10 Easy Things You Can Do to Improve Your Life by Next Week
A health journalist shares the best advice she's learned from doctors, psychologists, yoga instructors and scientists.
2 of 10
Use Your Mind-Body Connection to Strengthen Your Resolve
If you have a hard time flexing your willpower, try flexing your biceps instead. It turns out that clenching your muscles can actually help you to shore up the self-control you need to eat healthfully, commit to unpleasant tasks, and bypass calorie-loaded treats, among other good-for-you behaviors. In one recent study from the University of Chicago, researchers asked people to clench their muscles while drinking unsavory health drinks, while experiencing a painful situation, or when faced with temptation that was hard to turn down. When participants flexed—whether it was a finger, calf, or bicep that contracted—they all had stronger resolve, drinking more of the healthy beverage, bypassing the bad-for-you foods, and tolerating discomfort for longer. Use this tactic the next time you need a boost in willpower: Simply make a fist and you'll skate through any situation with ease.