How to control your thoughts

This article was co-authored by Tracy Carver, PhD. Dr. Tracy Carver is an award-winning Licensed Psychologist based in Austin, Texas. Dr. Carver specializes in counseling for issues related to self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and psychedelic integration. She holds a BS in Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University, an MA in Educational Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Carver also completed an internship in Clinical Psychology through Harvard University Medical School. She was voted one of the Best Mental Health Professionals in Austin for four years in a row by Austin Fit Magazine. Dr. Carver has been featured in Austin Monthly, Austin Woman Magazine, Life in Travis Heights, and KVUE (the Austin affiliate for ABC News).

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Do you seem to wake up on the wrong side of the bed every day? If you find that negative thoughts are starting to control your life, take action before stress starts weighing you down. Learn to identify and eliminate negative thoughts, then replace them with positive exercises. Not only will opportunities start to present themselves, but you’ll have the power to change your frame of mind, as well as your day.

In the last blog, I talked about the benefits of mind control and how we distract ourselves when the negative voice gets too loud. Hopefully by now you are ready to receive the “how-to” steps for silencing that voice and taking back control of your mind.

For those of you with ADHD or if you love someone who has it, please understand that ADHD thoughts are longer, stronger and harder to control. The ADHD brain is wired for repetition. Rumination sets in. When that happens, it’s even harder to stop. But don’t give up; it is possible to control.

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have a negative voice inside his head. It’s part of life. It’s called free will. It gives you the chance to make smart choices, improve your self and grow to become a better version of yourself.

(We’ll talk about that in the next blog … BECOMING FRIENDS WITH YOUR NEGATIVE VOICE)

But until those benefits happen, you have to deal with negative thoughts that ambush you all day and night. Sometimes they hide in the depths of your subconscious mind, and at other times they are right in front of your face. During the day, negative thinking is more manageable. You are distracted by work, family, and responsibility. Then night rolls around, and you think you’re ok. You fall asleep but four hours later, you are jolted awake staring into the darkness. Did you ever notice that your negative voices are louder in the dark?

That’s when you lose control. Your twisted thoughts distort reality. Not knowing what to do, you sit back and watch the horror movie in your mind. Helpless and spiraling out of control, you try hard but can’t stop the frightening images your imagination has created.

Since negative thoughts are sneaky, and they appear in disguise, they show up as fear, doubt, or anxiety. Just one small thought and your imagination is triggered, tumbling into a wild whirling cyclone that knocks you off your feet. It doesn’t have to be that way. You can change your thought process.

TAKING BACK CONTROL

Mind control is a character strength that improves the quality of your life. You may not be able to stop the initial trigger thought, but you can take back the controls and not succumb to them. You don’t have to get swept away.

Here’s how to get a grip on it:

1. Be aware. Be prepared.

When you are aware, you are mentally strong enough to fight off the thoughts you don’t want. Negative thinking happens to everyone. No one (that I know) can escape the initial trigger thought. What matters most is what happens after it that one thought. I’m not saying that you should become anxious waiting for negativity to arrive, it just means that when you are aware, you recognize when that trigger thought happens and knock it out immediately. The more aware you are, the quicker you grab hold of your mind and take back the control.

2. Name it.

When you are stuck in negativity, and feel yourself falling into dark thoughts, stop the cycle by naming it. Whether you whisper it, or say it out loud, naming it causes a separation in your subconscious mind. That is enough to break the cycle. When I was suffering from panic attacks, naming what was happening is what saved me. The negative force is strong but you can be stronger. Name it to stop the cycle.

3. Fear is illogical.

I remember when I was having hurricane shutters put up on my 14th-floor apartment. The workmen were hanging on ropes on the side of the building. There was no balcony beneath them or anything to fall onto, except the ground below. When they finished, they came into the apartment. I was standing there with my sweet, gentle 85-pound Labrador on a leash when one of the high-flying workers freaked out. He was so afraid of my dog; he wouldn’t step foot in the apartment. He’d rather stay on the balcony railing 14 stories high (where he jumped to) than come near my dog. I had to take my dog to another room so he could come in. It taught me an important lesson; a person can be incredibly brave in one aspect of life, and illogically fearful in another. Fear makes no sense.

