Your mind can become your greatest friend if you control it, but if it controls you, it can be your biggest enemy.
The bad news is that it doesn’t come with a manual about controlling it. The good news is that you can learn from the experience of your own and others. You can apply those learnings and principles to completely master your mind. Here are seven steps which can help you to keep your mind in control
1. Become aware:
Step one is to become aware of our thoughts, emotions, states of your mind and triggers. Let’s first discuss different kinds of emotions, states, triggers of mind.
Emotions: In general, there are 10 emotions that we experience: Joy, Excitement, Surprise, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, Contempt, Fear, Shame, Guilt.
Triggers: Have you noticed how certain topics and people evoke in you a variety of emotions? Some might make you angry or envious. Guilty or sad. Becoming aware of your triggers might help you control your emotional states.
States: There are 3 states of minds:
- Panic mode state: When something bad is happening to us, we lose control of our mind. We feel agitated, irritated, frustrated and angry in this state.
Solution: The first step here is to declutter your mind by writing your thoughts on a piece of paper and then divert your attention to other good things in your life. If you don’t like writing, you can talk to a friend and share your problem openly. Feel free to cry as it makes your blocked emotion flow. He might not be able to give you a solution but letting your thoughts out helps you feel relaxed. Once, we are in a calm state, then we can easily face our problems.
- Overexcited state: When something great happens to us, we become overexcited. Ego, showoff, mocking others are few symptoms of this state which might result in guilt in future.
Solution: It’s good to be excited but don’t be overexcited. Also, we should try to speak impeccable.
- Normal state: When nothing good or bad is happening to us, our regular repetitive thoughts take control of our mind.
2. Understand how mind works
We are not the mind but the awareness. Awareness is a torch which illuminates various areas of mind that are filled with memories.
For example, When we watch a movie, the movie makers shifts our awareness to different areas of mind intentionally generating various feelings like surprise, fear, disgust, and happiness. In the end, we feel great after experiencing different feelings in a planned way.
However, when we are in our normal state, our mind mostly remains distracted. It means our awareness keeps shifting to different areas of mind in an uncontrolled manner. Our awareness can be shifted by various sources including our past memory, future imaginations, unresolved emotions, and unfulfilled desires.
Solution: Using willpower and concentration, we can bring our awareness gently back to the areas that we wanted.
- Concentration can be improved by meditation and giving full attention to each task whatever you are doing. For example: if you are talking to a person, give him your undivided attention.
- Willpower is a muscle that requires regular practice. It can be improved by maintaining integrity: Finishing what you started and giving value to your words.
3. Control your desires
Unfulfilled desires are the root cause of all suffering. If you are feeling unhappy, there are high chances that it’s because life is not happening the way you wanted it to be.
- Consciously choose your desires: Set the desires and goals that you want for yourself not what society expects from you. Set your own path.
- Think big with highest possible values: Let go of small desires like envy, jealousy and competition and own your personal values.
- Set goals but don’t get attached to it: Having goals is important in life but being attached to them is wrong. Letting those goals control you is wrong. The ultimate aim of life should be freedom. Freedom from everything that lets you down. Once you are free, your potential and your happiness reach to a new potential.
4. Settle unresolved emotions
We need to settle our unresolved negative emotions in order to free our mind.
- Make peace with your past: We can get trapped in our own lies due to denial of our reality. If your mind is wandering often into the past, a possible problem can be that you haven’t accepted the past yet. The solution here is to accept it. Once, we make peace with our past, we get clarity about our present and the future.
- Forgive others: Do forgive all the people who have done wrong to you. It can be difficult but holding grudges in mind makes you suffer more. Also, once you forgive them, you feel internal peace.
- Handle guilt: Guilt is a very dangerous emotion. You need to forgive yourself for all the wrong things that you have done. We should learn from our mistakes and try not to repeat them but having guilt in our heart makes us sabotage ourselves.
- Control your fears: We often suffer more in our imagination than in reality by being afraid of various things. The solution here is to accept the worst case. It may sound weird but accepting worst-case calms our mind. Once it settles, we can divide the problem into small steps and then start working to solve it.
- Let go of shame: One of the biggest enemy of our personal power is shame. ‘What will people think’ has destroyed more dreams than any other thing in the world. ‘Laughing at your failures’ is one solution that’s been quite effective in my life. Long term solution is having unshakable self-esteem.
5. Have Amazing Relationships
80 years of Harward study proved that great relationships make you healthier and happier. So, Love your family, friends, and close people around you. Avoid superficial relationships. If your relationships suck, your mind will remain distracted with thoughts full of problems with other people.
Solution: Judge less , Accept more, love more.
6. Be an amazing person
The more selfish we are, more distracted our mind remains. More we become selfless , calmer our mind becomes.
Solution: Become an amazing person. Have high self-esteem. Try to be a person who creates happiness everywhere. Try to uplift people around you. Strive to be a living legend.
7. Do the right thing
All our regrets and guilt arise because we didn’t do the right thing.as per our personal values.
The purer the mind, the easier it is to control. As Vivekananda said, “The man who is perfectly moral has nothing more to do; he is free.”
We all know deep inside what’s the right thing. Have the guts to follow your heart and do the right thing in every situation.
The one who can control the mind can control the whole world. Don’t be too harsh on yourself. Don’t expect to master your mind in one day. Gently follow these strategies and you will be able to control it.
Please, Let us know in comment which strategy you liked the most. Thanks for reading.