By Ivana Separovic
Today, I will tell you about how I manage to get my thoughts more under control. This is something you can start practising right after you’re finished reading this article. As moms, we tend to have many thoughts every day because there is always something to organise, plan, prevent, or assess, and it can be quite draining since we tend to instantly react to our thoughts emotionally. Positive thoughts make us feel good, and negative thoughts make us feel miserable, etc. Now, it is important to understand that in the brain’s language, our emotional reaction means that the thought or thoughts must be really important since they received such intense feedback. It doesn’t matter if it’s a good one or a bad one. So for this reason, if we get angry at unwanted thoughts, we encourage their existence; it’s as if we poured petrol onto a fire.
Thoughts are constructed within neural pathways, which are like tiny highways connecting our brain cells, and we have trillions of these pathways. They generate approximately 60,000 thoughts daily, and this is beyond our control. What we can control is how we respond to the presence of our thoughts, and this is also a way to quiet the mind in the long run. Let me explain how.
A thought appears in the mind – let’s say it is a negative one like ‘I am not good enough,’ and it receives a minimal response. The brain takes it as, ‘Oh, this thought is useless; my master doesn’t seem to care about it at all!’ and begins to diminish the associated neural pathways. Over time, the thought becomes less frequent. This is how I managed to eliminate many of my negative thoughts – I cut off their fuel supply, my attention, and my emotional response.
This is how I managed to eliminate many of my negative thoughts – I cut off their fuel supply, my attention, and my emotional response.
Let me give you an example of how it works in practice. When I need to take a break from my busy mind, the first thing I do is take a step back and become aware that I am having thoughts. Then, I consciously decide that I don’t care. I don’t care about what my thoughts are saying, and I don’t care how many of them start rolling in. I choose not to react to their presence. In that moment, my thoughts are downgraded to some ‘blah blah’ noise in my head. No matter how busy or negative the mind may be, I am free from them. Even just a few seconds of doing this provide me with so much freedom, and, once again, this is also a way to quiet the mind in the long run. It’s a win-win.
Another thing I do is focus on something else. I push my shoulders down, put a smile on my face, and take a deep inhale and exhale. Breathing is perhaps the quickest way to start feeling better, as it helps release calming hormones into the brain. Here I am switching my mindset. Then I might choose to pay attention to something that occurs in my surroundings – Lucia having one of her make-believe plays, a bird chirping, a song playing on the radio. Instead of being lost in my thoughts, I decide where I want my focus to be.
Okay, that’s it for today. I hope everything is clear. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me an email. Be proud of yourself for being here, striving to personally grow. Take care.
Yours, Ivana Xxx
Ivana Separovic is a Holistic Therapist and Nutritionist. She has spent years practising mindfulness, which has helped her to navigate the ups and downs of motherhood. Visit the Mindful Original website to find out more and join their communities on Facebook and Instagram.