4. Erase and Replace.

Sometimes just saying, “erase and replace” is enough. It’s a positive mantra that kicks out negativity and makes room for positive thoughts to enter. It also helps to have a “replace” statement ready for use when you need it. One word is all you need. You may choose, “stop” or “no” or “go.” Chant it. Repeat it over and over again. Scream it, sing it, or be creative. Find a replacement word or phrase that will stop the negative cyclone. Other simple and helpful phrases are, let go or everything is fine. Find a replacement that will stop the negativity. Isn’t that why the song from Frozen become so popular? Even little kids subconsciously appreciate the importance of letting go.

5. Do a reality check.

Many times I’ve given myself a gentle pat on my face just to snap back to reality. The imagination is a strong force when the negative thought cyclone gets hold of it. You believe what you think. When in reality, it’s just a movie you have created in your mind. And if you’re a creative person; your creations are intense, making them more realistic. If you’re into statistics, this one is easy. What are the chances of your visions becoming reality? Sadly, our loved ones put themselves in situations that haunt us all day and night. So it’s up to you to wipe out those thoughts and bring yourself back to reality.

6. Present Moment Mindfulness

If you are going to take control of your thoughts, you need a mental support system. Present Moment Mindfulness works instantly. When you are caught up in the negative whirlwind, recognize it, erase and replace, and bring your attention to whatever you are doing. If you are washing the dishes and feel your mind meandering onto a dark path, notice what you are doing and whisper it, I am washing the dishes. I feel the soap bubbling on my hands. The water feels warm, and then let yourself go with it. It sounds silly at first, but it really works. My favorite phrase from a meditation I used to teach is… breathing in I feel calm, breathing out I feel ease. Calm, ease, calm, ease.

7. It’s your choice.

Remember, this is your freedom of choice; your chance to determine which path you want to take-who you want to be with, what career you want to be in, and what you want to eat for dinner. It’s up to you. You get to choose how long the negativity stays in your mind.

How to control your thoughts

When you learn how to control your thoughts, you open your life to unlimited possibilities.

The inner voice can be a source of growth and positivity — but it’s often a negative critic that loves to remind us of our failures, limitations, and anxieties.

There are many forms of limited thinking, but all of them can take you away from what you want and need. They keep you stuck in old patterns and stop you from making changes that would bring you closer to your definition of success.

These techniques will help step outside of the cycle of negative thinking and open your mind to limitless possibilities.

What are your thoughts?

When you really think about it, thoughts are amazing, miraculous even. Our brains have the ability to conjure up memories, songs, images, sounds, and speech.

But how can these abstract images and ideas simply appear in our minds?

Neuroscientists describe thought as “mental representation”. Neurons release chemicals, known as neurotransmitters, which generate electrical signals that spread like a wave to thousands of neighboring neurons.

It’s a process that occurs in the prefrontal neurons of the brain, according to research by Patricia Goldman-Rakic.

Thoughts are defined as:

Cognitive behavior in which ideas, images, mental representations, or other hypothetical elements of thought are experienced or manipulated. In this sense, thinking includes imagining, remembering, problem solving, daydreaming, free association, concept formation, and many other processes.

The APA Dictionary of Psychology

Thoughts are truly mysterious and incredible! They help you come up with solutions to difficult problems. They inspire great works of art and music. They help you connect with a lost loved one through memory. We can relive an event, in our minds, without actually seeing those people and places.

But thoughts can also create a prison of fear, anxiety, and worry.

When left unchecked, the mind can take you to dark places. You live in a cycle of self-doubt that prevents you from facing new challenges. This type of thought holds you back from experiencing the world and taking those small risks needed to succeed.

