Relaxation as Willpower

Self-Discipline in 10 Days has given me a lot to think about - it’s probably the best book on discipline I’ve ever read.

One small thing it did was equated relaxation with willpower.

Now, I have often thought about the relationship as indirect.

When I’m afraid I’m not relaxed. And when I’m afraid I cannot focus - it’s times like those where self-sabotage and procrastination really kick into high gear. By relaxing you are better able to think clearly - you clear the of fear, and you have enough wherewithal to make a decision to act.

I don’t know if relaxation really relates to more willpower in a scientific sense. Certainly a number of studies have showed, via depletion tests like unsolvable puzzles and Stroop tests that subjects tend to get tense and irritable.

But I don’t care - I think it’s just plain useful to think of relaxation as willpower because it means a lot of the stumbling blocks disappear when you use it to “summon” more will.

Using basic relaxation methods (a few deep breaths, relaxing tension points like jaw muscles and my shoulders) as an automatic method to combat times when I feel my will is being depleted works, and should be implemented along with other methods, like repleting blood sugar and watching funny youtube videos as a matter of course.