PAUL McKENNA reveals How to calm your mind and clear your thoughts

There are only two ways to feel good or feel bad about anything. One is to remember something good or bad that has already happened. The other is to imagine something good or bad that could happen in the future.

That’s why you can get so worked up worrying about a bad thing that may or may not happen — whether or not it takes place doesn’t make much difference in the end. You’ve suffered either way.

When we are in a state of excessive stress, continually looking for threats and seeing danger at every turn, we don’t have enough bandwidth for other kinds of positive thoughts and feelings.

By achieving that you will then be much more open to the idea that a new, more confident and resilient you is going to emerge in the days to come. First, let’s look at the way we can either create or reduce unnecessary stress in our lives through the pictures and the sounds we create in our imagination.

However, if we make a movie of ourselves interacting with fun people, laughing and relaxed, we get a good feeling and that leads to a different decision. Every day, we navigate our way through life with the movies we make in our minds and the things that we say to ourselves.

Once we have more control over our thoughts and feelings, we have control over our choices and behaviours — and ultimately our lives. Obviously, we can’t have control over everything that happens to us in life. But we are able to decide how we think and feel in response to them.

I have noticed that far too many people spend too much of their lives running negative movies in their mind to motivate themselves. Constantly moving away from fear rather than towards happiness is not a very enjoyable way to live your life. It doesn’t have to be that way. With my help, you are going to train your brain to feel good more of the time and move towards what you really want.

The body’s stress response mechanism works like a car alarm. If a threat is detected or perceived, the internal alarm system lets us know something is wrong by creating a change in our body chemistry, producing adrenaline and cortisol.

In an extreme situation, we experience the ‘fight-or-flight’ response which dates back to when we were living in caves and had to either fight a wild animal or run away.

If there is a chance of us looking bad in front of others then the stress response is triggered. These things may not seem like real ‘threats,’ but your nervous system can’t tell the difference between a physical threat to your ego and an imagined one.

I’m going to help you adjust your perception and interpretation of events that used to stress you. This plan is an exclusive extract from my new book Positivity: Confidence, Resilience, Motivation, which is published on January 6.

Following my steps will allow you to begin to respond differently, have more bandwidth in your thinking for resilience and creativity in solving problems which will ultimately lead to more positive results in life. The better you feel, the more you can see the world as it is, rather than how you fear it might be.

When you shift your attention from your head to your heart your body relaxes, your mind becomes clearer and your brain releases chemicals that bring about natural relaxation. Try this exercise when you feel stressed or your mind is racing: