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

Sometimes you look at a person and you are surprised at his self-control. This is truly a very good feeling, which helps not only not to lose face in a difficult situation, but also to quickly find a way out of it. Not all of us have this quality of character. But don’t get upset. Self-control can be developed with the help of special exercises. You just need to work on yourself a little.

What it is?

In psychology, it is customary to speak in the language of definitions. Means, the ability to control the situation that has arisen and at the same time maintain control of one’s internal state is called self-control.

This state helps a person to manage emotions. To keep his feelings, he needs to come to the possession of a large energy potential.

Self-control can also include such qualities as willpower, courage and determination. If they are present in the character and complement each other, then the person always and everywhere keeps his inner world under control.

That’s why such people are able to easily achieve their life goals and solve difficult tasks. Sobriety of mind is very important when making a decision. If emotions take over, then the solution of the problem becomes very difficult.

Advantages and disadvantages

Self-control is always only one plus for any person. Therefore, it is difficult to say anything about the shortcomings of self-control. Unless a person endowed with such a quality may seem to some people an overly cold and self-confident person.

Let’s move on to a direct consideration of situations that may arise if a person has a complete lack of self-control.

  • With various changes, for example, a change of job or place of residence, a person who does not have endurance may become depressed due to doubts that overcome him. Those who have endurance will always find more pluses from changes than minuses.
  • Various trials can unsettle a person who cannot keep his psychological state “in his hands”. For example, passing exams or passing a job interview. A person who is not able to keep their emotions in hand may not be able to cope with the task. Because of the excitement, he will forget all his skills and acquired knowledge.
  • A person can become confused due to various losses. The loss of loved ones is a difficult test for any individual. However, if there is no self-control in the character, then for a person such a blow can be fatal. There are other losses, for example, material ones — they can also become a very serious test for those who cannot keep their inner state normal.
  • Various grievances or conflicts can significantly ruin a person’s life if he does not have self-control. Such persons are waiting for disappointment and a complete loss of self-confidence. Moreover, if the lack of self-control leads to a loss of control over their emotions, an individual can commit such an act that will entail many negative consequences.

From this we can conclude that self-control is a very essential character trait that gives a person many advantages. With the help of this quality, any person can make a specific decision that will help overcome all difficulties.

How to develop?

It becomes clear that self-control is a very necessary quality. Therefore, everyone, without exception, needs to learn endurance and calmness in any situation. Various techniques will help in this, which will be discussed later.


Spiritual practices will certainly help anyone who wants to maintain clarity of mind in a stressful situation and not lose control over a negative situation. Meditation helps a person to establish contact not only with himself, but also with the whole Universe. The knowledge gained as a result of such a dialogue can bring the human mind to a new level. It is this level that gives you the opportunity to believe in yourself and keep your emotions under control. We can safely say that learning to train your consciousness means picking up the key to yourself.

In order for you to succeed, you need to start with the simplest exercises.

  • Choose a quiet and comfortable place.
  • Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes.
  • Breathe deeply. If different thoughts come into your head, don’t chase them away, just watch them come and go. Through this process, you gradually abstract.
  • If you find it difficult to concentrate, put on headphones with special soothing music.
  • Thanks to the above actions, your condition will gradually move to a new level. You will feel confident and completely calm.
  • At this moment, it is important to believe in yourself and imagine that your internal energy is growing like a snowball.
  • Now exhale and say to yourself: «Now I am strong (of flax) and free (of)».
  • Open your eyes and enjoy the new state.

After you learn how to practice and understand that everything is working out for you, you can move on to applying more serious practices.

Deep breathing

Not without reason, many experts advise breathing evenly and deeply if a stressful situation has occurred to you. Such exercises not only help supply oxygen to the brain, but also calm your mind.

Deep inhalations and exhalations will help a person to distract from the negativity. Only you need to observe some interval so that your breathing does not become intermittent and does not harm your heart.

Therefore, act according to the 4x4x4 scheme. Inhale slowly and count to 4, then hold the air in your lungs for 4 seconds. Then exhale for 4 seconds.

Such rules of breathing exercises help to relax the whole body easily and without strain.


Know how to follow this simple rule, which will help you avoid a lot of stress and not get angry at others in a conflict situation.

Developing this quality of behavior will help keep your emotions under control. It’s pretty easy to work it out. If suddenly someone starts pulling you or trying to piss you off, try turning off all your thoughts aimed at retaliatory aggression. For example, they tell you at work: “You look very bad today, and you are incompetent in some matters!” Instead of getting upset, think about the fact that the weather is fine today and you were in a great mood in the morning.

