Are you looking for ways to regain your mental strength and self-control?

Sometimes, people from our environment exert power over us and affect the way we think, feel and behave. For example, one at work may make us angry or, on the contrary, inspire us. Also, our partner may determine the mood we have. When we let ourselves be influenced by others, we become mentally weak. To take control of our lives in our hands, we should build a wall around us that keeps away thoughts that affect us. To see positive changes, we must learn the ways in which we can get back our mental strength.

Here are seven ways to take back the control of yourself and your mental strength:

1. Stop complaining about everything

There is a gap between complaining and problem-solving. Making complaints about your problems to people close to you, you focus on them and become disoriented from finding solutions. Whimpering shows that you have no authority over the situation that is causing the problem and that you don’t have the proper mental strength to concentrate in order to solve it.

2. Get responsibility about how you feel

Do not let the behavior of others to dictate how you feel. When other people make you feel bad or bring you out of your limits, you admit that they have power over how you feel. Tell yourself that you’re the only one who has the right to manage your emotions, regardless of the behavior of others.

3. Forgive for real

Having grudge against someone who has hurt you, you don’t punish them, instead, you are hurting yourself. When you lose valuable time considering someone who wronged us, we lose the opportunity to enjoy the moment.

Forgiveness is the best way to get back your mental strength. To forgive doesn’t mean you accept whatever the other person caused, but that you get rid of the bad thoughts and the anger you feel which interferes with your ability to enjoy life freely.

4. Identify your values

When you don’t know exactly what your gifts are, there is the risk of becoming a helpless passenger, not the certain driver of your own life. You’re getting on the ship of people who lead their own ideas and you can easily end up on the wrong course. Take back your power, identify your values and live according to what is important to you.

5. Stop victimizing yourself

Saying things like, “I have to work 60 hours this week” or “I had no alternative than to say yes,” shows that you are the victim of unfortunate circumstances. Although there are certainly consequences of the decisions you make, admit to yourself that you always have options.

6. Be independent of the opinions of other people

If your personal value depends on how much others appreciate you, you probably will be an emotional beggar. It’s impossible to be likable to everyone, or everyone to agree with your lifestyle. Evaluate the criticism you receive, but never allow the opinion of another person to determine your personal value.

7. Be willing to stand out from the crowd

Hesitation, shame, and fear can make you become one with those around you. Being one with the crowd will force you to hide who you really are. Trust yourself and your mental strength, dare to separate from the crowd by being different.

H/T: Share24

We live in a society that pressures us to think positive every time. In fact, even articles on this website talk about the importance of positive thinking.

Don’t get me wrong, positive thinking is great and can lead to a happier and more fulfilled life, but what about those pesky negative emotions that tend to come up from time to time?

Do we squash and ignore them with positive thinking? Do we feel guilty and ashamed for thinking negative?

If you resonated with those questions, chances are you are not alone.

Today, we are often made to feel guilty or “less than” if we are experiencing or entertaining negative thoughts.

Even in the spiritual community our negative thoughts can be chalked up to our ego, which can simply be released with a couple of conscious breaths….right?

Well, I am here to tell you that doesn’t always work.

Anger, pain and negative thinking are all necessary and important emotions that need to be valued and sometimes, need more attention than just a few deep breaths (although those can always help).

Anger, pain and negative thinking help us to express who we are and allow us to actually have a healthier state of mind. (I’ll explain more on this later.)

In fact, one of my favourite quotes by Anita Moorjani goes-

“It is more important to be yourself than it is to be positive.”

Many researchers believe that negative thinking is a sign of a healthier mind, as it is the way the body protects itself and alerts us to the fact that something is wrong.

Often when we feel anger, or depressed, it is our body’s way of letting us know that something is not right and something needs to be fixed.

Often when negative emotions are suppressed and covered with a smile, we create more resistance and push our negative emotions deeper within our body.

In time, this causes more stress, more anxiety and prolonged feelings of depression.

While you never want negative emotions to float around all the time, when they do come up it is really important to acknowledge and love them for what they are.

It is also really important to listen to them and try to understand what your mind, body and soul may be trying to communicate to you.

In fact, think of all your emotions as the way that your entire being communicates with you. Think of your emotions as your compass for how to navigate through this life and make changes or adjustments.

Often when we feel anger or other negative emotions, it is usually because on a deeper level we are feeling pain.

It is easier to feel anger and other surface emotions instead of pain, which is why we sometimes journey into those emotions and stay there.

Only until the pain is truly released can we be free of the anger and negative thinking.

Watch: Manage Your Anger

And we can only do this when we learn how to feel ok with our anger and other negative emotions.

