To master your mind, a starting point is to get off autopilot and become a deliberate thinker; to direct your life, not be reactive to it. Becoming “the captain of your soul and the master of your fate” will help you navigate stormy waters in difficult times and change your life for the better. It’s time to take back control, of you…
1. Reframe your thinking and change your ‘state’
Anthony Robbins famously gets people to change their state by simply moving their body. “Emotion is created by motion,” says Robbins. “Emotions are linked to movement in our bodies. Observe your posture when you are happy, as opposed to when you are sad — or what you look like when you are angry, versus when you are elated,” he adds. Working from home and feeling lethargic and claustrophobic? Change your office space, try moving from your bedroom to your local coffee shop – and enjoy the walk to and from. Or simply get up from your desk, adjust your posture, dance, do some squats or shake out your arms and legs – and of course smile.
2. Embrace change to rewire your brain
Neural plasticity is the study of the plastic and malleable nature of the brain and rewiring your brain is a dynamic process that you are in control of, by simply applying conscious thought. When you experience change and challenges (such as the pandemic) neurons grow new pathways in the brain. The synapses – the connections between neurons – are at the root of learning and memories. It’s easy to get stuck in old ways of thinking and stick to familiar neural pathways, but change, as stated above, can force you to go off-piste in your brain and start to try out new pathways, and look at things differently. Treading a new path is good for your brain and sets positive action to go. Learning new habits requires conscious action and there are some brilliant tips on how to make new ways of being concrete in the brilliant Atomic Habits, by James Clear. See our review here.
3. Mindfulness, meditation and being in the moment
Being in the moment, taking a breath and halting your thoughts to take an objective look at them, or just stopping thinking altogether is the starting point for taking back control of your mind. It’s just one minute out of your day: close your eyes, take slower, deeper breaths and completely reset your mindset. Try it. Now firmly entrenched in workplaces, prisons, health care and businesses, meditation and mindfulness are widely accepted as a way to manage our over-anxious monkey minds in an increasingly demanding world. Remember, this is not ‘woo woo’, usage and demand for meditation apps is estimated to continue to increase in 2020 and 2021, and research company, IBISWorld anticipates the percentage of services conducted online will increase by 6.7% and 5.6%, respectively. Read more about Mindfulness going mainstream here.