The first book to explain the new science of
self-control and how it can be harnessed to improve our health,
happiness, and productivity.
After years of watching her students struggling with their
choices, health psychologist Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., realized that
much of what people believe about willpower is actually sabotaging
their success. Committed to sharing what the scientific community
already knew about self-control, McGonigal created a course called
"The Science of Willpower" for Stanford University''s Continuing
Studies Program. The course was an instant hit and spawned the
hugely successful Psychology Today blog with the same
Informed by the latest research and combining cutting-edge
insights from psychology, economics, neuroscience, and medicine,
McGonigal''s book explains exactly what willpower is, how it works,
and why it matters. Readers will learn:
- Willpower is a mind-body response, not a virtue. It is a
biological function that can be improved through mindfulness,
exercise, nutrition, and sleep.
- People who have better control of their attention, emotions,
and actions are healthier, happier, have more satisfying
relationships, and make more money.
- Willpower is not an unlimited resource. Too much self-control
can actually be bad for your health.
- Temptation and stress hijack the brain''s systems of
self-control, and that the brain can be trained for greater
In the groundbreaking tradition of Getting Things Done, The
Willpower Instinct combines life-changing prescriptive advice
and complementary exercises to help readers with goals ranging from
a healthier life to more patient parenting, from greater
productivity at work to finally finishing the basement.