase through a study performed by Barbara Tomasino and other researchers.
You may have assumed that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is responsible for self-regulation, implementing delayed gratification, and withstanding cravings. This is groundbreaking news for those who are struggling to stay strong against impulsivity.
Chances are if you have ever meditated before then you have also felt resistance to it. Part of a meditation practice includes times where we simply don’t feel like using the effort it takes to concentrate.
Although through formulating a consistent practice you will increase your self-discipline and strengthen your willpower by facing resistance. After deciding to start your meditation practice you only continue build willpower and cognitive control.
Meditation requires using mind over matter in order to watch your thoughts and emotions from an objective point of view. This takes mental training and practice that will deepen your depth of meditation, but also your cognitive control and willpower.
The Importance of Willpower and Self-Discipline
In case you needed more motivation to start or continue your meditation practice besides the impact of having high levels of willpower and self-discipline will affect your entire life.
From how you complete necessary tasks you don’t want to do all the way to taking initiative on projects you are dreaming your willpower is involved in all of it. A study performed on preschoolers was executed by Mischel and other researchers in 1972.
The 600 preschoolers were given the option to eat one marshmallow now or wait until the researcher came back and they could eat two. Many of the preschoolers struggled to delay their gratification in the promise of two marshmallows.
In fact, only about 200 children were able to withstand the test of time and eventually eat 2 marshmallows. This next part of the study is fascinating as the researchers followed up with the students for 3 decades!
They were able to see that those who showed higher levels of cognitive control by resisting the temptation had significantly higher results on every single test they were given in their follow-ups.
The results didn’t stop there the preschooler with high willpower also had higher income, less addiction, better scores on stress, and even cleaner criminal records.
Get Started On Your Meditation Journey
You can follow our article guiding you through how to perform a vipassana style meditation.