Categories
Careers-in-Art

How to free your mind

How to free your mind

Often we find ourselves feeling crestfallen, low-spirited, and/or depressed at random times. We can’t always explain why it is we have this feeling but we do. One reason is that we are trapped in our heads. Sometimes your own mind can work against you, but it’s up to you to conquer it.

Some say that it’s most effective if you express your feelings and not keep things bottled up. The best way for most people to do that is to confide in someone however, not everyone feels like they have someone to talk to. And because of that there are many alternatives such as writing in a journal, writing music, doing something enjoyable, and much more.

As said before, we are trapped in our heads. We sit all day and let our minds wander, producing more negative thoughts which is not healthy. We have to realize that we cannot let temporary things affect us permanently. Storms don’t last forever and you cannot heal if you aren’t doing things to actually help you heal. Learn that you cannot control everything, everything is not in your hands. You may not understand why some things are the way that they are, but you have to let it be because things happen for a reason. It may not be to your liking in the moment, but it’ll be worth it in the long run. Sitting all day thinking does not help your situation. Go out, try new things, explore, do anything possible that will prevent you from getting deep in your thoughts. To reiterate, you cannot heal if you aren’t making an effort to.

Disclaimer: If you or someone you know is feeling especially bad or suicidal, get help by speaking to a trusted adult right away.

Learning how to free your mind from worry, and reduce the overall amount of stress in your life is the key to having a happier and more fulfilling life.

There is nothing more agonizing, when you have problems from work, your relationship or health affecting your mind. However there are several simple techniques that can learn which can be used to free yourself from the burden of worry and help you to feel relaxed, even when something is bothering you.

1. Avoid Anticipating Negative Outcomes
Worry is created by the feeling that you have no control of a situation which you believed will lead to a negative consequence.

If you pay close attention to your thoughts, you’ll discover that most of your worry comes from anticipated negative outcomes about the future or the past. You are spending your time imagining a perceived reality about past events that may or may not come true which only leads to anxiety.

The answer to this is to learn how to live in the present whereby you learn to keep your mind focused in the moment, rather than the past or future. This will greatly free up your mental resources and allow you to feel a deeper peace in your life.

2. Learn To Let Things Go
There is a well known phrase that says “just let it go”, this is true as you cannot control everything.

When a negative situation happens in life, you tend to get angry and frustrated. This causes our emotions to take over and react badly towards a problem. When your mind is relaxed you can make better decisions about the problems that you face because you are thinking clearly and rationally.

A great technique that you can use whenever you are in a stressful situation is to count to ten slowly in your mind this will help you to release your anger and frustration.

3. Learn To Take Deep Breaths
This tip may sound may seem like an obvious technique to use, but learning how to use breathing techniques when you are stressed have shown to have profound effects on your life.

When people become stressed their breathing tends to become short and shallow, which often triggers an anxious state within our body. Therefore, practicing the skill of deep, diaphragmatic breathing can be very valuable preparation for when you’re put in a situation which causes worry.

Using slow, deep breaths which expand your stomach area rather than your chest, will slow your heart rate, calm your thoughts, and help you to feel more centered regardless of the chaos which may be flying around you. This will also allow you to get a grip of your thoughts and see how you’re creating the feeling of worry and why it’s safe to let go of this additional stress in your life, especially when it’s over something you can’t immediately control.

Download our eBooks to your smartphone and desktop.

Ultimately, learning how to stop worrying is a skill that can take time to master. But once you learn to let go of this habit, you’ll be able to study your problems with a clear mind and find the solution without as much struggle. What’s more, the constant burden of worrisome thoughts will be gone so your brain will be experiencing less stress on a daily basis which in turn, will improve your health in general.

About the author
Eva Bright is the founder & CEO of Recipe To Great Health Publishing, who provide stress and anxiety courses that helps people to learn how to strategically reduce their everyday stress.

