Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Book Report: The Willpower Instinct

The Willpower Instinct

                  The Willpower Instinct is a book written by Dr. Kelly McGonigal, who is a health psychologist and also a teacher at The Stanford School of Medicine's Health Improvement program. Her job is to help people make healthy choices in life and to also help them manage stress. Through many years of watching so many people struggle to create a better lifestyle she realized that many of these people believe that the word "Willpower" was basically like sabotaging their success and creating unnecessary stress. This led her to create a class called "The Science of Willpower" which is a class offered to anyone that talked about how to break old habits and how to create healthy habits. It also talked about how to find a focus and to manage stress. In this book she presents test and experiments after each chapter mainly for the reader to put his or her own habits into effect after a certain situation.
                        My favorite part of the book was in chapter six when Dr. McGonigal discusses how feeling bad leads into giving in. The main topic that stuck out to me the most was when she said that stress leads us into the wrong direction, away from our clear-headed wisdom and towards our least helpful instinct. This made me think about a friend I once had whose life was perfect until he got a girl pregnant that he was not with. She put him on child support, told him he could not see the child and that she wanted him to sign his rights away. Instead of listening to myself and others about taking things the legal way such as joint custody or visitation but he ignored everyone. He started to think in stupid ways as if his situation would disappear and found himself leaning towards drugs as if it was going to take pain away. I told him to try some stress-relief strategies such as taking a walk, going to church, go out on family trips, rehab and etc. At first it was not working but I told him what was more important loosing his child forever or being on drugs?  So the strategies started to work a little  but he still needs more help and positive vibes around him. Dr. McGonigal said to try stress relief strategies that works. I told to stop stressing over a situation that could of changed because all your doing is creating unnecessary issues within yourself. I asked him what is he so afraid of that made you lean towards drugs and then he told me about his childhood when his mother abandoned him at 13.  I also asked him why don't you pay your child support and he gives answers like i'm not paying for a child that she won't allow me to see. This points me towards the what the hell effect which describes a cycle of indulgence, regret and greater indulgence.
                  This book relates to the course on the self control slides. Although it is not a willpower issue it leads to conflicting outcomes such as doing the wrong thing because of no self control. Without self control we start to break down and stress because that willpower is not there to help you think clear. This book also relates to procrastination as well and it help tell us how procrastination leads to more stress. Dr. McGonigal wrote this book well detailed and yes it will help not just me but everyone. If your going through something or see a person going through something just do me a favor and please don't judge because each and everyone of us is going through something. I loved this book. 

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