3 ways to control your thoughts before they get the better of you
The stories we tell ourselves have a direct impact on what we believe about life. I don’t know about you, but I can easily get carried away by crazy thoughts running through my head, like one time when I was enjoying some much-needed alone time on a weekend getaway.
I drove to a secluded lake house in Alabama. As I settled into my evening, I put on a movie and began working on a project. The lights were on, the movie soundtrack was blaring, and I was loving my life.
Then out of nowhere, the power went out. As I sat in complete darkness and silence, my brain kicked into high gear. In a split second, I knew what happened. The killer was outside! He had cut the power, just like they do in scary movies—and he was coming to get me.
I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I rushed to my car and drove all the way home to Nashville. And it turns out that the “killer” that knocked out the power was just an electrical storm.
But in that moment, the truth didn’t matter. I had chosen to believe the story I made up.
Many of us become victims in our own lives, because we believe any and every thought that comes into our head.
Sometimes they’re true, but often they’re not. You might be believing lies about yourself and not even know it.
But here’s what’s exciting: You can learn to control your thoughts.
Just like you can take your body to the gym and get fit, you can train your mind to focus on thoughts that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely and excellent.
From now on, I want you to think of yourself as a personal trainer for your thoughts.
To wrap up, I want to leave you with a few simple ways you can start taking control of your thoughts today:
1. Start a regular practice of writing down your thoughts, even if it’s just 10 minutes a day. I’m a huge fan of journaling, because the first step to controlling your thoughts is to understand them.
2. Pay attention to the voices of fear, doubt, and insecurity. Do they whisper lies to you? Or yell at you like a bully? Learn to recognize those voices so you can reject them.
3. Ask yourself this question to stop negative thought spirals: Is this how I would talk to someone I love? If not, then don’t talk to yourself that way.
Controlling your thoughts isn’t easy, just like going to the gym isn’t easy. But I believe it’s one of the most important steps to becoming confident in who we are and in touch with our true selves.