Take Control of Your Life

take control of your lifeI believe you’re going to agree with me when I say that generally speaking, people follow very similar patterns and behaviors in their daily living.

For instance, think of a person who is feeling overwhelmed and frustrated after having been at a task for a couple of hours without success… You know what happens next, right? The negative thoughts start pouring in as if from nowhere, making them feel disappointed, in a bad mood, and even worthless.

The good news is that you are different. You have chosen to seek personal growth and self-improvement, so you acquire the behaviors and habits of successful and happy people. The following tips offer practical suggestions to take control of your life as you shift into more positive thinking patterns and accomplish much more as a result. I hope these tips are helpful to you!

Take Control of Your Life

1. You are number one

Some would think this is a bit selfish but when you think about it, it’s very difficult to have positive thoughts or attain good results if you are not feeling good or funcioning properly. Thus, taking care of your health is a must. Eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep are essential to feel better and do your best.

2. Remember what you are grateful for

When you remind yourself of the good things that you have and feel grateful for them, the challenges and stress take a second seat even if for a while. From this state of gratefulness, you are able to perform better and accomplish more, so make it a point to take a few minutes every morning to appreciate the good stuff you have in your life. It will make a huge difference in your day.

3. Stop using absolutes

There are two words that should be avoided unless they make sense in a specific context. Do you know which words I’m talking about? If you say “always and never” you are right. When you think or speak in absolutes, the situation seems way worse than it actually is, and the statements take a negative connotation. Moreover, we unconsciously program our minds into believing that some people are incapable of doing or delivering something. Think about it… if you are late to a meeting with a friend and he says “You’re always late!”… how would you feel? And what idea is your friend creating of yourself in regard to punctuality?

4. Get rid of the “ANTs”

Dr. Daniel Amen talks about “ANTs” in his book titled “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life.” Automatic Negative Thoughts or ANTs are bad thoughts that seem to get activated automatically as a reaction to something stated or unspoken. Such is the case of a group of people who are laughing as you walk by and you immediately think they must be laughing about you. Another example is when your boss calls you to his office and you immediately think she’s going to reprimand you. Realize that these conclusions are not necessarily real. Most likely, they only exist in your mind. You are reacting negatively to something that’s happened in your environment. Even if you were right, ANTs will just make the situation worse. Thus, as soon as you notice ANTs, get rid of them!

5. Leave your negative thoughts behind

Similar to the one above, only this relates to the negative thoughts running in your mind regularly and on automatic without outside influence. The Buddhists call it “The Monkey Mind.” It is a way to describe the unsettled, restless mind. Consider that kind of thoughts exist just in your mind, and when you refrain from giving power to them, they’ll just disappear as fast as they appeared. It is when you engage and judge them that they linger, making you feel down or stuck, as you attract more negative thoughts. Don’t fight negative thoughts either. Just observe them as they come, witness them, and let them go. Meditation is a wonderful practice to help you calm the money mind.

6.  Do Not Make Assumptions

Often times we tend to mix thoughts with assumptions, and unless we are aware of this, it can affect our day or even our self-esteem. Such is the case of a friend or family member who is having a bad day, and you bump into them. They don’t talk to you because they are submerged in their own problems, and you end up assuming they have an issue with you.

Refrain from assuming. Don’t waste time trying to remember what you did wrong unless you know that there is something that needs to be addressed. Having said that, most of the time it’s just your imagination. When in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask.  Most likely they’ll tell you it is not your fault and you can even offer a listening ear or give them a word of comfort and encouragement.

7. Practice touching and loving (your friends and family)

The sense of touch can be almost miraculous. You don’t have to be an expert to know the benefits of a good hug, especially when your day has been rough. Positive physical contact among friends, loved ones, and even pets, can be an instant pick-me-up. One research study on this subject had a waitress lightly touch her customers on the arm as she handed them their checks. These customers gave her higher tips as compared to those that she didn’t touch!

8. Volunteer for a cause or help a person

One common trait to most humans is feeling good after helping in one way or another. Some of us can volunteer time, money, or resources, so whatever you can, just do it and enjoy the satisfaction that comes from helping. From the metaphysical viewpoint, remember that the more positive energy you put out into the world, the more you will receive in return. What a blesing giving is!

9. Increase your social activity

When you increase your activities with others, you decrease your loneliness. Surround yourself with healthy, happy people, and let their good energy affect you in a positive way!

10. Use pattern interruption

If you find yourself focusing on something negative repeatedly, use pattern interrupt to get out of it. Force yourself to do something completely different instead of rumminating non-stop. Rumination is never productive. It is an irrational way of thinking that’s not solution-oriented. It usually culminates in excessive worry and a feeling of being trapped. As soon as you catch yourself rumminating, change your physical environment to distract yourself and interrupt the pattern. Go for a walk, turn the TV on, call a friend, sit outside, listen to some music, pick up a book, or go grocery shopping.

There you have it. Follow these 10 tips and take control of your life. Do you have an extra tip to share that has helped you take control of your life? Please share in the space below. Thank you!

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4 Responses to Take Control of Your Life

  1. Serena June 5, 2017 at 2:57 AM #

    Keeping positive has been a lifetime struggle for me. I’m the kind of person who gets frustrated and upset often when things do go my way. Fortunately, my cousing turned me into positive thinking and reading personal growth stuff, and I’ve been improving on this. I still have a long way to go but I won’t stop. This post has helped me. Thanks!

    • Tammy June 5, 2017 at 6:41 PM #

      So glad to hear, Serena! Little by little, you accomplish big things. Keep it up!

  2. JP Sorbone June 5, 2017 at 7:34 AM #

    Number 7 strikes a chord. When I feel upset or sad, there is nothing like a good hug or pat on the back from my wife, my sons or a friend. It may not solve the problem, but I feel like a burden gets off my back and helps me think and feel better afterwards. Great article. Thanks, Tammy!

    • Tammy June 5, 2017 at 6:46 PM #

      I could not agree more, JP! Human touch is healing at so many levels. We are social creatures after all. Glad you enjoyed the article. I appreciate your time to visit the blog and to stop and comment. Namaste 🙂

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