Sounds amazing doesn't it as we just take our minds for granted and let it think what it wants. Sometimes our thoughts run out of control and can make us feel emotionally overwhelmed, attached to a range of emotions such as anger and we impulsively lash out at loved ones with angry words.
How do we learn skills to help us manage not only our own lives but to pass on our experiences to benefit our kids and other loved ones so they too can learn from us and so be more able to handle it when it comes their way.
Well the book I came across spoke about the mind being like a wild animal uncontrolled and creating chaos if let to wander. It went onto say the mind, however if not disciplined far outstrips the damage caused by a wild agitated animal in say the savanna plains of Africa.
So what can we do to discipline our minds; what can we do to be the master of our thoughts. Well I think it takes practise, patience and perseverance to change what seems at times the unchangeable. I know it takes dedication, commitment and purpose to really be the master of our own minds.
Thus, we have mindfulness, yes we've all heard this term bandied about as the latest trend and fix all. Something that we do and then everything is perfect. Well actually it is this and more. It is a conscious mind (pardon the pun) shift to really control our thoughts, stop the out-of-control thinking and regain the power of our mind so we are truly its master.
Ok you may think, yes I have heard all about this mindfulness, what then is it and how can it help me. Well, mindfulness is all about you being in control of what you think and reigning in rogue thoughts which can at times send you to a deep, dark place of despair.
It can send you to self-medicate and over medicate because your thoughts create your reality, create your emotional narrative and create your self-talk. So what do you do - be conscious of when your mind is taking you on a journey and the path it is going on. If your mind is moving in a positive direction, embrace this journey and expand on its possibilities. A positive mind-set is empowering as it helps you to face and overcome fears.
The mind creates both positive and negative thoughts and so why wouldn't you want to be its master so you can control and discipline it. If you're bogged down by rampant negativity, your self-talk can be debilitating and take you down like the Miami Heat, winners of the 2012-13 season in the NBA, or the Sydney Roosters winner of the NRL 2013. It can take you down hard and it can floor you so badly that you feel physically sick and imprisoned in a way of thinking which is only eased by a state of unconsciousness aka sleep.
However we wake up, we wake up from our sleep and honestly this is a great thing. It is a great thing to open our eyes first thing in the morning and to know we are alive. We want to be alive and we also want to enjoy life - so how to do this.
Know there is no enemy more powerful than your mind. Respect it, be afraid of it but also know if you harness it it will provide you with opportunities to be peaceful, calm and balanced within your emotional life.
The benefits of a disciplined mind mean that you will feel complacent, peaceful but more importantly in control of your thinking.
Negative thoughts are like robbers and thieves; they are opportunists, waiting to pounce and rob you of virtue, happiness and emotional stability. Always be conscious of the value in practising mindfulness and if you lose it restore it through gratitude and remembering the preciousness of your existence.
What are some of the ways you can maintain mindfulness and alertness - when you acknowledge the uniqueness of your existence in this universe and the incredible journey you have embarked upon to get to this point in your life, then you will realise your fortune at simply being alive. Build on this and muse on the mysteries of the universe so as to practise mindfulness and be more likely to discipline your mind to reduce negative thinking.
Say you are talking to someone and they say something which makes you angry - if you are in a mindful state you will either stop the conversation or change the subject. While practising mindfulness, your thoughts will turn to the person's good points and this will help you to reduce your anger.
Remember the wild, agitated animal out-of-control in the African Savanna? It is drunk with disturbing emotions, so for you mindfulness is about practising disciplining our mind so that you are in control; you are its master. How to do this - well firstly sometimes it's about focusing your mind; hearing your breathing, the sounds of your house or the sounds of the outside world.
Controlling your mind is difficult and it takes practise and training to get it to do what you want it to do. Don't be disheartened if it is a struggle for you to get your thoughts under control. It takes practise and perseverance to re-train your mind but as you gradually get used to it you will achieve success.
Whatever works for you, use to control your mind. Some examples include:
closing your eyes helps while listening to your breathing
being aware of your surroundings or
alternatively keeping your eyes open and focusing on an image or spot on the wall can help you to get into the habit of mindfulness.
I find listening to the wind rustling in the trees or my feet connecting with the ground when hiking restores balance and empties my mind of toxic thoughts; simply being in silence with my external world is a beginning for me on my quest to be the master of my mind.
It all depends on your personal circumstances and preferences. This practice helps you to be always alert and aware of disturbing emotions and helps with emotional attachments such as anger. If you feel anger rising within you, the book talks about remaining like a piece of wood when provoked, harassed or when feeling impatient or despondent, it says to remain like a piece of wood.
When you think about it, it is a good analogy as wood is lifeless without any reaction to emotion, so I may try this technique myself.
I trust you have found this post of some interest. In the words of – Ronnie Lott, football player:
If you can believe it, the mind can achieve it.
On that note I leave you to think about being the master of your mind and may your journey begin with a single thought. Until next time..