How to free your mind

Stop taking everything too personally and becoming upset by what people say and do.

How to free your mind

Worrying can get the better of almost anybody. Work stresses, personal concerns, and sometimes even irrational thoughts can seep into your mind and interfere with your ability to concentrate on ordinary tasks. Unfortunately, stopping those worries isn’t easy–there’s no “off switch” that can shut your worried thoughts down. However, there are a handful of habits that, once integrated into your life, can force your worries to leave and free up your mind to focus on more positive, productive things.

If you find yourself excessively worried, try one or more of these habits to relieve yourself.

1. Establish a designated “worry time.”

You know you’re going to worry about something most days, so instead of letting the worries control your thoughts, set aside time so you can control your worries. Establish a period of time during your day–like between 3:00 and 3:30–that you allow yourself to worry. Some research from Penn State University suggests that setting aside a period like this can help you defer your worries to a later period, freeing up your plagued mind for more productive activity in the present moment. Additionally, you can use that worry time as productively as possible by working to find solutions for your problems, rather than just focusing on the problems themselves.

2. Compile your worries in a list.

Most people encounter worries in groups; instead of just one problem coming across your mind, a dozen separate or related problematic thoughts start nagging at you. When this happens, try writing them down in a list (and don’t just list them in your head, either–you’ll see why in a moment). This helps reduce your worried thoughts in two ways. First, it forces you to confront and catalog your worries, oftentimes rationalizing them or grouping them so that your six small worries really only boil down to two core ones. Second, it gives you a visualized list of items you’re worried about. They’ll seem smaller on a sheet of paper, and you’ll feel better about whatever it is you’re facing.

3. Busy yourself.

This may seem like an obvious bit of advice, but forcing yourself to work on something while you’re worried really can make your worried thoughts go away. The key here is to occupy your hands or your mind–preferably both–in some task that requires a level of focus. For example, you could busy yourself with a task you don’t mind doing that requires your concentration, or pull up a mobile game on your phone and lose yourself in it. With the right task, you’ll surrender your mind in a matter of moments, and your worries will slip away.

4. Talk to someone about something else.

In a similar strategy of distraction, occupy yourself by talking to someone else nearby–it can be anybody, as long as the topic is something other than your worries. Doing so engages the language and emotional components of your brain, forcing you to invest in the conversation rather than the internal conversation that’s causing your worries. As long as you can keep this up and keep it interesting for a few minutes, your attention will likely shift to the topic of conversation (and away from your worries).

5. Meditate.

For meditation to be effective, you have to practice it during moments of calm. Whenever you aren’t worried or distracted, find a few minutes to clear your mind. Don’t think of anything, and if you find a thought entering your head, calmly acknowledge it and let it go. This level of mindfulness is difficult to achieve, even under perfectly calm circumstances, but with practice, you’ll be able to enter that meditation seamlessly. Once you’ve practiced enough, you’ll be able to call on meditation in even the most stressful or worrying situations.

6. Physically exercise.

My guess is you’re already well aware of the innumerable mental and physical benefits that exercise provides. It releases serotonin, a “happy” chemical, and reduces stress so you feel better throughout the day. In addition to and in combination with those effects, exercising regularly can decrease anxiety levels, so you literally find yourself worrying less. Exercising in the morning can lead you to fewer worries throughout the day, but if you do find yourself worrying, you can always sneak away for a quick walk or jog around the block to free your mind.

7. Disconnect from your phone and the internet.

Our limitless communications are a major source of worry and anxiety, whether you realize it or not. The constant beeping of incoming emails, calls, and text messages can whip your mind into a worried frenzy, and even innocuous activities like checking your Facebook feed can introduce you to negative news, querulous friends, and event reminders that equally worry you. Don’t let these forms of communication interfere with your thoughts. Whenever you can afford to, disconnect entirely–that means turning off your phone and unplugging (or disconnecting from) the internet. You’ll feel better afterward. I can almost guarantee it.

