The world could use a little more self-control, don’t you think? Everyone can use a bit more self-control in their lives. Nobody is exempt.
Some might argue that mastering self-control is impossible. The things that make us upset and trigger us tend to remain the things that get under our skin. However, self-control is not the absence of things bothering us and our responses. It is understanding how to respond and that our decisions affect our ability to exercise self-control. Self-control is an awareness that our responses affect others.
How Can Someone Improve Self-Control?
There are no self-control training sessions at the gym. There are books, blogs, and inspirational quotes that may help provide ideas of self-control, but only through practice and training can a person gain self-control and be the best version of themselves. Martial arts incorporate self-control as a foundational skill that students must consistently display to move up in rank. Exhibiting self-control both in the studio and outside plays a part in a student\’s overall growth.
Choosing What to Allow in Your Head and Body Help Achieve Self Control
Every thought we allow in our mind can be held captive and then dismissed, or it can consume what we think about. Focusing on negative things can result in feelings of sadness or anger. Therefore, choosing to focus on positive thoughts is a key to self-control.
Social media has made it impossible to ignore negative comments about yourself or someone to whom you feel connected. It is critical to raise awareness about targeted marketing that will continue to feed people what they are looking at, so if something makes you upset and you reply or like, you will see more of it! Self-monitoring this activity (including how much time is spent observing these platforms) helps identify what negatively affects your thoughts and moods.
The human body, although complex, also has simple reactions to certain things we allow inside. Some foods cause extreme allergic reactions, and others we know are not good for us, but we indulge in them anyway. Regardless, what things we allow to fill up our bodies does affect self-control. Adding exercise and staying active at least a few days a week is another excellent way to prime your mind for building self-control.
Controlling Emotions, Words, and Actions Display Self Control
No More Emotional Outbursts
In today’s social media and news frenzy, everyone can hear or see something that gets them fired up. Often, without self-control, people are more easily upset and take longer to come down from the emotional charge of seeing something upsetting. The absence of self-control reveals itself in hurtful words and sometimes in actions that can\’t be taken back. Emotional outbursts are almost always over-the-top and are followed by some regret.
Sporting events are another area where self-control is desperately needed. Take, for example, a parent that screams at every sporting event their child is in. Maybe they yell at the referee, the coaches, and in some cases, the parents are yelling at the other players. These outbursts happen at the pee-wee level, all the way through college. If you haven\’t been to a sporting event where this is happening, consider yourself fortunate.
Greater self-control when it comes to emotions does not mean things will not bother you, but it does mean an awareness that outrageous behavior is not acceptable. How we behave affects others and spreading negativity through strong emotional responses is not only dangerous but negatively affects and hurts others. Gaining self-control allows people to respond differently to scenarios; the world can use more of that!
Controlling Actions and Words
Often, without self-control, our words and actions can lead to trouble. It is critical to walk away at the height of intensity whenever possible. If it feels like you are losing control, walk away and re-evaluate.
In high school and club sports, parents and players must follow a 24-hour rule, which means they can’t address the coaches about the game until after 24 hours have passed. This standard rule is in place because emotions are high, especially regarding people we love. It would be good advice for anyone struggling with self-control to have a personal waiting period if they typically blurt out things or do things, they later regret.
Some situations call for strong responses, such as being attacked or needing to escape from a dangerous situation. Martial arts training doesn’t take away the ability to do these things, but they are done purposefully and not just because it has not been a rough day.
If someone wakes up tomorrow and decides they want to learn more self-control, it takes time. Being in a healthy environment, like an exceptional martial arts studio, with self-control as one of their key characteristics, allows improved self-control to happen naturally through training. Putting your mind to doing something can be powerful but surrounding yourself with instructors and peers who value self-control is significantly more effective and sustainable.
Ultimately, by increasing self-control, we become better versions of ourselves. If enough people do that, then the world will undoubtedly be a better place.