Our mind is an extremely smart, intricate and mysterious system of our being. It is doubtful if anybody or any stream of science can say it has fully understood the working of the mind. It is quite capable of looking after ourselves under normal as well as during very distressful situations. At the same time, the same mind is capable of pulverizing us and damaging our self confidence, self esteem and overall personality – if it is not controlled properly. Therefore, one of the most important learning every individual should go in for is – how to control mind.
Nature of Untrained Mind
An untrained mind is like a naughty monkey or a bird let loose. Since it is not under control, the mind will do anything at anytime unpredictably. Like a monkey it will jump playfully from one point to another as it pleases causing havoc.
Why Control The Mind?
Since we know that the mind is capable of doing millions of tasks beautifully, it is important that the mind is put to the best possible use for the sustenance and development of the human being. Interesting article: We Are What We Think
Key Technique to Control Mind
The key to mind control lies in getting hold of this naughty, jumpy or unstable mind and pull it out of its drifting and fix it on one healthy idea. This must be done gradually and over a period of time. This will require patience and carefully applying will power.
Please do read: How to Use Your Subconscious Mind to be Successful
To control your mind, there is a need to exercise self-control over the set of behaviors you want to change. There are a number of healthy methods which can be successfully utilized to change the working of your mind in the desired way and to get right behavior.
How to Control Mind and Thoughts?
Now, let’s talk about some of the steps, and some tips that can be helpful and effective to control your mind. Before starting, I would like to emphasize here that under the concept of Mind Control, we do not have to control the mind unnecessarily. Rather, it is the negative habits and wrong behavior patterns that are harmful, which hinder our progress. Therefore, when we say ‘How to Control Mind’, we mean to put an end to these unwanted thought patterns.
Recommended reading: Amazing Power of Thoughts
There are a number of suggested methods and techniques and here below, we give a few of the effective and easy techniques to control your mind. So keeping this in mind, here a few suggestions.
1. Think of something else
I am not saying that you should stop your mind from thinking. This is very impractical idea because human mind is like a monkey; it will continue to create new thoughts. It is said that 50,000-70,000 thoughts come in the mind of a normal person every day. It means 35 to 48 thoughts every minute.
No way can you fight your mind. Just start thinking something else. For example, you may talk to yourself, “Hey, today in the office we have got new computers. This is certainly going to increase our speed of our work. Or engage your mind by thinking, “.. if I do this 2 weeks online course, this is certainly going to give me exceptional skills and add value to my resume”.
Apart from this, you can also tell yourself, “look, right now I have no time to think about it all, let’s think about it tomorrow evening”. You might laugh while reading this, but it is a very effective technique. Try it once yourself!
Useful reference : 3 Steps To Mental Programming for Success
Another suggestion, if you have time, then you can go out for a solitary walk. While walking don’t let your mind bring those worries or negative thoughts to you. To avoid this, consciously look at the things you are passing by such as trees, plants, grass, shops, buildings, children playing etc.
By doing this you busy your mind with other tasks, and now it will not bother you.
Let’s now proceed to next step on How to Control Mind.
2. Stop over generalizing and expecting negative outcome of everything
Let me explain this with an example.
Suppose an elderly member is allergic to a particular type of food, say nuts. Eating nuts in any form gives this member of the family bad throat and high fever. Now this does not mean that you put such a thought in mind for yourself also. This means that throughout your life, you would not be able enjoy anything that has nuts in it, because you think that you will also fall sick.
It is important that you do a little research and gather some information on the subject of allergies. You can ask your doctor, if there is any direct link between eating nuts and fever? You can also do research on the internet. You may find that it is wrong. This might happen only in 1 or 2 percent of the cases. Fortunately, you may not fall in that category.
That means you should stop generalization immediately, especially when you want to derive a negative conclusion.
Let’s take another example. Suppose you do not have a very high level of education. Does this mean that you will now you put it in mind that you can’t ever progress in life?
If you have done this kind of mistake then immediately stop yourself and look around and make a list of those celebrities, rich and famous people who have been very successful despite being college or university dropouts. You will find that as you research grows, your list is going to be longer and longer.
Recommended reading: Change Your Attitude and Belief to Improve Your Circumstances
3. Give time to yourself
The irony of the modern times is that we may have time for everything right from the most useful and important thing to the least important thing like checking text messages even late in the night but we hardly sit and talk to ourselves. As a result, the mind does whatever it pleases and is not under any control.
The easiest method is to sit quietly everyday and watch your drifting thoughts. It is like observing a bird which is flying high and low, jumping from tree to tree and hopping from a branch to another. It is sometimes chirping and sometimes singing. In the beginning, preferably this should be done a few times in the day.
The idea is to merely be a witness to the whole process. Don’t be judgmental.
Next picture the mind as a quite lake. After some time and regular practice, you will observe that the level of turbulence has reduced. Now the thoughts are only bubbles emerging from the bottom of the lake only to break at the surface. Even now, you should not make any conscious efforts to control or direct your thoughts.
