How to Learn Self Control in 5 Surefire Ways

how to learn self control

Have you screamed at people while on queue at the local supermarket? Have you kicked your computer or threw your laptop at the wall the last time it showed you the so-called Blue Screen of Death? Do you often snap angrily at your spouse at the slightest irritation? Then you must know how to learn self control before you lose all the things you hold dear. For many people, self control is a difficult, complicated thing to understand, mainly because as humans, it is in our nature to act on our impulses and desires. Self control is learned—it is the product of civilization, instituted within ourselves for the sake of a long-term gain. Regardless of your reasons to master your own impulses, it is undeniably important to be the absolute master of yourself—there is no other useful option. So check out this list of tried and proven ways of controlling and reining your inner monster.

1. Never forego the necessities

Self control is an act of will, and your will is only as strong as your health. That’s why when you’re deprived of sleep, hungry or starving, or thirsty, self control is the first to suffer. Needless to say, the goal of how to learn self control starts with making sure that you meet your body’s needs: take regular meals, have a good night’s sleep, and avoid harmful drugs or stimulants. As always, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can go a long way in helping you ensure that you’re always in control.

2. Meditate on it

Losing self control is usually a result of too much stress. Therefore, the matter of how to learn self control starts with managing or reducing your stress level. Meditation, as a process, can mean merely setting aside a few minutes each day to breathe deeply and slowly—inhaling through your nostrils, exhaling through your mouth—in a nice, quiet spot in your home. Meditation is not some baseless belief—several studies have shown that regular meditation has a physical effect on the brain, improving its interconnection and neuroplasticity. Moreover, meditation has also been shown to boost the body and brain’s production of certain hormones that make us feel good and in the pink of health, such as melatonin, serotonin, DHEA and GABA.

3. Do not procrastinate

Ah, procrastination—the bane of modern man. You must understand that as exercising self control is an act of will, putting off things until it’s almost deadline is its exact opposite. If you’re working on how to learn self control, you must change the little things, and procrastination is one of those. The more you give in to procrastination, the weaker your will power becomes, and this has a deleterious effect on your self control.

4. Write it down

As with any other attempt at self improvement, learning to gain better self control can be most effective when you’re tracking your progress. Writing down the details of your efforts can give you a better sense of direction, which is self-reinforcing: the more progress you make, the more encouraged you become to achieve even more.

5. Know the value of incentives

You’ve been writing down your progress, and this month, the numbers look good. Don’t you deserve a little reward? Giving incentives to yourself boosts the effectiveness of your self improvement efforts. However, you might have to carefully choose the way you reward yourself: don’t give yourself the kind of incentives that work against your goal. If you’re learning self control to lose weight, rewarding yourself with a high-calorie fast-food meal will merely defeat the purpose of your efforts in the first place.

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