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15 Ways to Lead a New Life You Love

15 Ways to Lead a New Life You Love

Do you want to surf a wave, learn a language or write a book?  It’s never too late to lead a new life you love and become the person you’ve always dreamed you could be.

The reality is that you can be anyone or do anything you desire.  You already have all of the tools; you just need to dust off the toolbox and get to work.

That’s what this article is going to do.  It’s going to give you a blueprint for making the changes you’ve always dreamed of.

There is a concept discussed in Buddhist practices that you may or may not be familiar with called impermanence.  It’s actually a huge, enormous, life-changing concept, and if you can grasp it, you will be well on your way to completing your blueprint for a new life.

There are major changes that we clearly see: we were once young, and now we are old, and one day we will die.  These gross changes are apparent and certain.  But in order for these gross changes to occur there are also tiny, subtle changes that are taking place within all animals, people and things all the time.

We often overlook the subtle changes and focus only on the gross changes.  But the answer to creating a brand new life lies in these subtle changes and the recognition that in every moment there is a constant flux of change happening.

A common visual used to show subtle impermanence: a seed is planted, this seed creates a seedling, which goes on to create a tree.  Now that we have a tree the seed or the seedling no longer exists, even though they produced the tree.  Finally, the fruit that the tree produced is also not the tree, though it was produced by the tree.  In order for the seed to produce the fruit, it went though endless subtle changes.

Our cells are dying and being reborn.  With each moment that passes, we are an empty canvas and we can paint a new picture; each moment leads to the next with renewed possibilities.  We are the artists of our painting, and we have a choice how the subtle brush strokes shape and form the ending masterpiece.

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Contemplate These Questions:

1.  What do you want out of life?

2.  What do you want to change about your life or yourself?

3.  What is holding you back?  Money, fear, creativity or relationships?

4.  Are you making fear-based decisions?  Do you base your decisions around what you love, or do you base your decisions around what you are afraid of losing?

5.  What’s the worst and best that can happen with any change you may or may not make?

Record your thoughts.  Focus on deep and meaningful contemplation rather than a shallow field of answers.  Everyone’s painting will look different, but let’s all start by writing down our intentions.  After you have a clear intention, we can begin to apply some of the tips below for turning your dreams into reality.

1. Throw Away Your Preconceived Notions

Have you always told yourself that you’re lacking in creativity or originality?  Do you tell yourself you’re not good, smart or funny enough?  Stop these thoughts; this is your mind repeating the same old story, and it is deluding your true capabilities with self doubt.  Every moment is fresh.  You are a blank canvas, so imagine yourself as such and allow yourself the chance to create a new story.

Tap in and experience your truest form: you are rich, alive and buzzing.  Nothing will change that.

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2.  Realize Your Potential

Everyone has limitless potential, and so do you.  Sometimes your life may go through dark and overcast periods, but underneath the clouds is always a blue sky.  Focus on the blue sky; don’t identify with your true nature as being the clouds.

Do you think Beethoven set out to be one of the greatest composers of all time?  Follow your passions, and you might discover huge success.

3.  Start With Change Every Day

The only way to make change happen is to implement it daily.  We can’t every have immediate results, and this applies to everything.  If your goal is to be physically fit, write a book, change careers or simply to just be happier, all of these desires start with today.  Today you have to make small changes that inch you forward in the right direction.

One day you will wake up, and you will be living the life you want.  It’s that simple.

4.  Change Your Routine

Sometimes we get stuck in a rut: working 9 to 5, eating at the same restaurants, or even watching the same TV programs.  Change your routine.  Even the smallest change can make you feel excited about life again.  Maybe you don’t even need a major life overhaul; maybe you just need a few small tweaks.

5.  Nourish Your Mind, Body and Soul

Consider the following habits and lifestyle changes that will not only change your life, but also support any other goal you want to accomplish.

