You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.
~ James Allen
It is now universally recognised that what we think has a great bearing on who we become, our destiny, our fortune or misfortune our relationships and health are driven by our brain and that is driven by what information we process in our brain – Our thoughts negative or positive they both have an impact and are all euphemisms for “result of thinking”.
The only person, event, situation or activity affecting the course of our life is our thoughts. Since time immemorial the ancient philosophers have been writing and telling this, modern psychologists have been reiterating this.
Of all the quotes out there on thoughts, this has to be my favourite, it just states the obvious:
“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.”
Look no further than the bible:
“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7) Also, in Job 3:25, there is – “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me”.
What we think about regularly, that reality is created for us. Change your thinking, change your life. Three things to think about our thoughts:
- We are not our thoughts!
- Our thoughts do not control us.
- We do have the ability not only to control our thoughts but also to optimize the way we use our incredible supercomputer – our brain!
So Can We Control Our Mind?
Our thoughts control us until we realize that we can control them.
This is a pivotal point in a person’s life. For some people, that moment or point never comes. They are steered by the day to day hour to hour, minute to minute on the whims of who they come across, what they see, and what they hear.
They are slaves to their environment, to the world, and they don’t even realize that they control their environment. They are locking the door and handing over the key to family, friends, their job, their manager, the TV programs they watch, etc.
Who’s your worst enemy, you? Who makes you upset, how you get upset, sad thoughts, or happy thoughts, all of these emotions are manipulated by you, here’s the good part you can change them.
You can literally put a smile on your face by the thoughts you think.
No matter how many friends you have or close family members or coworkers, there is only one person you literally cannot live without – yourself. You either like yourself or you don,t.
But even though there’s only one of you, most of us make a big effort to differentiate our “inner voice” as a separate “person”, the little man on your shoulder that will never be quite controlling our lives behind the scenes. We often see him as the enemy who routinely gives us advice, good or bad, which more often sabotages us, so we give in to our fears, we don’t achieve our goals and never reach our full potential.
Every day we process over 60,000 thoughts and the shocking figure is 85% of them are the same thoughts we had yesterday! Our feelings and behaviour are driven by what we think.
So, it follows that a lot of what we feel and do every day is preprogrammed by our habitual ways of thinking. So, can we control our mind, simply by changing your thoughts?
Yes, you can, but it requires you to learn to quiet the mind and step outside the thinking mind. Why? Because you are a prisoner to your habits and patterns. By learning to quiet the mind, you place yourself back in control; your habits and patterns serve you, rather than you being a slave to them.
If you are suffering from any kind of stress, anxiety, depression, have issues sleeping, or need to stop racing thoughts please watch this video.!
Let me explain the ‘Cycle of Thought’:
• The experiences in life that you had or have, shape your perception.
• Your perception of life, in turn, gives birth to your thoughts and thinking.
• Your thoughts and thinking then determines the words you speak
• Your words then give you guide to your actions
• Your action then determines the experience you encounter.
The best definition of how the mind works I’ve heard has come from Carl Jung:
The mind is like a mahout on an elephant. The rider is like the conscious mind, and he believes that he’s in charge of where the elephant will go. But the elephant is the subconscious mind, and it’s really in charge of where they go.
To be a really free person you need to filter your thoughts, your thoughts will determine the path you take in life. The more your thoughts are controlled by outside influences, work, family, friends the media, or you.
Then the chances of you becoming a free person, a person who has his own destiny in his own hands will in truth be a very tough road to follow. If you do not filter the thoughts that enter your mind you stop to be a free person, and allow every thought to control your life.
You may disagree, and say that the thoughts you have are yours and only yours, but are they? You need to be honest with your self, have you deliberately and attentively created every single thought or feeling that has entered your mind?
Can I be bold here and say no.
- Why let outside influences control your mind and life?
- Why let other people’s thoughts control your life and mind?
- Do you want to make your mind free or do you prefer to enslave it to other people’s opinions and thoughts?
The danger with leaving your mind open to every thought, every feeling, you put your life in other people’s hands, and without realizing it, you accept their thoughts and actions in accordance with them.
Every one is different, no one is the same, which makes us human which naturally follows that were affected in different ways by external thoughts.
Our mind is a wonderful and powerful tool that defines who we are and who we become. We have the power to ignore certain thoughts and ideas or advice, we can process our thoughts and make judgements, be good or bad which spurs us to immediate action.
Usually, thoughts which have a positive effect on our lives become more powerful in a way we react to them. The opposite of when we receive negative thoughts, comments or feelings. Even though we try not to dwell on these thoughts, if we are frequently exposed to them, eventually they will sink into the subconscious mind and affect us.
From a very young age, we all have desires, hopes, dreams and ambitions, we asked: “What do you want to be when you grow up”? A fireman, Pilot, Spaceman, Doctor– these are fostered in our young minds. However, it is possible that they are the thoughts of parents, teachers and friends, which have lodged in your mind, and were carried throughout their lives.
Your subconscious mind never rests according to research from Dr Marcus Raichle at Harvard University, who believes that “autopilot” thinking can either be a help or a hindrance.
