Self-control: what is it and how to develop it?

Controlling others is much easier than controlling yourself. One who has self-control is considered a self-sufficient person. However, not every person can boast of such a trait. Most of us often do not fully own personal feelings and desires. Therefore, there are multidirectional problems. But do not rush to get upset. If you have already thought about this question, then you are going to correct the situation. And then you need to act.

What it is?

First you need to define the meaning of the word self-control. So, the word self-control speaks for itself, namely: a person should always rule over his emotions, thoughts, feelings, words and others. Each of us, to one degree or another, has the will, and it, in turn, affects the development of self-control. Will is an internal skill that allows each of us to be competitive, makes it possible to realize all our goals and desires.

Such a definition as self-control involves the implementation of complex actions. However, it does not imply the repression of emotions, but implies self-regulation regarding the moral part in the behavior of the individual.

The physiological and mental characteristics of a person allow self-control. Physiological characteristics are laid down with the help of genetics, and mental ones — in the process of education, for example, in a child this happens when he undergoes socialization. Based on biology, we can say that the function of self-control allows you to reach the frontal lobe of the brain. With a weak development of this area, an individual develops aggressiveness and even criminalization.

Psychology claims that due to the interaction of two main opposing systems (reflex and impulsive), self-control occurs. The reflex side provides foresight of results and even influences the correction of actions, while the impulsive side provides a quick response to what is happening around us. For example, a person wants to quit smoking. However, he occasionally picks up a cigarette. That is how impulses control it. If this person turns on self-control in time, then he will be able to resist the desire to smoke a cigarette. This is how control over your “I” works.

There are three types of self-control.

  • Temporal. It is divided into effective and current. It provides for the control of the action itself, as well as the consideration of the results.
  • Spatial adjusts between the difference in modal channels of perception.
  • Arbitrary regulates variable factors: emotions, thinking and psyche.

Advantages and disadvantages

Self-control can in no way be a flaw in a person’s character, since this moment significantly distinguishes him from the rest and provides many advantages.

  • A person believes in himself and can evaluate his capabilities, which means that he is peaceful.
  • When a person controls himself, he can also control other people. This comes with a lot of life experience.
  • A person has no external restrictions for development, and he is free.
  • A person looks at himself as if from the outside, knows how to control his feelings and emotions. This gives him the right to self-respect.
  • When a person acquires self-control, he becomes patient. In addition, he is able to find and correct the shortcomings that are present in his character.

However, the main advantage of self-control is an increase in the efficiency of making any decisions. At the same time, a person can easily prevent his impulsive behavior, and this greatly increases his chance of success.

With the help of self-control, a person improves concentration, and he can easily get rid of bad habits.

Examples of self-control

Self-control is a quality that is not easy for a person. Discipline is part of self-control. For example, a professor needs to finish a project he has started, he works tirelessly on it, instead of going to the cinema or to a cafe. There is also social control. For example, a person was undeservedly accused of something and insulted. Instead of rushing into a fight, he will restrain his emotions. Thus, he will prevent the development of conflict.

Such self-control is worth a lot. Thanks to him, people can remain human even in the most extreme situations. In the process of activities that must be completed, many of us lose their nerves. For example, a student fails to solve a problem. The student who has a “volitional core” in his character will definitely solve the problem himself or with the help of adults. If the child does not have self-control, he will quit classes and run outside to play football.

The same can be said about students. In their educational activities, they have to learn a lot of new material. If in this case there is no self-control, then the student will not be able to acquire the necessary knowledge, which means that he will not become a highly qualified specialist. Therefore, the control of their behavior and their activities is very important for any person. It helps you move forward and achieve your goals.

How to develop?

Self-control can be developed. To do this, you need to make a conscious choice and develop a certain direction in thinking. Various exercises will help in this, as well as trainings for adults and children.

And remember that when developing self-control, one should not expect that everything will go “like clockwork”. Only regular practice and a strong-willed attitude will help to achieve results. First of all, you should develop some good habits.


First of all, you need to start from this moment. To complete it, you should draw up a daily routine on a piece of paper. Make it pretty. Have each item written in multi-colored ink. For example, start every day with getting up at 7 o’clock in the morning, as well as with exercises and a delicious breakfast. Next, decide on the time to go to work. In the evening, plan the activities that you will do during working hours. Be sure to consider items such as recreation and entertainment, and fit them into your daily schedule. Go to bed at a fixed time. At first, these recommendations will seem difficult to implement.

However, if you show perseverance and perseverance, and can also overcome yourself, you will gradually get used to implementing such simple self-tasks.

healthy eating

This item plays an important role in the development of self-control. If you are used to eating greasy and fried foods in the morning or finishing up what is left in the evening, you should give up this habit.

Healthy eating makes you feel great, and this is a direct path to calmness and control of emotions. Your body should be in perfect order, and such a condition will help to fulfill tasty and high-quality food. For example, it is very good to taste oatmeal in the morning, which will supply your body with all the necessary substances.

It is also not forbidden to eat eggs, butter, bread, vegetable salads, fruits for breakfast. For lunch, it is good to eat soups and cereals. Do not forget about the usefulness of compotes. Boiled meat will be much healthier than fried or stewed.

Dairy products are useful at any time of the day. If you are hungry between lunch and dinner, then you can afford to drink a glass of kefir or eat 200 g of cottage cheese. Dinner should be light and consist only of quality products.

