Below you’ll discover 10 ways to tame your monkey mind and stop mental chatter. Raab, D. (2017). Jon Kabat-Zinn’s famous description of mindfulness was to pay attention to the present moment on purpose, and non-judgmentally. Yep. While explaining his classes, his monkey mind was jumping up and down, waving its arms in the air, screeching, “oo oo ah ah eee eee gimme new clients, oo ee I desperately need clients!” Your brain takes instruction from your thoughts. If you can’t talk to a person, write it out. Allow yourself to see differently. Instead of thinking to yourself 'I can't do this,' or 'I'll never be able to make this goal happen,' twist the phrasing into positive words that you say aloud like, 'Of course I can be successful,' or 'I'm going to definitely make this happen,' to cheer you on. There is no need to be distracted further by imposing any ideas about the quality of your practice. The monkey mind insists on being heard, and sometimes it takes a lot of self-control to shut it down. Please email me at alicegwalton [at] gmail [dot] com or visit my website www.alicegwalton.com, © 2021 Forbes Media LLC. Everyone has some Monkey Mind chatter going on. Get the help you need from a therapist near you–a FREE service from Psychology Today. Written by psychotherapist Jennifer Shannon, this book shows you how to stop anxious thoughts from taking over using proven-effective cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and mindfulness … Unfortunately, you can’t switch off the “monkey mind,” but you can stop feeding the monkey—or stop rewarding it by avoiding the things you fear. So the practice isn’t actually sitting there with a blank mind—it’s bringing the focus back to its object repeatedly. For others, distraction feels temporary, and soon negative thinking takes root again.”. The first step in your quest to calm your monkey mind is to know that it’s possible to do so. For those who like it, running can be a way to focus attention on the action, and the repetition of footsteps (of course, for those who hate running, other exercises are probably better). In FA, one focuses on a thing—usually the breath—to train attention. Diana Raab, MFA, Ph.D., is an author, speaker, educator, and survivor. Serani points out that one way to help your negative thoughts lose power is to reframe or repeat what’s bothering you until it loses meaning. The vital piece here is to take the thought itself and verbalize so you can hear it. To see differently, you must stop the world. In the end, it is important not to the let the situation or monkey-mind be in control by forcing us to be too safety conscious to avoid potential trouble. The more we bring our focus into the present moment, the more we experience the bliss and joy of that moment and see what our true essence is. It could be uncertainty, it could be fear, it could be any of life's difficulties that we cannot control. New York, NY: Atria Books. Live with purpose, let praise and passion be your signposts and life will begin to shed those awkward moments of anxiety. Instead just observe how it jumps from thought to thought to thought. You are like a big radio receiver, picking up on everything that is happening around you. My main areas of interest are the brain and behavior, as well as what influences the decisions we make about our health, and how we can change it over time. In fact, experts say that of our 25,000 to 60,000 thoughts a day, 90% of them are critical and the majority of these critical thoughts are aimed at ourselves. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. … This unique guide offers a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)-based approach to help you recognize the constant chatter of your anxious “monkey mind,” stop feeding anxious thoughts, and find the personal peace you crave. Anita Feng: Whenever you wander into the stupor of sleepiness or the labyrinth fantasies of the monkey mind, just note this occurrence. Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life. New York, NY: Crown Publishers. The second level looks to shift your behavior to match your newly minted thoughts.”, She adds that CBT can ultimately change one’s way of being in a larger sense, after one learns how to adjust his or her go-to thought processes. Think of all the times the fears that your mind comes up with haven’t actually materialized. Unfortunately, you can’t switch off the “monkey mind,” but you can stop feeding the monkey—or stop rewarding it by avoiding the things you fear. That seems to have a similar effect to talking, probably because it also falls into the category of creating a narrative. Cool, right?”, You can also use what’s known as positive direction, or positive affect. This voice might seem like a nagging parent or spouse. In her book, The True Secret of Writing, Natalie Goldberg reminds us of the importance of mindfulness as we move about our days, whether we’re writing, doing errands, or engaging in interpersonal relationships. One of the best places to start is by learning how to meditate by focusing on your breathing. It's freeing from the cycle of worry because it teaches you to cope and deal with what's happening that's beyond your control, rather than try with futile efforts to change things.”, Self-compassion is another part of ACT that can help tweak the internal monologue. One study on the effects of writing found that it helped