Taking Command of Your Mind
What a tremendous tool the mind is. It has the focus and creativity to conceive the concepts of gravity and rocket science and still remind us to brush our teeth, hit the gym and avoid processed foods. But it can also become difficult to control.
The mind can seem to spin out of control like a car on an icy road. When this happens, it can seem impossible to stay focused on the moment and the important tasks at hand. What’s worse, a condition like this tends to worsen the longer it goes unchecked.
To gain control, many people practice meditation, break out the anti-depressants or test the value of one of the thousands self-help books out there. Often these best efforts can end in frustration and the return to square one more disappointing each time.
Taking control of the mind is an intuitive process and by learning more about yourself and the way you function as an individual and a human, you can learn to fine-tune your mind and your capacity to wield it effectively. The following are six important points on the subject of your mind that can help you better understand it:
Your mind will frequently bring up important tidbits for your attention. This could be anything from “you left your keys on top of the fridge” to “you will never find love and will probably die alone”. The mind also has a useful feature that allows these notifications to become louder if they are ignored, this has saved human life countless times.
But it can get out of hand and there is a simple solution. Understand that your mind, just like yourself, will feel better and gain a measure of peace if it feels understood and not neglected. So treat it as you would a valuable and fragile piece of equipment. Thank it for its important service and acknowledge the information provided.
“Thank you for bringing up these important concerns. I will make the most of my moment and solve them as the opportunities arise”. By practicing gratitude you will keep positivity as your mode of operations and this always leads to buoyancy and mental resilience.
- No Fighting in the War Room
As long as you are struggling with your mind and disputing with the way it seems to work and operate, you will be wasting valuable time and focus that must be placed on the moment. It can be downright crazy how much negativity can be fed to the mind. But you can’t fight it, or you will become entangled it an insane morass of grim possibilities. The more you fight the more time and energy is lost.
So make peace. Accept that the gloom and negativity is just a part of life and you really can’t control them. What you can control is how you react to them. Just smile as these thoughts go by and set your focus to the tasks at hand, your breathing or the awesome fact that you are alive.
- Mind over Matter
Interfacing with the mind has always been the subject of great debate. We don’t see the mind but rather experience it as an inner monologue being displayed in fascinating and terrifying word pictures, images and a host of other notions to many and too individual to list here.
This leads us to accept what the mind expresses as the inarguable words of our inner soul. When we hear the mind say “I’m a failure, anyone with half a brain would've figured that out”, we tend to echo the sentiment, “yup, maybe I won’t call Cindy, why would she want to talk to a loser like me?”.
But ask yourself this “how many time have those thoughts been spot on? How many time were they were way off?”
The fact is that thoughts are fleeting mental events drifting through the mind's eye, influenced by the time of day, moods swings, sex, cups of coffee, current activity, recent events, that hilariously depressing meme, what dad said when you were young, etc.
What you can remember is that they are old circuits stuck on playback. A mental habit that can be broken by a resolute mind. Of course, habits don’t just break overnight. The cycles of negative thinking must be addressed with consistency and determination but positivity and creativity as well. Even then the hyperactive amygdala will still send out a distress signal, but in time you will have a decisive response.
- The Missing Manual
The most complex chemical mechanism in the known universe didn’t come with an instruction manual. Nevertheless, it can be fully understood through interactions. It’s kind of like the way a good leader would take the time to fully understand how his followers work and operate.
Practicing mindfulness is one of the best ways to do this. Have you ever tried to focus your entire mind on a sunset, the rhythm of your breathing or the sound of the wind. Eventually the mind gets restless and rushes back to concerns, memories and other interests.
This lack of control can be very upsetting when trying to focus and taking the time to practice mindfulness can give you a chance to observe where your mind goes and what you need to do to keep it fresh and clean. Without a manual, observation is the best way to understand the nature of the mind.
- Reset Your Automatic Tasks
What is a thought? Simply put, It is like an electrical impulse that spins around in a specific pattern of neurons in the brain. As the thought is fortified by repetition the circuit it follows and the conclusions that follow thought become hardwired into the brain as a standard response. This is why we are a product of the way we think and the actions our thoughts cause us to enact.
While some of these automatic responses are great for perfecting desirable habits, it is important to identify and reevaluate outdated thought patterns. Those who were mistreated as a child often develop very deep rooted responses to aggression, ridicule or even affection, which must be abandoned to adopt a more intuitive response to the moment.
- Be Your Biggest Fan, Coach, Butler, Bodyguard, Confidant and More
Don’t Judge yourself for the things that happen in your head, learn to appreciate them and understand them. When you learn that your feelings, emotions and thoughts are natural reactions to the things you encounter in your life, you can find positive responses and solutions.
Cravings for food, for example, can be better understood as the need for company or something better to do. This could be the start of a whole new passion, hobby or relationship. By finding the most positive responses to our thought processes we can begin a healthier happier life and better enjoy the company and individual personalities of others.
Hi! We’re Team Neuro, aficionados of all things brain-related, from creativity to working out. With backgrounds in art, science, and athletics, we love delving into all the potentials of the human body.
We also created the world's first sugar-free nootropic energy gum that utilizes the effects of caffeine and L-theanine, made to help you optimize your mind — anywhere, anytime. Find out more here.