To master your mind and emotions is to master your life — especially when you think about how crazy life is for so many people and what they do just to cope that shows how little control they have over these areas.
Too many of us leave ourselves at the mercy of outside events, which we tend to have little or no control over, and fail to take charge of our mind or emotions — which we can control — and rely instead on things like alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, anti-depressants and all sorts of harmful quick fixes.
We know inside ourselves that applying these quick fixes is not going to solve anything for us long-term. But because some of the emotions we experience are so intense and we are conditioned to avoid them at all costs, we look for the easiest way to cope so we don’t come unstuck.
Really, there is no thought or emotion that is more powerful than you and your freedom to choose who you want to be. All you need is a simple way to take back your power from your conditioned reactive behaviors and step into a more enlightened way of being.
I call this self-mastery.
To have mastery, or control as it can also be called, over your mind and emotions is to have control over your life — nothing else is needed.
Taking control of your life begins with creating space in your head. When you have space to think and act in a way that is more assertive, rather than reactive, then you are on the path to a happier, healthier and more productive life.
There are some really simple tools that I have learned to help create more space for you to take control of your thoughts and feelings. The best time to apply these is as soon as you notice that you are having negative thoughts or feelings. They are:
- Taking several, slow, deep breaths before you make a decision or take any action.
- Focusing on solutions to challenges, rather than get stuck on the problems.
- Ask empowering questions of yourself like: What can I learn from this? How can I make this better? What am I feeling?
- Do something physical (i.e. running, swimming, dancing, gym, yoga, tai-chi, etc.).
- Write your thoughts down in a journal.
- Walk away from the situation and come back to it when you are calmer.
- Give yourself some physical space.
- Do an active meditation to help release your emotions and calm your mind.
These are just a few of the ways to help yourself rapidly shift any negative emotions you may be experiencing. Always keep in mind that what works for someone else may not necessarily work for you. You may need to try a few different things before you find the best method for you.
Here’s how to spend the next five minutes:
Have a blank page in front of you and for the next five minutes write down whatever comes into your head. Don’t judge or censor it in any way — just let your words be whatever they are. Just observe your thoughts and write what you see. If any feelings arise while you do this just keep on writing and let your emotions flow into your words. Then, as soon as you notice that you are feeling calm again, stop writing, close your eyes, and just relax for a few moments.