Learn this one thing, and life becomes yours

Be in control

The world we live in is largely internal. Not external.

I’ve come to realize this over the last couple of years.

Before I learned this, I was a shy, quiet guy — living in my own world. I couldn’t see past my limited view, nor was I able to look inwards. I was living on autopilot with the blinders down.

I did this for many years, until my world changed when a relationship ended. This was hard on me, and I spiraled into depression.

My world was suddenly overshadowed by pain, and I was desperate find a way out. In my quest of learning how to live again — a better life — I turned to the internet. Here, I found some helpful articles and educational videos, which aided me in my healing. I slowly started to regain life.

During my way up, I encountered several lessons. This is one of them, and it has had a great impact.

The one thing

Watch the internal workings. The internal dialogue. The directing mind.

“You have power over your mind — not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” — Marcus Aurelius

Your mind is with you at all times. Always active — even when you’re sleeping. You can’t escape it. It’s there. That’s why you should learn how to have a quality relationship with it.

When you learn how to observe your mind, you can start to infer what’s really helpful or not.

You’ll start to notice your reactions to things.

You’ll be able to call your own bluffs.

You’ll realize when you’re acting out of fear.

You’ll be able to make better decisions.

You’ll be more present.

You start to question the internal narrative.

The list goes on…

Although it’s not possible to gain complete control over you mind, paying attention to it — viewing it’s content — aids you for many miles. It allows you to be in control.

How to get inside your mind

Metacognition

Metacognition basically means ‘thinking about thinking’, and it’s about monitoring what’s happening in your mind. It’s about analyzing its content, and assessing your own approach to various thought processes, such as learning, planning and problem solving.

Here’s some suggestions on how to do it:

  • Ask yourself questions.
  • Watch your reactions to external events.
  • When you’re engaging in something, reflect on why you’re doing it.
  • Have a debate with yourself.
  • Listen to your internal voice.

Meditation

By practicing meditation, you’ll be more attentive to your mind. You’ll be better at watching your inner dialogue, and can more easily notice the thoughts you’re having. When you do this, you have more time to analyze them, rather than react to them straight away. It makes you calmer and you’ll appear more wise.

In addition, meditation might act as a buffer against stress, reduce negative emotion, make you more compassionate, and enhance your self-awareness — among several other things.

Here’s some suggestions on how to do it:

  • If you’re new to meditation, search for guided meditation on YouTube. This will be your simplest choice.
  • Or, you can sit down and focus on your breath. When you drift away in thoughts, simply direct your focus back at your breath again. This is what I usually do.

There are several other methods as well. However, I’m not too familiar with them, so I won’t go into details here. I encourage you to explore the world of meditation yourself.

Journaling

By journaling, you’ll gain clarity of your thoughts and emotions. It functions as a therapeutic tool, reduces stress and lowers the intensity of negative emotions. Further, it might boost your creativity, enhance your self-awareness, ingrain learning, and act as a great tool for goal setting. And of course, a journal will be a record of your life.

Here’s some suggestions on how to do it:

  • Write about what’s on your mind or how you’re feeling.
  • Write about what happened today. What was good? What was bad?
  • Ask questions that you’ll answer.

You can include all sorts of things in a journal. It’s up to you. If you want to go more in-depth on journaling, check out this article I wrote.

Wrap up

Learning how to watch internally is a powerful skill to master. It has numerous benefits, and it allows you to have better control over your life.

You can approach your mind by practicing metacognition, meditation and journaling

Thanks for reading! If you want more stuff like this, sign up for my free newsletter!