We all have one, an incredible mind, and yet so few of us understand how to use them to our best advantage. Mostly, our minds seem to do what they want, running freely, making up stories about the past and the future. And because of this, they are often not doing what we want them to do and so we want to know ‘How Can I Control My Mind?’
Maybe ‘control’ is not the best concept? Wouldn’t it be better if we wanted to know how we can BETTER USE our incredible minds? Because the proper use of our minds would mean that we could direct them to create amazing lives for ourselves. And after all, we all want to be living a great life experience, right?
“A man who acquires the ability to take full possession of his own mind may take possession of anything else to which he is justly entitled.” – Andrew Carnegie
So, read on to find out how we can improve the way we use our minds to achieve better life outcomes for ourselves and those that we love.
How Can I Control My Mind?
Our mind is not our enemy. It is not some wild animal that we need to tame. It is the most incredible sensory ‘tool’ that we possess. Among other things, our minds enable us to feel, perceive, think, will, and reason. ‘Control of our minds’ should mean aligning our thought processes with our goals and dreams. To do this, all we need to learn is how to focus and concentrate on what we desire instead of what we don’t want.
Are our minds the problem, or is the problem the way we are using our minds?
If our minds were continually producing positive, happy, life-affirming, successful thoughts and therefore giving us ‘good feelings and emotions,’ would we be complaining about wanting to control our minds? I think not!
So the reason we are not happy with our minds and think they need to be controlled is that they’re producing too many thoughts that we don’t want to be thinking. It’s like we are having a bout of ‘mental diarrhea,’ and we want it to stop!
However, if you take a moment to think about it, you may come away with a different way of thinking about the activity of our minds. Because it’s no accident that our minds behave the way they do. And just like our heart, lungs, stomach, mouth, limbs, etc. our minds are perfectly suited to the job they are designed for. Depending on what you believe, either the Creator or millions of years of evolution, has seen to that!
Therefore, our issues are more to do with the ‘thought content’ our minds are producing and the importance we give to this content, rather than an actual ‘problem’ with the structure or function of our minds themselves.
I can’t meditate because my mind is too busy!
If you have ever tried to meditate or sit in quiet contemplation you will know that it’s normal for the mind to continue to chatter away. And, unfortunately, the more we try to control them, the more anxious and stressed we become. Nevertheless, there is good news……. Your mind will stop one day!
However, on that very same day, your heart, lungs, kidneys, and all other aspects of yourself will also cease to function….. So, failing death, we should be thankful that we have such wonderful tools as our bodies and minds with which we get to experience life in this reality.
And so the question remains: How Can I Control My Mind? I realize that many of us want to meditate and achieve peace, and we can’t if our minds are unceasingly chattering away, which is not what we want them to do.
The best answer is……
…….we need to create a distance, or space, between us and our minds. And we can do this because just as we are not our thoughts or our emotions, neither are we our minds.
And once we achieved some space we will know that the current functioning of our minds is not actually a problem. After all, we don’t complain when our lungs continue to breathe, our stomachs continue to digest food, our kidneys continue to work as designed…. we even appreciate that these functions continue to happen while we are meditating! So why do we have a problem when our minds are doing what they are designed to do?
Our out-of-control mind is a problem only when we think it is a problem!
The problem is us thinking that our minds need to be doing something different from what they are doing. Many people believe that the purpose of meditation is to have no thoughts, however, it’s more of a process that allows us to become aware of our thought processes and to practice detachment from them.
This may be easier to understand with an example: Imagine you are stuck in a traffic jam and you are late for an important event. Being directly involved in this event will naturally cause anxiety and stress for most people. However, if we can create some distance/space between us and the event, we have the opportunity to experience it differently.
So, instead of being on the ground, in your car, stressed out and frustrated because events are not unfolding in the desired way, imagine if you were viewing the event from a distance. What if you were in a hot air balloon, gently being supported by the warm air currents far above the event? Do you think you would be feeling the same way about what is happening?
I know you may think the two events are not the same, and yes you are correct. But how we choose to view the events of our lives (like sitting for meditation) is a choice we can make…… and we can choose to be ‘in the thick of uncontrollable traffic’ or ‘separated and floating above it.’
How can we choose to be at peace with the activity in our minds?
We know that it is possible to achieve a relaxed state of being while in a potentially stressful situation because many other people can do it! And they are not superhuman or have any different mind structures to us. However, they do have a different thought process than we do. Their thoughts, whether due to early life programming or by learned habits, enable them to remain at peace in situations that can stress others of us out.
Therefore, the difference is in the choices we are making…. or the choice we are left with (subconscious mind chatter) by failing to choose to be a proactive conscious thinker.
If we want to live better life experiences, or just meditate with a peaceful mind, we must understand something about our existence. And that is this:
……our minds (and bodies) are something so amazing, so fantastic, and so extraordinary, that WE CAN DECIDE HOW WE ARE GOING TO THINK AND FEEL ABOUT THE EVENTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF OUR LIVES. In other words, we can choose to be stressed out so we end up wondering How Can I Control My Mind, OR we can view the contents of our minds with some distance (non-attachment) and enjoy the show, the continuing unfolding game of life 🙂
One way creates suffering (attachment to wanting to control our minds) and the other way (non-attachment) brings a sense of peace and overall wellbeing. And when we are at peace, our minds are no longer a problem. They then take their rightful place as our best friend, as a tool that we use to our advantage to create amazing lives for ourselves.
How would I sum up what I think about having a mind that is ‘out of control?’
We all have minds that are constantly producing thoughts. However, this natural process of the mind carrying out its proper functioning is not a problem for everyone, just some of us.
The difference in how we each relate to the content that our minds are producing determines if our mind needs to be ‘controlled’ or not.
If we are producing thoughts that are satisfying and supporting our basic needs for a great life, then we will not consider our mental chatter to be a problem.
However, if our minds are producing chatter that conflicts with our wants, needs, and desires, then we consider our minds to be a problem that needs to be fixed.
And the way to fix it, or to ‘control’ (still don’t like that word) our minds, is to first become aware of the chatter they are producing. The best way to do this is to sit quietly, without distraction, and to just observe our mental chatter, without judgment…… learning to meditate is the best way to achieve this!
We will discover that the majority of the content is coming from our subconscious programming….it is information that is already programmed into us and is part of the habitual chatter that continues when our minds are not actively focused on something else.
The way to reduce (now) and eliminate (over time) the chatter that we determine to be an out-of-control mind, is to become detached from it (float above and observe it.)
And with practice, we can replace the unwanted chatter with thoughts that we desire to be thinking about…. thoughts that align with our goals and dreams for a better, improved, life.
And by learning to focus on what we want, even if it is a quieter, more relaxed mind, we can begin the journey to achieving it. Because all things, including thoughts, are just energy vibrating, and…..
“Every Thought Is Attracting Its Vibrational Essence… Whether you are thinking about wanted things or unwanted things, you are still sending out a “request” to attract more things like the subject of your thought. And all things that happen to you – all people, things, experiences, situations that come to you – come in response to your Vibrational invitation.” – Abraham Hicks
So, practice choosing your thoughts wisely, and you will slowly but surely transform your life into the wonderful experience you desire it to be!
Shared with love and respect for all souls who choose to play the game of life,