You just woke up and the first thought that crosses your mind is “I’m depressed.” Immediately your body gets into an agreement with your mind and you instantly feel depressed. You now find yourself in a slumber as you attempt to start your day. Sad thoughts of failure, disappointment, loss, death, and anything else to contribute to your sadness overwhelm you like a force of a hurricane wind. You question if you can even face this day. Sound familiar? Here is another scenario. You’re having a great day and suddenly a thought crosses your mind, but not just any thought, it is a thought that provokes your deepest anxieties. Maybe the thought is “what if my husband cheats on me.” “what if my child gets sick and dies,” “what if I lose my job,” “what if I get cancer,” etc. etc. etc. I call this the “what if” syndrome. I think we are all guilty of falling into these thoughts from time to time. Before you know it, your heart rate is through the roof and your pondering things that have not ever happened and may never happen. As you ponder these tormenting thoughts, you start to get into negative moods and mindsets. Now, your grumpy, agitated, sad, fearful, or whatever other negative emotion attached itself to you from the initial anxiety provoking thought. How do I get rid of these thoughts? How do I keep them from ruling my mind? Does this sound familiar? Maybe you have trained your brain to live in a constant state of turmoil. Maybe you have just accepted your unhealthy mind by blaming it on mental illness, stress factors, your environment, your husband, life’s problems, etc. You have taught yourself that you were just born unlucky and that life is just not good for you. Maybe you take depression and anxiety pills only to realize that you’re still depressed and anxious. I want to discuss some strategies I have used in my own life to help overcome the tormentors of the brain which leads to feeling fulfilled, happy, content, and in a stable state no matter what the circumstance may be. Before I dive into strategies that I have used to help me in controlling my negative thoughts, I want to give you a brief history of my life. I tend to be more influenced by a person who has endured some traumatic life events, been through hardships, and faced very difficult challenges, but yet still has learned how to live in a happy state of mind. I have a hard time listening to the advice of others when I know they have not had a difficult life. My first thought is “of course it is easy for you to be happy,” or ” you wouldn’t understand my battles.” If you feel this way when receiving any advice then I urge you to continue reading. I’m no stranger to pain. I grew up rather poor, my mother left my father with four of us at the age of 7. From then on out, she did her best but it usually involved finding refugee from the support of a man. I had two different stepdads and we lived with a boyfriend and of course, I saw a few different men during the times she was single. Keeping food in the house was a struggle. My mother was always depressed. She slept when she was not working and took plenty of different medications. My weekends with my father were not as pleasant either. He spent the entire time being drunk. Moving on into adulthood I ended up in an abusive relationship, got married, had a child, got cheated on, had another child which died at four months of age due to heart failure. I then got divorced. Stayed single for four years. These were the happiest years of my life. I worked out, ate healthy, had my own place, had no type of assistance, and was spending my extra time with my daughter. After four years of being single, I really was desiring to have a family again. I met a guy and long story short we ended up together. Problem after problem occurred. Cheating, lying, deception, etc. I married him and tried to make it work. After four years it ended. A year before this marriage ended, my mother was found dead in her apartment. She died from an accidental medication drug overdose. Rather or not it was really an accident is something we will never know. There are so many details and so much more suffering I have endured in between the gaps but it would take a book for me to ever tell it all. I know people who have been through less than me in life but they are depressed or negative all the time. I always ask myself, “how do some people overcome so much while others are defeated by so little?” My obsession with wanting to dig deeper into the human brain is what led me to living a life of freedom and achieving a beautiful mind. Now we can discuss some of my strategies. Once I realized that life is not happening to me, it’s happening for me, that changed everything. I decided that I was not going to waste one more minute of one more day in self- pity and all these negative emotions just because I thought life did not turn out how I thought it should have. You see no matter what the circumstances are in your life, you are always in control of how you respond to them. Life will happen, suffering will occur, but you can choose to live in a beautiful state no matter what. Thoughts do not have to control you. The minute I wake up each day I immediately put on inspiring mind provoking content on YouTube. My favorite person to listen to is Tony Robbins. The reason I do this the minute I wake up is because I start to fill my brain with positive energy before negative thoughts can even have a chance. The longer you wait, the easier it is for your mind to start ticking in the wrong direction. You have to realize that you have authority over your mind. You can master your mind and make it work for you. Start questioning everything you think. When I have a negative thought, like ” I wish I didn’t have to wake up so early,” I then immediately question it. I ask questions like, “why is waking up so early bad,” “what can I appreciate about waking up early,” “how can I view my situation differently?” As soon as you start to question and challenge your thoughts, they will change. Your brain will immediately search its database to find answers to your questions. You may then find yourself answering those questions by saying things like, ” at least I have a job to wake up to,” “I’d rather wake up early in good health and with all my limbs working than wake up early in a crippled state or something worse,” ” waking up early is not so bad after all because it gives me the chance to get things done early and to be able to enjoy the rest of my day and relax.” Instantly, your mind will start to shift towards a more positive state rather than a negative one. This may be a hard habit to form at first, but if you continue to practice it over and over again, you will actually train your brain to do this naturally. There are many different methods to use to achieve a peak state of mind. The examples I mentioned above are just a few. If you even start by doing the first two steps I mentioned above, you will start to notice an improvement in your moods. There is not an overnight solution, but with dedication and persistence, you will improve over time. I know that if I could dramatically alter my state of mind, that there has to be hope for anyone. Be strong, be committed, live, love, laugh, and progress. If you are not growing, your dying. Push your mind to new limits. Nothing is impossible.