Plus 15 Ways to Re-train Your Mind So You Are Always In Control
Many people are struggling with overthinking because they worry or have fears of failure or making the wrong decisions. However, this insecurity is actually more detrimental than beneficial, as it creates long term procrastination and negative thinking. When "paralysis analysis" takes place, it can be very hard to break that thought pattern. For most, it has been a habit to instinctually protect themselves from all and every situation that could occur, even the unrealistic and irrational ones.
The mind is built from habits and consistency. Therefore, overthinking could potentially be built through childhood experiences or learned behaviour from parents. Either way, it is something done out of worry and doubt, more than intellectual pondering. Overthinking is a by-product of focusing on more than what you can control. Majority of the thoughts that will pop in your head when you start to over analyze, are all scenarios that you couldn't affect either way, because they are out of your control. Unfortunately, when you focus on things you can't control, you will naturally find negative aspects to hone in on. This will lead you astray from the correct path and more positive outcomes.
Removing negative thoughts should be an easy tasks, as you can replace them with positive ones. However, once you've created a habit of diving down the rabbit hole, your mind will consistently resort back to that thought pattern and begin to allow negative thoughts to creep in that probably will never play out. Less is more, and if you can remind yourself of what you have control of, then it should reduce the opportunity for a considerable amount of uncontrollable aspects to play tricks on your mind.
Let go of this deep sense of control. Detachment from believing you can control all outcomes will give you freedom of worry and fear. If you are present, and allowing your intuition and instincts to guide you, naturally you will end up on the right path at the right time. Plus, life is more fun with spontaneity and un-expected experiences, sometimes those are the best ones as you have no preconceived ideas to taint the experience. Whatever is meant to be will be... Learning to just go with the flow will be one of the best decision you can make to live a more mindful and joyful life.
Negative thoughts are conditioned by society, parents, and indoctrinations of school. Out of protection for survival and security, the teach to be conscious of the good and bad of everything. However, fear is an illusion... Even though danger is real. Ask yourself, is it worth worrying over, if it's out of my control? If you focus only on the positives, would it not be better for manifesting actions into reality that create more positive outcomes?
Understanding risk is where the line gets drawn. Knowing your own realistic boundaries for safety and living is important, and will ensure you don't need to worry about harmful situations or unpleasant experiences happening.
Being mindful and conscious will help you stay aware of how and why everything is happening around you. When you live in the present, you don't need to worry about the past or the future, because your just completely invested in the moment. Take pride in controlling your thoughts, words, actions and emotions. The better you control these, the better you will live. Control what you can control, which is you. Everything else is out of your control, and if you know how to control yourself accordingly, you will create better outcomes and also enjoy the experiences to the fullest.
Overthinking is a by-product of uncertainty and anxiety. Typically people tend to overthink when they want to be a perfectionist or in control of their outcomes even if it has many variables they can't control. That sense of no control scares many people, and will cause them to procrastinate or over analyze the situation for no apparent reason other than fear. Anxiety is created by focusing too much on the next steps, even though they are manifested by the steps you are taking right now. When you try to build a wall without laying each brick perfectly, you will miss the steps and process that build the results you are so anxious about creating. Anxious thoughts will only lead you astray and hinder your ability to maximize the present to your advantage. The better you stay in the moment, the better results you will create in the future. Let go of your past, plan for the future, prioritize the present.
If you believe overthinking is troubling you, begin to learn helpful ways that slow down your thoughts, and guide you back into the moment. Use mindfulness practices that bring you back into the present, and these will ensure you stay responsive and in control of your mind, body, and soul. Negative thoughts are created out of survival and safety. When you are living in "fight or flight" mode, you naturally will be reactive and always feel a sense of unease to your mood and energy. Place your conscious focus on positive thoughts, no matter how much the subconscious mind tries to battles you. This is the hardest part about retraining your mind. Once you get through this initial tedious task, you will begin to reap the rewards. of a positive, assertive and present mind. It will be a challenge, but nothing great comes easy. Plus, remind yourself in times of regressions that this is a journey, and a life ling process of developing yourself. You will naturally make mistakes and fall of the path of forward progress, you are human. But, if you learn to be present, you can pause in those times and regroup yourself, in order to minimize negative regressions and create more forward growth for the next steps along the journey.
