A Guide to Gaining Back Control Over Your Mind

Sometimes, I find myself wandering in an infinite spiral of thoughts, escaping reality into a wormhole of doubt, self-hatred, and regrets. Reflecting on mistakes of the past and planning for an unpredictable future leaves me floating as an empty shell in the flow of the present. Never truly there. Never truly anywhere.

A few weeks ago, I personally suffered a pretty hard mental breakdown, after which I decided to change something about my situation so as not to fall into depression. I tried new hobbies, sports, and took care of my diet, which made me physically more stable but still not mentally. So, I started searching for help in knowledge and books. This was when I learned about a concept of our mind which was mentioned in similar ways in several books. The moment I understood every part of our mind and how one affects the other, it got me out of this. So, I decided to share and visualize this concept in a blog post so it might help others gain back control of their minds and thoughts again.

To begin this debugging process, I start by explaining the basics of our mind, how we perceive ourselves and our reality, and later I explain how we can use this awareness to regain our control and even use our thoughts as an advantage. But now let's start with the basics.

The 3 departments of the mind

The 3 departments of the mind
The 3 departments of the mind

In 1925, Florence Scovel Shinn, in her works on New Thought philosophy, including "The Game of Life and How to Play It" often discusses the concept of the mind being divided into different "departments" or aspects. These are typically referred to as the conscious mind, the subconscious mind, and the superconscious mind. Each plays a distinct role in how we perceive, interact with, and create our reality. They’re all in relation to each other. 50 years later, in 1973, Sydney Banks, a Scottish philosopher and author, introduced the concept of the Three Principles which form the foundation of his philosophy. These principles are Mind, Consciousness, and Thought. Banks' work has had a significant influence on psychology and spiritual practices, emphasizing the innate health and wisdom within every individual. Let's first explore Florence Scovel Shinn's departments of the mind and then look at how they connect with the three Principles of Sydney Bank.

Conscious mind

Illustration of the conscious mind
Illustration of the conscious mind

This is the aspect of the mind that deals with everyday awareness and cognition. It's where we do our thinking, reasoning, and decision-making. The conscious mind analyzes information, makes judgments, and is responsible for voluntary actions. It is also where we are aware of our thoughts, feelings, and the external world. Shinn suggests that the conscious mind has the role of choosing our thoughts, and thereby, it has significant control over what we introduce into our subconscious. The role of choosing our thoughts is crucial for how we perceive our reality, but I will get into this later in the article.

According to Banks, consciousness is the principle that enables us to be aware of our existence and our experiences. It is through consciousness that we perceive our reality, including our thoughts, feelings, and the world around us. Consciousness is the gift that allows us to experience life, and our level of consciousness can change moment to moment, profoundly affecting how we see and respond to the world.

Subconscious mind

Illustration of the subconscious mind
Illustration of the subconscious mind

The subconscious mind is the mind's fertile ground where the seeds of thought planted by the conscious mind take root. It is not selective; it accepts whatever is given to it by the conscious mind without judgment or reasoning. The subconscious mind is powerful and executes the commands it receives from the conscious mind, manifesting those thoughts and beliefs in the individual's life and circumstances. It operates 24/7, managing our beliefs, emotions, memories, and automatic functions (like breathing and digestion). Because it doesn't question or reason the way the conscious mind does, the subconscious can be directed towards positive outcomes through deliberate, positive thinking and affirmations.

Thought, in Banks' teachings, is the creative force behind our reality, similar to how Shinn sees the conscious and subconscious minds working together to manifest our thoughts and beliefs into reality. Both philosophies suggest that the quality of our thoughts directly influences the quality of our lives. Banks emphasized that we live in the feeling of our thinking, not the feeling of the world. Understanding the nature of thought and its power to create our lived experience is central to realizing our own capacity for change and happiness.

Superconscious mind

Illustration of the superconscious mind
Illustration of the superconscious mind

The superconscious mind is where your purpose resides. It is what you are. What makes and will make you. It’s your inner GPS. It's a source of intuition, inspiration, and guidance. The superconscious mind is where individuals can tap into wisdom beyond their personal experiences and insights. According to Shinn, this part of the mind is always working for our highest good, guiding us through intuition and bringing us solutions and creative ideas. It is through aligning the conscious and subconscious minds with the superconscious mind that individuals can manifest their highest desires and live in harmony with their purpose. Only you can access it and find what fulfills you. You cannot find purpose in somebody else.

Banks saw the Mind as the source of all creation, the formless energy from which everything emerges. Both Banks and Shinn recognize a universal intelligence or mind that is greater than our individual selves. Shinn's superconscious mind aligns with Banks' Mind principle, serving as a source of divine wisdom and inspiration that we can tap into.

One last thing I want to add is that this is not linear. There will be moments you feel you’ve lost it because of something you did or something you lost, but this is not true. You cannot lose it because it is and will always be within you. Once you realize that, it will always be a part of you.


While they use different terminologies and conceptual frameworks, the essence of their messages is similar: we possess within us the power to shape our experiences and our realities through the ways we engage with our minds, our consciousness, and our thoughts. And we all have a purpose, sometimes hard to see, but sometimes it flashes to us—only we know what it is and what we need to become. It is not linear.

How to get back in Control of Yourself and Your Thinking

Both philosophies suggest that the quality of our thoughts directly influences the quality of our lives. So, I tried coming up with good thoughts, but it did not work out well. I always fell back into a sea full of negative thoughts, seeking something positive. There was one last thing I needed to learn. If I were to give you a bowl of dirty water and task you with making it clean, most people would try to act and filter it. Finding themselves hours and hours cleaning the water. But it will never get totally clean because dirt will always appear. And if you removed the majority of the dirt, new will appear. It's like a pool. This is nature. So, if the water is our mind and the dirt are thoughts, then thoughts are everywhere, and we receive thousands in just a single day. Thoughts are not something we do or control; it’s the act of thinking about those thoughts that creates a curtain through which we perceive reality. The time we try to filter the water makes us unhappy, stressed, and lets us know that we are doing something that has an impact even though the water will never get clean. That is why thinking is the root cause of our suffering. And the key to escape it is to let it still. A bowl full of dirty water will settle down the dirt on its own after a while. It's just that. The solution is not to try. Do not think about those thoughts, because thinking is what causes your suffering. Once you realize this, those thoughts will get less of your attention, and you gain back focus and control. After this, the good thoughts will appear, and you can interact with them if you want.

This was the final piece of knowledge that I was missing to finally get back into the driver's seat of my mind. And the person I have to thank for this is Joseph Nguyen and his Book ‘Don't Believe Everything You Think’. Published in 2022.

How to achieve ‘The Flow’ state by mastering your thoughts

Illustration of 'The Flow' state
Illustration of 'The Flow' state

The Flow is the State of Peak Performance. Flow is control without thought. When the mind is free from random thoughts. Free of ego. Free of anger. Free of fear. Absence of loose or rambling thoughts. Freedom to act and react without hesitation. Relying not on what you think is your next move, but rather on what is your instinct. Then you get into The Flow. At this time, you’re not thinking. It’s the moment your superconscious mind is the most active. When you feel the most amount of purpose and joy.

In embracing this understanding, we unlock the door to living fully in the present, guided not by fear or desire, but by the wisdom and instinct of our true selves. This is the path to finding peace and fulfillment in our lifes, transcending the tumult of our thoughts to discover the clarity and purpose that lies within.

This post was a collaborative effort with GPT-4, focusing on the theories of all three authors and shaping their ideas into this post. I hope it has provided you with valuable insights that you can apply to your personal journey. With best regards, Max :)

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