Are we slaves to our thoughts ?


Vishwa Jani

Poet and writer

Control your thoughts. Decide about that which you will think and concentrate upon. You are in charge of your life to the degree you take charge of your thoughts.

-Earl Nightingale

How many times till now have we thought of putting our phone down and doing something productive, but ended up using it for hours ?


We are driving on a highway, thinking something and when a passenger in the car asks us what are we thinking? We answer “NOTHING”. One of the reasons for this is that our thoughts are running wild in all directions and we ourselves don’t know what we are thinking.

We have become SLAVES of our mind. It’s a bit harsh, but it is the truth.

Often, a series of distracting thoughts starts playing in our minds. The minute we know how to control those thoughts, our thoughts lose control over our actions, our behaviour, and our results in life. We should be free to choose our own thoughts, but not be controlled by random thinking. Being able to train the mind is the most empowering thing we can do for ourselves.

Here are some steps that we can practice to control our thoughts.

1) Stop right there!

The moment we realize that we are thinking about something without awareness, we can stop thinking. We can pause our vague thoughts there itself. It might be a tad difficult initially. Usually, these thoughts connect to our everyday life and the media we consume via TV, internet, movies, etc. As a result of which this we feel frustrated, angry, anxious, happy, excited, etc. We need to get rid of this universal habit of playing stale thoughts in the mind and instead move towards being aware of what we are thinking.

2) Question ourselves

Now, let’s ask ourselves what we are thinking about. Is this work-related, some family issue or is it hunger awakened by seeing some video on Facebook about food ?

We can also do this vice versa. First, we will identify what we are feeling and then analyse from where this feeling arose. For instance, if we are feeling anxious, then we can try to recall what happened recently that made us think in a specific way.

3) Ask ‘Why’?

After identifying the thought pattern, we must try to remember what caused us to think that. Is there any related past experience ? Let’s always remember that whether the thought is positive or negative, it is important to make the mind stable and have power over it, rather than being controlled by it.

4) Decide if it is really essential

Now, we need to honestly decide, by being truthful to ourselves, if that thought is essential. Does it add to our personal power or does it make us feel helpless ?

5) Replace it with a productive, empowering thought

Once the pointlessness of the thought has been recognized, we can replace it with a more positive, empowering thought that makes us feel more in control and charge of our day and life.

This process of taking charge of the mind and getting rid of negative thoughts takes time and patience, but is really worth it for the people who wish to live a happier and more meaningful life.

“You are not able to always control what goes on in your outer world, but you can always control what goes on in your mental world”

– Wayne Dyer

View more content by Vishwa Jani