That’s why it becomes so important to learn how to control your thoughts.

Can you control your thoughts?

Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own unguarded thoughts.

The Buddha, from the Dhammapada

Long before neuroscience or psychology even existed, monks in ancient civilizations, like India, Nepal, and Tibet, developed their own exercises of the mind. These methods for taking control of your thoughts are just as useful today.

For the untrained mind, life can feel overwhelming. Any emotional outburst can set you into a fit of rage. One critical comment can send you down a rabbit hole of self-doubt. You become reactive and impulsive to every thought and emotion.

Your thoughts control you.

What if you could take the reins?

Vedic traditions describe the mind like a chariot: you are the driver and the horses represent the different senses. When you let your thoughts and emotions take control, the chariot gets pulled in all sorts of directions.

Practices like meditation allow you to master the senses. When thoughts arise, you take a moment to pause and observe.

By bringing awareness to a thought, you release some of its power. You notice a separation between those thoughts and the self.

You are not the anger, sadness, or anxiety. You are, instead, the observer experiencing those thoughts and emotions.

As the observer of your thoughts, you take back the reins and control the direction of your chariot. This simple awareness, called mindfulness, gives you a moment to take a step back before you decide how to respond.

Many of these traditional meditation practices from thousands of years ago are well-known all over the world today. Mindfulness meditation and similar practices used to train the thoughts are now recommended by psychologists and infused into modern-day therapy.

However, you don’t need to start a meditation practice to learn how to control your thoughts. Let’s talk about some research-backed ways to build awareness and transform the thoughts that are holding you back.

Are you happy? The question itself is loaded with meaning, and most of us would give mixed answers if we were honest. Much of life is comprised of mixed-bag scenarios – we are content with some parts and dissatisfied with others. As tempting as it is to rely on a change in circumstance to find fulfillment in life, the truth is that your outlook determines your happiness, not your circumstances.

Learning how to control your mind is crucial for building a sense of serenity with yourself and your life, whatever your circumstances. Control your thoughts , and you’ll find the path to lasting, unshakeable contentment.

Control your mind – and achieve your goals

How to control your mind
1. Understand the mind-body connection

Understanding how to control your mind begins with realizing that you are in full control of your state . Since your mind, body and emotions are interconnected, you can use mind-body techniques to bring greater cognizance to your thinking, which in turn influences your feelings.

As Tony Robbins says, it is this practice of embracing self-awareness in the current moment that ultimately drives lasting happiness . In fact, research on self-determination theory demonstrates that the more you feel you’re in control of your circumstances (by staying grounded in the moment), the more productive and fulfilled you’re likely to feel .

2. Embrace the moment

As you become more adept at maintaining self-awareness in any circumstance, you’ll begin to notice your thoughts and emotions – and how they connect to your actions. It can be tempting to ignore or repress negative emotions in an attempt to control your thoughts , but this strategy will backfire. You must embrace what you’re feeling and ask yourself: What is this emotion telling me? Allow yourself to feel it and learn from it.

Along these lines, resist the urge to take a “TGIF” approach to life, living for the weekend (or whatever high points you tend to prioritize over the duller, more mundane points in your life). Instead of wishing you were somewhere else, embrace your existence in the present and you’ll be well on your way to learning how to control your mind .

How to control your thoughts

3. Shift your focus

How to control your thoughts

Our thoughts and emotions aren’t always positive. That’s a fact of life. But once you’re able to recognize and embrace them anyway, you’ll be able to shift your focus away from the negativity. Positive thinking can reduce stress and depression and make you feel more fulfilled – two common goals if you’re wondering how to take control of your mind .

Focusing on the positive doesn’t mean ignoring your problems or pretending that your life is perfect. It means recognizing that life is happening for you, not to you. It means choosing to see the good over the bad and practicing gratitude every day. When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears. When you live in a state of abundance, there is no room for negative thoughts.