I call these “habits” for a reason; while some of them can work in random, one-off instances, the majority of them gain power when you use them regularly as an evasion tactic for worried thoughts. Don’t be frustrated or disheartened if you’re still affected by worries after using one–instead, try a different strategy and work to integrate both as institutions in your life for a healthier, freer mind.

How to free your mind

The brain is one of the most important organs in our body and controls our conscious habits. Simulating the brain occasionally will improve its functionality. Develop a growth mindset Focus on change and growth instead of your current abilities Acknowledge skills that you have but you should also believe that you have plenty more to […]

How to free your mind

How To Deal With Guilt

Note: The views, information and, opinions expressed in this blog are solely of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent those of Free Your Mind Initiative and Speak Your Mind. The contents of this blog are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of […]

Positively creative ways to turn anxiety into productivity

Anxiety is a normal emotion and even healthy in small increments. If it becomes debilitating and prevents you from living your life productively, whether it may be our relationships, social life, and work, here are some tips: 1. Challenge your thoughts Anxious thoughts are intrusive cognitively distorted thoughts that magnify futuristic uncontrollable thoughts of negative […]

Attachment Wounds? The healing process?

Note: The views, information and, opinions expressed in this blog are solely of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent those of Free Your Mind Initiative and Speak Your Mind. The contents of this blog are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of […]

Is Your Brain on Autopilot? Here Are Some Tips to Overcome it.

Note: The views, information and, opinions expressed in this blog are solely of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent those of Free Your Mind Initiative and Speak Your Mind. The contents of this blog are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of […]

5 Tips For Coping With Homesickness

Note: The views, information and, opinions expressed in this blog are solely of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent those of Free Your Mind Initiative and Speak Your Mind. The contents of this blog are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of […]

How to free your mind

A Holistic Approach to Mental Health

Note: The views, information and, opinions expressed in this blog are solely of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent those of Free Your Mind Initiative and Speak Your Mind. The contents of this blog are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of […]

How to free your mind

7 Ways To Not Be Sad On Halloween!

Note: The views, information and, opinions expressed in this blog are solely of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent those of Free Your Mind Initiative and Speak Your Mind. The contents of this blog are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of […]

Languishing, flourishing, or depressed?

There is a psychological state that is between that is neither being flourished nor depressed. It isn’t burnout because you still have energy but you lose sense of purpose, feeling stagnant in life, joyless. Seemingly your life seems bleak and dull. It’s called languishing. Languish is a term coined by sociologist Corey Key defined as […]

Returning to a Stressful Academic Year: University Edition

The stress you feel when it comes to preparing for school is completely valid. Summer is coming to an end. The sunshine, free time spent with friends, and everything else that comes with the summer are truly ending (mind you that it was predicted to snow in September). The end of the summer marks the […]

Look away for a minute. Stare into the distance. Let your mind glide from one thought to another. This, in some ways, is your brain at its most remarkable.

New research suggests that daydreaming and wool-gathering aren’t just relaxing and rejuvenating. They’re specialised mental functions that correspond to a unique pattern of brain waves linked to creativity and problem-solving. Put the mind on autopilot, give it enough free rein and it starts to pick points to focus on at random, from whatever juts out of the mental landscape. A recipe for tomorrow (note: try xyz ingredient as bookmarked earlier); a tiff with a colleague (try abc as a different tack); the kid’s school project (oh… we forgot to hit send when we were done). And so it is that one “suddenly” remembers, realises, re-checks.

What looks outwardly like a person sitting around doing nothing is in truth a necessary and effective kind of “clean out inbox and clear cache” function. The ability to let the mind wander comes naturally. Why would the brain have honed this unusual skill? “Its most important function is to aid survival and, in the face of a challenge, assess threats and opportunities so as to identify the best possible outcomes. That could be the reason why our minds have learnt to wander,” says Sonal Anand, a consultant psychiatrist at Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai.