  • Healthy eating
  • Daily exercise
  • Daily meditation
  • Daily affirmations

6.  Live in The Moment and Practice Mindfulness

No matter what changes you would like to make in your life, none of them matter if you don’t practice mindfulness.  It’s easy to tick items off the bucket list, but as we do that we might not feel any happier or satisfied.

By bringing a moment to moment awareness to all tasks, even the mundane, we can truly appreciate, savour and live life.

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7. Change Your Attitude

Be positive. No matter what you have, where you live or who you’re with, your attitude around your circumstances are more important than the circumstances themselves.

There are people who have practically nothing in this world – less money, less comfort, less resources and opportunities – and yet they are happier.  Similarly, there are people who are rich and have enormous comforts, but they feel miserable.

Often times we have everything we need or could possibly want right in front of us.  Being grateful turns what we have into enough and more.

8. Take Off The Mask: Find Your Tribe

Stop pretending to be something you are not.  Do you ever feel like life is a masquerade ball?  That everyone, including yourself, seems to be putting on a show, pretending to be perfect or to have perfect lives?

Take off the mask.  If people don’t like that, then find new people to spend time with.  It’s cliché, but be yourself; you can’t make any real meaningful changes until you do.

9.  Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Don’t be afraid to try something new.  Talk to new people, take up a new hobby or simply read something out of the ordinary.  You never know what changes could occur just by making a new friend.  Doors of possibility swing open with every hello.

10.  Be Inspired

It’s easy to fall into an uninspired rut and go through dry patches where everything feels utterly mundane.  Rediscover your passions, whether it’s a good book, brilliant music or watching a powerful film.

Finding something you are passionate about will motivate you to make changes.

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11.  Connect With Your Loved Ones

Everything is better when we have meaningful relationships.  Reconnect with those who mean the most to you: friends, siblings, parents, coworkers, kids and partners.  Having a strong network of support will help you along your journey.

12.  Get Out in Nature

If getting out in nature every day isn’t realistic, then you should aim to do this at least once per week.  Connecting with nature is the best way to ground yourself, release stress and quiet the mind.  By connecting with nature and getting quiet, you allow peace and stillness in so that you can connect with your true self.  You can learn a lot about what changes will truly make you happy.

13.  Give up Booze and Cigarettes

When you lose the suffocating grip that alcohol and cigarettes can have over your life, many facets of your life can improve.  This in itself is a great first step to changing your life.  You will exercise more, your looks improve, weekends feel longer, you will develop new hobbies, likely make new friends, have more patience and find out who you really are.  It’s like a fog is lifted from your life.

14.  Rid Your Life of Excess

Rid your life of everything you don’t need so you can make room for what you do need.

The accumulation of stuff is like an anchor; it ties us down. We are always terrified of losing all of our stuff.  Let it go, and you will free yourself from greed, debt, and the feeling of constantly being overworked.

15.  Stay Motivated and Hold Yourself Accountable

Tell someone the changes you plan to make who will check in with you and hold you accountable.  If you have to answer to someone. it will keep you working towards it.

The potential to make great changes lies in all of us.  We just need to define it, work towards it and believe it.

More by this author

Tina Williamson

Writer and creator of Mindfulmazing

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

1. The Inner Critic

This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

  • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
  • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
  • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
  • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

2. The Worrier

This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

4. The Sleep Depriver

This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

  • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
  • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
  • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
  • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

How can you control these squatters?

How to Master Your Mind

You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

There are two ways to control your thoughts:

  • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
  • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

For the Inner Critic

When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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“Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

  • They rile up the Worrier.
  • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
  • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
  • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
  • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

For the Worrier

Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tense

Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

“Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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For example:

If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

“I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

“Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tension

I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

Breathe in through your nose:

  • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
  • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
  • Focus on your belly rising.

Breathe out through your nose:

  • Feel your lungs emptying.
  • Focus on your belly falling.
  • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

For the Sleep Depriver

(They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

  1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
  2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

You can also use this technique any time you want to:

  • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
  • Shut down your thinking.
  • Calm your feelings.
  • Simply focus on the present moment. 

The Bottom Line

Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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