15 Ways to Re-train Your Mind So You Are Always In Control
1) Step Back & Reflect
When you feel overwhelmed and sped up, it's important to step back and reflect upon your thoughts, emotions, actions, and routine. Where in the mix is something creating a negative thought pattern or pushing you in a direction to lose control ? Having the ability to pause, look at your life from a third person view, take accountability and responsibility for where you presently are in your life, is vital for detachment and growth into your higher self. Reflection takes maturity, and if you skip this step you won't really know how to approach the issue of negative thought patterns or unconscious behaviour. Reflection is how you become more aware and conscious of yourself. This will allow you to be honest with yourself of what you need to adjust or change to regain control of your life, and get back on-track to living your best life.
2) Learn To Breath
Majority of people are living reactive in fight or flight mode, which causes irrational thoughts and emotions to take precedence over conscious efforts. Typically, these people are not aware of the ability they have to take a few controlled deep breaths in order to be more present and think logically. Your breath is directly connected to your autonomic system, which is nervous system in your body that controls heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate and all cellular functions. When you control your breathing, you naturally can slow down your train of thought, feel more at ease and let go of stress. This simple technique can help you make better decisions, and feel more grounded with your thoughts, words, and actions.
The art of "stillness" is vital for inciting better reflections and decision making but as well, learning to calm the mind in order to be in control of your thoughts and everything that stems from them. Living a meditative life is what meditation is supposed to do, but sometimes life can get sped up and feel overwhelming or out of your control. Consistently practicing" stillness" will allow for more awareness in your life, but as well more peacefulness in your mind, because you will be at ease with your thoughts. Thoughts are the root for everything you do in your life. If the mind is still, you can think and problem solve with more clarity, respond instead of react, and choose better words and actions for challenging situations. Which in the long run, will make your life much happier and joyful.
4) Remember The Bigger Picture
Sometimes it becomes easy to get frustrated with the process because of all the little details that take immense focus and consistency to see results. But, if the mind gets too anxious or over whelmed with the amount of work it takes to complete tasks, remind yourself of the bigger picture you're working towards. Rome wasn't built in a day, plus it takes hard work everyday to create something amazing in your life. In times of negative thoughts because you have so much work still to do, or energy levels depleted due to lots of hard work, step back and remember the bigger picture of "why" and "what" you're working towards. This will ensure you stay consistent in working towards your goals, but also upkeep your enthusiasm that the hard work will pay off and help others in your life as well. This is very helpful in maintaining a positive psyche to stay on track and not procrastinate or get upset with yourself. If you don't like something change it!
5) Journal Your Repeating Negative Thoughts
Journalling can help in more than one way. Yes it helps engrain ideas or words into your mind, but it can also help extract negative thoughts or memories from being on replay in your head. Writing down one negative thought, word, action, and emotion to be conscious of today, is a key way to bring them too light in order to be more aware of them and choose better language or actions to substitute each of them with. Typically bad memories keep replaying in your head because you can't detach or let go of the past. Plus, you're not being mindful of your language internally and externally. If you want to be in control you must let go of the things out of your control. The subconscious mind is like a sponge, and whatever you consistently think, speak or act out into the universe will remain stuck in your mind until you fix or change it. Writing negative memories down and then ripping them up, is also a great technique for seeing it physically removed and deleted form your mind. It may take multiple efforts to completely erase the thought, but eventually it will be removed from your subconscious mind.
6) Use Affirmations To Retrain The Mind
Affirmations are the best way to instil new thoughts and align with the qualities you want to consistently emit or develop. "I AM" statements teach the brain what you want to become by stating as if you already "ARE" those traits. This re-trains the subconscious mind to habitually sync with those statements until you naturally become aligned with being them. Typically this process will take some time to fully engrave into the mind, but you will see the universe will not just give you these qualities. However, it will present the opportunities for you to work on them and be more conscious in your thoughts, words, and actions. Therefore, over time you will consistently align with the ability to be more in-tune with the characteristics, which will eventually change your thought pattern and personality. The universe wants you to earn those characteristics, and your own mine will be your enemy if you don't consciously work on this technique. You must defeat your subconscious mind and make it your ally.
