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Controlling your thoughts | Mission possible or impossible?

Having difficulty controlling your thoughts is a much more common problem than you think!

As a yoga teacher, I often hear the following phrases:

- If only I could turn off my thoughts!

- I wish I had a button to turn my brain off!

or again:

- Every time it's the same, as soon as I put my head on the pillow, I think of all the things I have to do the next day!

According to scientists, our brains produce thousands of thoughts a day! No wonder we feel overwhelmed! Thinking is good, but repeating the same information hundreds of times is very tiring! Moreover, when we are constantly thinking, we can't enjoy the present moment.

Here are some tips on how to detach yourself from the thoughts that sometimes bother you:

1- First of all, you should know that to feel more peaceful or if you are trying to find sleep, it is better to keep your eyes closed. When you close your eyes, you will internalize more easily.

2- Focus on something else. Try to find at least 1 element for each of your senses (except sight)

  • A smell that I feel

  • A sound I hear from near

  • A sound I hear from far away

  • Something I feel (e.g. the mattress is cold, the fabric is soft, the floor is firm etc.)

3- Visualize your thoughts using the following Zen technique:

We are sitting on a rock behind a waterfall,

The waterfall represents our thoughts.

The waterfall represents our thoughts. We watch the flow of thoughts pass by without being carried away by the waterfall.

4- Give ourselves a fixed time each day (for example, in the morning before we start our day and before the whole household gets up) in order to clear our thoughts:

  • We write on paper a list of what we have to do.

  • We try to prioritize what is most important

  • Take care of one thing at a time.

It's better to finish one task at a time than to ruminate on 20 tasks and feel overwhelmed.

5- Remember that no one is bound to the impossible.

6- Initiate yourself to meditation. Meditation is more accessible than we think. In fact, it is a matter of directing your mind on an element. For example, we could focus our mind on our breathing by counting the number of seconds it takes us to inhale and exhale.

7- Play sports. It has been proven that playing sports helps us feel better both mentally and physically. Physical activity helps us to relax, to think more positively and to put things in perspective.

8- Practice deep breathing. It's very simple, it's about finding a comfortable position (ideally on your back) and inflating your belly with air when you inhale and deflating it when you exhale. You can put your hands on your belly to feel the movement. When we feel good, we breathe well naturally. Conversely, when we are stressed, our breathing is often affected. If we learn to breathe better, it will help us feel better. It is as if our body, by feeling that we breathe well, receives the message that we feel good.

9- Take your mind off things by participating in activities. Sometimes, clearing your mind can be as simple as spending quality time with friends or cooking your favorite dish. Having moments of relaxation must be part of our agenda!

10- Call Info-social at 811 or a crisis line to talk about your feelings.

11- If negative thoughts are really taking up too much space in your life and/or you have doubts about your health, you should consult a health professional who will be able to tell you whether it is anxiety, depression or something else.

Hopefully, these tips will help you. Remember that you have nothing to lose by trying them and everything to gain, including more inner peace and sleep!

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