People who think they have unlimited willpower are likely to be happier, a new study has shown.
Researchers found that those who believe they have increased willpower have a greater chance of feeling content with their lives and experience higher levels of wellbeing.
Meanwhile those who feel they have less willpower are likely to feel more stressed.
This, researchers believe, is because people who think they have unlimited willpower are better able to cope when life gets more demanding.
Researchers studied over 250 people who used internet forums to share feelings of stress – those surveyed had an average age of 39.
Participants who felt their willpower was unlimited experienced higher levels of satisfaction and happiness.
In a secondary study, they asked university students to document what they believed their willpower was like and to report their life satisfaction at the beginning of the academic year, and again six months later during exam season.
They found that those who reported limited willpower experienced a huge drop in wellbeing during exam season.
In both studies, researchers ruled out variables including levels of optimism and pessimism.
The study’s authors said: “A [non-limited] theory about willpower encourages people to successfully strive for and make progress towards personally meaningful goals.”
The study, called ‘Implicit theories about willpower predict subjective well-being’, was published in the Journal of Personality.