One of the Pillars of success to anything in life is harnessing your mind power and taking advantage of it. However, our mind is not always as useful as it should be. In my case, when I started this project, I didn’t know how to control my mind.
For example, self-talk, overanalyzing, inner fears, and insecurities bombarded me and made me anxious. As a result, I stopped writing regularly and for several months before launching my first post.
Similarly, the voice in my head was so loud and discouraging that I stopped even after buying my domain.
But, that was until I discovered the power of meditation and how to control your mind. Therefore, here are a few steps to get control of your thoughts.
Be Present and Aware to Control your Mind.
First, Let’s be honest for a second; everybody has negative thoughts, not even Dalai Lama escapes negative thoughts. It Is normal. Our brain is wired, so that this is actually a defense to try to protect us from the unknown.
According to the National Science Foundation, an average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those, 80% are negative and 95% are repetitive thoughts.Prakhar Verma
Imagine the effect of all those negative thoughts in your daily life.
What distinguishes a Jhon Doe from someone who knows how to control negative thoughts is presence and awareness.
Also, People that are present and aware can consciously identify when they have negative self-talk. There is something magical about stopping and being here and now.
In other words, try it. After you finish reading this article, make it a challenge to be present and aware. Next time you get a destructive memory or image in your head, stop.
Look at your thought and try to describe it, do you feel something in your chest, is your breath shorter, is your skin warmer. Stop, observe and remember you are not your feelings or mind self-talk; you are what you do with them.
Take a Look at your Thoughts
Secondly, Thoughts are like a movie; you can let them run in the background and get annoyed or actually sit and watch and learn from it, enjoy it, even if it’s a horror movie.
In fact, you should spend some time a day meditating, practicing mindfulness, or just sitting in silence without doing anything that will make your mind roar. When your mind starts going wild, you sit and observe.
On the other hand, It is easier said than done, but it is so valuable.
The practice of observing your thought will train you for when you have sudden situations.
The saying “know the enemy” is also applicable to our relationship with our own minds. A good Boss spends his time getting to know all his subordinates. Putting it in another way, you should dedicate some time to learning from your thoughts.
For example, it is just like working out. To actually get a benefit, you need discipline and consistency before seeing real positive results. In my case, it has done wonders after a 30 day period.
But don’t take my word for it. For instance, a Harvard study was able to show on an MRI the impact o meditation in our brain, and you can see it here.
Meditative brains have less activation of the amygdala, an organ that is really susceptible to stressful situations.
Meditations can provide such amazing benefits to our health.
–Meditation can reduce insomnia by 50%.Source: https://comparecamp.com/
-Mindfulness meditation can reduce post-traumatic stress disorder by 70%.
-Practicing meditation for only four days can already increase your attention span.
-The main motive of 76% of people who practice motivation is well-being.
-Meditation in a span of six to nine months can reduce anxiety levels by 60%.
-People who practice meditation are less likely to suffer from heart diseases.
-Mindfulness meditation relieves back pain by 30%.
-Meditation lowers blood pressure for 80% of the people who practice it.
-Meditation reduces depression relapses by about 12%.
-Regular meditation practice increases telomerase, an enzyme known to delay Alzheimer’s and similar diseases.
Mindfulness involves noticing where your mind goes and how to bring it back to the focus on breathing gently, eating, walking, loving, or working.
If you are consistent in the practice of watching your thoughts, you can learn how to manage them like a good Boss, calling back the attention to the important things: the task of the moment and exceeding the expectations of your performance.
What is meditation?
Meditation isn’t about becoming a different person, a new person, or even a better person. It’s about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective. You’re not trying to turn off your thoughts or feelings. You’re learning to observe them without judgment. And eventually, you may start to better understand them as well.Headspace
If you are completely new to meditation and would like some guidance, I would definitely recommend the book “Meditation for Beginners – Jack Kornfield”; this is the book I used when I started my journey. Highly recommended
Show Negative Thought the Exit Door
Also, another easy technique to learn to control your mind is literally shouting out your undesired negative thinking.
In other words, if you are practicing Step 1 and are aware of your mind. Next time you get a negative incoming memory inside your mind, yell literally “get out” (to your insides, please) or substitute immediately with a loving memory of a loved one.
If you are aware enough to cut or substitute a negative thought just as it is showing in your thoughts, you can minimize or even eliminate the negative impact of this event, transforming it to actually an enjoyable moment altogether.
Realize thoughts are not Real
Moreover, your reality is what you create. If you don’t know how to control your mind, your thoughts will control you.
Here is a brief explanation.
In other words, there is no difference in the reaction it has towards something in your mind or something in the real world in front of you for your body and your mind.
Excersise to control you thoughts.
Doing 30 minutes or more of exercise at least 3 to 5 days a week has proven to help out on bringing us to the present moment.
In order to run, jog, or do weights exercise you need to concentrate on the activity at hand.
Change your Habits and Control your Mind
Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, your mind can be used for constructive or destructive purposes.
Moreover, Since we are wired to hold to negative thinking, we need to rewire our brain positively to control our mind. That is why some good habits to implement to do this are:
- Writing a gratitude journal. Take some time every morning to write what you are grateful for.
- Try to meditate every day for 5 -15 minutes.
- Exercise 3 to 5 times a week. Chemicals released while exercising will help you harness the power of your mind.
- Have a reminder (Post-it, Bracelet, ringtone that reminds you to be present). This will help you bring back your mind when it starts wandering.
- Love others. We are social creatures, and our mind is the most negative when we are alone. Surround yourself often with good friends and family.
Be mindful of Your food
We use coffee to have energy and eat almonds for quick energy. Everything we eat has an impact on our bodies. It is vital to balance proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to have optimal mental health.
Finally, You can continue leaving your mind to dominate you, or you can actually make a little effort and try to control your mind. You decide.
Our mind is our best Allie to fulfill our dreams; it is a great friend to have and an awful enemy if uncontrolled. Please remember this is not pretending to substitute professional attention. If you have self-harm ideas, give a call to a support line in your country.
You can write me anytime if you need someone to talk to.
PS: I recently finished ready Atomic Habits from James Clear, and even though it is not directly related to managing your mind, I have found that after 30 days of habit constructions (including meditation), I have been able to control my mind with a lot more ease and consistency.
I highly recommend getting this book and putting it into practice; it will definitely increase your growth towards how you learn how to control your mind.
I’m currently reading another great book called Mindfulness in Plain English. So far great tips and insight into active meditation, not just the tradition. This is really helping me out with putting my mind at ease and controlling it.