4. Practice meditation

Have you ever felt that your mind is out of control, beset by anxiety as your thoughts barrel along aimlessly at a million miles a minute? When your thoughts are on auto-pilot, the prospect of learning how to control your mind might seem impossible. However, meditation is one of the most natural ways to calm and center your mind.

The philosophy of meditation centers on the fact that the mind can only focus on one thought at a time. When you meditate, you draw your focus to something calming like your breath or a mantra such as “I am calm and relaxed.” If you get distracted while practicing meditation, begin again without beating yourself up. Meditation requires repetition to master and as you build it into your day-to-day routine, you’ll find that the ability to control your thoughts becomes more natural.

5. Use priming

Like most of us, you’ve probably had the experience of waking up in a bad mood you can’t seem to shake. When this happens, you likely wonder how to control your mind when you don’t feel up to it. This is where the power of priming comes into play. Priming engages the mind by first engaging the body by taking several deep, cleansing breaths to cultivate a positive physical state.

As you focus on your physical state, you’re then able to clear your mind and focus your thoughts on the present moment. As you practice priming consistently, you’ll find that it becomes intuitive. By building intention into your thought processes, you more fully understand how to take control of your mind.

How to control your thoughts

6. Visualize

How to control your thoughts

The mind is more powerful than most of us realize. When you control your thoughts , you control your destiny. Visualization taps into that amazing power by giving us the one thing we truly need to succeed: a deep belief in ourselves . It’s used by star athletes, actors and businesspeople alike because it works.

Tony tells the story of a basketball team that was practicing free throws. One group practiced only by physically shooting free throws. Another group didn’t practice at all. A third group practiced using only goal visualization – and they were the most successful. When you visualize yourself reaching a specific goal over and over, you can actually “trick” your brain into feeling completely certain about that outcome. When it’s time to take action, your brain is ready.

7. Recognize your limiting beliefs

As you build mindfulness practices like meditation and priming into your day-to-day life, you’ll begin to discover more and more about the beliefs that shape your outlook on life. Beliefs are multifaceted, stemming from mental, emotional, spiritual, cultural and physical influences. Beliefs are therefore very powerful in shaping how we view ourselves and the world, informing what we believe we can and can’t accomplish in life. It is part of human nature to accept our beliefs without questioning them.

Mindfulness practices seek to address this tendency to turn a blind eye. Instead of accepting all our beliefs, we must commit to investigating whether our beliefs are certifiably true, or whether they are the product of circumstances and experiences that do not accurately reflect who we really are.

The good news is that while you cannot change events or experiences in your past, you can change how you perceive those events. You can learn how to control your mind by reframing your beliefs in light of your highest self worth. Commit to being honest with yourself, and you’ll become able to uncover limiting beliefs that may seem functional but actually keep you from reaching your full potential.

Ready to take control of your mind?

Learn how to control your thoughts and focus on your business goals by practicing Tony Robbins’ priming method.

How to control your thoughts

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform summary of “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle. Shortform has the world’s best summaries of books you should be reading.

How often do you think about the past, future, something that isn’t helping you with the task at hand? Are you in control of your thoughts, or are they taking you on a ride?

Many of us spend unnecessary time and energy in repetitive and unproductive thoughts, fantasizing or worrying about the future or ruminating about the past. As a result, we often lose sight of what is happening in our immediate awareness. To prevent this from happening, take control of your thoughts by practicing being present in the moment.

Here is how staying present can help you assume control over your mind.

Use Your Mind; Don’t Let It Use You

Presence does not mean never using your mind, but rather using it deliberately. Your mind is a tool; use it productively for specific tasks, then put it to rest.

The mind becomes dangerous when it stops being a tool that we use, and instead has control over us. When you use our mind only for practical purposes, instead of leaving it running all day, it will be sharper and more focused when you need it.

  • (Shortform note: Research reveals that overthinking depletes our limited supply of working memory, which allows us to focus on cognitively demanding tasks, as well as willpower.)

