You know the feeling when you’re trying to do something important, like finish a project or stick to a budget, and yet something inside of you just wants to give in to temptation? We’ve all been there. It’s a common struggle, and it usually boils down to one thing: self-control.

Self-control is an essential part of our lives, helping us break bad habits and establish good ones in their place. But did you know that there are actually three different types of self-control? They are impulse control, emotional control, and movement control.

In this article, we’ll take a look at each type of self-control and how they all contribute to our ability to resist temptations. We’ll also discuss ways we can improve our overall self-control so that when we do encounter those tempting moments, we can have the willpower to resist them.

What is Self-control

When it comes to self-control, most people think of the basic concept of “controlling” our thoughts, desires, and actions. But the truth is, there are actually three different types of self-control that make up this greater concept.

The first type of self-control is impulse control, which is about more than just restraining yourself from eating that entire pint of ice cream. It’s about recognizing and managing your impulses in a way that helps you make better decisions.

The second type of self-control is emotional control. This involves being able to recognize and manage emotions so that we don’t let our feelings take over or become too extreme.

Lastly, there’s movement control, which helps us hold ourselves responsible for our own physical actions. It could mean controlling your body language during an important meeting or taking regular breaks when studying for a big exam.

By understanding these three different types of self-control, we can develop better skills that help us stay in control of our thoughts, emotions, and physical actions in any given situation.

The mood is the result of your thoughts and actions, so it’s not surprising that mood can affect our self-control. It turns out that a positive mood increases our ability to control ourselves while a negative mood decreases it.

Having strong self-control can also lead to stronger willpower.

There’s a difference between willpower and self-control. Willpower involves controlling your impulses, while self-control involves resisting temptation. The more you practice having strong self-control, the better you’ll be at it. So, you’ll have stronger willpower too.

Self-control is like a muscle: It gets stronger with exercise and can grow more powerful over time as well. You might not think about it much now but many ways exercising this skill can benefit your life.

To explore more – 7 Characteristics of Self-Control: The Art of Discipline

Types of Self-control

Types of Self-control
Types of Self-control

It’s normal to experience feelings of frustration, despair, or anger from time to time. When those feelings persist for an extended period and negatively affect your life in some way, it’s important to identify the reason why and make changes toward controlling them. There three different types of self-control as impulse control, emotional control and movement control which are beneficial and lead us to find our success .

1. Impulse Control

Impulse Control
Impulse Control

Impulse control is all about stopping yourself from acting on your immediate desires. We’ve all been there: you take your eyes off the carton of ice cream in the frozen aisle for one second, and suddenly it’s in your cart. This is where impulse self-control comes in: being aware of our actions and knowing how to stop yourself from acting on urges.

When it comes to improving impulse control, practice makes perfect. Set yourself small goals and try to resist the urge to act on things that don’t align with your long-term goals.

For example, if you want to eat less sugar, try drinking a glass of water as soon as you have a craving; it may be just enough time for you to think rationally and make a healthier decision.

“To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

Advantages of impulse self-control

Making an effort to control yourself can improve various parts of your life, including your social interactions.

1. If you’re impulsive, then you’re likely to live more in the moment instead of overthinking every decision.
2. You may also be less stressed out than your more self-controlled friends.
3. You’ll become more confident
4. Your self-esteem will improve.
5. You’ll be able to make better decisions.
6. You’ll build the skills necessary for your social life.
7. Your overall well-being will improve
8. Impulsive people can be easier to please, like simpler things, and have a higher capacity for gratitude.

Disadvantages of high impulse self-control

Even if it works, it requires high energy levels. It only works in particular situations.

1. Being too prepared can create stress.
2. When you are a prepared person, you sometimes worry people will think you are overreacting.
3. In certain situations, it can make sense to take risks.
4. It can hamper your mental ability to be creative, which could be limiting growth opportunities in your career or life.
5. Playing by the rules all of the time may prevent you from taking chances and seizing opportunities.

Importance of impulse control for success

The ability to control impulses and delay gratification is important for success in life. Impulse control is the ability to delay taking immediate gratification to get a better reward later. This skill can be applied in many areas of life, including school and work, sports, and social interactions.

If you’re unable to control your impulses, you may have difficulty delaying rewards until later. If this is the case, you could be more likely to give in to temptation and make bad decisions.

Impulse self-control is vital for success. 

A study by researchers found that people who were able to curb their impulses were more likely to succeed in life. The study, published in the journal Psychological Science, showed that this type is like a muscle that can be strengthened. It also found that people with high levels of impulse self-control tend to be happier and have better relationships than those who don’t have such skills.

It helps you develop self-control and discipline so that you can achieve goals that are important to you.

It also allows you to make better decisions, stay focused on tasks through long periods of time, and handle stress better.

Strategies to improve impulse self-control.

The only person who is going to change you is you – so stop getting in the way of yourself.
1. Know your triggers.
2. Recognize that you have a choice.
3. Take a time-out
4. Avoid temptation.
5. Look for new ways to manage stress.
6. Plan ahead.
7. Boost willpower with self-control strategies and exercises.

2. Emotional Control

Emotional Control
Emotional Control

Emotional control is important because it allows you to regulate your emotions rather than letting them drive your decisions and actions in ways that may not align with what you truly want for yourself or what makes sense for you given your circumstances at any given moment. 

This type can be one of the toughest aspects of self-control. It’s really easy to let your emotions get the better of you, which often leads to regret or inner turmoil.

For example, if an employee is angry at their boss, they might act in a way that causes more harm than good and if they don’t have emotional self- control then this could lead to serious problems down the line (e.g., violence).

