Self-control according to Tibetan Buddhism

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Self-control according to Tibetan Buddhism

Self-control has no mystery. It is simply a matter of applying common sense and leading a life in which the mind and heart are not constantly stimulated and excited.

Last update: December 14, 2020

While we all like to stay calm in difficult times and face problems with serenity, we don't always succeed. Sometimes it is impossible to achieve the necessary state of tranquility. Maybe because we haven't developed the tools to control impulses or maybe because we don't know the strategies to stay calm. In these cases, the strategies of self-control according to Tibetan Buddhism can be of great help to us.



Our instincts lead us to react impulsively when we feel threatened. In principle, if we wait ten minutes before reacting, we multiply the chances of dealing with a situation correctly by ten. This should be the first principle of self-control, but it is more Western than Tibetan.

"Trying to control our reactions and failing is the script that leads to the slavery of fear."

-Giorgio Nardone-

Tibetan Buddhism shows us common sense paths to achieve our inner balance. These paths require previous preparation and a lifestyle that makes them possible. In this article we present five self-control strategies handed down from the Orientals.

5 self-control strategies according to Buddhism

1. Meditation

We cannot live by relying on chance and expect this lifestyle to lead us to temperance. One of the goals of meditation is precisely to molding the mind to be more resistant to the attacks of emotional storms.

For Tibetan Buddhists, meditation is a great tool for self-control. Of course, you don't have to become a Buddhist monk.



Just find five minutes a day to focus on your breathing and the sensations you feel. This increases self-awareness and drains energy from the negative impulses that arise suddenly.

2. Eat

Many will be surprised to see diet among self-control strategies. Still, it is. When the brain does not have sufficient glucose stores, thinking is more likely to cloud. For the same reason, maintaining control is a strenuous exercise that requires high glucose stores.

It was demonstrated that those with low blood sugar levels are more likely to exhibit compulsive behavior. The solution, however, is not to always eat sugar, as this would cause a glycemic mini-shock that could be counterproductive.

The best thing to do is to get protein into the body through meat, fish or nuts and not go fasting for long.

3. Ride the wave

Human emotions are not static, they change all the time. If it were possible to graphically represent their trend, we could depict them as the waves of the sea. And just like the waves of the sea behave: they begin to rise, reach a peak and then gradually decrease until they disappear.

It is important to be aware of the course of emotions. When a strong emotion takes over, the most appropriate thing is not to repress it, but to let it take its course.

The ideal is to wait ten minutes so that anger, anger, fear or any other negative emotion has time to reach its peak and then decrease in intensity until it disappears.


4. Playing sports among the strategies of self-control according to Tibetan Buddhism

Another self-control strategy according to Tibetan Buddhism is to play sports. Physical activity is always good for you because it helps keep your body and mind healthy. It also helps us fight stress by making us feel a feeling of well-being.



Exercise allows the release of a neurotransmitter called GABA which generates a feeling of serenity. Therefore, when you are feeling angry or your mind is filled with invasive thoughts, it is not a bad idea to take a walk. In general, we recommend that you do at least ten minutes of physical activity a day.

5. Sleeping

Sleeping guarantees good mental health. Fatigue, in itself, makes us irritable and intolerant. A person who has not slept well is much more likely to experience negative emotions that he cannot control.

In addition to this, sleeping little and badly minimizes glucose levels, which is why those who sleep little feel the need to ingest particularly sugary foods. Nevertheless, nothing can replace the effect of a deep and restful sleep. We can say that sleep is the basis of our mental health.


The self-control tools we have presented to you are useless if they are not put into practice. Losing control is not synonymous with frankness or having character, quite the opposite. Most of the time the only thing we get is saying or doing things that we will later regret.

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