Our mind is made up of several parts and each part affects our behavior, but you can control how much each part of the mind affects your behavior. For example, the part of the mind that regulates adequate calorie and nutritional intake will demand that you eat lots of fatty foods, but the other part of the mind knows that in the long run, overeating will harm your health and appearance. In order to master your thoughts, you must practice self-control by avoiding the behavior you want to change. Follow some of these tips so you can change your mindset and behavior.
Method 1 of 2: Thinking Differently
Step 1. Stop the habit of negative thinking
Negative thoughts can come up on their own without you wanting to. Use these tips so you can take control of your mind and stop negative thinking:
- Think of the worst-case scenario. This approach seems contradictory and seems to make things worse. However, by thinking about the worst-case scenario and figuring out if you can handle it, you can ease your anxiety after imagining that you can handle the problem.
- Give yourself time to feel anxious. Taking time to think about the problem gives you reassurance that you've noticed the problem so you don't have to overthink it.
- Make time for a walk. Leave the room to free your mind from anxiety by moving around or because you gain new information through certain sights, sounds, or smells. This method will divert your mind to other things that can relieve stress.
Step 2. Believe in yourself that you can change
As long as you don't believe you can change, you won't want to try because it's as difficult as believing you can succeed. So, make sure you always think positively when solving problems. Remember that you can change the way you think for the better.
- Give up old habits in favor of living a more effective lifestyle. The subconscious mind where your habits are recorded is a comfort zone that provides a feeling of closeness, security, and reassurance. You can do the same thing every day, take the same route, and take no risks. But what about your big dreams and ambitious plans? To create something great, while growing and developing as a person, you have to leave this comfort zone and take some risks in pursuit of a better tomorrow.
- Research has shown that forward-thinking people tend to be more capable of improving themselves in the direction they desire than those who perceive their personality and skills as fixed and unchangeable.
Step 3. Recognize your abilities with optimism
Maybe you think that you have to know your abilities well in order to control yourself. However, according to research, you will be better able to control yourself if you feel very optimistic about your ability to control behavior.
- In order to feel optimistic, tell yourself that you will definitely succeed while continuing to try to control your mind, even if you feel unsure.
- Remind yourself when you manage to master your thoughts the way you want them to. Think about success and don't think about failure.
Step 4. Review what you need to control
Change the way you think about what you want to control. For example, if a certain part of your mind says you want to drink wine, while you want to stop drinking wine, think of wine as a poison that enters your body and damages your cells and organs. Research has shown that people who are mentally able to turn what they want into something they resist manage to control themselves by resisting what they've always wanted.
To do this, imagine clearly and maintain the idea that the object you want to avoid has changed
Step 5. Don't generalize
Generalizing means using certain negative events as a reason to imagine other experiences or using those events as a basis for predicting what will happen. For example, someone generalizing would say, “I had a very difficult childhood. So, my life will be difficult forever.” Here are a few things you can do to stop generalizing:
- Take responsibility for changing your future by working hard and persevering. For example, if you had a difficult childhood and thought that your life would still be difficult, think of ways you can improve your life and do it.
- Still using the same example, maybe you want to have a more meaningful relationship or get a better job. Try to find ways that you can get these things and determine the goals you want to achieve.
Step 6. Don't feel guilty
This is a mindset that keeps you trapped because you feel responsible for things you have no control over. For example, your daughter falls at school and you say, “I was the one who fell for it,” when in reality, this is completely out of your control.
- You don't have to feel guilty. Think carefully and logically about the incident that made you feel guilty by asking yourself questions.
- Ask yourself this question: “What can I do to keep my daughter from falling if I'm not at school with her?”
Step 7. Don't jump to conclusions easily
This is a trap in thinking that makes a person think a certain thing without any evidence to support that thought. For example, a person who easily draws conclusions will think there are people who don't like him without solid evidence to confirm that thought.
Don't jump to conclusions. Calm down first and reconsider before you make a judgment. This can be an opportunity to ask yourself about your thoughts. For example, ask yourself if you really believe your thoughts are correct. Ask yourself to provide specific evidence that can show that your thoughts are correct. By the same token, a person who feels that he or she is not liked can ask himself or herself to point out certain conversations that can prove the truth of those feelings
Step 8. Don't exaggerate the problem
Negative thoughts can be a trap that makes a person feel the need to exaggerate the problem. For example, someone who doesn't pass an exam will exaggerate this by saying, "My life is a mess because I can't get a job right now."