A wandering mind scrolls through problems in the head, lists possible outcomes and courses of action. “Sometimes it allows you to see with greater perspective. In a wandering mind, all these thoughts find a place to exist,” Anand says.

As screens crowd the mental horizon, studies have analysed the impact of not making enough time for the mind to wander. A recent study led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley (co-authored by researchers from the Universities of Calgary, Virginia and New Hampshire), has additionally used EEG scans to confirm that it is in tuning out the external world and allowing thoughts to move freely that one can promote relaxation and exploration both.

Using electroencephalograms to measure brain activity, the researchers sought to identify four different categories of thinking: task-related, freely moving, deliberately constrained and automatically constrained. Their findings, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in January, state that when thoughts moved freely from one topic to the next, there was an increase in alpha wave activity in the brain’s frontal cortex, a pattern related to the generation of creative ideas.

“For the first time, we have neurophysiological evidence that distinguishes different patterns of internal thought, allowing us to understand the varieties of thought central to human cognition and to compare between healthy and disordered thinking,” writes the study’s senior author Robert Knight, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at UC Berkeley.

So while you’re driving, walking the dog, scrolling through a timeline, your mind flits in and out of the task at hand. When it’s not focused on the post, the path or the road you’re on, it’s on autopilot again, vrooming over your thoughtscape, looking for large or small fires to fight, quietly coming up with a workaround to something your brain had been tasked with and had been waiting to work on in the background.

“This type of wandering is unintentional, but highly functional,” says mindfulness teacher Manish Behl. “Intentional mind-wandering is also what we know of as divergent thinking.”

Which is not to say that a wandering mind cannot be a negative. The most obvious drawback of a mind that wanders too much is the harm to essential tasks that need to be attended to in the now. Another drawback can come from what the wandering mind flits between and settles on. “Whether it’s purposeful or spontaneous, the contents of your daydreaming will depend on what kind of mood you are in,” says Behl.

Want to help your mind wander? Give it space. Step away from tasks and chores and, crucially, don’t fill the vacant time with distractions. Put the phone down, look into the distance. Perhaps inspiration will strike. Maybe a reminder will go off in your head. At the very least you’ll be more alert and effective when you return to your day.

Do you feel like your brain is in serious overdrive? A stream of clutter slowly turning your mental space into a chaotic mess? If the answer is yes, it means that your mind is frantically waving a red flag, begging you to free up some headspace.

Just like our cabinets and cupboards, our minds too need tidying up from time to time. Getting rid of all that non-essential mental baggage is crucial to stay focused, motivated and productive.

Here are ten simple yet effective tips to help you de-clutter your mind in no time:

1. Set Priorities: Famous American poet Bill Copeland had rightly said, “the trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” Prioritizing is a great way to proactively take charge of your life. The first step is to figure out what are the things that matter the most to you, your life aspirations and your long-term goals? Prepare a list of your top priorities and make sure that your actions and the decisions you take reflect the priorities you set. The next step is to create an action plan to meet those set goals and to work on how you want to divide your time to focus on each item on that list. It’s important to note that your list of priorities might change as you grow older and that is totally okay as long as you check in with yourself regularly and ensure that those priorities are still serving you.

2. Keep A Journal: Journaling is a great way to relax your mind by analyzing and organizing your thoughts. According to a research published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, expressive writing eliminates intrusive thoughts about negative events and improves working memory. Researchers believe that these improvements may, in turn, free up our cognitive resources for other mental activities, including the ability to manage stress more effectively. Writing in a daily journal can also help manage anxiety and cope with depression, as it’s a healthy outlet to release bottled emotions, states a University of Rochester Medical Center report. You don’t have to be a prolific writer to start a journal. For beginners, bullet journaling is one of the easiest techniques to try out.