If you stay present in the Now and face a situation that needs immediate action, you will be able to act with clarity and awareness.

  • In a life-or-death situation, people just act. They don’t have time to analyze the situation or panic about what a terrible problem it is. They just do what needs to be done.
  • By the same token, some people find presence by pursuing life-threatening situations or adrenaline-filled activities, because they are so extreme that your whole body and mind focus on the Now.This is why some adrenaline junkies get hooked on extreme and dangerous activities.

We are most creative when we are present. Artists tend to talk about creative processes characterized by ideas flowing through them, not painstaking sessions of overanalysis.

  • (Shortform example: Many famous songs — from Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” to the Beatles’ “Yesterday” — were written in a matter of minutes. In fact, studies show that the area of the brain associated with thinking is different than the area of the brain active in creative tasks, suggesting that overthinking cognitively inhibits creativity.)

The mind is good at collecting, storing, and analyzing information. True creativity and innovation come from moments of no-mind, when you are unrestricted by thoughts (e.g., “No one has ever been able to do this before.”) and judgments (e.g. “This is a terrible idea!”).

  • Scientists have reported that great breakthroughs came when their thoughts were quiet.
  • In 1945, French mathematician Jacques Hadamard sent an inquiry to eminent mathematicians — including Einstein — about their working methods. He concluded that thinking “plays only a subordinate part” in the creative act.

When you need to approach something with creativity and innovation, take a moment to clear your mind. Putting all your attention on breathing can help you take control of your thoughts. When you return to the task at hand, your thoughts will be fresh and creative.

  • Go back and forth like this every few minutes while you are tackling a puzzle or problem.

Practice Being Present

Being aware of your inner body —your mental and emotional state and the energy it creates within you — keeps you present in the Now. As you move through your day, don’t put all your attention in the external world around you. Keep some awareness on your inner body at all times.

Follow these steps for inner body awareness.

Ask yourself, “Am I at ease in this moment?” Or, “What’s going on inside me right now?”

  • Before you answer, take a moment of self reflection.
    • What kinds of thoughts are you having?
    • What are you feeling?
    • Is there any tension in your body?

    If you’re having a hard time connecting with your inner body, try these methods.

    • Get away from phones, people, and other distractions.
    • Sit in a chair. Don’t lean back, keep your spine straight. Relax your body.
    • Put your attention on your breathing. Observe the air coming in and out. Feel your lungs as they expand with air, and then empty.
    • Accept the world around you exactly as it is.
      • Listen to the sounds around you. Don’t think about them, just acknowledge them. Observe the silence in between sounds.
      • Look at the shape, color, and texture of everything around you. Again, just acknowledge these objects without interpreting anything about them.
      • Put your attention on your inner body. Do you feel the life in your hands, arms, feet, legs, chest, stomach?
      • Feel the energy that flows through your body with each breath.
      • If possible, let go of the image in your mind of the light.
      • Feel the presence and energy of your inner body. Let that feeling transcend the boundary of inner and outer body, and just envelope your entire being.

      The more often you can connect with your inner body, the more presence you are able to maintain. Once you are present, you will not stay there — you will need to remind yourself and practice, and eventually you will spend more time in the Now. When you can do this consistently you have reached enlightenment. More on enlightenment later.

      How to control your thoughts

      Wrong thoughts seem to come into our minds like phone calls. So, the first thing you need to ask yourself is, Who’s calling? Your thoughts only come from three places: you, God or the devil. A quick consideration will likely give you the answer. If it isn’t God—hang up!

      That’s what it means to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5). If it doesn’t line up with the Word, it doesn’t belong in your mind. So, when you hear thoughts like, You’re not going to get healed; you’re going to die; you’ll never get promoted; how do you cast them down? Resist them. Answer them. Don’t let your thoughts go unanswered. Say, “I’m not taking that thought.”

      So, what thoughts should we be thinking?

