How to control your thoughts
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As Mathieu Ricard, a Buddhist monk, said, “Thoughts can be our best friends as well as our worst enemies.” Indeed, we all have those times when our thoughts seem to be alien, but know this – if you take control of them, life will be much easier, you will be less stressed, and problem solving and achieving results will be more effective. Read on to learn more about all of this!
- Focus on your breathing, so you both abstract your thoughts and manage them with greater ease.
- According to studies, neurochemical triggers only need a minute and a half to reduce the emotional load. Accordingly, to calm down and get your brain chemistry back to normal, try counting to 90.  X Source of Information
- In fact, many spiritual practices are based on staying mentally in the present, believing it to be a guarantee of inner peace and balance.
- You can ask yourself a simple question: What can I do “right now” to change the way I feel?
- Stick to specific, objective facts. If you’re in an argument, don’t throw accusations or think about what you’re angry about. Think about what led to the breakdown, what can be done to normalize the relationship, and what exactly made you upset.
- Instead of “I don’t know how to talk to girls, so I don’t have a girlfriend. ” you need to focus on something like, “I haven’t found my one yet because I haven’t found one that’s totally right for me.”
- If there are difficulties with this, write down your thoughts on paper and read them to yourself afterwards.
- Often we are unable to control our thoughts because we are afraid to make decisions.
- When you make a plan, execute it!  X Source of Information
- Lavender, chamomile, and frankincense are scents that will help you control your thoughts.  X Source of Information
- Put activities into your work schedule that help you relax, and don’t forget about them.
- But know that this is a short-term solution. For those moments when you can’t hide from your thoughts, you’ll have to contain them somehow.  X Source of Information
- Friends, parents, professional therapists – people you can turn to.
- If you feel uncomfortable, say “I want to get rid of something in my heart” or “I’ve been thinking about one thing all day, could you listen to me?”
- It’s a paradox, but the intention of “I’ll ignore this and that” never works. Any time you think about not thinking about something, you’ll think about it even more!  X Source of Information
- Healthy food and exercise are good not only for physical health, but also for mental health.
- You should stop at least a couple of times a day, every day, and think about how beautiful life is.
- During the onset of provocative events, watch your thoughts carefully, avoid judgment and self-criticism.
- Meditation is the key to a healthy heart and body as a whole.  X Source of Information
- Example: your loved one hasn’t called in a long time. It’s not because he’s at death or in danger, but because of business or other problems.
Accept the fact that there are many things you cannot control. Don’t freak out about it all – other people, the weather, the news, better focus on yourself. When you think about what’s out of your control, remind yourself that the only thing you can control is yourself, and work toward that goal. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to change the world around you-it just means that you’ll have the greatest impact on your own thoughts.
A guide to managing your own thoughts
The worst thing about anxious thoughts is that even when you realize you are acting irrationally, it doesn’t always help. Most of the time it only adds to the anxiety when the thought comes, “If I know it’s irrational, why can’t I stop? Oh God, I can’t stop it.” And you begin to believe that you are no longer in control of your mind.
The thought cycle.
Life throws us different situations. For example, you’re walking through the woods and you see a bear. Automatically the thought arises, “There’s a bear!” It triggers a physiological reaction: blood pressure rises, heart rate and heart rate increase. Almost simultaneously, several emotions are expressed. When you see a bear, you feel anxiety, panic, and fear.
Then a defense mechanism kicks in: you run away from the bear. Although they say it’s best not to run away, let’s ignore that fact for the sake of argument. And so you are safe. What is your next thought? “Ugh, I’m safe! I survived!” And your body’s response is that your heart rate slows down, your heart rate goes down, and you begin to breathe more naturally. Other emotions come into play – joy, relief, satisfaction. What will your behavior be like? Remembering the miraculous rescue, you will open a bottle of wine or indulge in ice cream when you return home. To celebrate.
But let’s say that in the cave you have other thoughts on your mind: “I’m so weak! Why did I run away? It was just a bear cub. Why am I always such a coward?” You are frustrated, your breathing remains fast and ragged. Emotions range between frustration, anger, and self-loathing. And behavior? You can also buy yourself a pound of ice cream, but such will be your punishment of yourself.
The scenario described above is Aaron Beck’s cognitive-behavioral theory in a nutshell. Its essence is that thoughts, beliefs, feelings, body, behavior, and our past are connected: they influence each other. With the practice of managing our thoughts, we can change the physiological or mental side of our reactions. For example, to avoid stress, depression or anxiety, to generate enthusiasm and tremendous motivation to do something.
It is difficult, but with proper persistence and practice, impressive results can be achieved.
The benefits of mastering your thoughts
You will sleep better
Being able to control your thoughts is directly related to the quality of your sleep and how long it takes you to fall asleep. You’re tired of crawling around in bed for hours on end, aren’t you?
