Two Ways To Deal With Thoughts


One of the most critical skills to live worry-free is the ability to handle our thoughts. That is, to choose, to channelize, to utilise and make them work for us, not against us. But, this is in no way a simple task. All our mental problems spring from negative thoughts. Thoughts can take many forms. They can turn into patterns, emotions, and can even manifest physically. Such is the versatility and power of thoughts. To harness thoughts is the toughest of tasks. Haven’t you felt how extremely hard it is to stop undesirable thoughts from coming and to maintain a positive state of mind? So, Arjuna is right when he said, “It’s easier to control the wind than the mind!”

It’s a mighty task, no doubt. But as Krishna advised Arjuna—with abhyasa and vairagya we can subdue the mind. If you bring yogic practices and some degree of vairagya into your heart, it becomes easy. But, even that is a long way for us, no? If subduing this proverbial beast is not yet possible for us, then can’t we deal with mind differently? Yes, we can. 

So, the first way is to still the movements of the mind. The more the mind moves, the greater the trouble is. This is the yogi’s way. Not everybody wants to be a yogi though! But, there is a second way to deal with thoughts: let it all out! 

If we can’t stop our thoughts (especially negative thoughts) from coming, can’t we at least expel them from our minds? That is to say, to let them come, but not letting them stay in our minds; not letting them sit and roost. And we can achieve this through these techniques—

I. Write It Out: Whatever thought is bothering you—either pleasurable or painful—let it out by writing them down. Writing down our thoughts really helps to unburden the mind. And the greatest thing about writing is that it brings clarity, and you learn to express yourself in a better way. 

II. Confide In Someone: Talk to someone. Just let it out. Don’t harbour your cancerous thoughts. You know what, thoughts themselves can’t do anything to you unless you hang out with them! Don’t brood over your thoughts. This brooding tendency is the top-most killer of our mental peace. You can even talk to your chosen deity, your ishta, and say everything you want to say. You know, Christians have this practice. They go to church and confess whatever they want to confess to Jesus. Perhaps, you do it already. Try it. 

III. Change Your Mental Zone: Get involved in something that is creative, productive, and connects with your nature. Don’t sit idle. Engage yourself in study, sports, music, dance, art or in travelling. This is occupational therapy. You can do it yourself. 

IV. Meditate: And last but not the least, learn to meditate. There’s no greater antidote. Try with some mindfulness or breathing meditation. Learn some pranayam. It helps to stabilize our vital energies, which directly influences our mental state. Pranayama helps to calm the mind. 

And if nothing helps, you probably need professional psychiatric help. Seek an expert. Don’t hesitate. There’s plenty of help out there. You can seek medication or therapy or try to change your lifestyle. Usually, these problems come due to incoherent life-styles. 

So, that was it. I hope you have got some effective ways to deal with your mind now. I wish you health and happiness. 

Jai Shri Hari! 

Thank you.

Image Credit: istockphoto.

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