Self control is the ability to mentally detach yourself from the present moment enough that you don’t do dumb crap you regret.
Sometimes I literally envision stepping outside my body, taking a good look at myself, and examining my raging emotions. I turn them over and over like a guys in his 20′s twists and turns a potential engagement ring. “Hmmm, how odd” I think to myself, “I’m literally reacting physically to this. Heart rate is rising. Hands feel cold and clammy. Fight or flight instinct is taking over.”
Next, I attempt to talk myself off the ledge. “Okay Brett, how about you just take a deep breath right now? I wonder if you’ll remember this moment 5 years from now? Unlikely. Is it possible that you’re over-blowing this right now? Likely. Alrighty pal, just take a deep breath, chill, and think of something happy. Puppies are a good choice, think of puppies.”
Now at this point I don’t feel great but my world is no longer in a death spiral. I might even attempt a weak smile, laugh, and say something obvious like, “Well, this sucks.”
Usually, within 1-2 hours I think back on the moment and thank the gods I didn’t go where my emotions were trying to drag me.