Meditation is not about stopping your thoughts. Instead, it is about learning how to control them. Many people find controlling their thoughts difficult at first, but it is worth trying. Here are 7 tips for controlling your thoughts.
- Rethink what it means to “control your thoughts”
When most people think of controlling their thoughts, they assume it means to have harsh control over the types of thoughts you have. This is a misconception. In truth, we don’t have complete control over the thoughts that pop into our heads.
We only have control over our actions and reactions to our thoughts. So, when you try to control your thoughts, you control how your mind wanders and its reactions to the thoughts.
- Acknowledge your thoughts
When a thought pops into your head as you meditate, acknowledge the thought instead of quickly swatting it away. Acknowledging the thought will allow it to teach you. So, let the thought appear and acknowledge its existence.
- Let the thought finish
Once you acknowledge the thought’s existence, let it finish. Do not try to pinch it off. The reason for this is that pinching the thought off will deny your mind its clarity and growth and make the thought recurring and more difficult to get rid of. So, allow your thought to come to its natural conclusion.
- Rein your thoughts back in once the thought is finished
Even though you should acknowledge your thoughts, do not let your brain wander. Instead, rein your thoughts back in once they have reached their natural conclusion. This may be hard at first, but it will increase your focus, concentration, and clarity.
- Identify negative thoughts
As you acknowledge thoughts, try to identify any negative thoughts that creep into your mind. Identifying the negative thoughts will make you aware of how many negative thoughts are present, which will allow you to be more mindful in the future.
- Discern truth from fiction
As you identify negative thoughts, try discerning truth from fiction in your thoughts. This will allow you to retrain your mind so that you are kinder and more realistic about yourself and life.
- Be kind to yourself
Finally, be kind to yourself when controlling your thoughts. You will eventually mess up and be challenged by controlling your thoughts. This is completely normal, and you should not beat yourself up over it.