Researchers have found that subconscious thoughts, which are often embedded so deep in our psyche, can be tied to chronic stress and mental illness but also, success.
The theory is known as “The Default Mode Network,” and in his study, The Brain’s Default Network: Anatomy, Function and Relevance to Disease, Raichle highlights that the constant chatter of subconscious thoughts that are on replay in our minds could lead to disease if they are negative, or success if they are positive.
When our brain is at rest, our subconscious mind becomes the strongest and this internal dialogue that we sometimes unknowingly carry around begins to present itself. It is through meditation, creativity and listening to our intuition that we begin to understand what our subconscious mind is saying.
Many scientists agree that subconscious thought can be seen as automatic survival systems as often our behaviour is conditioned by our subconscious.
The Paradox of Letting Go
How many of us have just held onto every thought, good or bad in the hope that the more cling to those thoughts, the more we can control it — like holding on to a cliff for fear of falling?
We run things over and over again in our minds think of different outcomes, we should have done this or done that, or what we should do. Our fixation with the past and future, our success, and our life path seemingly come from believing the more we think about these things, the more we can control them — Nothing could be further from the truth.
What we don’t realize is that there is no cliff — there is only our mind playing tricks on us, trying to make us believe there is an impending disaster.
Letting go does not mean giving up control — it is about gaining control.
By letting go, your thoughts do not overpower and control you; you control your thoughts. By controlling your thoughts, you are in control of your mind.
By letting go, you can actually control your mind instead of having your mind control you.
If you don’t, you have given your mind free rein to go off on random tangents at will. We all can be hard on ourselves sometimes.
Our mind tricks us into thinking, “I will be happy when…” Yet, once we get that something or somebody, we start yearning for more.
“Evolution has set the mind on an endless treadmill.” – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Once we become aware that we’re on the treadmill, we can choose to get off of it.
We cannot always control the feelings we have, but we can control how we relate to those feelings. So try something new: show yourself compassion. Know that your mind has not evolved at the same speed as technology and that sometimes you need to lead your monkey mind in more useful directions.
By letting go, you can start to control what direction your mind takes, rather than being on autopilot and mindlessly letting your emotions wrap you up in a tight ball of stress and regret.
Through meditation and mindfulness, we can begin to discern whether the thoughts we are having are helpful or unhelpful.
If you want to gain more control over your thoughts try meditation-mindfulness.
Through meditation and mindfulness, we can begin to learn whether the thoughts we are having are helpful or unhelpful.
The next time you are faced with a difficult emotion or thought
- Don’t fight it allow it in.
- Embrace it feel it.
- Experience it.
Sometimes your feeling just wants to be felt, it will pass by. Or perhaps your thoughts are a warning sign that maybe your stress or sadness is actually trying to tell you something. This could be your inner voice telling you that you may have to take your life in a different direction.
At the same time that you are allowing the feeling, let go of harmful thoughts and replace them with compassion and non-judgment. Be your own best friend. Be mindful of when you yell at yourself for being depressed and tell yourself how horrible you are, kicking yourself when you’re already down. Be mindful of when you repeat angry stories over and over in your mind, holding on to a hot coal inside of you, not realizing you’re only hurting yourself.
In reality, we become our own worst nightmare, we become the problem we are the profit of our doom. We’re literally “out of our minds” — i.e. out of control.
The answer lies within our own control, the more we let go, the more control we have.
This may this still seem so paradoxical — it doesn’t make sense. But it does because:
We are the barrier to our own success we’re getting in our own way.
Living in the Present.
Once we learn to control our minds and the letting go of our past and the worries of our future we are able to focus on the present, we move to a state of living in the present living each day with joy and anticipation.
Cast your mind back to the last time you were actually aware of the present moment?
It seems that most days we walk through life in a thick fog of regret, fear and worry. We don’t see those things around us that are important to us, your wife your children your partner. We become obsessed with what’s ever in minds at the time. “We can’t see the woods for the trees”
We go through life with some much baggage we more than happy to add more bagged every day until we get to a point that we break down. For those of us who need help, a great place to start is the American Inst of Stress, they offer a wide range of online support and advice – 6 Thought Habits of the Stressed
The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” -William James
Letting go is about giving yourself permission to be fully aware of the present moment. If you are struggling with a cluttered mind try the following:
Work hard to let go of anger and resentment. – You cannot always control every event or situation, but you can control how you react to it.
Change your attitude towards mistakes. – Take a different approach to your mistakes so that you can grow instead of staying in the same rut.
Declutter your mind with meditation. – It’s important to keep in mind that we are not our thoughts and that there is a way to see our thoughts from a distance to be able to evaluate them better.
Practice gratitude every day. – Gratitude rewires our brain to think about positive things, the things that we have going for us, instead of the things we do not have.
Grow your mindset.- Henry Ford once said: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” In other words, if you believe you can think more positively, you can make it happen.
When you think something is too hard to do, try a different approach by asking yourself. – “Why not?”
Give your mind a break by challenging your body. –Doing physical exercise, even if it is targeted and short, can do wonders for your brain.