If you’re in a bad mood, it can be tough to see a way out of a low. Try taking on a goal that requires a lot of willpower; accomplishing it will boost your sense of self-control and morale.
Picture: Agustín Ruiz/Flickr
Willpower is a good thing, but its role is to keep us from things we want to do, so it's not always fun to think about. Gretchen Rubin says the end feeling of self-control is powerful enough to make exercising your willpower a big morale booster. She explains:
. . .I was particularly struck by Isherwood's passing remark, of his cigarette smoking: "I had given up the habit with difficulty in 1941, because I was upset about my parting from Vernon and wanted to raise my morale by asserting my willpower."
I was fascinated by this brief remark. He wanted to raise his morale by asserting his willpower.
We usually think of an effort like quitting smoking as something that's demanding, draining, a big drag. And it is, of course.
But it's also interesting to see that an effort like that is also a morale-booster. And it's true: whenever we ask something of ourselves, and follow through, we get a big boost in our sense of "self-efficacy," our sense of control over ourselves.
Think about the times you've been proud of yourself for going back to the gym, giving up soft drinks or taking on a big project. That sense of pride in your self for being in control is enough to pick yourself back up when you're feeling low.
A Surprising Way to Feel Better About Yourself. Have You Tried It? [The Happiness Project]