Stop exaggerating the problem and start thinking positively. Ask yourself using logic and asking for reasons. For example, a person who doesn't pass an exam and thinks that his life is ruined because he won't get a good job might ask himself: "Is there anyone who doesn't pass the exam, but does a good job and/or lives a happy life?" “If I pay someone, will I make a decision based on the grades he or she earns in certain subjects?”
Method 2 of 2: Forming Good Habits
Step 1. Make a plan for your life
If you have determined the purpose of life that you really want, you will not be easily influenced by doubts that will make you disappointed in the future. Write down all the important things you want: a good career? get married someday? be rich?
- You don't have to make detailed plans and how to achieve them, but keep the end goal in mind so you can keep going according to plan.
- When setting goals, don't set goals that are too high to make them easier to achieve and keep you motivated.
- Define a major goal (eg learning to code a computer program) and then set a few smaller goals that are easier to achieve (eg reading a computer coding book 1 chapter a week). This way, you can see real progress as you work towards your long-term goals.
Step 2. Smile, even if you don't like it
Negative feelings will reduce your ability to control yourself and make it more difficult for you to control your thoughts. Smiling is an easy way to deal with negative feelings.
The opinion that says that feeling happy makes it easier for you to smile is certainly more correct. However, research on facial expression feedback has shown that smiling can actually make you feel really happy
Step 3. Give time and money to other people
Research shows that you will feel happier and more prosperous by sharing. Feelings of happiness and well-being will improve self-image and reduce negative feelings that hinder self-control.
How you share your time or money doesn't really matter; the sharing of benefits for both parties is paramount
Step 4. Create obstacles for yourself
You can control your mind by blocking your own mind so that its desires are not fulfilled. This effortless method can be very helpful, by defeating your thoughts and influencing your behavior. For example, so that you can control the part of your mind that wants to watch TV, while another part of your mind wants to spend less time watching TV, place the TV channel control device in a place that is difficult for you to reach.
- Another example, if you always turn off the alarm when you wake up in the morning, put the alarm in a place far from the bed so that you have to get up to turn it off.
- As a further example, if you have trouble controlling your sex drive and want to change this behavior, don't put yourself in a situation that leads to sex, for example by not going to bars, nightclubs, or brothels, and delete the phone numbers of people who it becomes your sex partner.
Step 5. Appreciate your success in controlling yourself
When you have mastered your thoughts, reward yourself to keep doing this for the rest of your life. For example, you don't really want to exercise, but you do. Give yourself a gift, for example by enjoying a bar of chocolate or watching your favorite TV show.
Don't over-gift so you don't lose control and go back to the beginning. For example, if you want to lose weight by controlling your mind and keep exercising, even if you don't like it, don't eat too much chocolate so you don't miss out on the progress you've made so far
Step 6. Punish yourself for failing to control yourself
Rewarding success as a means of promoting self-control will be as effective as punishing yourself for failing to control yourself. Research has shown that the threat of punishment can spur people into more self-control.
To ensure the effectiveness of punishment, enlist the help of a family member, friend, or partner so that they can punish you if you fail to control yourself from certain desires. For example, ask them to hide your favorite chocolate cake and if until the evening you fail to control your cravings, they can eat your chocolate cake
Step 7. Relieve stress
Mind and body are closely related. The mind can make the body experience stress and the stress experienced by the body can make the mind experience stress. When experiencing stress, people will usually try to control themselves in order to deal with the stressors and often become less able to control themselves afterwards. Therefore, try to deal with stress so that you can save the energy needed to control yourself. Some of the following ways have been proven to be able to cope with stress to a certain level, for example by:
- Practice relaxation techniques, such as abdominal breathing by inhaling deeply, holding your breath for a few seconds and then exhaling slowly for a few seconds. You can also focus your mind on one soothing word (such as “calm” or “peace”).
- Exercise regularly so you can breathe deeply and relax tense muscles.
- Talk to your friends and family members because social support can protect you from stress.