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4 Reasons You Should Want More Control Over Your Lifestyle

4 Reasons You Should Want More Control Over Your Lifestyle

If you are reading this article, you have probably been asking yourself: is there more I could be doing with my life?

Are you satisfied with your work or do you complain about your work?  Does your body feel good or do you take medication and are in daily pain and discomfort?  Are your relationships positive not only with others but with yourself or do you spend most of your time in conflict?  Are you growing more financially secure or insecure?

Your mental attitude and emotions determine your decisions and actions in your life.  How do you want to be remembered at the end of your life?  Are you living the life you want to be remembered for?

1. Have a more purpose-driven life for less stress and better health.

Many people have been trained to live a life of work.  They have not been trained to work a life they enjoy.  There is a palpable, noticeable, tangible difference when you meet someone who is passionate about who they are, what they do, and what they accomplish compared to everyone else.  These individuals have come to live out what they desire.  Their actions are in alignment with their thoughts and their desires in life.  The most successful individuals live a life that benefits others.

Why is it important to know what you enjoy and to pursue it relentlessly?  It is because you otherwise live a life of conflict not knowing what you want and not feeling confident about your accomplishments.  This is one major source of stress and disease in human beings.

“…[T]he more engaged and connected you and your team are to the work itself, the lower your stress levels will be. Not because the work is easier—not at all. But because your response to stress won’t be the same as someone who’s just in it for the paycheck (who will buckle or bail when things get tough because there’s nothing else holding her up—or there).”  See http://www.forbes.com/sites/janbruce/2013/09/24/the-purpose-driven-business-why-your-mission-matters/

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New research indicates that stress activates genes related with inflammation, which normally would help heal wounds and fight off those infections. However, when these genes are over-stimulated, they can cause tissue damage and increases the risk of chronic diseases such as atherosclerosis, cancer and diabetes.

One’s sense of purpose affects these genes even more.

“The researchers were surprised to find that the two types of happiness influenced gene expression in different ways. People with a meaning-based or purpose-based outlook had favorable gene-expression profiles, whereas hedonic well-being, when it occurred on its own, was associated with profiles similar to those seen in individuals facing adversity.”  See http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-happiness-boosts-the-immune-system

If you want control over your health, align your passion and interests with the rest of your actions.

2. Stronger, positive relationships enhance your happiness and reduces stress – lead yourself.

Your relationship with yourself is formed by the absence or presence of traumas and your environment including your family, community and your culture.  The good news is that whatever has happened to you in the past, you have the ability to control your present and future.  You choose to make yourself happy or sad.  No matter what your circumstances, the only thing that no one can touch is what is deep in your mind, unless you allow someone to do so.

The people in your life are a reflection of who you are.  If you are not satisfied with who you are around, change who you spend time with.  If you’re spending more time complaining and being unhappy about who you are with, now is the time to take action to be with someone else, even if your only choice is to just be with yourself.

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At a high level, people who choose to become leaders of themselves and others are best positioned to influence and direct their lives where they desire.

Why be a leader?  To create a strong community around yourself for mutual support and strength.

Furthermore, researchers are finding that when leaders use positive thoughts and emotions to communicate with people, they cause a specific neuroendocrine reaction in others to make them more teachable and willing to listen.

“Boyatzis, a faculty member at Weatherhead School of Management, and Jack, director of the university’s Brain, Mind and Consciousness Lab, say coaches should seek to arouse a Positive Emotional Attractor (PEA), which causes positive emotion and arouses neuroendocrine systems that stimulate better cognitive functioning and increased perceptual accuracy and openness in the person being coached, taught or advised.”

Your positive leadership will lead to others feeling better which leads back to you feeling better.

“We know that people respond much better to a coach they find inspiring and who shows compassion for them, rather than one who they perceive to be judging them. Sure enough, we found a trend in the same direction even for the neutral questions. Students tended to activate the areas associated with visioning more with the compassionate coach, even when the topics they were thinking about weren’t so positive,” Jack said.”  See http://blog.case.edu/think/2010/11/15/coaching_with_compassion_can_alight_upa_human_thoughts

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Cultivating positive relationships requires a great deal of self-awareness and control to temper and adjust one’s words, actions and reactions to different people around them.  The best leaders know themselves, are decisive, are passionate about their purpose, and have the ability to communicate and inspire a wide variety of people.

3. Prioritize your health and longevity.

How expensive is it to receive medical care?  How many people receive medical care but still are not one hundred percent healthy afterwards?  How much do people spend on medication and contend with the resulting side effects?

I have trained students this year who were billed $11,000 for a heart stent, $60,000 for a heart attack, $1000 a month on diabetes medication, and $1.2 million for an extreme, life-threatening bone infection that required 4 months of hospitalization.

“Terry Miller, 62, a businessman in the Bay Area, got a bill for $117,000 for a two-night stay at California Pacific Medical Center to place a stent to open one of his heart’s clogged arteries — a charge that did not include fees for the cardiologist and radiologist. According to the Medicare database, California Pacific Medical Center charged $43,679 for hospitalization to treat a simple pneumonia and $96,642 to treat a stroke; the Medicare payments for those illnesses were $8,046 and $9,583.” See

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/03/health/as-hospital-costs-soar-single-stitch-tops-500.html)

You will pay for your mental and physical health one way or another.  You either treat your mind and body as even more valuable than your house or car and spend the time and effort to keep them strong, or you eventually expend money and suffer trying to patch them up.

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When you are hospitalized, the doctors work hard to fix you up and send you home. However, just because you get to go home doesn’t necessarily mean you are healthy.

High-level, traditional martial arts instructors can train students to have the martial arts lifestyle where you use forms and movements to build your health and energy and reduce stress to have the kind of health that allows you to do anything.  You learn to repair yourself without the side effects that come with medication and surgery.

4. Being in control of your life can lead to wealth.

Gaining more wealth requires willpower.  How much will does one have to do extra work that would earn a raise?  How much will does one have to gain additional education to gain a better-paying job?  How much will does an entrepreneur have to do the necessary steps it takes to obtain more customers for their business?

For middle class Americans, having a college education can better ensure the ability to maintain or move up the income ladder.  Obtaining a college education requires the willpower to earn the grades, the financing and all the work.

“Thirty-nine percent raised in the middle of the family income ladder who do not get a college degree fall from the middle, compared with less than a quarter (22 percent) of those with a degree. Similarly, 39 percent raised in the middle of the family wealth ladder who do not earn a degree fall down the wealth ladder, compared with 19 percent with a degree.”  See http://www.pewstates.org/uploadedFiles/PCS_Assets/2012/Pursuing_American_Dream.pdf

Take your vision, make a decision, and use your willpower to take action.  Move ahead.  Don’t fall back.

Life will be challenging.  Control life or be victimized by it.  Take control!

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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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