Nature will not tolerate idleness or vacuums of any sort. All space must be and is filled with something. When the individual does not use the brain for the expression of positive, creative thoughts, nature fills the vacuum by forcing the brain to act upon negative thoughts.
Being in control is like a warm bath for our brain.
It helps us feel like we can predict things, which makes us feel safe, which is what the brain is always striving for.
Feeling in control alleviates anxiety (when we worry about the future).
But what is in control anyway?
My definition is; you know you have control of nothing other than yourself.
In fact, trying to control the outside world will essentially make you feel crazy.
Why? Because you have no power over anything in life.
You don’t know on any given day what will happen. You don’t know whether your boss will show up in a good mood or a bad mood. You won’t control your kid waking up sick, bad traffic, bad weather, your co-worker being a jerk, or any other random thing.
So, what can you control? How can you lessen your worries and anxieties?
The answer; manage yourself.
How do you manage yourself?
Something that I’ve come to realize (and pretend) is I have a kingdom that I’m the ruler of — I know it sounds a little out there but stay with me.
Being the ruler of my kingdom helps me have control — keeping in mind the outside world, outside of my kingdom, has nothing to do with me or my control.
But inside the kingdom, is all mine. And my kingdom consists of my mind, body, and soul — the only things I have control of.
Control your mind
One way to step into being the ruler of your kingdom is to understand that your mind will go crazy on its own.
Left to its own devices — without you managing it — it will get completely out of control. If you suffer from worrying, anxiety, panic attacks, pay close attention here.
Because left to do as it wishes, the mind will hyperdrive into the negative because one of its main jobs is to keep you safe.
And since it doesn’t have an obvious target to fixate on (saber-tooth tigers roaming around freely), it will do it’s best to create bad situations or to find them so it can fix things and keep you safe — which is its job.
The brain is always “doing” something
Have you ever been given a job and felt like you were not doing anything?
I remember I felt this way several times when I was younger — like sitting at the pool lifeguarding with nobody there.
What did I do? I created work for myself. I found something to do.
The brain is the same way.
The brain will come up with things if you don’t control it and give it something to do proactively.
And unfortunately, its version of staying busy naturally goes toward the negative.
In his book, Outwitting the Devil, Napolean Hill says, “There can be no idleness in the brain. Understand this principle, and you will come into a new and important understanding of the part environmental influences take in the lives of human beings. You will better understand, also, how the law of hypnotic rhythm operates, it being the law which keeps everything and everyone constantly moving through some form of expression of either negative or positive principles.”
Your job is to be a ruler
So, your job as the ruler of the kingdom is to ensure you take control of the brain. You need to give it positive questions and tasks.
Tony Robbins says, “the quality of your life is a direct reflection of the quality of the questions you are asking yourself.”
This translates into, if you don’t actively give yourself a positive, quality question, which gives your brain a positive quality thing to work on, you’ll go to work instead of something negative. And for people always asking negative questions, the mind is happy to keep fixating on negativity.
How to have control and therefore a higher quality life
To have more control of your mind and avoid the below-average quality of life, start asking yourself better questions. Get ahead of your mind. You are the director (ruler) of communication.
It’s like a one-way transmitter radio (I have no idea if that’s a thing, but hopefully, the metaphor still works).
How to start asking yourself better questions to improve the quality of your life
Here are examples of low-quality questions:
- Why is this happening to me?
- Why can’t I do this?
- Why am I so fat?
- Why does he act that way toward me?
- What’s wrong with me?
Examples of quality questions:
- How can I get through this?
- What can I learn to help me with this new project?
- What small habits can I form to be the healthiest version of me?
- What’s one thing I can do today to make this situation better?
You see, the mind is like a vulture. It feeds off whatever you decide to give it. And it doesn’t care if you give it positive or negative tasks. It goes to work on either one. And if you don’t GIVE it anything, it defaults to the negative.
Knowing you have control over what you give it is the most powerful thing to realize. And it would help if you began treating it like you have power, and you’re the ruler — not the other way around.
It’s time you put your foot down because allowing it to manage itself (and your kingdom) keeps you in an anxious, worried, panicked state, which shows up in the quality of your life.
You need to understand, this is something you always have to work on
“But I can’t control my negative thoughts. I find myself randomly thinking about bad things, which causes worry, stress, and anxiety.”
This is a strong argument against what I’m saying. And the answer is yep; I get it.
You see, when you don’t have a conscious realization that you’re in control, the mind will do as it pleases!
And what pleases the mind? Safety. Activity. Motion. If you don’t create it proactively, it will create it for you. This is where those negative thoughts creep into your brain and create chaos.
How to handle the inevitable negative thoughts
So, long story short, the mind is like a two-year-old.
If you’ve ever been around or had a two-year-old, you know sometimes you can have control and other days it’s like all hell breaks loose and it’s a shit show.
And unlike your two-year-old, you can some-what reason with your mind. The key here is to be grateful for your brain — just like you would your two year old.
Their tough to manage, but we love em’ anyways, right?
What to do with the negative thoughts
Here’s what you do — first and foremost, do not in any way shape or form yell at the mind and start asking low-quality questions — which is most people’s default.
Because that’s its fuel for the fire.
Instead, thank your mind for the warnings. Thank her for looking after you. Be grateful. Say, “I appreciate your concern, but remember, I’m in charge here, and I’m doing my very best, so you don’t need to worry anymore about that.”
Then counter the cray thought with a good question.
Controlling your mind like you’re the ruler of your kingdom is the first significant step in feeling in control of your life.
Remember, garbage in, garbage out if the mind is acting out — pivot by being grateful, then asking a positive, productive question/task for the brain to work on. Refuse to go down a rabbit hole with your mind guiding the way. Always be directing in a positive, productive motion and understand; the true definition of having control in life is you know you have control of nothing other than yourself.
Controlling the mind is step one of three. Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 of, How to Feel In Control Even if You’re Anxious.