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How Can We Control Our Thoughts?

Updated: Mar 27, 2022

I’ve talked to many people in my coaching practice who feel that they don’t have control of their thoughts. When they start to think about something, those thoughts take off in different directions and they can’t seem to bring the original thought back in to focus. There’s nothing like feeling out of control. When you get into an argument or when you have a bad day, your mind starts to race.

I used to experience rambling thoughts frequently but, as I began to meditate, I found that incorporating ancient methods of focus and relaxation helped to quiet my chaotic mind. Now, when I lay my head down at the end of the night, I fall right to sleep. Even during times when I am in full on panic mode, I can calm myself down fairly quickly. Social situations and business scenarios are also less stressful because I don’t have to adapt to the energy of the room because I can take and control my thoughts.

Tip to Take Away

One of the tools I use to meditate is a candle. I light the candle wick and watch as the flame flickers and dances. It might sound kind of silly, like staring at fire won’t make any difference. Just like with most forms of mediation, however, what frequently happens is most people stop too soon. Try the method below, focus on it, and see what happens.

First, take a candle and light it. Then, look at the flame. Steady your breathing and letting go of worrisome thoughts. Here’s what I want you to be aware of, as you watch the flame, “become one with the flame grasshopper.” You will find yourself taking a trip of the mind, thinking about the things you need to do. You will get up to do those things because you have been programmed to do so. I encourage you instead to stay still, to ignore the impulse to get up. Your mind is like a mental muscle, and this activity is wonderful exercise. If you do this flame meditation on a regular basis, you will start to gain control. Then, the next time your mind starts to race, you will realize that things are easier to break down into manageable pieces.

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