You will achieve inner peace.
Anyone who experiences panic attacks or is prone to intrusive thoughts will be just happy when it’s all over. And the first thing to start with is thought control.
You will increase your emotional intelligence.
We’ve already found that thought control directly affects emotions. If so, you will increase your emotional intelligence, begin to sort out your feelings and become less stressed.
You will improve your memory and concentration.
Once we learn how to direct our thoughts in the right direction, we will begin to concentrate several times better. And that means better memory. Add to this the fact that its quality affects the development of creative thinking and you get a whole set of benefits.
How to learn to control your thoughts
So what to do to remove intrusive thoughts and learn to replace them with proactive, necessary, positive?
The Ten-Day Challenge.
This method is based on changing your vocabulary. Without language, we find ourselves in a state of emotional chaos. We have the ability to communicate, and the way we do it can improve the neural functioning of the brain and take away stress. If we treat the words we say in our head and out loud with our sleeves, we lose our ability to solve problems, calm our minds and communicate with people.
Here are four steps you need to take to change your vocabulary. It only takes 10 days, but it’s all individual.
Step One: Become conscious of the habitual words you use to describe negative or disturbing emotions.
Start noticing the labels you put on situations, emotions, and feelings. If you say something like, “I’m so worried about this,” stop yourself and acknowledge that “worried” may be too strong a word. It may be worth saying that you are “a little concerned.” Watch your language and don’t exaggerate the intensity of your emotions.
Or better yet: deliberately choose a word that reduces the negative coloring of the situation. Instead of saying you are “angry” at someone, describe yourself as a little “annoyed” or “disappointed by their reaction.”
If someone asks you, “How are you?” Instead of saying, “Fine,” you can just smile and break the usual pattern. You can add, “You have no idea how I feel!” We often miss great opportunities to cheer ourselves up if we use familiar words.
Step Two: Write down three words that you regularly use that reinforce your negative feelings or emotions.
Perhaps you use words such as “I’m upset,” “I’m depressed,” or “I’m humiliated.” Come up with alternative words that reduce the intensity of these negative emotions.
Maybe instead of “I’m humiliated,” you should say “I’m a little embarrassed” about how the meeting went.
To tone down the emotional tension, you can use what are called modifiers: “I’m just a little baffled,” “I’m a little uncomfortable with it.” Remember that we lose our temper when we use categorical words.
Step Three: Write down three words you use to describe your positive experience.
You often get asked, “How are you doing?” Why not finally come up with three original but truthful answers that reinforce positive feelings and inspire you? Say “amazing,” “incredible,” “impressive.” These may not be words you feel are your own. Then find your own, so that when you apply them, you feel whole.
Step four: Activate the right levers.
Choose two people in your life: a close friend and someone else you respect and are afraid of disappointing. Tell them about your commitment to replacing key words in your vocabulary. Explain that if they hear an old word from you, they should ask, “Do you really feel that way or are you just using old expressions?”
If you say, “I’m depressed,” have a loved one ask, “Are you really depressed or just a little down?” All of this will give extra support and help you form a new habit.
By carefully and consciously choosing the words that are attached to the experience, you can learn to more subtly understand how you are really feeling and how strong those emotions are.
Each of us, at any point in our lives, thinks we deserve more. But when reality diverges from that belief, we experience frustration and dissatisfaction. They either push us forward to change, or they slow us down and drive us into a shell. Which option do you choose?
If the second, we need to “reprogram” ourselves. Here are three steps to do that.
What is your desired outcome? The first step is to get absolutely clear about what you want. Clarity is power. The more precisely you envision the end result, the stronger your vision will be, and the better your chances of turning that vision into reality.
If you argue with a friend, you run the risk of getting into conflict and ruining the mood for yourself and him. But what if you stop in the middle of an argument and ask yourself what the desired outcome is? It’s not about arguing and fighting, is it about finding a solution? Now the focus of your attention is completely on that.
Give direction to your thoughts. What do you want physically, financially, emotionally, spiritually, in your business, work, personal life? Make a decision that you will not act unconsciously.
Now it’s time to rid your mind of fear and uncertainty. How can you do this? By giving up other opportunities that don’t lead to a decision.
Fear is one of the biggest traps that keeps people from taking action. Fear of rejection, failure, success, pain, the unknown – we all have fears. And the only way to deal with them is to confront them. You have to look them in the eye and make an effort no matter what.
Are you afraid of failure? Failure is an education. Look at it this way: if you fail, you will learn exactly what doesn’t work. And when you try again, you can use it to your advantage. People often don’t take real action to achieve their goals. They just keep saying, “I’ll do it someday.”
Being able to interrupt negative thoughts is like a muscle. At first, when you try to load it, it will be difficult and even painful. But if you start small and try to change your way of thinking every day, you will gradually become stronger. Soon everything will work out effortlessly.
