How Self-Control Can Make You Happier

Self-control involves inhibition of undesirable behavior while promoting desirable behavior to ensure more positive outcomes in life. It’s a trade-off between relishing immediate gratifications and achieving long-term goals. Low self-control is associated with unhealthy lifestyle, binge drinking, binge eating, procrastination, underachievement, substance abuse, impulse buying and many other harmful behavior.

But self-control seem to be in a constant struggle against their temptations. After all, giving yourself what you want should make you happier - right? Wrong. Without self-control people have to struggle constantly to move in one direction. They are always distracted, face more self-denial and often very dissatisfied. A self-disciplined person on the other hand would face temptations a lot less, thus relying less on self-control.

Let see some example how people with low self-control have more self-denial:

Case 1

Joe is a smoker and who don’t want to smoke too much except five cigarettes a day. Every day the same routine he tries to follow. Now within few weeks this becomes a habit and these five cigarettes bring no greater happiness then those days when he didn’t smoke. But every now and then he feels an urge to have an extra cigarette just because he is in tension or he is happy to enjoy it more with a cigarette. His friends and colleagues know he is a smoker and very often offering one to share with them.

If Joe turns down all of them then he is in self-denial several times a day or else he is in a risk of increasing his quota. In the long run he must have some health issue due to smoking. But if he is non-smoker, he doesn’t have to face that self-denial. Also in the long run he won’t have to face smoking related health issues. So he can be are happier in both short and long run.

Case 2

Rachel wants to shed 20 kilos, but does not have much self-control. She bought a large cheese cake impulsively which she cannot resist herself. Now every day more than three times a day she feels the urge to eat it but resist herself most of the time. It has eventually finished in three days with lots of self-denial and her diet program on jeopardy. But if she has enough self-control she would not bought that cake on the first place.

Case 3

People with lots of self-discipline befriend with disciplined people. Jeremy is a perfect example of that. He does not go to bars with friends who have drinking problem. He goes for tennis or golf or some physical sports instead of going to a casino to lose all. He used to gym where he has mates with similar mind.

Jeremy has three children. He establishes good rules for children and has less trouble with them. In fact children quickly learn from parents and their home environment. So growing up in a disciplined environment, help them to have good morals. They understand that rules are not meant to be broken, but are meant to be followed. So they don’t throw a tantrum for things that is undesirable. Self-disciplined parents like Jeremy spend quality time with their children and have good times at home.

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