4. Avoid Distractions
The whole process of Mind Control is to still your mind. This requires discipline and training. One of the things which we all need to do regularly is to avoid distractions. The best examples of distracting activities are “multi tasking” and Social Media.
Almost everyone is in the grip of these two negative habits. Perhaps it is easier to control the first one. Consciously do one thing at a time. Don’t even attempt more than 2 things at a time. Not only will you dilute your focus, attention and concentration but most likely you will spending more time in completing those activities. Perhaps if those activities were to be attended one after other, you might take less time.
As regards to social media, don’t reach out for the mobile phone every time there is a beep. Also fix certain hours of the day when you will not be available to anyone on phone or e mail or WhatsApp.
Over a period of time you will be able to control your mind and thoughts better.
5. Stop blaming yourself
You will have to immediately stop the habit of blaming yourself if you really want to know the secret of How to Control Mind. Once you are able to come out of this trap, which will be a very important moment in your life. Your life will be totally transformed from the next moment when you stop blaming yourself for everything negative.
For example, suppose your little kid trips in the school and gets minor injuries. Maybe you kept blaming yourself for many days. You kept thinking, “I wish I had done this or should not have done something so that my child could have escaped the little fall”. This is wrong. This way you keep pushing yourself into the never ending cycle of negative thinking. Whereas you need to get out of that !
When you find yourself in such a situation, ask yourself, what should I do or not do to avoid re-occurrence of such a situation. Now, you take action depending on the answer you get. End of the story!
6. Develop Some Positive Habits
This is a very interesting suggestion. Just like if you want to reduce the length of a line without touching it, you then draw an even longer line in front of it. Hope you got the hint.
Let us understand this in detail.
First of all, to overcome negativity from your life, meditate for a few minutes regularly and this will reduce your stress, tension, worries, anxieties and negative thinking.
Further, it may be helpful read, listen or watch Positive Quotes, Inspirational Stories and / or Affirmations. YouTube, Blogs, Books are best sources for this kind of helpful content. This is especially helpful when your mind tends to think negative or just before sleeping.
In this website also you will find many Positive Quotes, Affirmations and other Self Development Articles.
Thirdly, make sure that you are in the company of those friends and people who are positive thinkers and are successful in life. Shun the company those people who are negative thinkers or are habitually pessimistic. Gradually you will find that you have also become progressive, optimistic and positive thinker.
7. Pay attention to your everyday language
Many of us have a wrong habit about which we are not even aware. Quite a few of us inadvertently us a language that is full of negativity. Even while thinking we use similar language patterns which are harmful.
For example, we might speak to our child, in the following ways:
“Don’t jump around, you might trip and fall down” or “Don’t be lazy. If you don’t practice violin everyday nobody will like your performance.”
Look, you have already thought and told your kid that he would get hurt or he is lazy and wont practice violin. Of course, your intent is positive, then why are you talking negative?
Change this habit and say,
“Jump around Sun in the garden or in your pay room, but not in the bathroom, it is slippery.”
“You may like to practice well so that you are one of the best violin players in your group”
Same way you should think and talk to yourself too.
8. Purify Your Thoughts
How to control mind and thoughts is a complex topic and has always challenged the mankind. One of the reasons the yogis and wise men have remarkable control over their mind is because of the purity of their body, thoughts and spirit. Of course, one thing is connected with the other and thereby there is mutual influence.
Therefore, try to be clean at heart, deliberately chose to have good and clean thoughts and have an exemplary character. It is easier to control the mind and when the thoughts are pure.
The person who is perfectly moral has nothing more to do, he is free. Perfect morality gives him all the complete control over his mind.
9. Reduce the Desires
This is almost an extension of the previous point. The lesser the desires, the less the human mind is likely to think about it. Similarly the human behavior will also be more settled and at peace rather than chasing myriad of desires. Lesser the desires, the easier it is to control the mind.
10. Do Meditation To Relax Your Mind
Much has been said and written about the usefulness of age old oriental method – Meditation. Yet the benefits of meditation are innumerable and we need to repeatedly remind ourselves about them. Perhaps meditation is more relevant and almost a necessity in the present times than it was ever before.
It needs to be emphasized here that one should not be terrified of the word meditation. It is not a complicated thing to understand or practice. To begin with sitting quietly and undisturbed for a few minutes and watching your thoughts come and go as a passive observer is good enough.
If you are interested, you may begin by exploring YouTube for a suitable guided meditation videos to take you into a blissful state of mind. Alternatively, you may join meditation classes at a nearby club or retreat. In the meanwhile, here are some useful links to the articles on meditation on this blog:
- Meditation Tips for Beginners
- Many Benefits of Meditation
- Meditation for Dealing with Anxiety
- Meditation Techniques to Help Relax and Sleep Better
- What is Mindfulness Meditation and How to Practice It
- Meditation Techniques for Good Health and Spiritual Healing
As a beginner, just a few minutes of meditation everyday can make a huge difference in your life as I am sure you too will be benefited, if you are regular and sincere in your practice of meditation.