How Using A Self-Control App Can Help You Change

Updated February 03, 2021

Medically Reviewed By: Wendy Boring-Bray, DBH, LPC

There are not many things that separate us from animals. However, one thing that does is our ability to use self-control. As humans, we can control our thoughts, emotions, and behavior. We may have natural tendencies just like animals, but we can overcome our instinct because of self-control. However, many people experience a lack of self-control. Even though we have the ability, we struggle to use it. Therefore, technology has stepped in to save the day. You can choose a self-control app to help you gain control.

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The Importance Of Self-Control

Self-control and self-discipline are so crucial because they allow us to accomplish the things that we want in life. We all have emotions that try to run our lives. But, if you allow your emotions to control you, your life canend up a mess. Our feelings are not always true to the situation. If we always make our decisions in light of how we feel, we will not be able to accomplish nearly what we couldotherwise.

Coach Wooden is known for his Pyramid of Success. It has four blocks that include self-control, alertness, initiative, and intentness. He stresses the importance of self-control by saying, "practice self-discipline and keep emotions under control. Good judgment and common sense are essential."

You probably have witnessed someone acting with a lack of self-control before, and, if you are honest, you can probably think of at least a time or two when you have done the same. When we don't exercise self-control, we can actin irrational, unproductive, and lazy ways. While it may be difficult to use self-control, it is to our advantage to do so.

How A Self-Control App Can Help

While no app can force you to behave in one way or another, you can use a self-control app to assist you in the process. The key to using an app to regain self-control is to determine what your specific concernsare. Then you can find an app that addresses it. There are many areas in whichwe can lack self-control. It could be in the words that you say or the behaviors that you exhibit (or the behaviors that you don't). Many people lack self-control when it comes to technology and the use of it. Therefore, many of these apps focus on creating self-control in this area.

Here are some popular self-control apps and how they can help.

  1. StayFocused

Many people lack self-control when it comes to using the internet. While they should be working on projects for work or school, they end up falling down the rabbit hole of the internet. What started as just a few minutes looking at their Facebook feedbecomes an hour of wasted time. This may not seem like a big idea if it happens on occasion, but for a lot of people, it's an everyday problem.

This can lead to missed deadlines, and a lot of extra stress when trying to get your work done. StayFocused is a Chrome extension that allows you to set a total time that you are allowed on a site for the day. For example, you can allow yourself to have half an hour each day for whatever you want. That means you can browse through your social media accounts, check sports scores or access other sites that are not adding to the productivity of your day, but once you have exceeded your half hour, all of the sites that you set up on your Blacklist are blocked.

This extension even comes with a "nuclear option" if you struggle with self-control. This option blocks your list and does not allow you to deactivate it. With the regular option, if you want to access a blocked site, you have to jump through hoops to do it. The process was designed to be difficult. Therefore, you are likely to give up by realizing that you are wasting time if you don't need to be on that site.

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  1. RescueTime

If you're looking for a self-control app that will give you an overall picture of where you are wasting time online, then RescueTime is what you need. This app allows you to block sites, similar to the StayFocused app. But it is also constantly running on your computer, tracking what you are doing.

This means that you're able to see a detailed analysis of how you spend your time online. You may think that five minutes here and there isn't a big deal, but when you look at your report, you may see that it's a good chunk of time that you are wasting on something that is not producing results in your life. You even receive a once-a-week email showing you your results. The app gives you a productivity rating on your overall achievements for the week.

  1. Stay On Task

If you struggle with staying on task, but don't have one set thing that you struggle with, the Stay on Task app might be the right one for you. This app will randomly ask you throughout the day if you are still on task. This is a great reminder because you don't know when the message will come through. It could be any time throughout the day. If it catches you in a moment when you're wasting time, you can get back on task.

  1. Flip

If you struggle with using your smartphone too much, the Flip app is for you. However, you need to be serious when you decide to use it because once you use it, you cannot turn it off. Even if you restart your phone, the app will continue running. The app allows you to lock your screen for a set period. So, if you're supposed to be working on a big project this afternoon, and you find instead that you're playing around on your phone, you can lock your device for a set amount of time. It will not unlock no matter what you do. This is a good way to force yourself to stay on task by removing the temptation.

  1. Self-Awareness Log

The Self-Awareness Log app allows you to gain more control of your emotions. It helps you see how you process situations and events in your life. While this is not directly a self-control app, it's going to help you learn better self-control and make you more aware. When you access the app, you will be asked a series of questions that help you describe the situation that you have been in. Then it helps you process your response and emotions related to the situation. It gives you an opportunity to reflect, make observations, and look at ways that you could have responded differently. The more aware you are of yourself in your reactions, the more self-control you will be able to have.

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  1. Cold Turkey

If you have real self-control issues, then Cold Turkey can help. Cold Turkey can help you block a specific website or app just like many of the other self-control apps discussed here. Butit takes it a step further by allowing you to set periods of time when you are unable to access your computer or device. This is a good app to use if you find that you have a certain time of day when you struggle with self-control online. This could be staying up too late accessing social media, making poor choices when everyone else is in bed, or going on a middle-of-the-night spending spree on Amazon. You can create a schedule of when you can't access your device at all.

If you have real self-control issues, then Cold Turkey can help. Cold Turkey can help you block a specific website or app just like many of the other self-control apps discussed here. Butit takes it a step further by allowing you to set periods of time when you are unable to access your computer or device. This is a good app to use if you find that you have a certain time of day when you struggle with self-control online. This could be staying up too late accessing social media, making poor choices when everyone else is in bed, or going on a middle-of-the-night spending spree on Amazon. You can create a schedule of when you can't access your device at all.

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Regaining Control With BetterHelp

Online therapy is a widely accepted modality for treating mental health issues related to impulse or emotion control. In a study published in Frontiers in Psychology—a peer-reviewed academic journal—researchers assessed the efficacy of online and mobile therapy when treating varied types of addiction. The results of the study suggest that mobile interventions could help create a more diverse treatment plan than traditional therapy. Researchers concluded that online therapy was a promising avenue for treatment of certain addictions, especially for those seeking therapy for the first time. Online therapy platforms provide remote access to useful tools, such as interactive exercises and educational resources, which can help reinforce important concepts and techniques, so that individuals with self-control issues can consistently work on bettering themselves.

As mentioned above, if you or your family are experiencing emotional issues because you have a lack of self-control,online counseling can help. BetterHelp has thousands of licensed professionals who know how to provide guidance to those experiencing a lack of self-control. The licensed therapists at BetterHelp can help you make the progress you need to take back control of yourself and your life. Read below for counselor reviews, from those who have experienced similar issues.

Counselor Reviews

“I am so thankful for Ryan. I am a very private person, but I am very comfortable being open and honest with Ryan. He listens and validates. He is kind and honest. He reminds me that I can’t control others and their actions, but I do have control over my own actions. He helps me problem solve and offers suggestions regarding communication, breathing & relaxation techniques, and encourages me to take care of myself. I’m so appreciative of his perspective and the perspective I have gained through talking with him.” 

“Since working with Allyson, I have felt that I've grown as a person and can start taking control of my life again. This was the best decision I have made and I am happy that I was matched with someone who has no judgement and is there for me.” 

https://www.betterhelp.com/allyson-timmons/

Conclusion

You do have the ability to control your actions and decisions. However, if you are used to following your impulse and doing what you want, it can take practice to exercise self-control in this area again. Contact a professional to guide you through the steps and help you make progress in this area of your life.


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