You can achieve this by-

  1. Not being afraid of your negative thoughts and understanding that the Universe is not going to punish you for having them.
  2. Using negative thoughts as a reminder or sign that something is not right with your body, mind or soul and that something may need to be addressed.
  3. Accepting your negative emotions and allowing yourself to feel them without shame or guilt.
  4. Understanding that your negative emotions are not about you or other people, and is instead tied to a situation.
  5. Owning your negative thoughts, but then also owning the fact that you need to do something about them.

Wallowing in your own negativity is ok for a short period, but if you don’t start to shift the energy and work on healing yourself, it is just going to lead you to feeling more miserable.

One of the most powerful ways you can cut through your anger and negativity is to sit in it and allow yourself to really, really feel it with no resistance.

When you do this, you give yourself the opportunity to identify where it is coming from and how you can go about making some changes.

Another effective tool is to ask yourself- What I feeling hurt about? As often under negative emotions there is always some type of pain.

And finally, the golden rule for dealing with negativity is asking yourself-

“If I loved myself what would I do in this situation?”

This post was originally published at foreverconscious.com

By Tanaaz

Psychologists have found that over-thinking can be detrimental to human performance, and can lead to anxiety and depression.

We all do our best to stay positive, but occasionally we can slip into negative thinking patterns that can wreak havoc on our lives. We might worry about our past mistakes or current stresses, and how these could lead to negative outcomes in the future. We might obsess about or over-analyze regular experiences and interactions, reading into them things that aren’t actually there. We might find that as soon as one bad thing happens, we associate it with all the other bad things that have happened in our lives and begin to feel miserable. We might feel anxious in the present, having a hard time getting out of our own heads as we worry and obsess about the things that could go wrong.

If you find yourself in this place frequently, you are what psychologists call a ruminator, or, an over-thinker, and this way of thinking can be harmful to your health. Psychologists have found that over-thinking can be detrimental to human performance, and can lead to anxiety and depression, especially in women, who are much more likely than men to ruminate on stress and disappointments than men.

As a psychologist and recovering over-thinker myself, I have a lot of compassion for people who end up in these spiraling negative thought patterns. Many over-thinkers are lovely, intelligent, nurturing people who value relationships and care deeply for the people in their lives. Unfortunately, they often push away the very people that they are worrying about or seeking support and reassurance from, because they can become obsessive, anxious, depressed, negative and difficult to be around. This is not a switch in the brain that can be easily flipped off, but rather, a pattern from which it requires dedication and work to recover.

Based on research in psychology and my personal experiences, here is my advice for how to stop over-thinking and find peace in the present moment:

1) Accept that You Have a Problem with Over-Thinking

The first step to healing is acknowledging that you have a problem. If you feel like you can’t get out of your own head and over-thinking is stopping you from living a happy life, making decisions, getting things done, or forming meaningful relationships, then you have a problem. If you find yourself spiraling into negativity and depression when a bad thing happens, you have a problem. If your anxiety about the future is stopping you from enjoying the present, you have a problem. Burying your head in the sand or denying this reality will only make the situation worse. If you are not sure if you have a problem, ask your friends and loved ones to be honest with you, because they are usually the ones who will see it even if you cannot.

2) Forgive Yourself: Our Brains are Hardwired This Way

Once you can admit that you are an over-thinker, forgive yourself, because the brain is actually wired to make over-thinking a natural tendency. According to Psychologist Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, the leading expert in this field, “the organization of our brains sets us up for over-thinking” because our thoughts and memories are intrinsically woven together, not compartmentalized. So when stressors are triggered or you get into a bad mood, it can unlock a ‘cascade’ of racing negative thoughts that have nothing to do with the original trigger for the bad mood. Nolen-Hoeksema gives the example of “when poor job performance causes you to think about your aunt who died last year.”

Furthermore, when something bad happens or someone is feeling negative, they are more likely to think negative things and also see connections (that may not actually exist) between all the bad events that have happened in their lives. The more frequently this happens, the more likely the individual is to engage in this over-thinking pattern in the future.

While the brain might be wired to make these associations, once you become aware you can begin to solve the problem.

3) Breathe More

If our brains are wired in this ‘interconnected spider web’ where one bad event can trigger a tidal wave of negative thought associations, how can we break this pattern?

The first and easiest thing you can do is BREATHE. Breathing will relax you, calm you, connect you to the present moment, and ground you to Mother Earth. It sounds so simple but often when our mind starts to race to bad places, we become manic and frantic when what we need to do is relax the body and mind.

The breathing technique that works for me involves lying down and taking a two-second long deep inhalation in through the nose, followed by a four-second long exhalation out through the mouth. This breathing pattern increases the CO2 in the bloodstream, which can relax the body and calm the adrenal system’s response to the obsessive thoughts. Do this for 10 minutes or until the excessive thinking slows down.

