How to Master Your Mind by Victoria Adamo
Master Your Mind.
Yogi’s will call it “mantras”, and everyone else will call if “affirmations”. Either way, the belief is that we can think things into happening. Actually, it’s not so far fetched. Our thoughts are the source for which manifest our actions. Recall the phrase Mind/Matter?
People who believe in positive affirmations, or mantras- chanting or repeating positive phrases- believe how we think changes our life. Try it, I dare you. Tell yourself ‘I am beautiful inside and out, the world is beautiful and I can do anything I put my mind to’ until you start to genuinely believe it. The idea is that positive intentions foster positive reactions.
Kelly McGonigal touched on the idea in her Ted Talk on stress. She argues that stress, contrary to what she previously thought, is harmful for your health only when people view it as harmful as your health. “In an 8 year study, people who experienced stress but didn’t view it as harmful to their health had the lowest risk of dying, including people who experienced no stress.”
While we can not control all of what happens to us, we can control 100% of how we react to situations. If we let our mind get the best of us and anxiety take over, we can become physically ill. The result is panic and worry and will jeopardize our well being. If we breathe and relax the mind telling ourselves ‘everything will be ok’ the outcome can be unbelievably more beneficial.
According to Princeton researchers from the very school that invented itunes apps, they’re working on ones we can control with our mind. According to their research, we have the power to change outcomes by our thoughts.
“…after years of studying human consciousness in the engineering lab at Princeton, Adam Michael Curry is unveiling a radical new Mind-Matter Interaction Technology. His first product, the Collective Consciousness App, is a free app that allows users to affect their phones using only their thoughts and intentions. This is based on decades of rigorous laboratory testing.” livepage.apple.com
So, before apple gets ahold of our minds too, GET AHOLD OF YOURS! In his book on success, “Outliers”, Malcom Gladwell discusses the 10,000 hour theory. That it takes 10,000 hours to master something. If you do the math, we all should have mastered our minds at least by the age of 3. After all, that is the one thing (most of us) are in constant contact with.
Mastering your mind means you can control how you think and therefore react. The lack of causes suffering, which Hindu and Buddhists argue is a result of ignorance. Do you see the vicious cycle? Followers agree that suffering and ignorance can be removed by meditation. WAIT- don’t let the word intimidate you. Meditation can mean something different to different people. What it really means is being alone with the self, setting intentions for the self void of others influences.
Muslims do this by ‘sending the negative energy we encounter in every day life into the earth’ while Christians and Jews do this by praying.
In our chaotic 21st century lifestyle, we’re connected now more than ever. We’ve such a need to “fit in” that we sometimes let others dictate our lives unintentionally. What job we work, car we drive, where we live, what we eat, who we date. If you’ve read my piece on the ego, you will understand why most of us act in accordance- to avoid being shunned from society; sort of a survival of the fittest mechanism the ego enforces.
However, it can actually be detrimental to our mental health. Letting society dictate our choices and actions completely can leave us unfulfilled, yearning and neglected of our true self. When we ignore our true natural intentions, we are ignorant. I do agree our actions need coincide with society to survive, I vow our thoughts need not.
In his idea on group mentality, Freud explores how individuals can completely act out of character when in cahoots with a large group. He argues that people can act immoral and against their values if for the cause of the group. Why would anyone want to act against their morals or values? They probably are out of touch with their own minds. (Recall the Milgram experiment.)
Mastering our mind will not only make our lives blissful, by enforcing our intentions, but will make the lives of those around us as well. To do this, we need to spend some quality time alone away from the contagious tainted energy of others (and I mean in person, on skype, on TV, etc.) and really learn from our “true inner teacher.”