Naturopathy By Director NIN
Self-restraint vs Self-indulgence
As part of the Rog-mukt-Bharat campaign, we are entering into the
fourth concept: Self-restraint vs Self-indulgence. Let us understand
these two concepts and mend our ways to attain sustainable health
We are caught up in a consumeristic world which is full of attractions
and multiple dubious promotional advertisements. It is difficult to
differentiate the essentials from the non-essentials. Previous luxury
items have become absolute necessities today. Impulsive buying has
become the order of the day. The result is self-indulgence.
Self-indulgence is often referred to as someone who is being greedy,
or is just generally selfish, and it is often seen as a bad thing. Some
would say self-indulgent persons think about themselves a lot; they
over eat, they care only about themselves.
There are as many as 27 synonyms for self-indulgence such as
hedonism, egotism, extravagance, indolence, frivolity, escapism,
childishness and so on. Self-indulgence involves over-engaging with
things solely for the purpose of creating pleasure for the self.
Basically self-indulgence is a combination of excessive hedonism and
self-centeredness, resulting from a false sense of entitlement. The
problem with self-indulgence and tendencies is that they often lead to
bad habits. Self-indulgence can lead to weight gain, poor
interpersonal relationships, cause confusion, guilt, sadness or a
disconnect with reality. One step pulls to another level of mental
weakness/dependence and the saga continues. It’s a total entrapment
in to a negative loop.
The antonyms for self-indulgence are restraint, moderation, ascetism,
abstinence, austerity, discipline, self control and so on. Self restraint
is the ability to control one’s own emotions and actions. To show self-
restraint is not to do something even though one would like to do it,
because you think it would be better not to.
Self-control is what people use to restrain their desires and impulses.
It is largely synonymous with 'self-regulation', a term preferred by
many researchers because of its greater precision.
Why is self-restraint important over self-indulgence? Research has
shown that people with strong self-control have better health,
relationships, finances, and careers. They are also less likely to have
problems with overeating, overspending, smoking, alcohol or drug
abuse, procrastination, and unethical behaviour.
Having understood the implications of self-indulgence, one should
ponder over areas where one is crossing the limits and exercise
restraint for the long term benefit to the self and society. This needs
introspection and decisive attempt on the part of the individual for
corrective measures. Each restraint behaviour will give fillip to
further measured and controlled behaviour that will save lot of time,
energy and pave way to health and happiness.