4) Talk Less

So many over-thinkers, especially those of us of the female persuasion, can’t help but want to ‘talk it out’ when we are feeling stressed and worried. While talking about the worries can sometimes help, it usually will make things worse, especially if the person you are talking to is also an over-thinker, and you spend the entire time over-analyzing and dissecting every detail of every negative problem in your lives. You might end up working yourself up into a frenzy of negativity and feeling even more upset after the conversation.

This type of co-rumination, where two ruminators get together to over-think about their lives together, can lead both people deeper into negativity and stress. For example, research has uncovered an association between co-rumination amongst female friends and increases in the stress hormone cortisol.

If you really feel the need to express your issues, you can always write them down, to clear them out of your mind and realize that your concerns might sound silly when you read them back to yourself. This type of free-association journaling has been incredibly beneficial for me.

5) Get Physical and Get Busy

What should you do instead of talking? Well, you already know to breathe to calm the body and mind, but sometimes you just want to let the energy out! In this case it can be incredibly beneficial to do something physical, whether it is going for a brisk walk, playing with a pet or children, doing yoga, playing sports, swimming, or running. Activities that are both mentally and physically engrossing are the best, because they require enough absorption to pull you out of obsessive thinking patterns and into a state of flow.

In addition to physical exercises, engrossing activities that stimulate the brain can also be effective for redirecting obsessive thought patterns. Playing cards, learning a language, or playing all different types of games can be great diversions or interrupters of these thoughts. Or you could always learn a new hobby, make art, draw, paint or take up crafting, such as making jewelry, clothes, dream catchers, hair extensions, really anything, You might actually discover a hidden talent you never knew you had, or be able to start a new career or meet new people as a result.

6) Practice Mindfulness

One of the big things that over-thinkers struggle with is the ability to live in the present moment. So consumed by the failures of the past and the worries over the future, the present moment does not get the attention and love it deserves. Lao Tzu said that “if you are depressed you are living in the past, if you are anxious you are living in the future, and if you are at peace you are living in the present.” So how can we live in peace in the present moment?

Well, we have already discussed some of the strategies that can help you quiet the mind and ground yourself to present moment, including breathing, talking less, getting physical and doing other activities that help redirect attention and bring the mind into flow. But one of the best things you can possibly do is practice mindfulness, a form of meditation where you focus on the present moment without judgment. As the obsessive, worrying thoughts come in, you acknowledge them, and then let them go, energetically releasing them and clearing your space. I strongly recommend learning mindful meditation techniques such as Transcendental Meditation, or if you are having trouble doing it yourself, seeking counseling from someone who practices Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy.

Watch: Increase Your Conscious Awareness

7) Surrender to the Universe

When we worry, we are essentially hoping to control the flow of life because we are attached to the outcome of a situation. We want things to happen a certain way, and we are terrified that things could go wrong or that bad things could happen. In reality, we have little to no control over the unfolding of events in life, at least not from the conscious standpoint that our worrying will directly impact the outcome in the way we want. So, we can worry and obsess, or we can accept all that IS and let go of our attachment to the outcomes. The universe is way older and wiser than us, and instead of obsessively worrying, we can let go of control and with love and trust, surrender to the universe.

Surrender does not mean giving up; It just means you are willing to go with the flow of the current, instead of trying to swim against it and getting repeatedly bashed into the rocks. Surrender is a form of release and a form of peace, because it means you are willing to trust that everything will work out as it is supposed to: Trust that everything happens in its proper time and place and you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Even the concept of worrying about ‘good’ or ‘bad’ outcomes is flawed from this perspective and nothing more than a symptom of duality, which is only an illusion. As you zoom out to the grand scheme of the universe, there is no such thing as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ – it is all ONE, two sides of the same coin.

8) Remember, Your Thoughts Create Your Reality

Even though I just said that ‘we have no control over the unfolding of events in life,’ and this is true at least from the part of the conscious mind and its ability to dictate events, our thoughts do energetically shape and create our reality over time. Like attracts like, and so the more you worry about something, the more you will begin to attract exactly the energy you are worried about! If you still haven’t seen the wonderful online series Spirit Science, I strongly recommend you view Episode 1, which does an excellent job explaining how our thoughts create our reality.

We must be mindful of our thoughts because our thoughts have power, more than we realize. If you obsessively fear losing your job, you are actually INCREASING the likelihood of getting fired, not decreasing it. Same if you are worrying about contracting a life-threatening disease or medical condition: The more energy you send in that direction, the more likely you are to unknowingly give permission to your body to manifest this condition.