7) Stay As Present As You Can
Living in the moment allows for you to be responsive and not reactive. When you respond before speaking or acting, you make better decisions because you think before taking the next step. Plus, you're at ease, and not over stimulated to be so focused ahead or negative in your mood from living in the past. Mindfulness practices such as Yoga, exercising, walking in nature, meditation, and reading books are all great ways to tap back into the present and regain control of your life. Typically people live on auto-pilot, and this causes impulsive and compulsive thoughts, words, and actions. Therefore, the subconscious mind will just resort back to whatever instinctual thought pattern you maintain. If you want to be joyful, happy, or at peace, you have to live in the present, and make smarter decisions. This is a slower way of life, but much better for your mind, body, and soul. To have control of your life, you need to be living in the moment, so you can make the correct decisions that won't have repercussions you'll have to fix down the road. Plus, you can only fully enjoy experiences to the fullest when living in the present.
8) Distract Yourself
In those dire times of negative thoughts or feeling out of control, distract yourself with a hobby or mindfulness practice. This won't remove the work still to be done, but it'll give you a necessary break which creates a better perspective and mood to tackle whatever tasks you need to complete. Life needs balance of work/ play/ rest, and if you over work yourself without any breaks, you'll just be stressing yourself to the point mentally, physically, and emotionally that will cause unhealthy habits to set in, and coping mechanisms will take over. Many people use substances to distract themselves by altering their state of mind or focus on things that are stressing them out. But, just taking mindful breaks and reminding yourself of the bigger picture, will allow you to stay on track without getting too worked up and feeling like you need to detach from reality. Pick up fun hobbies that are a healthy way to change your train of thoughts.
9) Look From Different Perspectives
Sometimes in life you may need to look at challenges or situations from a different perspective. This gives you the opportunity to see things from a perspective you didn't think about. When you have an emotional attachment to a task, person, or situation, you naturally will forget logic and choose the thoughts that align with those emotions. Of course that's not always going to give you the best response to those times. Being able to step back and look at the problem or challenge at hand from a detached point of view, will give you a better understanding of accountability or responsibility to take based on the outcome you're trying to create. Even having someone else look at the situation and give you their opinion may be helpful in solidifying your decision to take a certain course of action. Attachment creates reactivity, detachment creates responsiveness. Choose wisely...
10) Take Action
Often when people are overthinking, they don't take action in any direction, they just become stagnant in one spot because they're paralyzed by analysis. It's great to think deeply about your next step, but it's still important to take a step regardless of the outcome. Because, either you will make the right move or learn from it in order to make an adjustment for the better. No matter what, you need to take action if you want to get anywhere in life. If thoughts are getting you stuck to take action, find a way just to take a baby step, and that may be the necessary motion you need to get the ball rolling. Too many people want to take leaps in order to start their process or be perfect. But, typically it's consistent baby steps that get you to your destination. Learning takes failure, but mistakes are only if you keep repeating the wrong steps. Take one step at a time, and see how far you'll get in a year ! Great things take time 🙏🏽
11) Be Self-Compassionate
The first person you need to be kind too is yourself. Without that it will be hard to get out of a negative thought pattern that keeping you down. Sometime your best effort won't create the results you wanted, but that just means you need to keep working at it. No one is perfect, and having a high standard for yourself is great, but you need to remain realistic to the process. If you want to create positive thoughts and a life your happy about, you must first treat yourself how you want the universe to treat you. The world just reflects your energy back to you. If you're looking at life with a bad eye, you will only see negative things. Be caring to receive love, be still to receive patience, be understanding to receive compassion. When you have virtues within you own internal language, you will see they play out into other around you because you will align with people at the same frequency. Be authentic, be genuine, be yourself! You're uniqueness is what makes you different and special !
