I would like to thank Vishal Sarma for suggesting me this topic.
Before anything else, I just want you to play a game with me. Ready? There’s a heap of finely ground sand over there. You need to grab a palm full of it. Remove the excess particles by a cloth. And now your time starts. The contestant, who doesn’t let even a single particle of sand, to slip down from his fist in 15 minutes, will be the winner.
You can try this for fun with your friends!
But let me declare the winner beforehand. And the winner is – NOBODY. Even if I shrink that time interval to 5 minutes, you can’t stop it from slipping down your fist until and unless you do some tricks. The point is – some kind of stuffs can’t be controlled. You like it or not, one day or other, they will escape. No matter how strong the barrier is, even if there’s minuscule crack, a powerful flow of water will escape through it.
Mind is also like that. If you google, there’ll be hundreds of pieces in internet on how to control you mind. Every piece suggests some tricks, some methods. But believe me, our mind is a fearless sailor. It sails the length and breadth of the universe without any fear. More you try to control, more vulnerable it becomes to go out of control. It’s just like those particles of sand. No matter how tightly you hold them, there will be at least single particle which will get slipped.
I know, I’m sounding more philosophical. But what else can be the best to describe this uncontrollable, fearless mind which knows no boundary? Coming to the practical aspects, I’m suggesting few raw methods to control it.
- First, admit that you can’t control it. Yes you hard it right. You can’t control it. A signal in your brain travels with the speed of light. And the genius Einstein had already threatened the world that you can’t travel faster than light, with his relativistic equations. So don’t try to control it. Let it do whatever it wants, wherever it wants to go. Remember, more you try to control it, more vulnerable it becomes to go out of control. So let’s not hurt the ego of Mr. Mind!
- Second, realize that your mind is nothing, but a mere reflection of yourself. Scientifically thought, it’s nothing but billions of neurons firing. And what gives them a direction? Your day to day experiences and your consciousness. Your attitude, your perception, your experiences, you ideology…every single thing related you, gives shape to your mind. A person surrounded with musical background naturally develops an interest for music. Not necessarily, but generally, he will show more inclination towards making music a profession. His thoughts will be bound by the musical notes and rhythm.A person surrounded with scientific background can be supposed to be more inclined towards science. A person born to a family with good moral background can be supposed to have moral thoughts. A person who is born in warzone will be more sensitive towards violence and crime.
Likewise, your surrounding has a lot to do with your thoughts and your mind. Your experiences will always divert you to new places and your mind will always rush to them. A person who doesn’t know about social media will never be an addict. Only when one acquaints him with social media, he can be supposed to be addicted by it.
- Third, your mind can’t sit idle. Always give it something to play with. Practically speaking, always indulge yourself with some sort of activities. If you’re sitting idly with nothing much to do, your mind is going to go on for a ride. Be it a book, or a movie, or a song, or a conversation…anything will work. Just get indulged with something serious. You will be more benefitted if you do something productive. And at the same time, your mind will get busy. Many a times, when I don’t have something serious to do, I open social media apps and keep sitting for hours. And when there’s no one to chat with or do something serious there, I get bored and my mind starts to roam. Each time adding to a bad experience. So never let your mind sit idly. Just give it something reasonable to play with. It will stay under your control.
- Fourth, you can decide where your mind should stay by proper focusing and prioritizing. This one is important and most practical. So listen carefully. As I told in the 3rd point that your mind can’t sit idle, you really need to give it something to play with. But you can decide where it should wander. And that comes with proper focus and giving priority to more important and productive tasks. Since my very childhood, I have not been that interested in sports. Never played outdoor games much. Only watched cricket world cups. So my mind is not focused on sports at all. Yes I know that 2016 Olympic was held in Brazil. I also know that PV Sindu and Sakshi Malik won positions. And that Dipa Karmakar is the first Indian gymnast to compete in Olympics. But if you ask me about scores of India in a recent cricket match, I can’t tell you for sure. Why? Because I’m not conscious about that. I know only about major events which are in news. But I’m not specifically aware about a particular match. But any die-hard fan of cricket, would be aware. Why? Because he’s conscious about that game.It’s all about your focus. I have been a die-hard fan of space and astrophysics. So if you ask me what a white dwarf is, I can tell you without a second thought. I can tell you the recent space missions of agencies like NASA or ESA or ISRO. I can tell the birthday of a celebrated physicist. Why? Because I’m conscious about these things. Your mind rushes towards things that you really care about. With proper focus, you can definitely control your mind. You always need to feed it. It will always wander. But at least, you can specify a direction.