      To find out, let’s unpack Philippians 4:8, which outlines each type of thought God wants us to entertain. When you think on what is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of a good report, virtuous and praiseworthy, you will control your thought life and become a spiritual powerhouse.

      Whatever is true. What is true? The Word of God. The devil is a liar—and he stands for everything opposite of God’s Word. When you hear thoughts that are condemning, laced with guilt, critical of others or riddled with fear, they aren’t true because they aren’t of God. Anything that is contrary to the Word of God—a disregard for life or marriage, an argument against the tithe or any other command in the Word—is not truth. And it has no place in our thought lives.

      Whatever is noble. The word noble means “righteous, good, honorable, moral, decent, upright.” To think on things that fit this description, we must keep ourselves from thinking things that are the opposite. This includes much of secular entertainment these days. To keep our thoughts on what is good and righteous, we must spend much of our time thinking about the Word of God, and not polluting our minds with the things of this world.

      Whatever is just. It can often be difficult to not dwell on the injustices of the world—there are so many. But putting too much focus on them can be discouraging and breed bitterness, fear and discouragement. When we see injustice, we are called to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 31:8), pray, and take action when appropriate. But be careful not to let injustice dominate your thought life.

      Whatever is pure. When we were instructed to flee from sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:18), that includes sexually immoral thoughts. Lustful thoughts are sinful and destructive, and a key way Satan seeks to control the lives of people in the world. If you struggle with impure thoughts, know this—you have been made free by the blood of Jesus! John 8:36 says, “So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” Ask Him to help you and deliver you—He wants you free.

      Whatever is lovely. Do you think lovely things about others? Or are you cruel and condemning? Love believes the best about others. So, be sure your thoughts toward those around you are lovely and kind—always looking for the good and asking the Lord to help you be a blessing and encouragement to them.

      Whatever is of a good report. There are a lot of bad reports out there. The doctor, the news, our friends and relatives, books and magazines. If we aren’t paying attention, those reports will dominate our thought life. Some people say, “Well, I have to be informed.” It is sometimes helpful to know about world events, but it is not healthy or positive for you to dwell on every negative thing the devil is doing in this world. Keep your thoughts focused on a good report, and surround yourself with others who do the same.

      Whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy. These things are a combination of everything listed above. Righteousness, purity, and just and loving thoughts are virtuous and worthy of praise.

      When you seek to mold your thought life around those things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of a good report, virtuous and praiseworthy, you will know how to control your thought life and live above the devil’s reach. You can retrain your mind to start thinking in the way God has called you to think. So, start thinking good thoughts today!

      How to control your thoughts

      Do you know how to control your thoughts?

      Your thoughts create your reality. If those thoughts are disempowering, your life will follow suit.

      The moment that you draw a conclusion about yourself, research shows that you’re likely to do two things; look for evidence that reinforces your belief and discredit anything that conflicts with it.

      If you don’t become the master of your mind, your mind will master you.

      If you want to discover how to control your thoughs, keep reading!

      Watch the video below:

      Do you want to discover 21 powerful morning rituals that will change your life? CLICK HERE to get instant access to my morning ritual habits cheatsheet!

      You are either the master of your mind or a victim of it.

      Your mind is not designed to make you happy. Studies of brain activity have demonstrated that the brain responds more actively to negative images than positive or neutral images. This is because your brain acts as a survival mechanism. It evolved to keep you safe and protected from danger. This is why the human race has been able to survive as a species for so long.

      However, there comes a point when you have to take responsibility for the creation of your happiness. You cannot rely on anything or anyone to do that for you. Happiness is an inside job. Think of your mind as if it were a sentry on a ship whose job it is to watch out for potential threats.

      Just like a sentry, your mind will always warn you about potential risks that could disrupt your zone of comfort. Don’t forget that you are the captain of the ship that is your life. If you allow your mind to take the wheel, you will surely get off course. This is why it’s so important that you direct your mind towards the destiny that you want to create and experience.

      Your higher self is the real you. It embodies the true representation of who you are. However, if you want your actions to align with your higher self, you have to set the intention that you are ready to connect to it.

