Have you ever driven yourself crazy with your thoughts? You know – that incessant chatter of our “monkey minds” that won’t stop bossing us around and putting us down? I have spent many long and tiring hours dealing with my “monkey mind” and I am very happy to report that after over 50 years of it running the show I now have some tools that help me manage this incessant chatter and restore my energy when my non-stop critical self takes over.
My “monkey mind” (I love that term from the Buddhists) has a tendency to not only judge me harshly, call me names, and generally make me feel bad, but she also will push me around and throw food at me!! That is how I came to recognize this voice in my head – it was while I was having a food binge and I realized that it was the nonstop constant criticism running a loop in my mind that was causing me to stuff myself with a whole bag of potato chips!
Managing The Monkey Mind
Step One: I found that by just acknowledging this voice it will quieted down some. I also found that listening to it and asking it questions helped me to recognize “who” was really speaking. You see I had the “good opinion of others” running the show as well. Things my mother believed, my teachers said, my siblings told me, and once I started listening I could say in my mind – “I hear you mom and I don’t believe that, I believe this.” And guess what mom’s voice in my head went away. Yea!
Now don’t get me wrong I didn’t go all Gollum (Lord of the Rings movies) on myself and talk out loud like he did in the movie (Gollum to Smeagol) no I did this at first with my journal and then later I could recognize the voices and challenge them without sitting down to write.
Step Two: I have received a ton of help doing Byron Katie’s program she calls “The Work” which I found in her book Loving What Is. I highly recommend trying out her Inquiry program of asking just four questions to get to your own Souls truth. Doing this process has helped my immensely to quiet the “mean-girl” voices in my head. You can find the process for The Work for free at thework.com
Step Three: EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique – is the next thing I tried and I don’t think a day goes by where I haven’t tapped out an emotion and felt better for doing so. I’ve gotten good at doing this because it really works!! Sometimes I start out so upset I don’t think I’ll ever feel good again but before I am done I am laughing at myself. I learned all I know about tapping from Nick Ortner and the people he networks with. Check out Nicks Tapping Solution at http://www.thetappingsolution.com/eft-articles/nick-ortner/
Mental pain is no joke. To be honest all our suffering whether it is from physical pain or emotional pain actually lives in our head. It’s what we tell ourselves about what we are going through that creates either energy and joy or fatigue and unhappiness in our daily life.
Give these tips a try the next time you find you don’t feel well. Pull out a journal if you are so inclined or just take a quiet moment (like in your Private Spot) and ask yourself who is talking, who’s words are “driving you “ and then take control of the wheel of your life and choose to be happier. Even just a little bit happier will start you in the right direction.
‘till next time,
Your Personal Space Coach©