12) Embrace Challenges and Fears
Uncomfortable situations create growth, and facing your fears creates resilience and fortitude. When life gives you lemons make lemonade... Challenges are there to test your wits and gives you the ability to push yourself to a higher level. If you never had resistance, how can you develop your skills or abilities ? Fear is an illusion that your mind creates for safety. Even if that is safety from non life threatening things such as public speaking, taking on more responsibility or letting go of control. When you embrace challenges you have a growth mindset, which gives you an endless upside of potential. When you face your fears, you become stronger and wiser to tackle even tougher obstacles, that many would shy away from. But, opportunity lies on the other side of the challenge or fear, and anyone you see who's successful definitely endured many tough challenges and internal fears along the journey.
13) Slow Down The Pace Of Life
Life is very fast these days, from social media and communication devices at your finger tips to driving in a vehicle and excessive screen time all day long. Each of these cause over stimulation of the brain and therefore programs the mind to always remain sped up. On top of that, employers want you to do more for less and society is just set up for you to work more, and recover less. If you need to be in a hurry 24/7 something is wrong... Either your routine is completely out of balance or your mindset is too focused ahead. The pace of life is a perception you obtain from the way you look at it. If you always make the excuse you're "too busy" or "too tired" for anything, that because you are making incorrect life choices consistently. Those are ways to deflect the truth of what you need to focus on. You can be very productive, while thinking, speaking, and acting slower. Logical beings are never in a rush, that's why they make better decisions and live a more pleasant life. If you are noticing life feels too fast, add in mindfulness practices that bring you back into the present, and change your routine so you have times to not think and just relax. ADHD is connected to over-stimulation, and if you have it, so will your kids... food for thought !
14) Remind Yourself Of Positive Experiences
When negative thoughts want to arise, remind yourself of all the positive experiences you've had compared to those few negative ones. Often you have more good experiences than bad, but those few negative ones seem to create a fear that trumps all the good ones. Focusing on positive experiences gives you more energy to recreate those experiences with consistency. The mind can play tricks on you and often it's all an illusion. Focusing on positive outcomes is a key visualization technique that helps you manifest better outcomes into your reality. If you want a positive life, you need to align your thoughts with positivity. The universe just creates whatever your energy is focused towards. Just because you had one bad experience, doesn't mean that it will always happen. Fear will make you over think, and this will lead to nothing positive. Believe good things will happen, you'll notice more often they will. Life has curve balls, but how you respond to them is all that counts. Think positive, speak positive, act positive, live a positive life.
15) Ask For Support
If life does get to the point where it feels like to much to bare alone, reach out to that close friend or family member who can be a compassionate listening ear, and give you sound advice without bias or personal opinion attached. Everyones experience of life is different, so not everyone is the right person to open up to and share your deepest thoughts. You need someone who is logical, wise and knowledgeable about what you're trying to accomplish. If that needs to be a professional psychologist or mental coach, then by all means reach out to those individuals. They are there to be non-judgemental and open to helping you move forward to a better head space. Sometimes it's better to talk to a "stranger" because they won't have any preconceived ideas of you that could alter their advice or willingness to help you. Creating a support team of close friends or family can also be an option if you trust the advice and guidance of those individuals.
Overthinking and negative thoughts are a by-product of many issues unfolding together. The easiest ways to combat this is to focus on what you can control, and master your inner game. Step back and observer objectively to see things more clearly without bias. Use meditation and breathing techniques to calm your mind, in order to live slower and more peaceful. Always keep the bigger picture in mind so you don't get caught up on the little trivial experiences. Use affirmations to change negative subconscious thinking, the more you train this this easier it becomes to make the switch and reduce negative thoughts as a whole. Find healthy distractions and start new hobbies that keep you preoccupied so you don't have too much time on your hands to start overthinking. See life from different perspectives and be open to trying new things. Always find a way to take action, even if it's baby steps, just try and keep adjusting. Be compassionate to yourself as the growing pains can be unpleasant. Everyone has to start somewhere, just remember that. Slow down! Life is not a race... Enjoy the present and maximize experiences and important moments. Focus on the positive experiences more than the negative, so you stay motivated that good outcomes will occur. When in doubt, ask for support from those special individuals in your life who are a listening ear and guiding voice.
Stay strong, stay consistent, stay healthy, stay in the moment & keep developing yourself.