Quite often we find ourselves with many negative thoughts going through our mind. These trains of thoughts can become very powerful as we endlessly repeat them in our mind. The problem is that that the more we focus on the thoughts, the more powerful they become. Therefore, it can become very difficult to stop these endless cycles of thoughts.
However, it is definitely possible and these are a few tips to control our thoughts.
1. Make a conscious decision to Stop the thoughts
The problem is that sometimes we attach ourselves to certain ideas and problems, and we subconsciously get a kind of pleasure from going through a certain problem / issue. If we subconsciously keep inviting the thoughts, we will never be able to stop them. Therefore, the first stage is to make a clear and conscious decision to stop the repetition of the thoughts. Be aware of their negative impact and don’t allow them to come any more. This conscious step is an indispensable stage in controlling our thoughts.
2. Look upon the Thoughts as being Outside of yourself.
When we first try to stop the thoughts, it seems very difficult because they feel such a strong part of our mind. Therefore, the second stage is to feel that the thoughts are separate to our self. When a thought appears in your mind, look upon the thought as coming from outside yourself. This is a very powerful way to reduce the impact of thoughts on our mind. Once we realise our thoughts are separate to ourselves it becomes possible to stop them.
3. Who is it who listens to thoughts?
This is a technique to try and discover the origination of your thoughts. Whenever a thought appears, just ask yourself, who is it who is thinking this? What we do is to try and discover the source of thoughts. Through asking this question we realise that there is an “I” which can decide to accept or reject thoughts. By asking this question we will be able to stop the thoughts as soon as they enter. You are not a victim of your own thoughts, it is you who either rejects or gives life to thoughts.
4. Catch thoughts as soon as they appear.
This exercise requires a determined effort on our part. We need to be vigilant and watch every thought that enters our mind. As soon as we see a negative thought enter, we must immediately discard it and refuse to follow it. The more we follow thoughts, the more difficult it becomes to stop them later. Therefore, it is best to catch them as soon as possible.
5. Concentrate on Something else.
If we have a train of thoughts which have gained a stranglehold over our mind, the best solution is often to just try and do something completely different. Don’t just sit around, go and do something which gives you no opportunity to ruminate over your thoughts. By doing this we ignore the thoughts completely, and they lose there hold over us.
“Wrong thoughts are inside us just because we identify ourselves with these thoughts. If we identify with something else, immediately they have to leave us.”
- Sri Chinmoy 
Meditation is the best way to learn how to control our thoughts. Meditation involves the art of concentration and quietening the mind. In meditation we not only try to control our thoughts but we also can bring to the fore our inner qualities of peace and oneness. If we can invoke the calming power of our own heart, then we use an alternative force to take the place of the negative mind.
“The mind has its own power, and right now this power is stronger than your present eagerness and determination to meditate. But if you can get help from your heart, then gradually you will be able to control your mind. The heart, in turn, gets constant assistance from the soul, which is all light and all power.”
- Sri Chinmoy 
We should meditate every day so that we can bring to the fore as much as peace as possible into our mind. If we only meditate when we are overrun with thoughts, we will find meditation very difficult. But, if we gain peace of mind through our daily meditation then we develop our inner capacities to control our thoughts.
 Mind Confusion – Heart Illumination at Sri Chinmoy Library
 The Silent Mind
Photo By Unmesh Swanson,