According to one of the most influential modern psychologists, Walter Mischel, self-control is the capacity to override one's impulse or desire to attain another goal. It is also the ability to regulate and alter responses to avoid undesirable behaviors, increase desirable ones, and achieve long-term goals.
Simply put, there are two types of self-control issues:
Impulse Control: The ability to stop and think before acting
Emotional Control: The ability to manage feelings by thinking about the consequence
The ability to assume control over these two underlying issues can be a crucial vital determinant of success in everyday life.
Here are four benefits of having the discipline of self-control:
1. IMPROVES RELATIONSHIPS
Other people tend to value us more when we can exhibit self-control, according to a study by Duke University researchers published in June 2013 in "Psychological Science." When we feel valued, we are more satisfied in our relationships and in turn, learn to control our thoughts and behaviors.
2. INCREASES RESILIENCE
According to research reported in the US National Library of Medicine, the ability to self-regulate one's own behavior is one of the most crucial protective factors in relation to resilience. The term "resilient" refers to the capacity to bounce back after adversity (Southwick and Charney, 2012). Those with resilience have reasonable control over impulses and can delay their gratification in regards to the potential consequences of their actions.
3. CONTRIBUTES TO HAPPINESS
In another research reported in the US National Library of Medicine, the highly self-controlled individual showed a distinct difference from those with less discipline over their lives. They tended to avoid creating situations in which their goals would conflict, and reported fewer instances of having to choose between short-term pleasure and long-term pain. The result? They experienced fewer negative emotions. In other words, self-control positively contributes to happiness through avoiding and dealing with motivational conflict.
4. IMPROVES PHYSICAL HEALTH
Self-control capacity contributes to better physical health (Adler, 2015). A study by Psychologist, Dr. Martin Seligman, Ph.D., reports that self-control is a significant health asset: men with the highest self-control have a 56 percent reduced risk for Cardiovascular disease (CVD). Self-control better enables people to resist engaging in health-damaging behaviors, including use of tobacco, alcohol, and other harmful substances (Miller et al. 2015).
Here are four A.B.L.E. strategies to help us improve.
A- ACKNOWLEDGE OUR IMPULSION
A lack of impulse control is at the root of many behavior problems. Without appropriate intervention, impulsive behaviors can get worse over time. Start by labeling our emotions. Identifying them could help us resolve the root problem. Also, notice how those emotions trigger our impulsion. Then try taking a few big deep breaths and pray. These simple exercises have the power to calm the mind and body.
B- BE GRATEFUL
This may sound surprising to some. What does gratitude get to do with self-control? Research had shown that being grateful makes us happier, less stressed and even more optimistic and according to a March 2014 study published in the journal Psychological Science, it can also help us practice more patience. Gratitude = More patience = more self regulation. "Patience is not the ability to wait, but how you act while you are waiting." - Anon.
L- LEARN WHEN TO SEEK HELP
There are circumstances when a person may need more help than just their willpower. Here are some suggestions for when to seek professional advice and support:
* If you are struggling with alcohol or other substances
* If you are engaging in dangerous or addictive sexual behaviors.
* If you find yourself repeatedly engaged in abusive or harmful relationships.
* If you are trying to control your anger, or are raging outbursts, and have hurt yourself or someone else in the process.
E- ENGAGE IN GLOBAL THINKING
A study published in the Social and Personality Psychology Compass, "Seeing the Forest Beyond the Trees: A Construal‐Level Approach to Self‐Control," by Kentaro Fujita, shows that having a global or high-level thinking promotes self-control success. That is, "people are more likely to exercise self-control when they see the proverbial forest beyond the trees and when they don't get bogged down by specific minutiae." - Bruna Martinuzzi
“The ability to subordinate an impulse to a value is the essence of the proactive person.”
― Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
"Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city." Proverbs 16:32
"A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls." Proverbs 25:28
For a better life and relationship, try some self-control.
Toké aka Tokémon