3. Learn To Let Go: “Accept yourself, love yourself, and keep moving forward. If you want to fly, you have to give up what weighs you down,” writes author Roy T. Bennett in his book The Light in the Heart. It is important to let go of all the negative thoughts and emotions that make you feel bogged down. Eliminating unnecessary thoughts, fears and concerns help reduce stress, boost self-esteem and free up mental space. Monitor your thoughts regularly and try to replace your negative thoughts with positive ones.

4. Avoid Multitasking: I know, I know. It sounds counter-productive. But trust me, preparing that office presentation while updating your Instagram and looking for a secret Santa gift online for your roommate is not that helpful. While there’s no harm in occasional multitasking, constant juggling between tasks limits your attention span, increases stress and creates additional clutter by making it difficult for your brain to filter out irrelevant information. In fact, a study conducted by Stanford University showed that heavy multitasking lowers efficiency and may impair your cognitive control. The solution is to single-task as much as possible. Make a list of things you need to accomplish that day. Keep the to-do list simple and realistic. Start with what’s most important and make your way down the list, completing one task at a time.

5. Breathe: Take a deep breath. Pause. Exhale slowly. Repeat. How does it feel? Great, right? Deep breathing is a simple yet effective technique to clear your mind, induce tranquility and elevate your mood instantly. It lowers the heart rate and blood pressure and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system which helps your body relax. Other than being a stress-reliever, breathing exercises also promote concentration and strengthen your immunity system.

6. Declutter Your Workspace: Did you know that people with a messy workspace are less efficient and more frustrated than those who have an organized work desk? Well, now you do! So don’t put off until tomorrow; declutter your workspace ASAP. You can start by getting rid of all the non-essential items and assigning a proper place to everything. The best way to keep things organized without feeling overwhelmed or exhausted is to clean up your work desk every day before you go home.

7. Be Decisive: Professional organizer Scott Roewer has rightly put it, “clutter is simply delayed decisions” . When you constantly put off making decisions, your brain becomes overwhelmed by all the clutter that’s created by those pending decisions. So stop procrastinating and make that call. Whether it’s about the house you want to buy or that email you’ve been avoiding for so long. For simple decisions, carefully evaluate the pros and cons and don’t look back once you’ve made up your mind. For more important decisions, you can try the WRAP method, a technique discussed by the Heath brothers in Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work.

8. Share Your Thoughts: Talking to a loved one about how you feel is a great way to release pent-up emotions. Sharing your thoughts with others can also help you look at things from a fresh perspective which can help you think clearer and make better decisions.

9. Limit The Amount Of Media Intake: The media you consume has a huge impact on your mental health. We spend hours online: reading blogs, managing Pinterest boards, watching viral videos on YouTube, etc. This abundance of information can clog your brain, causing stress and anxiety. Limiting the amount of information you consume is necessary to get rid of all that media-related clutter from your mind. You can start by setting a limit on the amount of time you spend on social media. Also, be selective about your media consumption (avoid negative content, follow only reliable media outlets for news updates, etc.) and organize your email regularly.

10. Take Some Time To Unwind: Last but not the least, take a break! Your brain needs to rest and recharge in order to perform smoothly. So switch off your phones and laptops and do something that makes you feel happy. Whether it’s a long nap or a walk in the park.

So, what musty thoughts and emotions are catching dust in your mental closet? It’s time to identify that junk and get rid of it for good!

11 ways to snap out of autopilot and get back in touch with your body.

  • By Elisha Goldstein and Stefanie Goldstein
  • May 30, 2016

Often we get so caught up in planning and daydreaming and constructing stories that we forget we even have a body. What’s happening in our bodies is as here-and-now as it gets, so take some time to check in and notice your body. It’ll help you pop out of autopilot, develop more awareness, and make better choices.

1. Know your body

A simple body scan is a great way to tap into the power of your body. Lay down, close your eyes, and get curious about the sensations you’re feeling—like tingling, warmth, coolness, tension—and become intimate with them as they shift and change from your feet to your head.

