There is a belief that our brain is largely unruly and we don’t have control over our thoughts. Or, if we believe that our thoughts are within our power to change, we beat ourselves up for having bad thoughts or an erratic mind. Through meditation and awareness practices we can slowly begin to bring our mind under control What is often needed is the buy-in to get us going. Here are five reasons to work to control your thoughts.

 

1. Your health depends on it

Many major afflictions can be directly linked to your thinking.  Heart attacks, back pain, headaches, and gut issues can be stress-induced.  Weight gain and dietary struggles can result from using favorite foods to improve your mood. Weight retention, memory loss, attention abilities, and a lack of clear thinking can be caused by disrupted or reduced sleep.  We would not go so far as to say that major illness can be cured if you could just control your thoughts. But changes in your thinking can positively impact your recovery, the duration, and your experience with pain, illness, and suffering.

2. There is now a short learning curve

control your thoughtsMajor religions and eastern traditions used to be the sole provider of methods for enhancing and clearing the mind.  These teachings were passed down orally and often involved extensive learning and complex sequences of movements.  Thanks to the rapidly shrinking and connected world, we all have access to resources and teachers from every continent.  Practitioners are translating bodies of work at an incredible pace and progress is now scientifically verifiable.

control your thoughts3. There is little or no cost to control your thoughts

Are you sitting down?  Good.  That is about all you need to be able to do in order to control your thoughts.   Once you learn how your current habits may be contributing to your current state and learn how and why to change them, you will be on your way.  There are additional books, courses, and suggested materials to help each of us depending on our current situation.  But the overhead on this adventure is minimal at best.

4. You will experience true autonomy

control your thoughtsA chattering, pessimistic, unfocused mind has undiscussed negative consequences.  When we are overridden by our thoughts, we often act (or don’t) out of fear.  We envision all the bad things that can happen and feel trapped.  We react to problems instead of responding to opportunities.  The difference being that we don’t think clearly, create mistakes, and often cause more work for ourselves.  Additionally, we can be the victim of other people’s verbal abuse or work-environment negativity.

Conversely, if you control your thoughts you have a chance for real autonomy.  Imagine not living out of fear and being present-to but not affected-by negative people and events around you.  Negative people in your environment now cause a feeling of sympathy to well up, not pessimism.  We all know that when customers and friends contact us with their problems, they are telling us how to help them.  We just need to be in the right mental place to be aware of it and to think through a solution.

5. Control your thoughts and get what you want out of life

What are we truly saying when we want our mind to stop racing?  When we want focus?  When we don’t want to be plagued by anxiety and want to sleep at night? We are saying that we want free space to think about things that make us happy, to plan, to be mentally present during important milestones and events.

We want our mind to stop the nonsense so we can be creative and contribute to something of value.  Whether it is at work, with our family, or in our community.  We are not being the best version of ourselves in any circumstance if we are not actually mentally present or are dragging baggage into unrelated conversations.

What we think we want is no-thinking, an end to ceaseless negative banter.  But what we really want is the power to choose what we think about, and use our powerful brain to create situations that give our lives meaning.