Control the Theater in Your Mind

The following post is from Jeff of My Super-Charged Life:
Filmstrip
source: PhotoXpress.com

What is playing on the big screen in your head?

There is always a vivid movie playing before our mind’s eye.  This non-stop screenplay often goes uncontrolled and unnoticed, but it has a powerful effect on us.

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words.  What are the pictures that are flashing before your mind telling you?

The Ways Our Theater Gets Out of Control

There are a lot of external sources constantly bombarding us with pictures.  Our minds are influenced by these inputs.  They tend to pick them up and start replaying them in our heads.

This becomes troublesome when our theater gets out of control and starts repeating messages that lead us to behave in unproductive ways.

Here are some examples of how our theater gets out of control:

1.  Fear

There is a lot of craziness going on in our world right now.  The news of what’s happening is fed to us constantly via the Internet, television and social media.  It is easy to let your mind get carried away by this torrential flood of bad news.  This can let an overabundance of fear creep in.

I’ve noticed it in my own mind lately. I see repeated scenes of tsunamis, civil unrest, and horrific accidents being replayed in my mental theater.  Our brains can’t help but to react to this by increasing our levels of anxiety and fear.  Left unchecked, this can lead to a non-stop horror film in your mind.

2.  Mental Entropy

Sometimes, our brain gets overwhelmed by all the different inputs it receives.  This is especially true when large volumes of new information are dumped on us all at once.  This can lead to a state of mental entropy or confusion. This is why we have such a hard time dealing with several big life changes all at once.

For example, your mental movie might get scrambled if you experience big changes in your job, marriage status and living arrangements all in a short period of time.  Your brain just can’t process all this and make sense of it.  This leads to rapid-fire, random scenes playing in a never-ending loop inside your head which generally creates a state of virtual paralysis.

3.  Negativity

Finally, our internal theater can slip off into a stream of non-stop negativity where we feel that nothing ever goes our way.  We get bogged down playing old reruns in our heads of times that we failed or that bad things happened to us.  This leads us to believe that nothing can ever improve.

A constantly negative movie in our heads is certainly undesirable.  It can lead to hopelessness and depression.  We have to control our thoughts and reject the images that lead to negativity.

How to Regain Control of Your Mental Theater

If you find that the theater in your mind has gone out of control, then you have to take proactive steps to correct your mental picture.

Here is how to regain control of the theater in your mind:

1.  Become Aware

The first step is to realize what is happening.  These mental movies often play without us consciously grasping what is going on.

All it takes is slowing down and monitoring what is playing in your head.  Once you make the effort to actively observe your own thoughts, it will become clear to you if you have a problem.  If you do, then you can start taking steps to correct what is wrong.

2.  Avoid Feeding the Flame

Even if the theater in your mind isn’t completely out of control, you may find you have more unwanted images flying around in there than what you’d prefer.  The best way to defeat this is to stop fanning the flames.

In other words, avoid sources of undesirable mental images like the evening news, Facebook, and the newspaper.  Cutting off these inputs is usually a quick fix for cleaning up your mental theater.

3.  Nourish Your Mind

Finally, you want to fill your brain with good stuff. You can do this by consuming books, blogs, pictures, and videos that are inspirational, uplifting and that offer hope.

Your brain tends to grab onto whatever you are feeding it.  When so much craziness is going on, you can become overloaded with all the bleak images such that it dominates your thinking.  You can counteract this by reminding yourself that while there is a lot of insanity happening, there is also still a lot of good in the world as well.

Have you been struggling with the theater in your mind?  What do you do to control it?

Jeff Nickles writes My Super-Charged Life to help people find success and meaning in their life. He has spent many hours researching these topics and loves making it easy for others to use the wisdom he discovers. Jeff is a corporate IT Director, but also has experience as an entrepreneur, consultant, training instructor, and military officer.

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