Tips to calm your mind
Do you have a voice in your head that is always critical or mean?
If so, that might be the internalized voice of someone in your life who has been unkind to you, or it may be your own mind talking to you in a mean way.
Did you know that your thoughts can influence whether you have a good day or a bad day?
Andrea Wachter and Marsea Marcus, licensed family therapists and authors, write that having thoughts “can be like having a dog. Sometimes, we hang out, relax or play with our dog. Sometimes, we walk our dog peacefully down the street. Other times, the dog drags us down the street by its leash, barking at everyone!”
Similarly, sometimes we can hang out, relax with and enjoy our thoughts. Other times, “our minds can drag us around, just like an out-of-control dog.” Well, a dog can be trained to be calm, quiet and nice, and we can train our minds to be kinder and calmer.
Below are some examples of unkind thoughts that can make us unhappy:
- I’m too fat.
- I’m stupid.
- I’m not good enough.
- My ears are too big.
- I’m always wrong.
- I’m not important to anyone; nobody really likes/loves me.
Below are some more positive, kind, quiet thoughts that we can use to replace the mean thoughts:
- I don’t have to be perfect.
- I am lovable no matter what my body looks like.
- I like my body; it helps me do so many things I like to do.
- I am special.
- There are many good things about me.
- If I practice something, I can become better at it.
If you practice (and I do mean a lot of practice and repetition), replacing the mean thoughts with kinder thoughts, you can develop a kinder, quieter mind.
You might try putting some of the positive thoughts on post-it notes in places where you will see them often and be reminded to practice them. Consider making a screen saver for your device that has kind thoughts on it, or ask trusted people in your life to remind you of positive thoughts.
When you realize you are having an unkind thought, you can imagine throwing it away and replacing it with a kind thought. Practice kind thoughts and enjoy a quieter, kinder mind.
About the Author
Dr. Judy Ronan Woodburn is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with Advocate Medical Group – Behavioral Health in Normal, Ill. She has helped her clients through a variety of issues for more than 20 years.