2. Cut stress with regular check-ins

Throughout the day our bodies tend to accumulate stress. Do hourly checkins, taking a deep breath and noticing where tension arises—maybe in the brow, jaw, shoulders, or abdomen. Allow the tense places to soften as you breathe, then stretch and adjust your posture.

3. Savor the good

We often feel our emotions, both positive and negative, in our bodies. The next time you feel good, notice how this manifests physically. Does your body feel relaxed? Is there warmth in your chest, or a slight smile across your face? Becoming aware of positive emotions allows us to broaden our momentary perspective and spark positive reactions, like the urge to savor and appreciate beautiful scenery or the impulse to play. Inevitably this builds greater personal resources. This process is what researcher Barbara Frederickson has coined “The Broaden and Build Theory.”

4. Raise your emotional intelligence

Listen to the moment-to-moment clues your body gives you about how you’re feeling. By simply noticing these clues, you’ll gradually increase your emotional intelligence—which is your ability to understand and manage your emotions.

5. Be like Superman!

Social psychologist Amy Cuddy’s research shows us that certain poses can actually increase confidence and reduce stress. Try standing like Superman, with your back straight, chest upright, heart open, and hands at your waist—then hold for two minutes.

6. Revel in daily tasks

Our brains are wired to make daily tasks into routine actions so we can focus on novel activities. But when we bring curiosity and awareness to simple tasks, like washing dishes or taking a shower, the mundane comes alive again. Next time you shower, for example, notice how the water feels on your skin, the sweet smell of the shampoo, the sound of droplets falling. It might just be the best shower you’ve ever taken!

7. Tune your heart

An essential component of well-being is nurturing a loving heart, and we can use the body to do this. Take one or two hands and place them on your heart, think of someone who makes you smile, and in your mind wish them well.

8. Feel your center

The abdomen is often called “the core” of the body and we can use it for strength and grounding. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, take one or two hands and place them on your belly. Then take a few slow deep breaths, noticing how they ground you.

9. Move your body

Most us spend too much of the day sitting, so naturally our bodies get stiff. This encourages tension, stress, and stuckness. By moving your body—changing your posture, opening up your chest, doing gentle twists, or sun salutations—you become more present.

10. Laugh it out

A study out of Loma Linda University showed that laughing for short periods of time can help us reduce stress and increase short-term memory. Another study out of the University of Maryland showed that laughter can protect against heart disease. Spend more time with people who make you laugh and doing things that make you laugh. Plus, laughter is contagious, so when you laugh, you are positively impacting the world.

11. Smile wide

Like laughter, a half-smile sends a signal to the brain that something good is happening. Experiment with gently smiling throughout the day and see how it feels.

A Box of Simple Advice

The body gives us a way to identify emotions, so we can practice self-compassion toward negative emotions and learn to savor positive ones. We can activate our biological healing process and open the door for happiness. The next time you notice a strong difficult emotion arising, try this SAFE practice:

S: Soften the muscles of your body

A: Allow the body to be as it is without a need to fix anything

F: Feel any emotions in your body. Ask yourself what you need: To feel safe, to accept yourself as you are, to find inner strength.

E: Expand your positive intentions to all people everywhere. You might say, “May all people feel safe, be strong, be happy.”

How to free your mind

You’re headed to bed early – excited to finally get a full night’s rest. But as soon as your head hits the pillow, your brain is consumed with an unwanted, disturbing thought. You continue to dwell on that thought, tossing and turning all night long.

Have you ever experienced a similar scenario where an unwelcome thought seemingly appeared out of nowhere?

Most likely, you have. A study on the general population found that around 99.4% of individuals experience intrusive thoughts occasionally. However, only 13% of those individuals experience them frequently.

What Causes Intrusive Thoughts?

While it’s completely normal to experience intrusive thoughts from time-to-time, the underlying problem with them occurs when we continue to obsess and worry about them. So, it comes as no surprise that intrusive thoughts are associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety disorders.

