Is your mind like a monkey jumping around here and there and never sitting still? If so, there is a way to tame your monkey mind.
Why Tame Your Monkey Mind
Why bother? A wild mind leads to anxiety and stress. While some people like the exciting feeling of being mentally busy or active, it’s really not all that healthy. We can get used to anything until it just feels “normal.” However, staying revved up creates brain wave patterns that make that the set point so that relaxing is no longer easy. Everyone needs to have daily downtime. So, let’s look at the habits that create a calm mind.
Do One Thing At a Time
Stop multi-tasking. If your brain is used to flitting from thing to thing, that’s how it will operate while on cruise control. It won’t learn how to focus and concentrate, so when you need it to do that, it won’t know how. Another reason to avoid multi-tasking is that it is inefficient. Studies show that you get more done when you do one thing at a time. Living mindfully also brings more enjoyment to life.
Write Things Down
The mind brings your thoughts back to things that it feels are important so that you don’t forget or put yourself in danger. Your mind is processing many things every second. Writing things down makes space for other things because that particular thought is filed away where it can be easily retrieved instead of floating around inside your head cluttering things up. If you write things down, your mind will relax. It gets the message, “I’ve got this.” Check lists are a great way to make sure that you complete things.
Spend Time Mindfully Thinking
Your thoughts deserve respect. If you spend some time thinking things through, this will also file them away and help them to be “done.” Journaling is a great way to do this. Talking mindfully with a friend, therapist, or coach is another good strategy. This is not the same thing as venting or complaining. It’s done for the purpose of hearing yourself. We rarely do this. Most of the time we are speaking for others to hear us. Listen to yourself. You’re smart! You’re insightful. Lots of your problems can go away if you just hear yourself and get clear on your feelings and needs.
If your energy is buzzing around in your head, it can make you top heavy. This ungrounds you. The goal is to pull the energy out of your head and get centered in your body so that you’re more balanced. Here are a few ways to do that.
- Sit comfortably. Inhale and imagine that fresh, clean air is coming in through your crown and into your heart. As you exhale, breathe from your heart and out your feet into the earth. Do this for a minimum of five minutes.
- Imagine a bubble surrounding your body. Now fill this bubble with a color that starts at your feet and grows slowly towards your head. If you don’t see it, that’s okay. Maybe you feel the warmth of it or just somehow “know” that it’s there.
- Lie on the earth.
- Hug a tree. I know this sounds hippy-ish, but there is a good reason why people hug trees. It’s very grounding.
Everyone can get caught up in monkey mind sometimes. If it’s where you live, it’s not efficient. Changing a few lifestyle habits can make a huge change in your results, productivity, connection, and happiness. Looking for a new year’s resolution? This could be it.