At the same time, you can answer your critic: “Why did you decide so? I personally don’t think so.» As soon as you say these words, put on an independent air and think that tonight you will visit a hairdresser, and then go to a cafe.

Let your life-affirming thoughts interrupt the words of your offender and give you confidence in your abilities.

If you do not be rude to him, but answer politely and as detached as possible, he will feel that you have an inner core, and will no longer bother you.


Once you understand the essence of the problem, you can easily take control of its solution. When you learn to understand the people around you, it will be easier for you to communicate with them.

Self-control allows a person to control their emotions, at a time when other people can get out of control. At the time of the discussion, it is important to control your mind, and this will help to predict the moods and desires of opponents who are on the other side. Then you can calm everyone down, and after that you can easily come to a general compromise.

If there is not a single person in the arguing company who has self-control, then such a group will not be able to find the root of the problem and solve it.

Therefore, always and everywhere you need to be able to manage your emotions. Then you will be able to predict the desires of your opponents and make a decision in time so that a conflict situation does not arise.

Visualization of the vagus nerve

If the vagus nerve tone is healthy, then the physical health of a person will be normal. The vagus nerve is a variety of branches that reach almost all organs of the human body. Through this component, the brain can send signals to different parts of the body and receive response signals. The vagus nerve is often compared to a general who is able to give orders.

If a person is nervous, then the vagus nerve perceives this moment as a danger, and sends negative signals to the entire body. Therefore, there are palpitations, trembling in the knees and much more.

To keep calm, the vagus nerve must be stimulated. For example, this can be done using its visualization. By and large, it is a source of neurobiological components that give a person mental and physical peace. Therefore, with its help, a person can quickly «pull himself together.»

It’s kind of a placebo effect. For example, when you breathe deeply, you allow the vagus nerve to release substances that significantly lower the pulse, calm the nervous system, and thereby lower blood pressure. Therefore, seek help from the vagus nerve, as to a living being.

To do this, it can be represented as a huge rod located inside the spine, from which many branches depart. They run through your entire body and reach your limbs. It is through such branches that you can send positive signals to your organs and muscles.

Thus, you will be able to control not only your body, but also your emotions, since the biological roots of self-control originate in the vagus nerve.

Physical activity

It gives a person not only health, but also strength. A physically strong personality can only by its appearance throw the enemy to flight. So go in for sports.

Jogging in the morning or evening helps a lot. Such activity will significantly reduce your anxiety, and this is a direct path to controlling emotions.

You can meet like-minded people and make friends with them. New acquaintances are always beneficial and help a person to believe in himself. For example, an uncommunicative person will understand that his flaw was invented by himself. Thus, he will stop moving away from other people. And this leads to the development of endurance and self-control.

Even simple exercises in the form of physical exercises can help you get rid of multidirectional problems.

Celebrate progress

Even if you do not achieve any major achievements, you will still need to note the positive dynamics in your activities. Remember that the one who does nothing will not be able to succeed in this or that business.

In this case, we are talking about the development of self-control. Do not rush things, study hard and write down all your results in a special notebook. Review your notes after a month. Surely you will see that your actions were not in vain.

Every time, when you can overcome the next step, for example, to maintain endurance in a certain controversial situation, be sure to reward yourself. Then treat yourself to something delicious or go to the movies, cafes. You can invite friends to celebrate this event. Then your holiday will become more interesting. And then you will understand that keeping emotions under control is not only good for your mental state, but also for communicating with other people.

Examples of self-control

In life, various unforeseen situations occur in which it is necessary to show restraint, at least in order to save yourself and those around you. For example, in front of you, a person fainted. In this case, you should not panic, but should act.

First of all, you need to call an ambulance and provide all possible first aid. Lay the person on their back to put their body in a comfortable position, and thereby ensure the flow of oxygen. It will be right. However, this is not always the case.

There are people who are used to raising a panic and calling for help, running around the victim. Onlookers run to screams. They raise dust, and a person who is already in poor physical condition suffers from a lack of oxygen.

If we give examples further, then we need to say about endurance in the event of conflict situations. For example, you have an argument with your co-worker who has been picking on you for no reason for a long time. A person with self-control will not raise a scandal, but will find a way to adequately respond to the offender.

To do this, he will calmly ask the bully to explain the essence of the problem. Surely in response he will receive a new portion of negativity. However, this should not become a cause for scandal. Remember that negativity breeds more negativity.

Therefore, it is necessary to calmly explain to the person that you are not going to conflict with him.

Such actions disgust you. After that, you need to calmly leave the place of conflict.

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