While intrusive thoughts can be random, a person’s own life experience or reactions to an event typically influences them. For example, someone may see a report on their local news station about a burglary. This report can subconsciously cause obsessive thoughts that a burglar may break into their own home.

Intrusive thoughts come in a variety of forms, but some of the most common themes include:

  • Committing violence or harm to oneself or others
  • Engaging in sexually inappropriate behaviors
  • Fear-based thoughts

Five Tips to Stop Intrusive Thoughts

The good news is that disturbing thoughts don’t have to consume your life. You can overcome and free your mind from them. Next time you’re faced with an intrusive thought, keep these five tips in mind.

1. Don’t suppress the thought

For many people, the first reaction they have when faced with an intrusive thought is to try to forget it about it. Unfortunately, this method results in the exact opposite effect – you end up thinking about the intrusive thought even more.

An experiment by Daniel Wegner, a psychology professor at Harvard University, demonstrated this concept. He asked participants in the study not to think about white bears for 5 minutes, and guess what happened? The participants thought about white bears more than once per minute on average.

Instead of consciously suppressing your thought, try to divert your attention away from it with an engaging activity. For example, try completing a crossword puzzle or reading a book.

Make sure you aren’t switching between a bunch of tasks. Fully immerse yourself in a single activity, and make sure it can’t be linked back to the intrusive thought in any way. For example, if you’re having intrusive thoughts related to death, it wouldn’t make sense to divert your attention by reading a book about murder.

2. Recognize the difference between thought and reality

A big concern for many people with intrusive thoughts is the fear they may act out on a dark intrusive thought, such as harming someone they love. They want to understand the meaning behind these thoughts and seek reassurance that they won’t commit them.

However, intrusive thoughts are what they suggest – just thoughts. These thoughts are not a sign of what’s to come, and there is no intent to act on them, no matter what your OCD or anxiety wants you to believe.

With that in mind, accept these thoughts as mere thoughts when they arise. Let them pass freely through your mind – recognizing them, but not allowing them to consume you. By accepting intrusive thoughts as just another thought, you’ll become less likely to worry about them over time.

3. Identify the triggers

Often, your thoughts are not entirely random, and your day-to-day interactions may influence them. Keeping a journal of your intrusive thoughts can help you understand patterns over time.

In addition to listing out your thoughts, keep a record of your overall mood, and notes about your day. As you start to notice similar thoughts appearing over time, refer back to those notes, and see if you can identify any patterns.

Maybe these thoughts were happening when you had a lot of free time, or perhaps they were occurring after you watched a violent movie. By tracking these patterns, you may be able to pin down the root cause and fix the underlying issue.

4. Implement a positive change into your daily routine

If you infuse your life with more positive vibes, you’re less likely to have space for negative ones. So why not integrate a lifestyle change that’s proven to make you feel good and develop it into a consistent habit?

Some examples of changes you could make in your daily routine include:

  • Developing healthier eating habits

If you notice yourself having intrusive thoughts more commonly in the morning, implement these activities as soon as you wake up. A shift in your mindset could do wonders in shaking off intrusive thoughts.

5. Talk it out and don’t rule out therapy

Many people feel ashamed to admit they’re having intrusive thoughts or even experience feelings of guilt related to them. They attempt to deal with their thoughts on their own and keep them hidden from others.

However, talking through your feelings with someone you trust can be extremely beneficial. By being open and vulnerable about how you’re feeling and what you’re experiencing, you may develop a whole new perspective on your situation.

For some people, talking to a stranger can be easier than talking to someone you know. In this scenario, therapy can be a good option. There are many types of therapy available – both in individual and group settings. Do your research and take time to evaluate all of your options.

Intrusive thoughts happen to us all from time to time. With a little bit of focus and commitment, you can overcome your intrusive thoughts. Your success depends on your ability to fight the urge to worry and obsess over them.

