Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for creating good in your life, but it can also be the most destructive force in your life if not used correctly. Controlling your thoughts means influencing how you live your life.
Your mind, specifically your thoughts, influence your perception and thus your interpretation of reality. (Read more about Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)
This post may contain some affiliate links to products that I use and love. If you click through and make a purchase, I’ll earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.
I've heard that the average person has 70,000 thoughts per day. That's a lot, especially if they're unproductive, self-abusive, or just a waste of energy in general.
You have the option of allowing your thoughts to run wild, but why would you? Isn't it time to reclaim control of your mind and thoughts? Isn't it time to reclaim power?
Choose to be the person who thinks your thoughts actively and consciously. Develop the ability to control your thoughts—become the master of your mind.
When you change your thoughts, you change your feelings, and you eliminate the triggers that cause those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater sense of mental peace.
I am currently experiencing a few thoughts that are not of my choosing or are a result of my reprogramming. Because I am the master of my mind, I am now at peace. Yours can be as well!
Who Is Pondering My Thoughts?
Before you can become the master of your mind, you must first recognize that you are currently under the control of several unwanted “squatters” who live in your mind and control your thoughts.
If you want to be their boss, you must first understand who they are and what motivates them before you can take charge and evict them.
Here are four of your mind's “squatters” who generate unhealthy and unproductive thoughts.
1. The Critic Within
This is your constant abuser, who is frequently a mash-up of:
Other people's words—often your parents'
Thoughts formed in response to your own or other people's expectations
Making comparisons with others, including those in the media
What you told yourself as a result of painful experiences like betrayal and rejection. In cases of rejection and betrayal, your interpretation creates self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved.
Pain, low self-esteem, a lack of self-acceptance, and a lack of self-love motivate the Inner Critic.
Otherwise, why would this person abuse you? And why would you abuse yourself if this person is you? Why would you allow anyone to treat you this way?
2. The Concerned
This individual lives in the future, in the world of “what ifs.”
The Worrier is driven by fear, which is frequently irrational and without foundation. This person is occasionally motivated by the fear that what happened in the past will happen again.
3. The Reactor, also known as the Troublemaker
This is the one that makes you angry, frustrated, and in pain. These triggers are the result of unhealed wounds from the past. Any experience that is even remotely similar to a previous wound will set him off.
This person can be triggered by words, feelings, or even sounds and smells.
The Reactor is unmotivated and has poor impulse control. He is controlled by programming from the past that no longer serves you—if it ever did.
4. Sleep Deprivation
This can be a combination of several squatters, including the inner planner, rehasher, and ruminator, as well as the inner critic and worrier.
The motivation of the Sleep Depriver can be:
- As a reaction to the silence, which he opposes
- Taking care of the tasks you put off during the day
- Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity, and generalized anxiety are all symptoms of depression.
- As previously stated for the inner critic and worrier,
- How are you going to keep these squatters at bay?
How to Control Your Mind
You are the thinker as well as the observer of your own thoughts. You can control your thoughts, but you must pay attention to them in order to determine “who” is in charge—this will determine which technique you will use.
Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you have negative thoughts.
There are two methods for controlling your thoughts:
- Method A – Interrupt and replace them
- Technique B – Get rid of them completely.
- This second option is referred to as peace of mind.
Interrupting and replacing is a technique for reprogramming your subconscious mind. The replacement thoughts will eventually become the “go-to” thoughts in relevant situations.
Technique A should be used for the Inner Critic and Worrier, and Technique B for the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.
1. Intended for the Inner Critic
When you catch yourself thinking negatively about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), stop yourself.
You can mentally yell, “Stop! No!” or “Enough!” I'm in command now.” Then, replace whatever negative thought you had about yourself with an opposite or counter thought, or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”
For instance, if you are thinking, “I'm such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit.” I am a perfect spiritual being in the process of mastering the human experience. I am an energy, light, and matter being. I am magnificent, brilliant, and lovely. I accept and love myself exactly as I am.”
You can also talk to yourself to discredit the ‘voice' that created the thought if you know whose voice it is:
“Just because someone said I was a loser doesn't mean it's true. It was his or her opinion, not a factual statement. Perhaps they were joking, and I took it seriously because I am insecure.”
