self-control is strength. calmness is mastery. you – tymoff


One of the most essential life skills we can develop is the ability to remain calm and control our emotions even when faced with difficulties or challenges. As the quote in the title suggests, having self-control is a sign of inner strength and calmness, demonstrating mastery over oneself. This article will explore what it means to develop self-control and maintain composure, identify some benefits of being calm, and provide strategies for building these essential abilities. 

What is Self-Control?

Self-control refers to regulating one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors consistent with one’s intentions and goals. It involves overriding natural or instinctive reactions in favor of a deliberate response. For example, practicing self-control could mean remaining polite and composed even when angry or frustrated, thinking before speaking rather than blurting out the first thing that comes to mind, or briefly pausing before reacting sharply to a problematic situation. Developing self-control is an ongoing process that requires continuously monitoring one’s responses and consciously changing undesirable habits and impulse reactions.

Benefits of Calmness and Self-Control

Maintaining composure, even under pressure, can yield many advantages in life. Some key benefits of calmness and self-control include:

Improved Decision-Making: It takes more logic, and evaluating different options is harder when upset. Remaining calm allows for more rational and measured decisions. 

Better Relationship Management: Lashing out or reacting angrily when conflicts arise often damages relationships. Possessing self-control helps resolve disagreements constructively. 

Reduced Stress Levels – Regularly giving in to strong emotions like anger or worry increases mental and physical stress. Calmness provides relief from this stress.

Improved Performance: Whether at work, in sports, or in other pursuits, being level-headed boosts focus and performance compared to acting rashly or letting nerves take over.

Happier Outlook – Frequent agitation or lack of control over emotions is draining and leads to feeling overwhelmed. Calmness fosters a more content frame of mind.

Strategies for Building Self-Control and Composure 

The following are some effective techniques for strengthening one’s abilities in self-control and maintaining calm:

Awareness and Monitoring: Track emotional and behavioral patterns to understand triggers for loss of control. Keep a journal of situations where calmness faltered.

Removal from Triggers: When too upset to think clearly, take a break from what’s causing agitation. Go for a walk, listen to music, and do deep breathing to decompress. 

Reframing Thoughts – Challenge irrational thoughts fueling strong emotions like “I can’t handle this.” Replace with more reasonable self-talk.

Progressive Relaxation: Starting with the toes, tighten each muscle group systematically to release tension. Visualize unwinding stress.

Distraction and Diversion – Direct mind to neutral topics like nature scenes or happy memories when upset brewing. Shift focus from stressors.

Thought-Stopping – Cue self to halt unproductive thought patterns escalating negative feelings with commands like “Stop!” Follow with relaxation.

Patience and Forgiveness: Accept imperfect humanness instead of harsh self-criticism after losing control. Make amends and move forward constructively.

Stress Management: Implement healthy outlets like exercise, social engagement, hobbies, and enough sleep to counter daily pressures. 

Meditation – Train attention and awareness with daily practice of focusing on the breath or selected word/phrase to gain mastery over mind wandering.

Accepting What Can’t Be Controlled

While self-control focuses on regulating one’s internal responses, accepting external factors beyond our influence is essential. Worrying or getting upset over uncertainties won’t change outcomes and only creates unnecessary stress. Learn to discern what can and can’t be directly impacted, and don’t waste energy on the latter. Focus efforts on shaping what is within the realm of personal control.

Challenging Limiting Beliefs

Underlying intense emotional reactions are often negative core beliefs like “I always fail” or “People will think I’m weak.” But such beliefs aren’t facts – they’re stories we’ve told ourselves. Notice and evaluate limiting beliefs, looking for evidence against them. Replace with empowering truths, such as “I have overcome difficult situations before” or “Others’ opinions don’t define my worth.” Attacking at the belief level helps loosen the grip of emotions.

Self-Talk that Uplifts

Internal dialogues fuel emotional and behavioral patterns. Instead of harsh criticism or fearful prophecies when stressed, choose self-talk that motivates positive responses. Compassionate encouragement like “I’ve got this,” affirmative reminders of capabilities, or counting present blessings reframes mindsets from disempowering to empowered. Uplifting self-talk becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Forgiving Others and Yourself

They are holding grudges over past mistakes – one’s own or others’ – corrodes calmness. Make a conscious effort to forgive – both others involved and oneself for less skillful reactions or failures. Forgiveness releases resentment’s toxic grip and allows focusing energy where it can effect change in the future instead of stewing in what’s past altering. It’s a gift to self as much as anyone.

Cultivating Gratitude

Taking time each day to notice and appreciate life’s blessings, large or small, shifts focus from what creates complaint to what enriches life. Expressing thanks through journaling, meditation, or kind acts spreads more goodness. An “attitude of gratitude” fuels calm confidence that circumstances could be significantly worse despite difficulties, enhancing the ability to roll with life’s ups and downs.

Community and Social Support

None of us thrive in isolation. Surrounding with people who provide perspective, empathy, and accountability aids the cultivation of inner peace. Asking loved ones to point out inflammatory patterns kindly supports self-awareness growth. Expressing vulnerable feelings to close confidants releases emotional burdens. Spending quality time engaged in supportive communities gives a sense of shared experience and belonging, reducing pressure to handle all alone.


As the initial quote highlights, maintaining composure and regulating emotions demonstrate incredible strength and accomplishment over the self. While slips sometimes occur, regularly employing self-control strategies conditions increased self-mastery and calm reactivity even in challenging times. This results in myriad benefits to relationships, career success, health, and overall quality of life. Determining to refine poise and equanimity gradually takes perseverance but pays off immensely in fostering a more joyful and satisfying existence.

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