Have you ever come across situations when you have felt the need of restraining yourself from acting in a particular way, and have successfully done that? If yes, then you know what self control actually means. It is like conquering oneself, which sounds easy but can be the most difficult thing to do. The fruits of the labor, however, can be extremely sweet and rewarding, in fact, they can be life changing!
To define self control, it can be explained as the ability to control your feelings and emotions in adverse situations, so that you do not regret your behavior or actions at a later stage. Once you learn this art, you can master yourself, your own spirit, which can be the greatest power for a human being.
“Self control is an art that needs to be practiced to harness your feelings so that you can steer yourself to the path of positivity and success. Mastering this art can help you counter the toughest situations in life with great ease and give you the inner peace and strength.”
Self control is like a seed, which has to be sown, nurtured and cultivated, to be made a part of your personality. Like all other personality traits, it is something which each of us is born with, but making it grow is a matter of personal choice. It is something that needs to be incorporated in every aspect of daily life, while eating, shopping or harnessing your temper, and you will notice how your life will change. Having self control is like winning a battle against yourself and conquering your emotions and once you ease into the process, soon you will realize that this will become a matter of routine in your life.
Practicing self control is all about focus, knowing the difference between the right and the wrong and putting it into practice. Doing this is a momentary decision and once you learn to control your emotions and actions for the moment, it gives you the power you want to exercise over yourself. Easy as it may sound, but making self control a part of your character needs a great deal of commitment and dedication. And like all good things in life, you may have to struggle to build it as a personality trait but once it becomes a habit, self control becomes a lasting asset for a person.
Self Control Techniques
Making self control a part of life needs practice and will power. Certain self control techniques can go a long way in building this foundation within.
Meditation is to mind what exercise is to body. It helps you strengthen your mind and mould your thoughts so that you can counter negative situations with sheer will power and inner strength. Once you are able to build your will power, self control becomes an integral part of your personality, a second nature to you. Practice meditation daily to boost your core emotional strength.
Focus on the Present
When you feel that you are losing your control and going astray, think about now, what is important at this moment. Will your present action or behavior be something that you may regret in future? Once you are able to focus on the present and the implications it is going to have on your future, you will be able to practice self control as naturally as you breathe.
Make your decisions and stick to them as self affirmation is the food for self control. Pre-think about the situations you are likely to come across in future, like an upcoming event where you need to spend money. Plan your line of action and be firm with the decisions once made. No matter what temptations come in your way, you will be able to practice self control in all situations.
Self Control Activities
Inculcating self control is a matter of your will power, though you can build this characteristic by indulging in some activities.
Building Self Discipline in Daily Routine
Self discipline is the building block of self control. So, making self discipline a part of your daily routine is an excellent exercise for nurturing self control as a part of you. Adhere to a time schedule, stick to a dietary plan and make budget spending, a part of your life and you will soon notice that self control comes naturally to you, even in bigger things.
Encourage Social Interactions
Whether it is about self control in adults or children, interacting socially is of great importance as it makes you aware of your own reaction and behavior in practical situations. Once you appraise your personality, you can think about the way to react in distinctive circumstances. This will give you the opportunity to evaluate yourself and improve your ways by developing self control.
Cultivate the Right Attitude
Self improvement is another quality essential for making self control a way of life. Learn to cultivate the right attitude and take criticism in a stride. Take every mistake as a learning experience, rather than an allegation, if someone points out your shortcomings. Remember, self control and right attitude are going to take you places in life as they are going to help you grow as a person.
Simple Self Control Tips
Self control is not rocket science; just a little patience, commitment and will power make perfect recipe for this rare and priceless quality. Some simple tips can help you get this quality and keep it with you forever.
Let the Moment Pass
Temptation comes for a fleeting moment but its implications can be long lasting. If you learn to let the moment pass by without influencing you to react the wrong way, this means that you have achieved self control. And if you are able to achieve it once, you have the potential to make it a part of you for a lifetime.
Learn to Motivate Yourself
Rewards are not always meant for others, you can motivate yourself too by rewarding or appreciating yourself when you feel that you have successfully practiced self control. For instance, if you have overcome the temptation for a calorie laden dessert, you can treat yourself to a healthy fruit salad as motivation pep. Talking to yourself and praising yourself also help.
Little Changes go a long Way
If something in your surroundings makes you lose self control, make little changes that distract you. People who are trying to overcome substance abuse using self control can use the principal of “Out of sight, out of mind”. Try to change things around yourself so that you do not come across temptations. This makes a smart tip for practicing and developing self control.
Self Control for Kids
Self control is a vital personality trait, which needs to be developed right from young age. This is what has made parents and teachers realize the importance of training young children in the art of self control. Kids can be exposed to learning situations at home and in school. Getting them involved in activities that test their patience and emotional balance is a good way of enhancing this quality in them.
While parents can handle tantrums and stubborn behavior with maturity and calm attitude, teachers need to make them realize the importance of social interactions and sharing with other children. Educationists have even devised certain games and activities which are aimed at inculcating the quality of self control in young people.
Self Control Books
Self control is a subject that comes into practical use in daily life as it can improve the overall quality of living in a comprehensive manner. As a result, a great deal of research has been done on this subject and some acclaimed authors have come up with useful books on self control.
The Willpower Instinct
book by the Kelly McGonigal, a Stanford University psychologist who has come with the course called “The Science of Willpower”. In her work, McGonigal explains self control in terms of will power, the biological response of mind and body to diverse situations. She further states that self control plays a key role in improving the happiness, productivity and health of people.
Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength
Collaborative effort of science writer John Tierney and researcher Roy Baumeister. In this book on self control, the authors have reiterated the fact that willpower acts like a muscle which needs to be exercised to improve its performance over an extended period of time, just like any other part of the body.
Self Control and Self Improvement: Our Success Depends Very Much on Ourselves
is another widely appreciated book on self control. Authored by Gheorghe Cornel Ardelean, this work highlights the virtue of self control and how it can improve the areas like productivity, relationships and other aspects of personal and professional lives. It tells that success comes easier if you make self control a part of your life.
Self Control Plan
Self control is an art to be cultivated with dedication, commitment and regularity. It involves harnessing of thoughts and actions, which becomes easier if you make use of a strategic plan of action for the same. Ideally, self control plan is based on techniques such as self management, self regulation and self training. Will power plays a key role in self control and it is almost synonymous with the latter.
Here, making a conscious effort to mould your thoughts and actions becomes a necessity, as your nature tends to instinctively make you think and act in a particular way.
Self Control Exercises
Certain self control exercises can be incorporated in your daily routine to build it as a part of your personality.
Deep Breathing Meditation
Sit cross legged and straight backed, on the floor and practice deep breathing exercise for 10 minutes. This exercise relaxes your body due to the correct body posture. At the same time, it clears all the negative thoughts from the mind and releases stress. This takes you to a state of relaxation and you can make place for self control in the core of your being.
Another effective exercise for making self control a part of your personal and professional life, is to set deadlines and make it a point to adhere to them. Though you may be tempted to break the self imposed rules, this is actual test of your inner strength and character, and in the long run, helps you cultivate the virtue of self control.
Make a Count of 10
When you feel that you are losing control of your emotions and actions, try to make a count of 10 in your mind. This exercise takes a great deal of patience and practice, but soon you would start seeing its positive effects. A time will come when you will realize that you have overcome the temptation with success and self control has become a part of you.
When you are able to practice self control, it is as of you have won the battle against self, which happens to be the to be the toughest one in the world!