With a proper focus, you can always change the course of your wandering mind. And how to do that? Practice. That’s a one word answer to it. Let’s say you’re a retired person. You don’t have much to do. Each day is spent sitting idly and your mind wanders. If you want to escape the boredom of your retired life, you can pick the habit of reading. Now if you have not been a passionate reader, it’s often hard to do that. But with daily reading, you can improve your habit. Every day you need to make reading a priority. And with time, you mind would be more focused on reading. So each time you see a new book, you get excited to read it. That comes by practice and persistence. So with a proper focus, you can shift you mind towards more productive works.
- Fifth, to diagnose the disease, you need to specify the disease. Yes you need to specify your problem, the cause of your worry. Let’s say you’re a school student. And your mid-term exam is arriving. You’re studious, but your mind rushes towards that status you updated an hour ago. You’re thinking how many of your friends liked it, how many commented on that. And so on…No matter how much concentration you give to your study, still that thought will always distract you. So you’ve got a worry. And that worry is social media. Right? So you’ve specified the disease. Now, comes the diagnosis. As I told in the beginning, you can’t control your mind. It’s fearless. So despite the fact that your mobile is in your dad’s hand, still your mind doesn’t stop rushing to that status update. Therefore, it’s worthless doing that. Then, what to do?I can suggest you to open your account and check the likes or comments or whatever it is. So now your mind is fed. And then, think about the cause of your wandering mind. What’s that? Your status update. Right? So either delete it or forget it. And be cautious about not doing such things during exam time. But still that’s not the solution. One day or other, you would again update something else and your mind will be distracted in a crucial moment. So better try the 4th point – simply shift your focus and set priorities. Though you love hanging out in social networking sites, you need to put in mind that your studies need more attention than anything else. Start loving your studies. Yes that takes time. But again with practice, you can do it. And then set priority for the day. Example, set in mind that you need to do 2 hours of physics, 2 hours math, 2 hours English…and you’ve already utilized 6 hours of your day in something productive. And remaining 6 hours are spent in your school. So you’ve maximum7-8 hours efficient utilization. With practice, you can develop a habit. And with time, your mind will be more focused towards something productive. And may be with time, you start giving less priority to less productive tasks.
- Sixth, time is the ultimate healer. Sometimes, wait and watch. Again, I’m going to the first point. You can’t control your mind. What you can do is, shift your focus and prioritize for more productive tasks. But in a day of 24 hours, excluding you sleeping hours, at least 3-4 hours are spent uselessly. And you can’t do anything about that. Many of our habits change with our age. A child always loves toys. I also did. But I don’t ask my parents to buy me a Batman toy now. Why? Because my priorities changed. I did when I was a child. I may ask for a new mobile or a new T-shirt. But 60 years from now, I will not be that interested in a new shirt or a new mobile. Why? Because my priorities will have changed as an old man. So everything changes with time. There’ll not be any well to do teen today who has never been logged in to facebook. Or who has never watched a movie. Or who is not interested in taking a selfie. Why? Again, it’s the age that matters. So with time we change.
And mind is a fearless sailor. It will always keep sailing. What you can do is simply change its direction when required with proper focus and by setting priorities. But you can’t do that for your entire life. You shouldn’t even do that. Something it’s good to enjoy. Apart from these 6 raw methods, you can do meditation, join classes for mind control, or you can even consult a physician if you’ve serious problems. But again, I just want to remind you that these are simply my own observations and experiences. You can’t rely on them. You know your problems. So try to deal with them accordingly. But it’s also true that, these 6 points will give you some definite direction.
You can suggest something different in the comment section below. I would love to hear from you. Feedback always welcome!
©Sandeep Deva Misra. 2011-16. All the images in the post are taken from internet. For more information on our copyright policy, go to COPYRIGHT
If you can lend a valuable minute of yours, we would be highly grateful to you. Please contribute to a short survey to help us improve our contents by clicking on the link – SURVEY (powered by Polldaddy.com)