The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It

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Based on Stanford University psychologist Kelly McGonigal's wildly popular course "The Science of Willpower," The Willpower Instinct is the first book to explain the new science of self-control and how it can be harnessed to improve our health, happiness, and productivity.

Informed by the latest research and combining cutting-edge insights from psychology, economics, neuroscience, and medicine, The Willpower Instinct explains exactly what willpower is, how it works, and why it matters. For example, 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.
  • 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, but the brain can be trained for greater willpower
  • Guilt and shame over your setbacks lead to giving in again, but self-forgiveness and self-compassion boost self-control.
  • Giving up control is sometimes the only way to gain self-control.
  • Willpower failures are contagious—you can catch the desire to overspend or overeat from your friends­­—but you can also catch self-control from the right role models.
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 losing weight to more patient parenting, less procrastination, better health, and greater productivity at work.
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About the author

Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., is an award-winning psychology instructor at Stanford University, and a lecturer and program developer at the Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. She is also the author of The Upside of Stress and Psychology Today’s Science of Willpower blog. McGonigal lives in Palo Alto and New York City.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Dec 29, 2011
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9781101553732
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Psychology / Applied Psychology
Self-Help / Personal Growth / Happiness
Self-Help / Self-Management / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Award-winning clinical psychologist and TV personality Dr. Judy Ho helps you stop the cycle of self-sabotage, clear a path to lasting happiness, and start living your best life in this a must-have guide perfect for fans of You Are a Badass, Unf*ck Yourself, and How to Stop Feeling Like Sh*t.

 

Have you ever had a deadline for a big work project, only to find yourself down to the wire because you spent too much time on social media? Or gotten excited about meeting someone new, only to convince yourself he isn’t really interested? How many Januarys have you resolved that this is the year you’re finally going to lose the weight, only to abandon your diet in just a few weeks? If these scenarios sound familiar, you are stuck in a cycle of self-sabotage.

At one point or another, we’ve all done something that undermines our best interests and intentions. Even the most successful people get in their own way—often without realizing it.  In Stop Self-Sabotage, licensed clinical psychologist, tenured professor, and television personality Dr. Judy Ho takes a fresh look at self-sabotage to help us answer two vital questions: Why do we do it? How do we stop?

Combining therapeutically proven strategies with practical tools and self-assessments, Dr. Judy teaches you how to identify your triggers, modify your thoughts and behaviors, find your true motivation, and unlock your willpower to stop this vicious cycle in its tracks. Practical and transformative, Stop Self-Sabotage is your ultimate guide to jumpstart lasting, positive change and start living the life you want.

 

 

Explore the human mind and understand the science behind how people think and act in a wide variety of everyday situations with this brand-new visual guide to applied psychology.

Using straightforward definitions and clear, striking visuals, this book makes the workings of the brain easy to understand and shows what happens when things go wrong, with information on disorders such as anxiety and paranoia, as well as explanations of the different therapies that are used to treat them, from CBT to psychoanalysis, group therapy to art therapy.

How Psychology Works explains hundreds of psychological terms clearly and simply, such as neurosis, psychosis, psychopathy, self-efficacy, flow, human factors, and false memory syndrome. It also includes an introduction to the different approaches psychologists use to understand how we behave and think and a detailed look at how the brain influences behavior and psychological health.

With its combination of bold infographics and clear, easy-to-understand text, this book explores and explains the various approaches that psychologists use to study how people think and behave, such as behaviorism, cognitive psychology, and humanism, and shows how these approaches can be applied to real-world situations. With examples from the workplace to the sports field, the courtroom to the classroom, How Psychology Works shows how psychology plays a huge role in all of our lives and offers a greater understanding of what influences behavior, thoughts, and feelings in a variety of environments and scenarios.

The author of The Willpower Instinct delivers a controversial and groundbreaking new book that overturns long-held beliefs about stress.
 
More than forty-four percent of Americans admit to losing sleep over stress. And while most of us do everything we can to reduce it, Stanford psychologist and bestselling author Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., delivers a startling message: Stress isn’t bad. In The Upside of Stress, McGonigal highlights new research indicating that stress can, in fact, make us stronger, smarter, and happier—if we learn how to embrace it.
 
The Upside of Stress is the first book to bring together cutting-edge discoveries on the correlation between resilience—the human capacity for stress-related growth—and mind-set, the power of beliefs to shape reality. As she did in The Willpower Instinct, McGonigal combines science, stories, and exercises into an engaging and practical book that is both entertaining and life-changing, showing you:

   •  how to cultivate a mind-set to embrace stress
   •  how stress can provide focus and energy
   •  how stress can help people connect and strengthen close relationships
   •  why your brain is built to learn from stress, and how to increase its ability to learn from challenging experiences
 
McGonigal’s TED talk on the subject has already received more than 7 million views. Her message resonates with people who know they can’t eliminate the stress in their lives and want to learn to take advantage of it. The Upside of Stress is not a guide to getting rid of stress, but a guide to getting better at stress, by understanding it, embracing it, and using it.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Perfect for anyone trying to start the new year off right, this instant classic explores how we can change our lives by changing our habits.  

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Wall Street Journal • Financial Times
 
In The Power of Habit, award-winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to the sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.

With a new Afterword by the author
 
“Sharp, provocative, and useful.”—Jim Collins
 
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“You’ll never look at yourself, your organization, or your world quite the same way.”—Daniel H. Pink, bestselling author of Drive and A Whole New Mind
 
“Entertaining . . . enjoyable . . . fascinating . . . a serious look at the science of habit formation and change.”—The New York Times Book Review
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