Control Your Mind
June 30, 2020
All of us have a mind, a mindset, and an attitude to help us manage our day to day life effectively. However, sometimes we have this issue. When we feel cornered and challenged, we become defensive. We hit out at the outside world, we point fingers, and we blame. We say the problem is the boss or the neighbor or the lousy weather.
Unfortunately, the problem is rarely external. Its always inside us.
There is one external world. It is the world where we see, taste, touch, smell, feel, and hear. Then there is one world within us, and that is the world of our thoughts, our beliefs, our values, our attachments, our desires.
When we are upset or unhappy, we think it is because of something external. But the issue is always rooted on the inside. No matter the situation, how you respond to it is a choice you make. You are growing as a person when you don’t blame the external world for any of the issues you encounter. Instead, you choose to look inward and ask yourself, “what could I have done differently to experience a different outcome.”
You decide to be happy; you choose to think positive, whatever be the situation.
When you start making these inner choices consciously, you gain mastery over your mind. You are, in effect, not letting your mind control you. Feelings of fear, anger, greed, pride, attachment, jealousy, etc. are outcomes of a mind not in our control. The uncontrolled mind is our biggest enemy, not someone outside. Also, a controlled mind is our best friend.
How do we master our minds?
Whenever you have festering thoughts that create negative feelings, recognize that your mind has taken over the control. It would help if you devised proactive strategies to deal with and nip these in the bud.
I am listing below some of my strategies to manage my mindset when I am in the grip of negative thoughts.
- When I am angry and agitated: I take a deep breath and I withdraw from the scene. I Sit quietly, observe the anger, and let it pass. I Speak only after the desire to react has passed.
- When I am feeling low and demotivated: I recognize that I am not feeling energetic. I have some fantastic music lists I listen to. Music has an amazing power to energize me when I feel low.
- When I feel a sense of inadequacy(a euphemistic term for I feel jealous:)): I reflect on the source of my jealousy. I pen my thoughts down in my daily journal. When I do that, something special happens. Invariably, the pettiness of my thoughts gets exposed. I immediately feel better.
- When I feel a sense of fear: I acknowledge the fear and use it as a trigger to go ahead and do the very thing I fear.
- When I feel attached to a particular outcome: This is a tough one. I agonize, I pickle over. Whenever I think something is not happening the way I am desiring, I develop an attitude of acceptance. I consciously tell myself, whatever happens, it is for the best.
- When I feel proud or boastful about something I may have done: I sometimes don’t catch this in the moment. I reflect on my actions at the end of every day and resolve not to repeat the behavior.
Every one of us has a choice, either to let the mind control us or we control our mind. Taking the latter choice is a path to personal growth, for the mind is a terrible master but an amazing slave.