Take action and overcome the negativity. Take action to make your life better. When you start taking action and end up with a small victory, you move to the next level. When you do something you couldn’t expect yourself to do before, it’s empowering.
Reprogram your brain.
Once you have clearly decided what you are going to do and have taken action, you need to take inventory of your life. Pay attention to what you’re getting out of your current actions, and assess what’s working and what’s not. And then make changes. Find solutions that work.
The most important part of finding solutions is flexibility. Flexibility is strength. If you are harsh in your assessments and life gives out the road in the tunnel, you are missing unexpected opportunities and alternate routes that can provide incredible benefits. Remember that you are never in control of 100% of your life and all situations.
Think about it: is your life going according to plan? Probably not. The path is never straight. And that’s why it’s important to stay flexible – to learn from mistakes, deal with setbacks, and use negative experiences as drivers of change. The point is to grasp one thing: keep moving forward and use mistakes and failures to achieve success.
Give battle to negative thoughts.
When we talk about thought management, we are referring specifically to getting rid of negative thoughts. Everything else seems to work itself out.
Because we are constantly exposed to negative information from the media and others, our brains are always alert to focus on possible threats to safety and well-being. Under the influence of these negative stimuli, the body releases neurochemicals that cause anxiety and depression.
How to get rid of negative thoughts:
- Write them down . When automatic negative thoughts start rolling around in your mind, write them down so you can clearly identify and name them.
- Explore them . Ask yourself: are these thoughts true?
- Answer them . If the negative thoughts are false, address them . This dialogue brings you out of unconsciousness and allows you to look your enemy in the face. It is best to conduct it on paper.
All methods of destroying negative thoughts have one thing in common – they encourage you to take an active role in revising the thoughts, rather than being in passive acceptance (which destroys life). In short, without conscious thought work – sit down, write it down, and respond – it’s impossible to get rid of negativity.
Travis Robertson’s strategy.
Thoughts are everything. Many people are mostly unaware of what they are thinking. Hence all the problems.
At the same time, you know the effect thoughts can have on you. You can become depressed, angry, frustrated, lonely, anxious, sad and doubtful.
Thoughts control how we feel at any given moment. Therefore, by controlling our thoughts, we change how we feel.
Robertson suggests five steps for mastering your thoughts.
Learn to stop your thoughts.
One of the first things you need to do is learn to stop in the middle of your thoughts (good, bad or just plain boring). At different times of the day, catch yourself thinking. How are you feeling? What are you thinking about? Why are you thinking about it?
When we are angry, our intelligence level drops significantly. What you forget is that you have to watch your thoughts. So observe them when you are in a normal mood.
Don’t push yourself. Take five minutes and try to understand what the main thoughts are in your head now.
Identify the negative emotions.
Every feeling we have is a direct result of what we have been thinking about. So if you are feeling anxious, ask yourself: “Why am I worrying?” Always look for the root of the problem.
Write down a mental movie.
By default, most people “film” negative psychological films. When a current situation reminds us of a previous situation, we tend to replay that movie.
What you need to do: Determine what that movie is and “record” it. Why? Because you need to get it out of your subconscious. Now you can analyze the movie with a cool head.
Find the lies.
Carefully “go through” the movie. How do you spot a lie? Usually it’s some certain labels, like “stupid,” “loser,” and “not deserving of success.” You know none of these are true. Write down each point of the lie on paper.
Recognize the truth.
The only way to deal with lies is the truth, and now is the time to figure out what the truth is for you. Across from each lie item, write down about ten rebuttals. If you are stupid, why did you act like a smart person on these ten occasions? This simple exercise will knock the negative ground out from under your feet.
There are plenty of books on the subject of mind control, so you will have no shortage of literature. Some have a bias toward esotericism, others toward science, and still others simply contain good advice from the authors’ personal experience. We advise you to start with the first book in our list, and then decide for yourself which book to read next.
- “How Man Thinks or Man’s Thinking” by James Allen
- “The Power of the Present or the Power of the Moment Now” by Eckhart Tolle
- “The subconscious mind can do anything” by John Kehoe
- “The Silva Method. Managing the Mind” Jose Silva, Philip Miele
- “Dreaming is not harmful. How to get what you really want” Barbara Sher, Annie Gottlieb
- “Think and Be Rich” by Napoleon Hill.
- “Change the way you think, and you’ll change your life” by Brian Tracy
- “Creative Visualization” by Shakti Gawain
- “Thought Matters” by David Hamilton
- “Awaken the Giant in You” by Tony Robbins
Everyone comes to an awareness of the power of thoughts in their own time. It can happen at 20 or 60, but the earlier the better. We hope this article has convinced you that mastering your thoughts is the most important step toward peace of mind and achieving your goals.