We all have been in a situation where our emotions have gotten the best of us. In retrospect we probably said things we didn’t really mean and were caused by an impulse of some sort.
Or do you have the tendency to not be in control of your own thoughts – your mind tends to drift or you just can’t maintain a positive frame. No matter how hard you try pessimism keeps sneaking back into your head and causes you to feel bad.
These are all things we can control. It requires self-mastery and mindfulness. It is simple but not easy to achieve.
Curious on how to attain such a power? Fortunately you’ve come to the right place.
Masters of our own being.
Self-mastery happens on two planes – the physical and mental. Our body makes up the former and our mind the latter. Neither of the two cannot be neglected as they are in an co-dependent relationship with one another and make up the concept as a whole.
The things we’re in control of are our thoughts and actions which respectively belong to either of the two planes. Currently the focus will be on the mind and everything included.
Inside our heads.
What are thoughts? It is difficult to define such a broad concept because there are many things that can be categorized as such. In this context they are the conversations we have in our head, our emotions, our feelings, our perception of the world, our contemplations – everything that happens in our mind.
More importantly our thoughts are who we think we are – who we identify ourselves as.
Who we are as individuals is a concept we create in our head. It is influenced by how we see ourselves and by how we think others see us.
We think that our thoughts belong to ourselves which is the truth but at the same time they are impacted by others. This happens when we aren’t aware of these external influences over which we can take control of.
The power and energy of thoughts.
Thoughts can be positive or negative. Both of them have a place and are either serving or harming us.
Because of their power of being able to dictate our perception of the world they have a tremendous impact on the way we feel, behave and interact with the environment.
The quality of our life is determined by the quality of our thoughts.
This carries over to everything else in the body as well. Emotions, actions – all are to some degree affected by our thoughts.
If we are operating from a place of negativity and anger it will reflect in our appearance and thinking.
If however we have an abundance of constructive energy we will have more willpower and concentration which will have a positive impact on all areas of our life. We will be able to focus on the important and be more happy.
Reasons to think about.
The thing with thinking is that more often than not we do it too much. This doesn’t apply to something productive a philosopher or a scientist would do but the unnecessary fog that occupies our mind way too much. It takes up space and prevents us from doing anything else.
Like said earlier the quality of our life depends on the quality of our thoughts. We want to be able to control these currents and spend as much time as possible on the useful end of the spectrum which has much more power and energy.
Negativity is motivated to destroy while positivity wants to create. Both have a place but we know which one we want more.
Therefore it is natural to want to be in control of this energy that is within us. In order to function more efficiently and have a high quality life we need to become the masters of our own thoughts.
How to take control of our thoughts.
Achieving control over our thoughts is not an easy task. It requires a lot of self-mastery and mindfulness.
More often than not our thoughts pass through us so fast that we fail to notice yet alone take control of them.
Most of our thinking happens on impulse and is powered by habit. The key is to recognize our faulty patterns and replace them with new ones.
Getting out of that rut is difficult but achievable. It requires us to intervene this process and revolting against our own mind.
The most efficient way to approach this is to practice taking control over our thoughts everywhere all the time. This way mindfulness becomes a habitual part of ourselves. Eventually we will become aware of the way we think and can change them voluntarily.
Every thought and emotion we have is there for a reason. They emerge from our way of thinking which is a by-product of our perception of the world. This however is controllable.
How to change our emotions and the way we feel.
- To begin we need a random emotional state we can begin to investigate. You can schedule this to a specific time of day so you wouldn’t forget about it or do it whenever you want. Ask yourself: „How am I feeling right now?“
- Find the reasons. Whether they are positive or negative – come face to face with them. „Why am I feeling the way I do right now?“
- Accept the circumstances and state you are in no matter what.
- Find out the source of your feeling. Look at the situation, the people you are surrounded by, the environment, even how well you slept last night, what did you eat – all to a certain extent influence our thinking.
- Think if it is the way you want to feel. If yes then maintain it – if not then begin to change.
- Focus on the way you want to feel (hopefully it is positive energy) and neglect everything else. there is no way around it other than just doing it.
- Face the resistance. Naturally your mind will begin to fight back and try to regain control. This is the point where we need to persist and keep at it. The key is to continue concentrating on the way we want to feel despite how we actually do.
- Act upon empowering this new feeling. Our physiology reflects our emotions as much as our thinking does. If we lead by example with our body the mind will follow and vice-versa.
- Feel the change happening in you. If you have managed to find the source and caught the reasons then shifting our emotions is simple but overcoming the resistance isn’t easy The emergence starts small but by recognizing it the size and power of it increases. Eventually a shift in our state takes place and that is when we have achieved victory.
How To Control Our Thoughts.
Our emotions are the product of how we feel while our thoughts come from the way we think both of which we have power over of. This internal reality belongs to us but is influenced by the external. It takes only a change in perspective to achieve control over them.
“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius
A great example of achieving mastery over our thoughts is by having command over how we respond to external events. Everything is governed by an action towards us and the reaction that follows. The former is out of our control – it will happen no matter what. The latter however is created by ourselves.
A negative event happens to you. You almost get hit by a speeding car.
- Recognize the initial response beginning to rise. You are starting to get angry and feel remorse. That thing could have almost killed you.
- Feel it for a while. Accept it. Dwell in it. Come face to face with it. Your heart is pounding and you want to catch the driver to teach him a lesson.
- Do not let it take control of you. Once you have pondered on it for a while recognize yourself in the midst of it and begin the process of change. Take a few deep breaths and regain your self-control.
- Find out the source and reasons for this feeling. Ask if the situation is really that bad. Can it be worse? If yes then consider yourself lucky. If not then try to understand.
- Think about the situation from another perspective. There must’ve been a reason. What you don’t know is that the driver was taking his wife in labor to the hospital. It isn’t good enough of an excuse for reckless driving but enough to forgive the man.
- Understand that you had no control over the event. You were not responsible for the fact that the driver didn’t pay enough attention to the road while being distracted by his wife.
- See it as an opportunity. Instead of condemning the man make the best out of the situation. It happened and now belongs to the past. You can practice generosity and gratitude at the same time. Forgive the man and be happy that things didn’t turn out worse. You could’ve been hit and killed but you didn’t – everything is fine now.
- Achieve victory over your mind. By changing your initial negative response to something positive you have gained control over your reaction.
Now you have gained momentum in recognizing your thoughts and influencing them yourself not being affected by others. Like a muscle this ability will build up in power and size eventually leading to mastery. It will prevent anything that happens from altering the way you feel. Your mind is your own castle so to say.
Where to go from here.
Having gained control over our thoughts and emotions once it becomes easier to do so again in the future. The same thing applies to losing it. The pendulum swing of momentum can move both ways. It is important to not drop the ball and return to old patterns of thinking.
The most important thing is to continue practicing it. Mastery is never reached but is a continuous process that never ends.
Realising that we have control over our internal selves not the external will allow us to deliberately change our way of thinking which will improve the quality of our life. It is mastery over our mind in a nutshell and fundamental to self-empowerment.
The foundation to taking control of our thoughts and emotions is SELF-MASTERY. By being more conscious as a person we will be able to influence our inner currents of energy that much better.
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How much control do you have over your thoughts and emotions?