How to improve self-control: 5 tips for you

Exercising self-control is not an easy task. However, with these simple yet expert suggested ways, you can learn how to improve self-control
Tips to practice self control
Follow these tips to practice self control and increase focus. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Purvi Kalra Updated: 27 Jun 2023, 04:56 pm IST
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We live in a world where social media platforms are always vying for our attention. Constantly flickering phone screens, along with the easy accessibility of our lives over social media, have made the ability to focus feel like hard work. As per studies, an average six-year-old can barely stay focused on a task for 8-10 minutes. When the same child steps into the age of adolescence, there is a substantial increase for up to 48 minutes. But adulthood hits hard with its increased number of distractions, making the focus drop to just 20 minutes.

The information overload on the internet and otherwise are culprits behind this inability of people to focus. Ageing, too, plays a major role. However, fret not, as you are not powerless in this case. You can shift your focus on things you want. You just need to work on your self-control to overcome life’s many distractions. To make things seamless for you, we have put together simple tips that can be followed in your daily life to improve self-control.

Health Shots got in touch with a clinical psychologist Dr Kamna Chhibber, to get to know how to improve self-control.

how to improve self control
You may practice breathing techniques to improve your focus, self-control and practice mindfulness. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

What is self-control?

Apart from the dictionary meaning that limits self-control to restraint and self-deprivation, it also means control exercised over one’s own desires, emotions, and impulses. It is a conscious effort to direct one’s energy and willpower to achieve the desired outcome. Sometimes, it could mean refraining from doing something like smoking, while other times it means being mindful about doing something like building good habits.

How to improve self-control?

Let’s dive straight into the big question that concerns many! Our expert shares some tips that can be executed to hone your ability in implementing self-control for fruitful results.

1. Act like the way you want your future self to be

To achieve a desired outcome, you must continually act like the person you want to become to stay motivated. “Your must align your actions with your goals in order to exercise self-control,” says the expert. Your actions must match what is needed from you to reach your goals. That way, you’ll stay empowered to do the needful every time you feel tempted by an outside distraction.

Also read: Underestimating yourself? 5 limiting beliefs and ways to overcome them

2. Simplify your life by breaking down the process

Big goals can scare any, especially a rookie. For instance, you want to hit the target of 50 kg straight from the current weight of 70 kg That 20 kg lag can feel daunting. So, break down the process, and instead of focusing on the 20-kilo goal, start by shedding off, let’s say, 1 kg every week. It’s that simple. Focusing on the smaller goals keeps you motivated and helps you stay on the path to the bigger ones. “Break down the task into small incremental steps towards building control,” says the expert.

how to improve self control
Self control can be implemented in smaller aspects of life like learning to control your hunger pangs! Image courtesy; Shutterstock

3. Don’t lose sight of the larger picture

Breaking free from old patterns and cycles is not easy. However, understand that all this pain and turmoil is leading you to larger things in life. That way, the force of distractions will extinguish your mind and life. “Understand how exercising self-control would help you further in life,” says the expert.

4. Take help when needed

“Take support of your loved ones or well-wishers to give you the motivation and reminders to stay on your path of building self-control,” says the expert.

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5. Use all the coping mechanisms you know when you falter

Some days will test your patience and will force you to react in unwanted ways. However, even if you falter in some moments, focus on going back towards engaging yourself in mechanisms you have built for yourself to assert self-control.

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About the Author

After testing her skill-set in the field of management and marketing, Purvi Kalra is exploring the world of turning thoughts to words. Her penchant for writing stems for being an avid reader all her life. Her work drives her to be better every day. ...Read More

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