Our thoughts are everywhere. Sometimes they can be handy in figuring things out, or sometimes they can overcomplicate things when they don't need to and many times they just can't help but be there, including now as you read this article. The bottom line is: your mind always has something to say.
Although practices such as meditation can be great tools in quieting the mind from its rampant chatter, the greatest tool we can ever develop is to regain control of the roller coaster that our mind takes us on. No matter how often it has something to say, it's ultimately always up to us in how we choose to react to what it has to say. Just like at an amusement park where we have the choice of which roller coaster we would like to ride, we also have the choice as to whether we let our life's roller coaster be the 5 out of 5 intensity of the BEHEMOTH, or the 1 out of 5 Jolly Taxi.
Rather than always trying to quiet the mind, here are 6 thoughts that we can all implement right now to throw our mind for a loop and make us all instantly happier:
1) When Has Laziness Ever Gotten Me Anywhere?
We all have a lazy bone within us, and many times succumbing to that laziness can be a great experience and an awesome opportunity to unwind. The issue arises when that lazy bone holds us back from doing something that either needs to be done or involves something that we are passionate about. All of the world's greatest thinkers, athletes, artists, builders, etc., all became that way because they refused to let laziness control their life.
"I can't relate to lazy people. We don't speak the same language. I don't understand you. I don't want to understand you." - Kobe Bryant
The bottom line is, in this life you are never going to be younger than you are right now, so if not now, when?
What to do if your mind objects: Rather than basking in the idea of how nice laziness can feel at times, and ultimately letting "I don't feel like it" dictate your decision, choose to look at the other option. Think of how great it feels to accomplish or be a part of something once you get yourself engaged in it. Let that guide you to say "yes," with the icing on the cake being how much better the relaxation will feel afterwards with the added incentive of having done something.
2) I Already Have Everything I Need
How many of you have ever heard someone say something like this to you? I'm going to start eating healthy and taking care of myself once I finish this project at work, break-up with the girl I'm dating and get my own place. This thought series -or any other one similar to it -I like to call the ultimate creator of being stuck in a limbo state. We identify a change we would like to make, something we are passionate about, but we choose to hold off on incorporating it until a handful of other cards all fall into place. The all too common end result? Those cards never line-up as we expect them to and years go by without us ever exploring the healthy life that we've always wanted to.
What to do if your mind objects: Remember that no matter how full our plate currently is, we can always make time to incorporate something that is important to us (think of how we always manage to make time to deal with emergencies.) Even if just in small doses at first -such as making one homemade lunch a week in the example above -these steps show our mind that we are choosing to take control and gets ourselves on a path to a happier version of our self.
3) I Choose To Focus On The Journey, Not The End Result
The world is a vast place with over 7 billion people. Rather than seeing this as a cool fact, many of us see it as a justification as to why we cannot do anything that will have a significant impact. Since our mind will obsess and compare with things of great magnitude, we will often choose to not even bother partaking in or initiating something that we are passionate about -something that if we did, would make us happier.
What to do if your mind objects: Keep two rebuttals in mind: (1) even the grandest things started small, (2) even the smallest thing has an impact on the entire world at a conscious level. We still have plenty of room to grow, but even Collective Evolution started as just 3 guys with an idea, an idea that slowly developed into the website, social media platform and film production company that it is today.
4) I Am Exactly Where I Need To Be
Comparison is at the core of many toxic thoughts, whether it be towards another person, a personal expectation or a socially developed norm. That being the case, our mind often loves to dwell upon the idea of being a failure to this point, which for many people can lead to "settling" or "rushing" to try and get themselves "there" as quickly as possible. Why not instead work on selling yourself on the idea that we are always exactly where we need to be?
What to do if your mind objects: Whether or not your mind chooses to agree with you being exactly where you need to, we can all agree that no matter what, there is nothing we can do to change the past. That being the case, choose to accept your life for what it has been, love yourself for who you are now and be present in the now, with no regard towards regrets. Choose to move forward rather than spend any more time thinking about how things could have gone differently.
5) I Can't Please Everyone
The mind is a very powerful creator, and speaking from personal experience, one of the areas that it particularly loves to create within is the idea of how others will react to something that you do. It will often create and obsess to the point that many of us choose to hold ourselves back from doing something that we felt pulled to, just to avoid the potential ridicule or friction that may or may not come from others in our life.
What to do if your mind objects: The first thing to note is that more often than not, people are far too consumed with their own lives to ever carry through on the ridicule that your mind expected them to. But even if they do, is it really worth holding yourself back to avoid facing? When you choose to let the potential opinion of others dictate your life you ultimately choose to willingly place yourself in a "safety" box that will likely never expand to explore many of your passions. Does that sound like happiness?
6) I'm Beautiful Just The Way I Am
This is by far the most specific of the thoughts that I chose to put on this list, but I feel its placement is justified because of the superficially obsessed world that we live in. Whether we're married, chronically single or have never been kissed it's amazing how many of us regularly inflict the idea of being ugly upon ourselves -myself included. Whether it be focused on particular aspects of ourselves that we feel fall short, or our entire physicality as a whole we seem to love thrusting negative thoughts towards this awesome gift that we have the privilege of inhabiting.
What to do if your mind objects: Choose to opt out of the world's "idea" of beauty and accept yourself for who you are. Whether or not the rest the world chooses to play along there is nothing more attractive than a person who is comfortable and confident in their own shoes. Be who you are and try throwing some nice comments towards yourself for a change.