Punctuality and delivering on promises

After you have decided to develop such a quality of character as self-control, you will need to get used to never being late for anywhere. This will help develop good habits. At the same time, it is not necessary to think that you will succeed the first time. The main thing is the desire, and then it will be much easier for you to move towards the goal.

In order for you to stop being late, move all the clocks forward by half an hour. This is the best and proven way. It is not forbidden to come to a meeting before everyone else, but being late can lead to sanctions. In addition, if you promised to fulfill something to yourself or to an outsider, then try to fulfill the promise. So never promise what you can’t deliver. Do not speak lightly and about a difficult task. Before encouraging people, think about the process of fulfilling your commitment. Remember that a commitment should only be made when you are confident in your abilities and capabilities.

If you nevertheless encouraged yourself or people, then do not forget that you have taken responsibility. Let this thought not leave you until the very final moment.


When a person is confident in his knowledge, he may not worry about his capabilities, therefore he is able to keep his emotions under control. To be self-confident, you need to constantly engage in self-development.

  • Set goals. They are long term and short term. Moreover, they should not be contradictory and should have some flexibility.
  • Engage in self-knowledge. If you are a sane person, you should be able to prioritize and have certain ideals. These factors will help you move forward and not stop there.
  • Set yourself a task. You must definitely find ways to solve this problem.
  • Act anytime, anywhere. Only then can you move towards your goal.

To make it work, follow the steps below.

  • Choose a priority direction. This must be done in order not to go astray.
  • You must accept the world not gray and faceless, but paint it in colors. Then life will become much more interesting.
  • Learn to focus on your goal.
  • Write down your desires and thoughts.
  • Appreciate the time. Don’t splurge on trifles.
  • Choose an environment that allows you to move forward rather than backward.
  • Don’t give in to stressful situations.

Reading books helps a lot in self-development. You can study any sciences or such activities that people really need. For example, volunteering or repairing household and audio equipment. The choice is great, you just have to find something to your liking.


Meditation is very helpful in self-control. Such methods will not harm you, and if you regularly engage in spiritual practices, you will have a chance to calm your mental state. And this, in turn, will raise your self-control.

Those who want to solve the problem in this way, you need to start with the simplest technique. In order for you to succeed, you must fulfill a number of conditions.

  • Don’t eat before meditation.
  • Decide on a place to practice meditation. It should be quiet and comfortable.
  • Sit in a chair or make yourself comfortable on the couch.
  • Close your eyes and start breathing deeply. Focus on this process.
  • After that, you should relax and imagine that warmth has appeared in your chest. It is an energy that begins to grow with each breath.
  • There is so much energy that it spreads throughout the body. First it enters the heart, and then it is redistributed to all organs. As a result, even the smallest part of your body is filled with light power.
  • With every breath you feel that you are becoming stronger, and the negativity that has accumulated inside your body is gone once and for all.
  • There is complete peace.
  • Now you are freed from inner barriers, insecurities and doubts.
  • They were replaced by warmth, comfort and complete relaxation. You are calm and ready to share this calmness with people.
  • To end the meditation, take another deep breath and exhale. Open your eyes and sit in a comfortable position for a while.

Reflect on the process and feel the confidence you gained from doing the practice.

other methods

Success depends on many factors, including self-control. Those who have it, in most cases, are successful and wealthy. They are very difficult to break, since self-control is a quality of character inherent in the winners. However, expert research has proven that self-control is a limited resource. As soon as a person starts using it, he loses energy. Following this, the level of glucose in his body decreases. Psychologists call this process «depletion of the ego», since the forces quickly burn out during self-control.

That’s why, if you constantly keep yourself in control, reward yourself for it. Going to the cinema, theaters, cafes will help replenish your strength, and you can also attend various trainings. Such methods will not only stimulate you for further advancement, but also calm your psyche. The above method is promotional. And yet you need not only to encourage yourself, but also to scold. You need to punish yourself if you showed weakness and could not keep your «I». Uncontrolled behavior can lead to trouble, and this should never be allowed.

If a person was tempted and could not resist him, then he must punish himself. For example, a young lady on a diet ate half of the cake. She should punish herself. The girl must make a promise to herself that she will not touch sweets for 1 month. This self-flagellation will contribute to the development of self-control and self-discipline.

All temptations are beyond consciousness, so it is necessary to keep a distance from them. It is necessary to constantly monitor brain activity and reorient the brain in such a way that it strives for the fulfillment of a higher goal, and not for eating cake.

At the same time, it is necessary to observe full optimism. If something doesn’t work for you, don’t give up. You still need to strive for results. For example, consider that your path to achieving a goal is not so much difficult as it is interesting. Therefore, your outer and inner worlds should not be gloomy, but optimistic.

In addition, there are several more recommendations that indirectly affect the development of self-control.

  • Write and speak correctly. This method will significantly raise self-esteem, and with it self-control will develop.
  • Always admit your mistakes and be polite to the people around you. This method develops a responsible attitude towards other people, and hence self-control.
  • Never complain. From such actions it will not become easier for you, but you will significantly spoil your mood. Then your psyche will suffer. Then it will be difficult to keep your feelings under control.
  • Deception makes a person feel insecure in society. So don’t cheat.

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