 The best way to manage emotions is by learning how they work so that when something triggers one (or more) of them, we can identify where exactly those feelings come from in ourselves first before getting swept up into them again later on down them to the road where things could get worse instead of better as well since now there’s no warning signal telling us when things are about ready to go boom.

“The highest possible stage in moral culture is when we recognize that we ought to control our thoughts.” 

Charles Darwin

Advantages of Emotional Self-control 

There are many advantages to emotional self-control.

1. Keeps you away from overreacting

2. Enables you to make better decisions

3. Helps you feel better about yourself and your life

4. Makes it easier to see things as they are

5. Allows you to stay focused better and for longer periods of time.

6. It causes other people to respect and trust you more

7. Prevents others from influencing your emotions negatively

8. Helps boost behavior and habits that lead to success

9. Reduces the likelihood that you’ll say something you regret later.

Disadvantages of emotional self-control 

There are several disadvantages to emotional self-control that are important to know about before learning how to control your emotions.

1. Emotional self-control can result in depression.

2. It may result in bad interpersonal relationships.

3. It can lead to an unhealthy lifestyle if it causes you to internalize your emotions.

4. It often has a negative impact on the physical body.

Importance of Emotional control for success

You need to be able to control your emotions, as that will help you to better handle situations in life. If you want to succeed in life, then you need to learn how to stay calm when things go wrong. You will be better at dealing with stress and pressure if you can keep your emotions under control.

It is the ability to control your emotions. When you lose control of your emotions, it’s likely that you’ll make mistakes at work or in life.

Emotional self-control can help you:

-Be more confident and successful

-Have better relationships with family and friends

-Be more creative

-Be more productive at work

Strategies to improve emotional self-control

Improving emotional self-control is possible with these strategies.

1. Practice mindfulness meditation.

2. Put some distance between the triggering event and your reaction to it.

3. Visualize a positive outcome.

4. Monitor your self-talk.

5. Ask yourself what you’re afraid of and why you feel the way you do.

3. Movement Control

Movement Control
Movement Control

You might think of self-control as being about controlling your impulses, but there’s another type of self-control you should know about: movement control. It is all about controlling your physical movements and actions in simple terms, it’s controlling what you do.

 You follow through with their suggestion. After all, it will make an improvement that everyone around us can see as well (which translates into more opportunities down line).

“You can’t always control the wind, but you can control your sails”

Dr. Bob Chope

Advantages of high movement self-control.

You will be able to control your emotions.

: You will be able to improve your memory.

: You will get more sleep.

: You will lose weight.

: Your stress level will decrease.

: It enhances your focus and concentration.

: It enhances your memory power.

: It improves mood and makes you feel happy

Disadvantages of high movement self-control.

High self-control can be a disadvantage because the more you resist your impulses, the more you will crave them.
1. It might be easy to get stuck in routines.
2. You could become extremely competitive.
3. Fear of making mistakes.
4. Too much self-control can lead to burnout and exhaustion.
5. High-control individuals often develop unhealthy habits as a reward for their efforts.
6. You’ve become a control freak and can’t delegate tasks or let others do their own thing without your interference.

Importance of Movement control for success

The importance of movement self-control is often overlooked. It has been said that there are three major aspects to a person’s success: the will, the way, and the power. The first two are intangible and can be expressed through action or thought. The third is physical and can only be controlled by exercise.

It is important to keep in mind that each of us has different levels of physical control, which means we all have different levels of success in life.

 For example, some people may have a more natural aptitude in certain areas than others and therefore have more success than others who struggle with those same skills or abilities when they try them out for themselves. 

This is often referred to as luck or natural ability, but it is also because some people simply have more control over their bodies and minds than others do.

Movement self-control allows you to develop skills that will help you succeed in life, whether it’s through sports, art, or other activities. These skills can be developed over time by exercising your mind over the body so that your mind and body become one entity instead of two separate entities fighting against each other because one will win and the other loses.

Strategies to improve movement self-control

Learn how to build up your physical self-control, and you’ll be in a better position to enjoy life’s ups and downs.

1. Be who you are and not what other people want.
2. Celebrate all the positive things about your physical control.
3. Don’t put too much strain on your physical control.
4. Enjoy life’s ups and downs, have fun even when it is not perfect, and live in the moment.
5. Get lots of sleep and spend time exercising to maintain good physical health.
6. If you’re worried something might happen
-don’t let it eat away at your energy.
-take steps to help prevent it or deal with it when it happens.

Benefits of Having Greater Levels of Self-Control

God has equipped you to handle difficult things. In fact, He has already planted the seeds of discipline and self-control inside you. You just have to water those seeds with His Word to make them grow

Joyce Meyer

Having greater levels of discipline can provide a myriad of benefits for you and your life. It can help you stay focused on the tasks that are important, make better decisions, increase your productivity, and build healthier habits.

When you have self-control, you’re better able to manage how you react to stressful or challenging situations and make choices that support your goals and values. It also plays an integral role in resilience and emotional intelligence.

Furthermore, people who demonstrate effective self-control are often seen as confident, dependable, and trustworthy by their peers. This not only helps build stronger relationships but can lead to increased opportunities within both personal and professional contexts.

It’s clear that having a strong sense of self-control is beneficial in many areas of life.


You can’t learn self-control in a book. It’s something you develop through experience and practice. The next time you feel yourself giving in to temptation, take a step back and think about what you’re doing. It might be easier than you think.

You now know the three types of self-control and how to improve each one. It’s important to remember that it is a skill like any skill and it takes practice. That’s why it’s important to set goals, make a list of activities, and practice regularly.

It can be difficult to break bad habits and build new ones, but it’s not impossible. Self-control is an important life skill that can help you stay focused, achieve goals, and become the best version of yourself. With practice and dedication, you can become more self-disciplined and reach your fullest potential.


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