There is this one little that people always ALWAYS miss out. There are occasions when the rainbow with the pot of gold seems to be there already but not there… yet. What about the missing jigsaw puzzle piece that can’t be found? We people tend to fill a cup that can’t seem to overflow with gladness. There’s emptiness, misery, doubts, worries, anxieties, and a whole gamut of complex issues.

Thankfully, there’s a cure to all these. What is it? Let me get it straight. This is not a quick fix. This is not an overnight solution.

This little secret takes several months or even years to master, but when you do, you’ll be glad you did. Let’s talk about your self-control.

What is Self-Control?

De Ridder et al. described self-control as the capability to change and regulate predominant tendencies to respond leading to the inhibition of undesirable behaviors and at the same time promoting desirable ones to upkeep long-term goals.

On the level of dispositions, trait self-control (TSC) is known as a basic temperament that forms the core of personality while it develops. Research also backs up the claim that the higher TSC is, the more it is inclined with better health, higher academic achievements, more interpersonal success, and less maladaptive adjustments. With this, it is important to note that self-control is important to one’s survival.

Self-Control = ?

Some might argue that self-control just leads to a dull, dissatisfying, and displeasing life. They would even tell that placing too much self-control can inhibit the joys of life. Why stick to morals when we could just enjoy life to the FOOL-est?

Another study, this time by Hofmann et al. pointed out that individuals with higher TSC have greater life satisfaction as well as are less prone to emotional distress. Likewise, possessing a high TSC disposition allows such people to be more successful in dealing with competing goals by selecting the one that has a more virtuous result.

Although these individuals are not totally immune from sadness (I mean, who is?), it can be noted that when one exerts careful attention to his self-discipline, he gets to reap the fruits of his self-control. Whether or not you agree with this proposition, it is helpful to understand that happiness is affected by a lot of factors – and self-control is one of them.

How to Increase Your Self-Control

  1. Set your boundaries and stick with them.

Mastering self-control entails understanding your limits. You have a guide with you that allows you to determine right from wrong. When you know your limits, you can easily tackle any feat you encounter. Are you just supposed to consume 1200 kCal per day? Do you have restrictions when it comes to dating? Abide by your self-control guide, your moral principles.

  1. Get more sleep.

Sleeping at recommended lengths based on your age and condition is a must if you want to maintain self-control. Not only does it boost your mood, but it also enhances your prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain responsible for our cravings and stress response). How long should you sleep, you may ask? Well, according to sleep researchers Daniel Kripke and colleagues, those who sleep from 6.5 to 7.5 hours per night end up the most productive and the happiest.

  1. Develop mindfulness.

Regulating our emotions through mindfulness also plays a very important role in the self-control routine. By practicing “executive control” we can become more aware of our emotions, accept them, and inevitably control our behavior. We do not aim to change our emotions here. Rather, we just observe them – allowing greater self-insight.

  1. Learn to say no.

Some decisions only take two letters for you to enact. By practicing the art of saying no, you can definitely master self-control – knowing your boundaries and morals. Sometimes, you just need to turn down that pleasurable offer in place of what you believe is right.


Eager to develop self-control? You know you have it in you. By mastering these time-tested principles and strategies, you are on your way to attaining that much-coveted happiness.