Monday, August 3, 2015

Book Report. The Willpower Instinct


The book I chose is The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal Ph.D. Kelly McGonigal is a health psychology professor at the University of Stanford. This book is a fascinating read for anyone who would love to reach into their inner self for self-improvement in every asset of life. Whether if your trying to quit smoking cigarettes, lose weight, or just say no to a stressful situation then this book is a keeper and a great reference to return to. 

It’s about I Will, I Won’t, I Want challenges that we have that we face every day. Some of the challenges are small things or they could be things like not cheating on your spouse or diet. Sometimes when we think about not doing something so much then we become vulnerable. I’ll tell myself that after eating a healthy salad that I will not stop for that large ice cream cone. If I do, I will defeat the purpose of being healthier. This book is also about self-control and how you need to know how you failed previously so the exercises in the book will help you to try to overcome them. Willpower requires doing something that may be difficult for you like resist temptation, walking away or not walking away. This book challenges the reader to face your fears or weaknesses and using the exercises to come up with your own solutions and cope with the readers transgressions.

Chapter 6 is called What the Hell: Feeling Bad Leads to Giving In. Just like in motivation impulsivity and self-control, when we stress as humans, we want to give in to our comfort so the brain can feel good. So we relapse to drugs, alcohol, smoking, binge eating or maybe sex. Stress shifts your brain to a reward seeking state. The book states as an example, a woman who worried about her finances shops to cope with her anxiety. The brain wants instant gratification now. when you give in is what is called the "what the hell effect". People feel bad about themselves after they cheated on a diet. After the guilt sets in they just finish whatever they were eating. Sometimes humans lose their self-control like the kids in the marsh mellow video who some couldn't resist to wait to get the reward of a second marsh mellow if they waited. With self- control, we have to make sure that we must not set ourselves up negatively. If you have a hard time waking up then move your alarm clock across the room. This video is Kelly McGonigal putting willpower in the own words. The other video is Chris Rock as Pookie in the movie New Jack City. After feeling bad about himself Pookie tried but couldn't resist smoke crack from the glass pipe the wind up indirectly getting him killed.


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