Hi there! In this article we're diving into the topic of self-control and how it plays a crucial role in developing resilience in our lives. We'll be looking at what self-control is, what it isn't, and how it differs from self-discipline. We'll also be exploring how self-control works in the brain and providing practical ways to exercise self-control in our daily lives. And lastly, we'll be sharing a powerful affirmation to install self-control in the face of adversity.
So If you're currently faced with adversity or just looking for ways to build mental and emotional resilience, this episode is for you. Stay tuned as we delve into the importance of self-control.
Now what is self-control? Well it is the ability to regulate your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in order to achieve a desired outcome. It involves being able to resist temptation, stay focused, and make deliberate choices that align with your long-term goals and values.
Self-control is an important aspect of personal and interpersonal functioning, as it allows us to make wise decisions especially in the face of challenges and setbacks. It helps us stay focused and helps us avoid making impulsive or reactive choices that may not serve us in the long run. With self-control, we can take a step back, think things through, and choose a course of action that is most likely to lead to a positive outcome.
Self-control is not acting on every whim without considering the consequences or being easily swayed by others or external factors. It is not about being ruled by emotions or impulses, but rather having the ability to regulate them and make conscious, rational decisions. Interestingly and important to note is that self-control is a finite resource, meaning that the more we use it throughout the day, the more we deplet it the harder it becomes to exert self-control.
Think of it like a muscle that gets tired after a workout. The more we use it, the more we deplete it, and the harder it becomes to use. Studies have shown that when people are faced with multiple demands on their self-control, they are more likely to give in to temptations or distractions. For example, if you have a big presentation at work and then you come home and have to discipline your children, your self-control "muscle" is already fatigued, and it becomes more difficult to resist temptations or distractions. This is why we often find ourselves snacking on junk food at night, or procrastinating on a task, after a long day of exerting self-control. Additionally, self-control is also linked with glucose, and when our glucose is low, it becomes harder to exert self-control. This is why, when we are hungry, we are more likely to give in to temptations.
So we often hear about self discipline but is that the same as self control? Although they are often used interchangeably, they do have slightly different meanings. We now know that self control refers to the ability to resist immediate temptations or impulses in order to achieve a longer-term goal. For example, having the self control to resist eating a piece of cake when you're trying to lose weight.
Whereas self discipline, on the other hand, refers to the ability to consistently make choices that align with your values and goals. It's not just about resisting temptations in the moment, but also actively working towards what you want in the long-term. For example, having the self discipline to consistently exercise and eat healthy, even when it's difficult or not convenient.
So, self control is more about managing impulses and temptations in the moment, while self discipline is about consistently making choices that align with your values and goals over time. However, both are important for making meaningful changes in your life and achieving your goals.
At the core of self control is essentially the ability to delay gratification. This means being able to put off short-term pleasure or rewards in order to achieve something greater in the long run. For example, choosing to study for a test instead of watching TV, or saving money for a holiday instead of buying something you want right now.
The science behind self control is complex, but it involves the interplay of several key brain regions, including the prefrontal cortex and the limbic system. The prefrontal cortex is responsible for decision making, planning, and impulse control, while the limbic system is responsible for emotional processing and reward-seeking behavior.
When we are faced with a choice, the limbic system sends signals to the prefrontal cortex, which then weighs the pros and cons of each option and makes a decision. The more self control we have, the better able we are to override the impulses of the limbic system and make decisions that align with our long-term goals.
Now that we have a great understanding of what self-control is and an incredible example of the power and influence it can have on our lives, here are a few practical ways you can go about achieving it in your own life:
Identify your triggers: Understanding what triggers your lack of self-control can help you anticipate and avoid them. It can be helpful to keep a journal of your thoughts and behaviors when faced with temptations.
Set specific and measurable goals - Setting clear and achievable goals for yourself can help you stay focused and motivated. For example, if you want to improve your self control with food, set a goal to eat a certain number of fruits and vegetables per day.
Practice mindfulness - Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and focusing on your thoughts and feelings without judgment. It can help you become more aware of your impulses and make more deliberate decisions.
Use positive self-talk - The way you talk to yourself can have a big impact on your ability to control your impulses. Using positive self-talk can help you focus on the benefits of self-control and stay motivated.
Practice self-control in small ways - Building self-control is like building a muscle. Start by practicing self-control in small ways and gradually increase the difficulty over time. For example, practice resisting the urge to check your phone for a few minutes and then work your way up to an hour.
Use rewards and consequences - Creating a system of rewards and consequences can help you stay motivated to practice self-control. For example, if you successfully resist the urge to check your phone for an hour, reward yourself with a treat. If you fail, hold yourself accountable with a consequence.
Get enough sleep and exercise - Sleep and exercise are key components of overall health and well-being. Getting enough of both can help you feel more energized and focused, which can make it easier to control your impulses.
Seek help if necessary - Some people may find that they need additional help to improve their self-control. If you're struggling, don't hesitate to seek help from a therapist, counselor or a coach who can help you learn new strategies and accountability.
The great thing about all of the practical tools is they are easy to implement its just a matter of getting started!
I hope you enjoyed the topic on the importance of self-control in developing resilience in your life.
Remember, self-control is not about being perfect, it's about making positive progress more often than not. So don't be too hard on yourself and keep working at it. I look forward to catching you next time!