How to respond from a place of clarity and strength, rather than continuing to react in anger and frustration? This is such an important question because the answer to this is something we all need to practice in our daily lives.

In almost every case, nothing is stopping you right now—nothing is holding you back but your own thoughts about yourself and “how life is.” Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, pause, and consciously decide if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the present moment.

You may not be responsible for everything that happened to you in the past, or everything that’s happening to you right now, but you need to be responsible for undoing the thinking patterns these circumstance create. It’s about thinking better so you can ultimately live better.

In order to gain conscious control of what’s really going on in your mind, you need to develop a keen awareness for this process. What helps is to hold still for a moment, take a ten deep breaths, focus exclusively on these breaths, and free your mind of the senseless chatter that’s going on inside your head. This makes room for a change of state, for something new to enter. Detached from the weight of stressful thoughts and reactions you grow capable of consciously redirecting your focus. It’s time to take it willingly away from something unchangeable that drags you down, and zero it in on something actionable that inspires you. Focus on the next logical, meaningful step. Remind yourself that there are no hopeless situations; there are only people who have grown hopeless about them.

The key is to understand that no matter what happens, you can choose your response, which dictates pretty much everything that happens next. Truly, the greatest weapon you have against anxiety, negativity and stress is your ability to choose one present thought over another—to train your mind to make the best of what you’ve got in front of you, even when it’s far less than you expected.

Yes, you can change the way you think!  And once you do, you can master a new way to be.

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