You probably have heard it over and over again, how you need to have self-discipline. You hear it in school, from parents, from bosses. But other than becoming a better student, or a better employee, the question is “why?” Why do you need to be self-disciplined?

 There are many benefits to being self-disciplined. Self-discipline goes well beyond reaching a goal or achieving an end. Self-discipline is a way to improve yourself, your habits and your outlook on life.

But there are six added benefits to learning self-discipline that you might surprise you.

1.     Long-term goals suddenly become more achievable., Self-discipline enables you to be able to put off immediate gratification in favor of long-term rewards. But that’s only a small part. Getting to the ultimate goal or the long-range benefit often means learning a new way to to do things. With self-discipline you’re able to build on that newfound talent, perfecting it and making it work for you. Adjusting your skills over time, improving on the ones you have now and staying focused on the result, is the very definition of “self-discipline.”

2.     Believe it or not, having greater self-discipline will lower stress levels. When stressed about something tangible, say a review at work or a college exam, the best way to bring that down is to concentrate on something else. It puts a stop to the ‘fight or flight’ response. By practicing self-discipline, you’re able to put your energy elsewhere and take that stress right out of the picture.

3.     Lowering stress by having a good focus means that you’re less likely to turn to other stress relievers, such as tobacco, alcohol, and food. It’s just healthier to use the focused ability of self-discipline than to resort to a drug to make you feel better.

4.     When you have self-discipline, you’re less likely to have a knee-jerk reaction to anything you might perceive as criticism. That means you’re more likely to be sympathetic or empathetic to whatever issue someone is having. That increases your ability to interact with others, and so self-discipline enhances your social life.

5.     Self-discipline allows you to adapt to a changing environment. You’re able to change when the world changes. This ability means it’s easier for you to “bounce back” from adversity and so gives you the ability to handle bad times much more easily.

6.     In the end, you’ll feel happier when you practice self-discipline. When you’re productive, creative, or feeling like you’ve got some control over your day, contentment rises, and you find true happiness.

The benefits of self-discipline are more than just finishing your homework or getting that project in on time. Try it, and you’ll be amazed at how many areas of your life self-discipline touches.