      A great way to cultivate this alignment is through creating a daily meditation practice.

      If you’re ever tried to meditate and quiet the mental chatter you’ve probably noticed how difficult it can be. Where people get stuck is that they assume that the goal is to remove thoughts altogether. This is the wrong approach to take. You want to become an active observer of your thoughts, without becoming attached to them.

      Like I said above, the mind will always point out what is wrong or missing because it’s primary role is to keep you safe from danger. The mind doesn’t want to make you successful or happy. This is why you have to be hyper-aware of how the mind works. When it starts creating disempowering stories, you’ve got to distance yourself and practice the art of non-attachment.

      You are not your thoughts. The moment that you accept this reality is the moment that you feel empowered to take control of your life. You always have a choice of how you respond to your thoughts. You can either succumb to their power, or you can decide to not follow them and create your path.

      Our thoughts block us from experiencing the happiness that can be found in the present moment. A lot of people miss out on life because they are so fixated on what is yet to come. Meditation allows you to connect with the here and now and surrender to what is. This is where you find an overflowing abundance of love, joy, and happiness.

      Make it a habit to become the master of your mind. If you can commit to a meditation practice for 30 days or more, I promise that you will start to see a massive shift take place in every area of your life.

      Are you ready to control your thoughts?

      This moment is all that you have. Tomorrow is not a guarantee. Breathe, let go, and trust that life is always happening for you, not to you. When you can adopt this mindset, happiness becomes your birthright.

      Do you want to discover 21 powerful morning rituals that will change your life? CLICK HERE to get instant access to my morning ritual habits cheatsheet!

      Taking charge of your mind is easier said than done. However, it’s not impossible. Whether you want to forget about an unsuccessful love interest or a professional failure, you need to hone your stress management skills.

      Unwanted thoughts can kill your joy and make you less productive. But the worst thing they bring along is distress and self-doubt. Yes, some fancy quote page on Instagram might tell you that you need to head out and seize the day.

      How do you do that with such stressful thoughts weighing you down? How to control your thoughts?

      As impossible as it may seem at the moment, it’s doable. Managing stress and anxiety that comes with troubling thoughts is possible with mindful meditation and improving your lifestyle.

      First off, you need to feed this affirmation to yourself. Once you’re convinced and ready to make a change, only then you can get rid of the negative thoughts.

      Here are fourteen ways to be in control of your thoughts and organize the mush that your brain is after a personal calamity.

      #1 Identify the Stressful Thoughts

      Your stress management skills are of no use unless you know what you’re supposed to manage. Start by figuring out the thoughts that plague your mind.

      How to control your thoughts

      Emotional setbacks are normal. In fact, they’re inevitable. If you’re going through an emotional challenge, identify it initially.

      By and large, living in denial won’t get you out of the situation but will only drag your mental health further down. So, to successfully deal with a trauma or an emotional condition, you must recognize what the issues are. Only then you can work towards eliminating or overcoming that stressful mindset.

      #2 Accept Them

      It might sound baseless to people going through a tough time but accepting your thoughts is the only way to process and let them go.

      You’d want to keep pain at bay. It’s understandable. But the longer you let the pain build up, the more intense it will get.

      Do the opposite. Accept the situation. If someone disappointed or hurt you, don’t stay in denial of the thoughts that keep coming up inside you. Learning this will help you move on and build new relations.

      #3 Step Away From the Distressing Mindset

      Regardless of the situation, there are always at least two ways to look at the problem. You have to find the right way.

      If a job interview didn’t go well, don’t tell yourself that you feel miserable, but you’ll get through it since you’ve gotten over things in the past.

      Instead, tell yourself that you may feel miserable right now, but you did your best, and that’s what counts. You’re strong enough to deal with challenges.

      We’re often quick to look at the immediate effects of situations. Instead, take a step back and look at the bigger picture to break the circle of distressing thoughts.