The buddhist term "monkey-mind" refers to restlessness, confusion, indecisiveness. Monkey-mind, the constant chatter of one's mind should not be a stranger to anyone. We all experience at times complete lack of focus, our mind races back and forth, our thoughts jump from "branch to branch" like little monkeys. Monkey-mind loves worse-case scenarios and re-visiting them. Monkey-mind acts also like a critic, questioning if we can get things right and preventing us from taking brave steps forward. And of course, we are naturally super good at feeding these monkeys with more stuff..
Monkey-mind sounds like fun, only that it is terrible for our health and wellbeing. Re-running all kinds of nonsense in our head makes sure we maintain great stress levels, experience anxiety and increase in blood pressure. It impacts our sleep - the quantity and the quality.
So what can we do to calm that monkey mind of ours?
💡Becoming aware of our monkey
💡Adopting some mindfulness techniques
💡Meditating (Simple practice works wonders! Love Headspace, it is great also for beginners!)
💡Journaling (to put it out, to notice patterns)
💡Engaging our mind with something else (e.g. reading, watching a movie, writing)
I have become quite good friends with my monkey! Of course I keep regularly feeding it, but I am also fast to catch it in the act. Meditation and mindfulness have been a great help for me.
I love the highway metaphor: Imagine yourself by the highway with cars passing by - you can do the same with your mind and thoughts - you can sit and observe them passing. I also love the Headspace animation regarding the sky: However cloudy is the sky, there is always blue clean sky above these clouds. The same goes with our thoughts and our mind - the thoughts are like the clouds, come and go, while some calm neutral natural state of mind exists outside of these thoughts.
How is Your relationship going with that monkey-mind of Yours?🐒♥️
[Image: Flashback to Vietnam, July 2019]