Techniques to mental manage stress and anxiety.
First Impressions Matter
In the previous article (click here) we have seen that the first set of impression we form in the morning soon as we wake up set a mood for the day. Those set of thoughts and emotions are then amplified during the time we spend in the toilet. Similar thoughts get added and we have successfully determined the way our day is going to take shape.
Yes, we cannot control our thoughts. We haven’t all mastered the art of mind control. And control in most cases on ends up increasing or suppressing the thoughts we are trying to control. This only leads to future trouble. So trying not to think in a certain way is not the first step to do here. The trick is learning to ignore thoughts that we do not want to have.
So as soon as we wake up, our thoughts are usually determined by a few variables – the dreams that we had, the plan or expectations for the day, the events of the previous night (which also determined the nature of our dreams), or the circumstances in which we woke up (like woken up rudely by a grumbling member of the family). Anyway, we cannot control these thoughts. But what is under our control is how we react to those thoughts.
Changing our Reactions
We can choose to pick up negative thoughts and moods and amplify them by losing temper and calm. Or we can choose to move over those thoughts and think of some pleasant ones that will set our mood right.
Many think that this is easier said than done. Actually the opposite is true. It is easy to do most of the days and tough only at certain times. The success of the technique lies in knowing that a mood or thought continues as a mindless repetition and also because we want to be in that mood. By knowing this we can do two things to change the way our day’s experiences are shaped. One, since the thoughts are going to be mindless repetition, it means that they may continue for some time and all we need to do here is to ignore them.
Two, by knowing that we feel lousy because we want to, we can simply pause for a moment and ask ourselves how we want to feel throughout the day. That will immediately set our priorities right and we will be able to ignore the negative thoughts and choose to look at the day with positive expectations. The trick again is not to expect thoughts to go away or try to control them, instead to ignore them and focus on the positive.
Yes, there will be certain days where the first thoughts are related to our deep issues that we find it difficult not to want them. When you can’t do anything, the only way you can lessen the impact of that mood on your daily activities is by accepting the truth of the situation. Yes, I am angry and I am not willing to give it up. Accept it and it will help you move on to some extent. The mood could continue through the day, but it will not be as bad as it could be if you had been resisting the mood. Just accept it as such.
The next post, I will give you a very simple meditation technique to help your mind manage stress effectively.
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