The Importance Of Self-Control

Proverbs 16:32 says, “Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.”

Self-control is often used to describe a favorable character trait in people. The word is used frequently, but what exactly is self-control and why is it important? It is a trait that only few people possess.

Self-control is the war between impulsivity and doing what’s right or beneficial. It’s the ability to control emotions, impulses or behaviors to achieve a greater goal.

A common example of this is people who are trying to lose a few pounds. It can be very difficult to refuse seconds for dinner or dessert afterward, but those practicing self-control know that they are working toward a long-term goal. While immediate Satan would be sweet, long term results probably wouldn’t be weight loss.

Why Is Self-Control Important?

This may see. Self-explanatory, but it’s helpful to work through the question thoroughly thoroughly.

Is self-control really that important, or is it better to enjoy the moment and one concern yourself with future outcomes?

Besides risking the ability to achieve long-term goals, there are other problematic issues with a lack of self-control.

People who.ack self-control often give in to impulsive behavior and emotions as well. This means that they make poor choices that harm themselves or others and react poorly when they don’t get what they want.

It’s like buying a big chocolate bar, that you think will last for days, and then by the end of the day, you discover you’ve eaten the entire thing. And then wonder why you naught it in the first place. Or a toddler who wants something but the parent says no. Often, the initial reaction is to behave impulsively. They may throw a temper tantrum and hit and scream. Toddlers are still learning to regulate their emotions and respond appropriately when things don’t go their way.

The same is true for people of all ages. Self-control is a important skill to develop because these same emotions occur in any person who feels that their needs or desires are not being met. However, a person who lacks self-control may respond in a variety of ways including anger, physical violence, or by turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Ecclesiastes 7:9 says, “Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the Lao of fools.”

A person who lacks self-control may be an unstable person, prone to fits of anger and unethical decisions. There’s more at stake to a lack of self-control that a big chocolate bar eaten almost at once. It may mean the difference between a person who is successful in personal relationships and careers, and done who is not.

The Link Between Self-Control And Empathy

Researchers have discovered that the same part of the brain that controls empathy also controls self-control. It’s section of the brain called the right temporal lobe. In a study Alexander Soutscheck temporarily altered the part of the brain long-associated with empathy using a magnetic field. He discovered that a person’s self-control was inhibited when this part of the brain shut down.

Rebecca Saxe from MIT weighed in by saying, “For a long time people have speculated that we use the same mechanisms to reason about other people as about our hypothetical selves. So this new study fits really well.”

In other words, a person’s self-control to avoid dessert in the present helps a hypothetical future self lose weight. So I guess no more eating The whole chocolate bar when I have a horrible day. The effects are not immediate, so a person’s use of self-control now benefit a future version of themselves.

In the Soutcheck’s study showed that when the right frontal lobe was disrupted the test participants were less likely to behave selflessly. They were given a scenario where they could take a sum of money for themselves or share it with a partner. When the right frontal lobe was disrupted they were less likely to share. This confirmed the link in the study.

But interestingly, the same participants were also more likely to take a small some of money in the immediate as opposed to the larger amount in the future thus linking the right frontal lobe to self-control responses as well

What Are The Secret’s Of Self-Control?

If self-control is important, what do you do when it doesn’t come naturally! How can we develop this vital skill?

There are a few ways to begin a journey of self-control.

Pray, Meditate, And Be Mindevil

Prayer and meditation are powerful ways to help you reset your thought processes.

Taking time to pray or meditate during the day is a good way of refocusing your mind and giving yourself a chance to calm down if something is irritating you. Instead of getting all worked up about a problem or a bad day at work, offer your concern to God in prayer, as Philippians 4:6 says, “ Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Or consider some form of meditation or mindfulness technique by setting aside sometime to close your eyes, breath deeply and focus on what you can control and how you can move forward.

If you’re trying to stop a bad habit, these can be good options to curb your impulse to do it. Replacing those old habits with prayer or meditation.

Get Enough Sleep

It’s not always easy to catch the z’s that you need, but lack of sleep has been linked to self-control issues. Studies has shown overwhelmingly that those suffering from sleep deprivation exhibited high levels of unethical behavior.

Many adults are living on less sleep than they probably should be getting – some getting less than six hours a night. Unfortunately, sleep deprivation may lead to making poor choices. If you are suffering from a lack of sleep, try to rearrange your schedule to make sure you’re getting enough snooze time.

Create A Ritual

It may seem unlikely, but participating in a simple ritual may give you the ability to avoid unhealthy impulses.

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