Train Your Mind
Your personal reality, your perception of the world and how you view your place in it, is driven by your thoughts, feelings and emotions. Where do our thoughts, feelings and emotions come from?
Our Past Experiences
“Removing old conditionings from the mind and when you train the mind to be more equaimous with every experience is the first step toward enabling one to experience true happiness.”~ S. N. Goenka
They are a collective of all the conversations you’ve had, places you’ve visited, people you’ve met, where you’ve lived, how you grew up, the people around you, the events you’ve witnessed or been part of, the experiences you’ve had, your culture, your language, your religious beliefs – all the things that make us who we are now, are an outcome of our past.
Your brain lives in the past. It draws on those past experiences and uses them to predict the future.
How many times have you driven to work, arrived at your destination and not realised how you got there?
A couple of times I’ve been on “auto-pilot” and driven past the turn-off to my son’s school and headed for work, with him still in the back seat! Funnily enough, he didn’t think he needed to tell me we’d missed his turn-off for school.
How to Train Your Mind
When you are confronted by a situation or behaviour in someone that triggers an emotion in you, that is your brain reacting to something that happened in your past.
For example, I was involved in the earthquake in Christchurch that devastated our city and took the lives of 185 people. After that event, whenever I heard a rumbling sound, it would trigger anxiety in me because my brain was reacting to how I felt during the quake. Your brain recalls the situation or behaviour and reverts to a default setting of how to react.
Have you ever noticed how difficult it can be when you want to introduce something new into your daily routine?
Maybe you want to wake up earlier or go to the gym after work or make changes in your eating habits.
Why do we give up?
Why do we put off doing new things?
Why is it difficult to create a new way of doing things?
It’s because your brain likes to take the easy way road, the path of least resistance. If you introduce something new into its well-established and comfortable routine, it will push back because the change is uncomfortable and doesn’t align with what your mind has programmed itself to do.
How to Train Your Mind to Work for You Not Against You
Your brain is lazy. It likes to take the easy way out. However, you can train your mind, you are in control of setting the direction! Here are a couple of easy mindset techniques to train your mind how to take that new path. Practice these everyday and you will soon see a shift in your brain’s wiring.
1. Train Your Mind by Being Present
Rather than using the past to predict your future, bring your mind to the present. All we have is the present, the past has gone, the future has yet to happen. Sit comfortably, close your eyes and bring your awareness to your breathing.
When thoughts come in, acknowledge them, and then let them go (you can imagine them floating off with a balloon, or passing by like a train, or dissolving into thin air). The more you practice being in the present, the more your brain will be primed for new pathways!
2. Train Your Mind with Imagination
Imagination is very powerful. Your brain doesn’t know the difference between what’s real and what’s not. By harnessing your imagination and using it to predict the future, you are no longer making decisions based on the past, but creating new pathways to the future you want.
Train your mind to work for you by closing your eyes and bring to mind a situation coming up that you may be feeling anxious about. Imagine that situation playing out exactly how you want it to go. Really notice what you see, hear, feel, taste and smell.
You experience the world through your senses so by elevating those senses when you are imagining that future situation, you are telling your mind that it has already happened.
Notice how you feel when you open your eyes.
Remember when you were a child and you engaged your imagination to create amazing realities?
Well, who’s to say you can’t use it as an adult, to test out new pathways, to create the future you’ve always wanted without any risk? Where will your imagination take you?