Control Thoughts and Not Your Mind

Control Thoughts and Not Your Mind
Dr. Aparna Sethi
Corporate Trainer and Author

Aarav, a young software engineer was unable to concentrate at his work, not able to focus in present and was experiencing sleepless nights. To gather his peace of mind, he joined meditation classes. He was regular in his classes as he badly wanted to overcome his anxiety.  After few days, his teacher asked him, “How are you feeling? Are you finding change in yourself?” Aarav answered, “It has been a month that I am meditating and I am still not able to control my negative thoughts. Whenever I close my eyes all those disturbing thoughts start affecting me. I want to stop those thoughts coming to my mind. I want to have peace and stop my mind to work at least for some time.”

His teacher smiled patiently and asked again, “Why do you want to stop your mind to work?” The reality is that your mind will stop working only after your heart stops beating. Mind is just like any other part of body like liver, kidney. Do we want to stop these parts to functioning? The answer is NO. Then why do you expect your mind to stop? We have got no problem with our mind but the real problem lies with the thoughts it is generating. If these thoughts are positive we face no issue, but if they are negative then we have a problem.

As Sadhguru rightly says, “Getting negative thoughts is like mental diarrhoea. When we eat wrong food, we get physical diarrhoea. In the same way when we do wrong things which does not suit us or which does not make us happy, we get mental diarrhoea and negative thoughts are an outcome of our thoughts.”

Hence our fundamental objective is to get rid of negative thinking. Negative thinking is a thought process where people tend to find the worst in everything, or reduce their expectations by considering the worst possible scenarios. Luckily, there are a few techniques that can help you stop dwelling on negative thoughts and refocus your mind on something positive.

Distance yourself

How does the traffic look when you are in an aeroplane? Beautiful isn’t it? And how does the same traffic look when you are in the traffic? Pathetic isn’t it? Now that’s the difference. Challenges are challenges. Have look at the challenges or activities which disturb you from a distance. You will be able to see the beauty in it. See your role and what best you can do to resolve it. Also understand other person’s limitations empathetically. It helps us know what problems to solve rather than avoid them.

Positive company

Your social circle has immense impact on your thoughts. People are social creatures. We usually tend to mirror those around us. You need to be conscious about your company. In the world of social networking, you may choose to follow people who are able to transmit positive energy in you, people who motivate you or inspire you. Join the groups of your passion like authors, runners, or painters group.

Use dustbin

It is easier said than done. But this technique is extremely powerful. Pen down your thoughts on the paper and throw it in a dustbin. It is natural process. Whatever you consume, which is not required for your body will come out. So let it come out completely. It is painful but if you want to get rid of those negative thoughts it is necessary to come out and then throw it.

Make it busy

It is important to keep your mind busy. The moment you realise the negative thoughts are entering your mind. Just say STOP to yourself and distract your mind with anything like going out, listening to music, having coffee or calling someone. The minute your mind get distracted it gets busy in doing the things which you want to do.

Research says that negative thinking, most likely, cannot be totally eliminated. However, changing the flow of your negative thoughts is still achievable. One need to make conscious efforts to change the course of thoughts and practice it, with time and the frequency of negative thoughts it will decrease.

Author: Dr. Aparna Sethi

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