If you notice that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or plan your counter-thoughts or affirmation ahead of time so that you are prepared.
This is the first squatter you should evict, if necessary with force:
- They agitate the Worrier.
- The names you give yourself become triggers when they are called by others, so he maintains the presence of the Reactor as well.
- They are frequently present when you try to sleep, so he maintains the Sleep Depriver.
- They are a bully who verbally and emotionally abuses others.
- They are the demolisher of self-esteem. They persuade you that you are unworthy. They are deceiving you! Get them out for the sake of your self-esteem!
- If you get rid of your worst critic, you'll get rid of the other three squatters as well.
Replace them with new best friends who will encourage, support, and enrich your life. This is the kind of mental presence you want.
2. Concerning the Worrier
Prolonged anxiety is detrimental to one's mental, emotional, and physical health. It may have long-term health consequences.
Fear causes the fight or flight response, as well as worry and anxiety in the mind and body. This may make it more difficult for you to effectively control your thoughts.
You should be able to identify a “worry thought” by how you feel. The following physiological signs indicate that the fight or flight response of fear has activated:
- Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or adrenaline surge
- Breathing problems or shortness of breath
- Muscles are tense.
Use the above-mentioned method to interrupt and then replace any worry-inducing thoughts. But this time, instead of being concerned, you will be grateful for the outcome you desire.
If you believe in a higher power, now is the time to seek it out. Here's an illustration:
Instead of being concerned about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say (what I call a prayer):
“Thank you, great spirit, for keeping an eye on . Thank you for keeping an eye on his/her car and keeping it safe, roadworthy, and free of maintenance issues at all times. Thank you for surrounding him or her with only responsible, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and on the lookout.”
When you think about it or say it aloud, smile and use the present tense. Both of these will assist you in feeling it and possibly even beginning to believe it.
If you can visualize what you are praying for, the feeling will be enhanced, and the impact in your vibrational field will be increased.
Take a deep, calming breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. You may take as many as you like! Do it until you feel you have a good handle on your thoughts.
Replacing fearful thoughts with grateful thoughts reduces reactionary behavior, allowing the Reactor to lose steam.
For example, if your child becomes disoriented in a shopping mall, the typical parental reaction upon discovering them is to yell at them.
“I warned you not to leave my sight.” This reaction only heightens the child's fear of being lost in the first place.
It also teaches them that if they make a mistake, their parents will be angry, which may cause them to lie to you or not tell you things in the future.
When you have fearful thoughts, change them by doing the following:
“I thank You (your chosen Higher Power) for keeping an eye on my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for assisting me in locating him as soon as possible.”
When you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, which appears to be a better option for everyone involved.
3. Reactor or Over-Reactor for the Troublemaker
Permanently removing this squatter will necessitate a little more thought and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers. But, until then, you can keep the Reactor under control by starting conscious breathing as soon as you notice his presence.
The Reactor's thoughts or feelings, like the Worrier's, activate the fight or flight response. His physiological presence will be detected in the same way. You should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, and pain with a little practice.
You've probably heard the advice to count to ten when you're angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you breathe consciously during that time.
Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds: simply be aware of your breathing. Take note of the air coming in and going out.
Inhale through your nose:
- Take a deep breath and feel the air enter your nostrils.
- Feel your lungs expanding and filling up.
- Concentrate on your stomach rising.
Exhale through your nose:
- Feel as if your lungs are emptying.
- Concentrate on your belly falling.
- Feel the air escaping from your nostrils.
Do this as long as you want. If you want, you can leave the situation. This allows the adrenaline to return to normal. You will be more in control of your thoughts now that you can approach the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.
One of the problems that this squatter causes is that it exacerbates the sleep deprivation. By evicting or at least controlling the Reactor, you can reduce reactionary behavior, which reduces the need for rehashing and ruminating, which can keep you awake.
Stop the Reactor from causing stress in your life and relationships by mastering your mind!
Most importantly, determine your true motivation. What is your inner drive that will keep you going? If you're unsure, sign up for the free Fast-Track Class – Activate Your Motivation. It is a free intensive session that will assist you in identifying your inner drive and creating your own motivation engine around it. Join the free session by clicking here.
