Take the first step on the journey to self empowerment and happiness. Learn to control your own thoughts. Aware Power: Step One – Control Your Thoughts shares one simple exercise that you can do throughout your day to calm your mind and learn self control.
Why Do I Need to Learn to Control My Thoughts?
Every action you take and each part of the world you create for yourself begins with a thought. Often, without control, our minds ping thoughts seemingly at random. It can seem that you have little control of the thoughts occurring within your own mind.
By learning to control your thoughts, you quiet your mind so that you can choose which thoughts occur and which thoughts you focus upon.
This isn't someone else controlling you. It's you learning self control. Because self control is the first step toward self empowerment and happiness.
Often we think of self control as denying ourselves the things we enjoy. So, self control is equated with self denial.
However, learning to control your thoughts isn't about denying yourself. It's about learning to create a world for yourself that you love.
No one is more qualified to create the best world for you than you!
It's Easy, Just Empty Your Mind
All you have to do to learn to control your thoughts is to empty your mind. While you're doing a task that requires no conscious thought, such as brushing your teeth or washing the dishes, just focus on emptying your mind of all thoughts.
Because we're all used to thinking constantly, you'll find that you're thinking about not thinking. Then, you may have another urgent thought pop in, like an appointment you don't want to forget. You'll notice many thoughts appear as you try to empty your mind.
That's OK. Don't get frustrated or discouraged.
Each time you think something, just imagine yourself wrapping that thought in a little cloud and ushering it out of your mind. Just let it go.
Measure Success in Minutes
As you practice, you'll find that the time between thoughts seems longer. You'll go from a few seconds between thoughts to 15 seconds between thoughts, and the time between thoughts will continue to grow.
Congratulate yourself. Your mind is like a muscle. As you exercise it, you gain more capacity.
Since you're not looking at a watch while you do this exercise, you're going to be guessing about elapsed time between thoughts. However, you can tell how long that time is.
You know what a few seconds feels like. You can tell when those seconds begin to pile up, and you can tell that the amount of time between thoughts begins to increase as you practice.
Nobody is going to test you. This is all about you: Your mind and your self control.
By learning not to think, you teach yourself to control when you think.
Benefits of Emptying Your Mind
This exercise is a form of meditation. However, it is unlike types of meditation where you sit still, have no outside stimulation, etc.
You learn to empty your mind, which is a type of learning to focus your mind, while you are doing a task that you already know.
From the very beginning, you learn to control your mind while you are engaged in an activity.
Because it's a low stress activity, you should experience all the benefits of other types of meditation. If you're not familiar with those benefits, you can read about them in the post on Healthline 12 Science-Based Benefits of Meditation.
Best of all, since you've learned this type of meditation with some outside stimulation going on, you can more easily use it when you are under real stress.
Once you become proficient at emptying your mind when you're doing a routine task, then you can try emptying your mind when you're under stress.
You would use this exercise in the type of stress where you don't have an immediate decision to make or action to take. As an example, perhaps you just learned your mother was in a car accident and is in the hospital in your home town far away. You've talked to your family, made plane reservations, packed your suitcase and made arrangements to be away from your home.
However, you still have hours remaining before you need to be at the airport. You find yourself tense, pacing, irritable. You just want to be at your mother's bedside.
This is the perfect time to practice emptying your mind. These thoughts and the resulting tension are not helpful. As you empty your mind of all thoughts and usher them away, you should find yourself calming.
OK, I Can Empty My Mind, Now What?
The first post in this series is Aware Power: My Roadmap to Self Empowerment and Happiness. If you began with this post on controlling your thoughts, I recommend you go back and read the previous post.
My goal is to provide you with a roadmap for self empowerment and happiness. That's why this post is titled Aware Power: Step One – Control Your Thoughts.
Once you can empty your mind, and thereby control your thoughts, the next step is to focus on the positive. I call this Best Possible Positive Outcome.
After that, you'll learn to increase your aura, the energy field that surrounds your body.
If those next steps sound like a trip to la la land to you, then I encourage you to read the posts at a minimum. These exercises are grounded in science, too. I'll provide you with pointers to the rational reason to practice them in each post.
Deciding to Progress at Lightspeed
If you're really in a hurry, and want the benefits of Aware Power as quickly as possible, then once you learn to control your thoughts for at least a minute, you can do the remaining exercises concurrently.
I call practicing multiple different exercises on this Aware Power Roadmap lightspeed. Very quickly you'll notice a huge amount of change in your life. While this change will be positive, change itself, even positive change is stressful.
If at any point, you feel like you want to slow down and progress more slowly, you can. Remember, you decided to go at lightspeed. You can slow down your progression by deciding to do so and by decreasing the number of exercises you practice concurrently.
This isn't a race. As a result, you can progress at any speed, and it's OK.
I came up with this roadmap out of my own experience with my progression and with the progression of those I've mentored. It's a practical, speedy explanation and set of exercises designed to enable you to gain higher levels of awareness, self empowerment and happiness.
To progress on this roadmap, you must at a minimum practice the exercises. You cannot just read the posts and progress. In other words, you cannot gain true knowledge of Aware Power without practicing the exercises and gaining the resulting experiences yourself.
Please Share: What's Your Experience with Aware Power: Step One – Control Your Thoughts Thus Far?
We're stronger when we reach out to others and share our experiences. It's one of the primary ways we learn, grow, and feel a sense of belonging and community. Please share your experiences, what works for you, and even what doesn't.