How to free your mind

How to free your mind

Photo: © Thinkstock Photos/Getty Images (Main Image)

There is a fierce belief that your mind has the ability to take control over some aspects of your being. This could be a good thing or a bad one but most times, it’s bad. Certain parts of your mind function differently from the rest and that can influence your behaviour in unpleasant ways and make you feel uneasy and restless because your mind is not in tune with how ‘you’ envision it to be. Freeing your mind of negative thinking and toxicity of any sort becomes an important ordeal, something you need to do, to live a happy and fearless life. To have control over your mind, displaying a high level of self control and positive thinking to change your behaviour is the key!

Here are 5 ways you can free your mind of any unwatned thoughts invading it and take control in a more positive and appropriate way! Freedom from toxic and negative thoughts is what eventually helps us flourish in life, after all.

Learn To Control Your Emotions

We definitely don’t mean that you become jaded and don’t acknowledge your emotions at all. We mean that your emotions should not take over your mind and become too toxic for you to handle. The limbic system in the brain helps control the reactions we have towards certain emotions. Sometimes there is a chemical imbalance and sometimes we probably can’t decipher our emotions well. The best thing to do in this situation is recognise what thoughts to disregard and what thoughts to value. Easier said than done, but if you have a negative emotional thought coming your way, take charge and tell your mind that you’re way greater than the toxicity this emotion is bringing to you. Substitute that toxic thought with a happier one and trick your mind in to overcoming bad emotional thoughts!

How to free your mind

© Thinkstock Photos/Getty Images

Believe In Yourself

The most clichéd yet relevant practice ever, is self belief. It really helps to free your mind of corrosive layers if you believe in yourself, at all times. Using positive thinking to face your problems and doing that while you’re confident that things will change can really rid copious amounts of toxicity stored in your mind. Try it. Tell yourself everyday that you’re much stronger than that ridiculous problem at hand.

How to free your mind

© Thinkstock Photos/Getty Images

Meditate Or Practice Silence

One of the best ways to make space in your mind and to change your thoughts towards them being more calming is practicing meditation. It helps clear the mind and helps you move to a relaxed physical and mental state. Meditation usually helps de-clutter the mind, rid overwhelming feelings and cut out some prominent stress. There are different forms of meditation you can explore to see which one suits you best. Another way to deal with a cluttered mind is to practice some silence and be very conscious about your own thoughts. It could be a form of silent meditation and you can sit in your room in absolute silence and consciously listen to and acknowledge positive thoughts.

How to free your mind

© Thinkstock Photos/Getty Images

Stop Jumping To Conclusions

Jumping to conclusions is another form of assuming something that may or may not happen. More often than not, whatever we assume takes the form of negativity and wrecks havoc in our mind and makes us bitter. Sometimes the force of that negative thought is so strong that the assumption may come to life. The best thing to do to avoid this is to stop jumping to conclusions that are counter-productive or negative in nature. Depend on your own actions and always think positive and happy.

How to free your mind

© Thinkstock Photos/Getty Images

Smile, Even If You Don’t Feel Like It

It’s a great habit to form. No we’re not saying smile even when you’re going through hell. Well yes, but do it so that you intuitively feel like smiling. Smiling releases a lot of stress naturally and causes happiness. It’s a known fact. If you’re not happy and there is nothing to smile about, it’s fine but if you remember to smile during the times that you’re low, you can actually create some happy chemicals in your brain, making your mind believe that the problem is actually quite trivial and change the pattern of that negative thought completely! So smile, always!

How to free your mind

© Thinkstock Photos/Getty Images

There are many other things you can keep in mind on a daily basis to relieve your mind of negativity, stress and heavy emotions. You can trick your mind into believing that every thought coming out of it is a happy thought and that you’re free of the negativity – shackles your mind binds you in. Practice these five ways to free your mind, now!