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Self Control

By Jiemin S

As a teenager, are you controlling your life? Are you good at controlling your life? What is self control? By definition, self-control is the ability to stop when necessary, or to keep calm to make rational decisions. Self control is as important to a person as a shell to a turtle. It gets us out of trouble, and helps de-escalate a situation. What are some of the best ways to develop this important trait?

Behavioral habits are the best way to develop self-control, from the physiological point of view. If we keep doing things in the same manner, some of our nerve cells will know to direct signals directly to the long-term sections of our brain. Behavioral psychology studies have shown that more than 21 days of repetition will likely form into a habit, while 90 days of repetition will form a stable, almost unconscious one. When you develop a good habit of thinking, or know exactly what do in a certain situation, the physiological mechanisms to develop self-control ensue.

Another way to think about self control is to make a list of things that you can control, including your attitude, your time management, your actions, your homework, and your thoughts. When we finally see how many items are on this list and how much responsibility is in our hands, we tend to be more careful and think about how we should act before a decision, large or small.

Additionally, think about other people; do they act well with or without good self control? Someone like a parent is a role model for others and often have big impact on their children. If they cannot resist doing something, their actions reflect on their children’s behavior. They can practice this with you together.

Delayed satisfaction to an action is the beginning of learning to control. Learning to wait, is the best self-control learning method. Assess the situation. What will be the consequences? By asking these questions and following the tips shown above, one’s life can be so much better with self control.

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