Take control ...

Take control of your thoughts

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World renowned author and speaker, Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “know that you can always choose the thoughts you allow in your mind, so make the effort to replace disempowering, weakening thoughts with those of a higher spiritual frequency. It is your choice!”

I think many of us, myself included, can really use his advice…especially when the level of stress we live with these days is so incredibly high. 

Like many people, I do most of my heaviest thinking in private…whether it be in the shower, in the car on my way somewhere, or worse, lying in bed as I am trying to fall asleep.

Despite my efforts in becoming a more “enlightened male”, I do have periods of weakness where my irrational and negative thoughts sometimes get the best of me. I concoct these whacky scenarios in my mind about how events related to issues that I am currently dealing with, might play out.

I must give myself credit because the detail with which I think through these fabricated scenarios is amazing. I should really become a screenwriter or writer of fiction..because that is exactly what these scenarios are…a crock of nonsense.

I am usually quite hard on myself when I get into this mindset because of the reasons Dr. Dyer cites in this quote; the energy spent on these thoughts is unproductive and incredibly negative. Further, much to my disappointment, I do not own a crystal ball and cannot predict the future…no one can. I can speculate and anticipate what might happen but I will never know for sure until the future becomes present.

So why do we think about it so much? Why do we worry about what might happen tomorrow or the day after? Why do we try to anticipate the results of our actions or future events if we have absolutely no control over what will happen? Could it be because it is in our nature to worry? Is it because we are not living in the present?

Maybe.

Like many people, I have a lot on my plate…most of my issues are not any more uncommon than the next person but because I am living with them they seem like the most horrible thing in the world. I worry about finances, I worry about career, I worry about my health, I worry about those that are closest to me…I worry about getting older and I worry about bigger issues related to the shape of the world in which I live and what it will be like for my children and their children once I am gone.

Nothing really out of the ordinary.  Yet, when your mind begins to play out “what if” scenarios, you are devoting very valuable brain energy to things that really are beyond your control.

What will all this worry really do for me? Will it help me in dealing with any of these issues? Will it improve the situation? Will things get better if I worry about them more? If I construct these “what if” scenarios in my mind…will that help me out of the situation I am in?

The answer to all of these questions is NO!

So, if all of this thought and worry about things that are out of my control is not helping me out at all, then logic would dictate that I should just simply stop thinking about tomorrow and really just live in the moment.

The other reason why worrying about the future doesn’t serve me is because I could leave the comfort of my house after I finish writing this blog, walk down the steps to the sidewalk and take one step out onto the street and be struck down by a fast moving vehicle. If that happened…all that worrying would really be for nothing because I would be
deader than a door nail!

So…the next time you lay in bed at its really late and despite your best efforts with distractions like reading or watching late night shows and horrible infomercials, you can’t fall asleep because you feel the weight of the world is on your shoulders…just stop for a second.

Breathe in and out and clear your mind of all that worries you. I know, I know..easier said than done.

Here’s an idea I used to suggest to my children when they were younger when they couldn’t fall asleep. Think about an amazing event that happened to you in your life (the birth of a child, your
wedding day, a fabulous trip you took) and in your mind’s eye, recount that day
with the same kind of vivid detail that I had when I concocted those “what
if” scenarios that only freak me out and cause me more stress. If you are
thinking about a great trip you took, recount each day in detail…where you
went, what you saw, what you ate, how you felt. The energy created as a result
of these kinds of thoughts will be positive and actually calm you.

Fill your mind with positive thoughts…thoughts of gratitude for all that you have in your life. Chances are, there are probably more good things to think about in your life then
negative. However, we have a tendency of remembering bad things more then good
things. Its human nature. Isn’t it amazing how easy it is to remember a bad
experience at a restaurant or an unpleasant encounter with a store clerk or customer
service representative but its easy to forget how brilliantly blue a sky can be
on a gorgeous summer day or the sounds of rain hitting the roof during a summer
rain storm or the laugh of your child when you play tickle-torture with them?
Why is it easier to remember a horrible rush hour drive home, sitting in a car
not moving anywhere fast, then finding a loonie on the ground or rolling up the
rim to win and getting a free cup of coffee?

If you are able to fill your mind with these kinds of thoughts each day, the ability to cope with all the negative crap that sometimes comes at you will be easier to endure and you will
probably have an easier time closing your eyes and falling asleep then staying
up watching The Shopping Channel . 

Stephen Gosewich is an aspiring enlightened male. He spends his weekdays as a commercial real estate professional, and all other times just hanging out with his wonderfully supportive wife and two very active and inspiring daughters. He loves blogging, spinning and practices yoga. You can read his blog at www.theenlightenedmale.wordpress.com