Taking Control of Your Mental Chatter
Does your mind race from one thing or task to another? Do you have negative self talk that keeps you from doing things you want to do? Do you worry about things going wrong? Do all of these thoughts loop through your head, seemingly taking on a life of their own?
The Buddhists call this the mind monkey or monkey mind meaning "unsettled; restless; capricious; whimsical; fanciful; inconstant; confused; indecisive; uncontrollable." Monkey mind is a general term for the mental chatter. The difficulty with letting the monkey mind run amuk is that you are not noticing what is going on in the now. You are in the past or the future. The past is the negative self talk while the future is worry. Your energy is going to something that you cannot control.
As a result, we have all tried to squash the monkey mind: turn it off either through willpower or self-medicating. We push away that voice, thinking that it is bad or that we are weak because we cannot control it. But what we find is that it comes back. And then we judge ourselves for our perceived lack of strength or “bad” thinking because the perceived goal is to have silence in our mind.
Let’s begin to unravel this story. I have found that there are different kinds of mental chatter: benign, negative self talk, positive self talk, and worry. Benign self talk is the reminder of the things you need to do, get the car fixed, etc.
Then there is negative self talk. These are the automatic negative thoughts (ANTs) that undermine our confidence and ability to move forward in our lives. These are particularly insidious because we don’t always know they are running in the background. These keep you from living your best life.
Worry is another energy drainer that can amp up the mental chatter. Worry is an emotion that gives way to anxiety or unease; allowing one's mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles. There are various reasons that we worry: some worry to show our love, others as a replacement for control. “I can’t control the situation, so I am going to dwell on all of the possible outcomes, usually the worst.”
There is a technique that I will be sharing in my class on April 28th to allows us to make friends with our monkey mind; to convert our worry and ANTs into PETs, Positive Energizing Thoughts. It is simple! And practical. Who doesn’t want more positive, energizing thoughts? Remember, you are the creator of your reality and you do so through your thoughts. So, why not begin to look more closely at your thoughts and see if they are helping you create your life of love, grace, and joy? We can learn to use our monkey mind to bring us more of what we want.
Practical Self Care and Sundries is the last Thursday of the month at 7:00. We will spend the first hour talking about Mental Chatter and then the last 30 minute making a sacred sundry; this time we will make a Bach Flower Remedy that will help us befriend our monkey mind.
Want to delve deeper into this? Sign up for Janice's class in April:
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