Your thoughts and feelings will energetically create your life, which is why my life partner, sound healer Jimmy Ohm always says, “Worrying is a misuse of creative energy.” Do you want to create a happy life, living at peace in the momentt? If so, you have all of the tools to make this a reality by being mindful and present in your thoughts. You also have all of the tools to create a life of worry and negativity, if you continue to over-think and obsess about negative events. The choice is yours and I lovingly hope that you choose wisely. Blessings and Love!

Authors Note: Do you agree? Are you an over-thinker or recovering over-thinker? Have these tips worked for you? What other suggestions can you make to break this cycle? I would love to hear from you on Facebook!

Original source: themindunleashed.org

About the Author

Dr. Kelly Neff is a renowned psychologist, author, founder of The Lucid Planet and the host of the hit new show, Lucid Planet Radio. She has reached millions of people with her articles on psychology, transformation, and wellness, which have been featured on websites like The Mind Unleashed, Mind Body Green, My Tiny Secrets, and now, The Lucid Planet. Before she became a full-time author, Dr. Neff spent seven years as a psychology professor where she helped thousands of students learn about health, relationships, love and sexuality, and co-authored the groundbreaking manual in her field, Teaching Psychology Online. She has a B.A. in Psychology from Georgetown University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Claremont Graduate University. Dr. Neff is an avid participant in the visionary art, music and culture scene in her home state of Colorado and beyond. You might find her traveling the globe to give workshops, speeches and do research at transformational festivals. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Light and Love!

If you open the TV and watch the news, you’ll see dozens of images that could sow in you seeds of misery, futility, fear and anxiety. If you accept the thoughts that cause the above, there is a risk to lose your will for life.

Negative Suggestions are Catastrophic

We have all suffered from negative suggestions during childhood and adolescence. If you turn your mind back and remember those times, you will realize how parents, friends, relatives and teachers contributed in this negative programming” through negative suggestions.

“You can’t”, “You will fail”, “You will not make it”, “Don’t trust anyone”, “Nobody wants your good”, “Things go from bad to worse”, “Life is suffering”, “You have no chance”, are just some of the huge amount of negative suggestions that most have received during our life, and always cause behaviors that lead to failure in personal and social life.

Try to remember and analyze what you have been said and you’ll discover that most were in the form of propaganda. Most of their words were intended to create fear in you and your subjection. This procedure is observed in almost every home and office. You will find that many of the suggestions are intended to make you think, feel and act the way that best serves those you submited from, consciously or unconsciously.

The subconscious is powerful and if you allow it store inside of it negative suggestions, be sure that it will always lead to situations of misery, failure and suffering.

How to Eliminate Negative Suggestions

Auto-suggestion is a way of liberation from this negative mental programming that shaped your behavior, distorting your life and make it difficult to develop good habits and situations. It is about the constant repetition of good, constructive thoughts.

“Change yourself to change the (your) world – many sages have said. And this is true because there is no way to change something in your life, if you do not change yourself (habits, behavior, thought patterns) first.

You can replace the negative suggestions with constructive ones, and encounter painlessly these destructive ideas. Control systematically the negative effects exerted on you by other people through suggestion. There is no reason to suffer from devastating suggestions.

Suggestions have no power over us alone. Their only power is that we, ourselves give them. Be the master of your own mind, you have the option of choice.

Also, do not believe every thought that you do, you are not these thoughts. Our mind creates thousands of cogitations every day, most of which have nothing to do with our true identity and our capabilities.

Trust your omniscient subconscious, it has the power to guide you and promote your success in all areas.

Self-discipline is a very important asset for anyone who may retain it.

It may help you to have success in your professional activities, healthy relationships, manage to make your goals a reality, keep appointments and schedules, etc.

Here are some brief techniques that can help you to apply self-discipline in your life.

1. Obtain a new habit and retain it. You don’t need to do something extreme or being deprived of something. You can start from lay your bed after you get up from sleep, or arrange to go for walking in general or to a specific place on a daily basis.

2. First think and then … speak. Create a rule, in which when you talk to anyone, you first listen to him, then you will be thinking what to respond, and then you will respond.

3. Put in order what you may have to do. Think about which tasks you have to perform. Then, consider the preferred order in which they can be made. If you want, create a list of tasks to be carried out and maintain it.

4. Control your emotions. Do not allow yourself to be the victim of anyone or any situation or opinion. And, whenever non favorable thoughts come up or unwanted feelings created, stand, and say mentally or aloud “The thoughts i have now, are not necessarily true”. Everything starts from the thought. If you do this, you will notice that the ratiocination of your thoughts and feelings will change.

5. Consider that is a sure thing – and we say this because you have to believe it in order of doing it, that if you manage to create and follow your rules, you will be able to control many of your habits that you may not like, and you’ll be able to make your efforts to be more efficient.