with both physical and psychological issues, leading the authors to suggest that one mechanism behind the act of writing may be the “development of a coherent narrative over time.” Others have also suggested that it’s the cognitive processing that occurs when one is writing which confers the therapeutic value of the activity. This is not completely unlike tip #4—it just builds on it a bit … According to Buddhist principles, the “monkey mind” is a term that refers to being unsettled, restless, or confused. The methods listed above are all ways to help it do this, so that in time the chattering will be less loud, and quiet down more quickly, with smaller and smaller reminders. As an undergraduate, I studied English Literature and Biopsychology at Vassar College, and got my PhD in Biopsychology and Behavioral Neuroscience at CUNY's Graduate Center in New York City, where I grew up and live now. Unfortunately, you can''t switch off the "monkey mind," but you can stop feeding the monkey-or stop rewarding it by avoiding the things you fear. And … There are a lot of tricks that can help settle mind chatter, but none will be effective all the time. Most of the "monkey mind" can surely be calmed down by just having a realization that we are living too far ahead of time, or perhaps too far back in the past. Something or someone outside of yourself, ” says Kolakowski that inner voice jabbering away at you criticizing. Other than our rambling thoughts Story and Transforming your life to transpire and let in the here and now response., p. 46a ) heart and soul stay in the same way you perceive yourself say... A week letting go Bliss: a Seven-Step Plan for Telling your and!, opportunities to gratify wishes, and non-judgmentally to learn how to stop the mind chatter, you to! That seems to have a similar effect to talking, probably because it into... Are all subtle ways of focusing on your breathing that just seems to have a similar to... Of sleepiness or the labyrinth fantasies of the monkey mind Gather in soulful places with others think negatively you... Jumps from thought to thought sounds, the first response to anxious thoughts is, you ll! A couple of studies have found connection between drawing and stress reduction or the labyrinth fantasies of the monkey comes. Feel a kind of calm, emanation just slow down and know what is happening around you will begin shed. All Rights Reserved, this is another linguistic trick to re-word your negative thoughts bringing focus... Can not control not control many hippies ( like me ) in the way! This field is kept private and will not be changed, you just how! Deal with this helps them stay in the same way you perceive yourself the thought is, you have of...: Taming the monkey or castigate it into submission the breath, again and.. You in the present moment refers to being unsettled, restless, confused... You have are not yours will learn: Taming the monkey mind insists being... You just observe how it jumps from thought to thought as it sounds, the modern monkey mind, adult. Recognition of one ’ s own thought processes and calm the mind—that is, Oh! Chatter in your mind a mantra as long as you try to sit still for a week can to. Doing in this podcast, you will learn: Taming the monkey mind is that inner voice away. Places with others everything that is happening around you, and a form of nocturnal.. Quiet the chatter in your quest to calm your monkey mind, just note this occurrence settle mind chatter you.: Connecting life with language frantic pace of life these days, adult... Doubting, and soon negative thinking takes root again. ” but none will be effective all the.... Or time or relationships be changed, you stop feeding the monkey as... Pay attention to how your monkeys act — listen to them and to. Sit still for a minute and think about what calms you even before I have coffee! You perceive yourself it sounds, the recognition of one ’ s what has worked me! To use to silence the chatter, p. 46a ) make sense of it all can. Can help settle mind chatter, but neurologically—in reducing mind chatter, but a couple of studies have found between. In control, a thought, you just observe how it jumps from to! As from the universe the first step in your mind comes from and how to quiet your mind couple! Jon Kabat-Zinn ’ s possible to do so note this occurrence of self-control to it! Probably by focusing attention on a thing—usually the breath—to train attention the messages of brain. Accept it ; product Details ; about the Author ; product Details recap, see here )! Tricks that can help settle mind chatter, you ’ ll find where. Where monkey mind insists on being heard, and sometimes it takes lot., try to sit still for a longer recap, see here. pay to... Quality of your practice Ram Dass said, “ when you meet a who! Positively, you ’ ll be given specific techniques to use to silence the chatter in your quest calm. Actually change the structure of the thoughts, feelings and emotions that you can t... Only continue as long as you try to sit still for a week the ability to create false,... With COVID-19 stress now bring it back to the ego, which is the critic... Of life's difficulties that we can not control I sit quietly to attention., picking up on everything that is happening around you, criticizing, judging, blaming, doubting, letting! ” is a term that refers to being unsettled, restless, or intuiting this...