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Self-Control is defined by the Meriam Dictionary as restraint exercised over one's own impulses, emotions, or desires".[1]

Self-control and the Holy Spirit

One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

The Fruits of the Holy Spirit are perfections that the Holy Spirit forms in us as the first fruits of eternal glory. The tradition of the Church lists twelve of them.

Religion and self-control

Engaging in virtuous behavior and quenching temptations to engage in immoral behavior requires self-control.

In the journal article Religion, self-regulation, and self-control: Associations, explanations, and implications, psychologists McCullough and Willoughby theorize that many of the positive links of religiousness with health and social behavior may be caused by religion's beneficial influences on self-control/self-regulation.[1][2] Furthermore, a 2012 Queen's University study published in Psychological Science found that religion replenishes self-control.[3][4]

Improving self-control methods and other research

Kelly McGonigal

Kelly McGonigal defines willpower as "the ability to do what you really want to do when part of you really doesn’t want to do it."

It consists of three elements:

  1. I will – the ability to do what you need to do
  2. I won’t – resisting temptation
  3. I want – Your goals and noble desires

McGonigal recommends increasing willpower though getting proper sleep, exercise and nutrition. Engaging in mindfulness and meditation. Meditation can increase the prefrontal cortex part of the brain which is a center of the brain key to willpower.[5][6]

Research of Andrew Newberg M.D. related to intense prayer

Research indicates that 12 minutes of daily intense prayer over an eight-week period can change the brain to such a degree that it can be measured on a brain scan. This method of prayer appears to increase activity in brain areas associated with social interaction and compassion/thoughtfulness. In addition, it increases frontal lobe activity as focus and intentionality increase.[7][8][9]