4. For People Who Don't Get Enough Sleep
(They are comprised of the Inner Planner, Rehasher, and Ruminator, as well as the Inner Critic and Worrier.)
I was plagued by a very common problem: I couldn't turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability kept me from falling asleep and, as a result, from getting a restful and restorative night's sleep.
Here's how I mastered my mind and drove out the Sleep Depriver and his ilk.
I began by concentrating on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn't keep the thoughts at bay for long. (In fact, I now begin by checking my at-rest mouth position to avoid clenching.)
Then I devised a replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and out while breathing out. I'd (and still do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.
When I notice myself thinking, I return to in, out. I'm still thinking with this technique, sort of, but the wheels aren't spinning out of control. I have command of my mind and thoughts, and I choose silence.
I started yawning after only a few cycles the first time I tried this method, and I'm usually asleep within ten minutes.
For particularly difficult nights, I increase my attention by keeping my eyes in a looking-up position (closed, of course). I try to look toward my third eye occasionally, but it hurts my eyes.
If you have trouble falling asleep because you can't shut your mind off, I strongly advise you to try this technique. It's still something I use every night. You can begin sleeping better as soon as tonight!
You can also use this technique whenever you want:
- If you wake up too soon, go back to sleep.
- Turn off your brain.
- Relax your emotions.
- Simply concentrate on the present moment.
Your mind is a tool, and it, like any other tool, can be used constructively or destructively.
You can allow unwanted, undesirable, and destructive tenants to occupy your mind, or you can choose desirable tenants such as peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.
Your mind can become your best friend, your staunchest supporter, and someone you can rely on to be there for you and encourage you. You have the ability to control your thoughts. You have a choice!
Feeling Unfulfilled: Long hours are killing you. You are tired of working on things that are not important. It is hard to see the difference between the necessary tasks and the unnecessary ones. What is more, you are aware of the fact that people are depending on you and you hate letting them down. Perhaps it is time to ask yourself: Are you working because you want to or because you have to? Tasks that you love to do bring fulfillment and too many of those will make long hours not that bad. Don't treat your job as a job – treat it as a hobby and you will come home not only with a paycheck but with a smile! Read more.
Mind Power: It sounds like something out of a science fiction movie, but mind power is a real thing that is very useful when harnessed correctly. Mind power is the energy you put out in the world, and one of the best ways to increase mind power is to simply be aware of the energy you are sending out. This energy feeds into how other people treat you, your success in business, and even your health. When you reach a state of mind power, you'll be happy in all areas of your life! Learn how to use mind power to feel vibrant in your life. Read more.
My Wife Doesn't Respect Me: I'm tired of being taken for granted. She doesn't appreciate all the things I do for her and she's always putting me down. I'm not putting up with this anymore. This is now the end of the line! I now realize I deserve better. I'm now going to show her how much she can really benefit from having a man like me around. I'm going to become a man that my wife is going to be proud to have as a husband and a father to my children. I'm going to be a man that my wife will respect and admire. Read more.
Don't Give Up on Your Dream: There will always be people looking to bring you down and make you feel like you can't reach your dreams. You know what? Forget them! Everyone starts off as a beginner and once you've achieved your first goal it'll be easier to reach your next one. What would you give up if it meant never reaching your dreams? Don't do that to yourself, there's too much for you to go and experience! Now go and chase those dreams! Read more.
How to Get Your Mind Off Something: If you're trying to get your mind off of something, then think of something worse and more painful than whatever you're thinking of and focus on that. It will take your mind off of the first thing and onto the second thing, which isn't as bad as whatever you were thinking of and can help you forget about whatever you were initially trying to forget. Read more.
You have heard it all before: "Live life to the fullest", "follow your dreams", "be who you are" and "if it is meant to be, it will be". These are all wonderful quotes that are meant to help you live a happy life but they miss the point. Our lives are interconnected with each other and with the world.
No matter how hard you think you try, there’s always going to be a certain level of stress in your life. And when stress gets out of hand, it can start to negatively affect your life. But this doesn’t have to be the case. There are some easy steps you can take to improve your life in the long run, and we’ve found a few that can help you enjoy a better life and get rid of stress.