How to control your mind: 7 powerful ways to keep unwanted thoughts away

If your mind is dictating your life, here are expert-recommended tips to help you learn how to control your mind and master your thoughts!
Learn tips to control your mind. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Purvi Kalra Published: 23 Feb 2024, 08:59 am IST

We live in the times of the Internet and deal with an information overload every day. Our content consumption far exceeds what actually our minds can take. This may end up thrusting our mind towards a whirlpool of thoughts of varying degrees. Once we cling to a particular negative thought, our mind starts running a marathon every minute, leaving us feeling helpless. They may be merely perceived threats, but the noise inside us gets so loud at times that our mind starts constantly juggling between worst-case scenarios or happy endings. If you feel that your mind dictates your life and not otherwise, read on to know how to control your mind and master your thoughts.

Tips to control your mind

Learning the life skill of controlling our mind may feel like a far cry, but it may be possible if we learn to play smart and not give in to the pessimistic voice inside us.

Here are some tips on how to control your mind from overthinking and unwanted thoughts, as suggested by psychiatrist and therapist Dr Harshil Shah.

Try mindfulness to put your over-thinking mind to rest. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

1. Practise mindfulness

Mindfulness denotes focusing and being completely in the present moment, being aware of your own body and the surroundings. It is the art of being. The mind tends to zone out and wander around here and there. That’s when you can bring it back to the present moment and be fully aware of whatever is in the “now” and practice mindfulness, which can be practised in daily routines, like eating, brushing, bathing and walking.

2. Grounding techniques

The purpose of grounding techniques is to permit an individual to step out from negative contemplations and overthinking. To implement this strategy, one needs to:

• Put the feet immovably on the ground
• Take moderate, profound breaths
• State the current date and time
• State what one can watch in their surrounding environment
• Remind oneself that one is in a secure and safe place at present
• Watch one’s environment and depict things within the room or environment

Learn more about grounding techniques to control your mind.

3. Practise the 5 senses technique

Another useful technique is the 5-4-3-2-1 technique or 5 senses technique to help bring stability to the mind. The technique involves the use of all the five senses. A person should immediately scan their environment and look for:

• 5 things he/she can see
• 4 things he/she can touch
• 3 things he/she can hear
• 2 things he/she can smell
• 1 thing he/she can taste

Also read: Are you stuck in the vicious cycle of overthinking? It’s risky, warns an expert

Select Topics of your interest and let us customize your feed.


4. Watch your breath

One of the simplest techniques to break free from the loop of negativity is to focus your attention on your breath. Simply be aware of the inhalation and exhalation of your breath while imagining that you are letting go of all the internal stresses while exhaling, and internalising peace and serenity while inhaling, suggests the expert.

Dr Shah says it would be better if you don’t try to control your breath as it would lead to an increase in respiratory rate and heart rate, and may end up making you more anxious, rather than making you simply aware of your breath.

Meditate regularly by simply observing your breath to bring a sense of calmness within you. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

5. Follow a daily routine

Often trying to control your mind and thoughts may be a very tedious task. Itmay lead to a surge in overthinking. Try to fix a daily routine which you can follow so that it would lead your mind to engage in some or other tasks, not giving space for overthinking. After all, there is some truth in the fact that an idle mind is prone to negative thinking. And staying busy always helps, doesn’t it?

6. Journaling

Writing down your thoughts on a piece of paper often provides an outlet to let out your thoughts and untangle that twisted complicated never-ending over-thinking.

7. Observing Thoughts Meditation

Conventional meditation teaches you to focus your attention on an object and to keep bringing it back to the object of your attention if your mind tends to wander, which might seem like a difficult task. But in this type of observing thoughts meditation, you just have to be completely “aware of your thoughts” instead of engaging with them. You maintain non-judgmental awareness of your thoughts and notice them coming and passing by just like observing a series of clouds in the sky. This often leads to a space within and a sense of deep calmness, as your negative spiral of thoughts stops bothering you as it used to”.

Purvi Kalra

After testing her skill-set in the field of management and marketing, Purvi Kalra is exploring the world of turning thoughts to words. Her penchant for writing stems for being an avid reader all her life. Her work drives her to be better every day. ...Read More

Next Story