Self-control means to stop ourselves before we do or say something we will later regret. For example, all of us have gotten angry at someone at some point in our lives. Sometimes when we’re really mad at another person, we say hurtful things to them. Self-control means that, even though we’re really mad, we walk away before we do or say anything mean. Doing so gives us a chance to calm down. Anytime we find ourselves feeling angry, frustrated or upset, it’s best to take a deep breath and walk away.
We can also demonstrate self-control when another student says something mean or hurtful to us. We’ve all seen bullies at school who call other people names and try to humiliate them. But just because someone else does not know how to use self-control doesn’t mean that you should join them. We are martial artists who are learning how to have a great Black Belt attitude. A person with a Black Belt attitude knows how to use self-control, even if others don’t. If someone at school calls you names, just walk away. Walking away actually shows great strength and character. By responding to someone who calls us names, we’ve actually lost our self-control and turned the power over to the person who is making us angry. However, when we practice self-control, we keep our power and we don’t let others determine how we will respond. The next time someone says something mean to you or calls you names, remember that you have the power to practice self-control.
Showing self-control isn’t always easy, but it is the right thing to do. If someone says or does something to us and we get angry, there are things we can do to help get rid of anger without lashing out at the person who made us mad. First, pay attention to your body. Many times when we’re angry, we tense up! Our jaws and fists become very tight. We may get a stomach ache or a headache; sometimes our breathing becomes very rapid. Relax those muscles by taking a long, deep breath. Focus on self-control by mentally letting go of the situation and picturing how great you will feel about yourself when you have shown self-control by not reacting to the other person. Stop and think about making the right choice and then walk away. If you’re still angry after you walk away, talk it out with a friend or trusted adult.