While self-control has often been related to positive outcomes in life such as higher academic achievements and better health, recent insights reveal that people with high trait self-control may even experience greater life satisfaction and happiness.
Results from a study done with 545 individuals in University of Utrecht, Netherlands suggest that people with higher trait self-control are happier possibly because they are: (1) more promotion-focused on acquiring positive gains thereby facilitating more approach-oriented behaviours, and (2) less prevention-focused on avoiding losses thereby reducing avoidance-oriented behaviours.
Self-control has been linked to successes in different walks of life, and it appears that with greater self-control one could focus more on aspirations and less on warding off hindrances along the way. That said, although the pursuit of happiness may not be easy, it appears to be nonetheless in our control.
Let’s use a coping mechanism for anxiety called 5-4-3-2-1 and tap into our senses.
Step 1: Stand up nice and tall with the feet slightly apart and take 3 slow breaths in and out.
Step 2: Notice 5 things that you can see (a chair, a desk, a window, your pet, a lamp).
Step 3: Touch 4 things (your hair, your belly, your clothes, a wall).
Step 4: Hear 3 things (the clock in the room, traffic outside, kids playing in the other room).
Step 5: Smell 2 things (your shampoo, your perfume).
Step 6: Taste 1 thing (what is the taste in your mouth).
Step 7: Breathe in and out and notice how do you feel.