Self-control is the ability to subdue our impulses to be able to achieve longer-term goals rather than reacting to immediate impulses. The capacity to exert self control is typically called willpower, which allows us to direct our attention toward targets. And, therefore, it underlies all kinds of achievement.
A psychologist named Walter Mischel, in a psychology experiment in 1970, placed a treat in front of children and offered them a choice – they might either enjoy a treat of marshmallow now, or wait a short period of time to be able to get two snacks. The experimenter then left the room.
He found on coming into the room after some time that many of the kids immediately ate the marshmallow, but a portion of the kids could put off the urge to enjoy the treat now and await the benefit of getting two yummy goodies later on.
Mischel found later that the kids, who had waited for the cure, performed better academically than children, who ate the treat right away. Those, who delayed their satisfaction, also displayed fewer behavioral problems and had much higher SAT scores.
In followup experiments, Mischel discovered that using several diversion techniques helped children delay gratification more efficiently. Melbourne Raccoon Removal
The children in Mischel’s study had the promise of a secondary reward for waiting only a short period of time. But, on the contrary, regular scenarios don’t always come with this guarantee and, therefore, it becomes quite difficult to delay gratification.
Unpredictability of future rewards –
The uncertainty about future rewards makes delaying immediate gratification a true challenge. And, that’s why, many think why not have immediately that’s there in front of us. May be, it may not be there later!
If on a diet, many will lose their self-control and give into temptation to enjoy a delicious dish at a party. They’ll argue with themselves that even after following a diet plan, they are facing difficulty in losing weight. So why not enjoy the cure! They forget at the time that a weight loss plan requires real self-control.
Developing self-control –
We can look at self-control as a muscle, and like our physical muscles, we can reinforce it by training.
Each time you tell yourself “I can not,” you’re creating a feedback, which is a reminder of your own limitations. This terminology indicates that you’re forcing yourself to do something that you don’t wish to do. So, by creating positive affirmations like “I will do it”, you will have the ability to retrain your responses to situations which require self-control. With many repetitions of such affirmations, you will be able to develop good self-control.
Delay immediate gratification – Delaying instant gratification is one potent way to develop self-control. Delaying gratification involves the capacity to wait to get what one desires. Though it’s often quite difficult, it’s most important for developing self-control. Picking a long-term reward over immediate gratification poses a significant challenge in many areas of life. One can employ diversionary tactics like considering something else, or simply walking from the sight of tempting thing or merely reminding yourself that delaying will yield more benefits. It actually has to be done repeatedly until you can fortify your will-power.
Do meditations frequently – Experts agree upon the board that a regular practice of meditation provides many advantages of overall mental and physical well-being to the practitioner. It helps reduce the levels of emotional reactivity and impulsivity because it provides a latency to the practitioner prior to reacting. The latency keeps increasing as the pro advances in the practice of meditation. It is this latency period that gives a person time to think before reacting, which, in its place, comes as proactive response. So, rather than giving in to the temptation of instant gratification, you will have some opportunity to change your mind. And it doesn’t take a lifetime of exercise but, on the contrary, behavioral changes to counteract reactivity have been observed following eight weeks of brief daily meditation training.
Learn to manage stress – High levels of anxiety entice us to surrender to temptations, forcing us to make decisions based on short-tem outcomes, because the procedure of decision making requires energy, and we’re low on energy level under high stress. By being relaxed, we will have the ability to make sound decisions with far reaching positive consequences. Our self-control gives in, when we are under any type of high stress, particularly if that involves emotions. Thus, we can conclude that if we learn to manage our stress well, we’ll have better self-control.