The human brain processes 12-60,000 thoughts per day. According to a study published by the National Science Foundation, 80% of these thoughts are negative and 95% are repetitive thoughts. Now, if you suffer from anxiety, the inside of your mind is probably as crowded as the New Delhi Railway Station during the holiday season.
Thinking is obviously a useful function and necessary to the successful completion of almost every pursuit in our life, but the negative and repetitive thoughts constantly buzzing through our mind constitute nothing but noise. It’s constant and it’s deafening! Thanks to our brain’s negativity bias, the thoughts about fear, past failures, and danger are the loudest of them all. Our mental energy is engaged in either obsessing over the past or the future leading to depression and anxiety.
This is what we refer to as the state wherein the mental chatter becomes so loud that it is impossible to maintain any mental clarity.
Meditation is the best technique to calm the monkey mind. If you find it difficult to meditate, start small.
Simply follow the instructions and keep your attention on the voice of the speaker.
Related: The Best Guided Meditations Available On YouTube
As shared by Insight Timer, Brainwave Entrainment is an assisted form of meditation using pulses of sound. Brainwave entrainment works by pulsing a different sound in each ear to stimulate the brain into altered states of consciousness. The brain tries to match the frequencies of the two beats. This technique takes away the struggle from meditation. The brain does what comes naturally to it, respond to an external stimulus, but a stimulus designed to lull you into a trance-like state.
I have found sleep to be the number one solution for most of life’s problems. There is a reason why we are advised to ‘sleep on it’ whenever we are about to make a life-altering decision. Sleep may be elusive for those of us struggling with the monkey mind; on the other hand, a sleep-deprived mind may just be more susceptible to mental noise.
If you don’t get an adequate amount of quality sleep, your self-control is impaired leading to an increase in procrastination and indecision. If you sleep better, your mental and physical resources are maintained at an optimum level making it easier for you to focus.
There has been a lot of research linking sleep deprivation with depression and anxiety. I suggest you try optimising your sleep and see the change in your mental health for yourself. If you need help falling asleep at night, try the tricks shared in this post.
Nothing is as intrusive as the digital device we keep glued to our hands. It brings with it a whole barrage of nonsense that takes up mental space for all the wrong reasons.
This post discusses in detail how best to practice a mental and digital detox.
When the mental chatter gets especially painful, it’s worth considering that you may be experiencing trauma due to a past event. Repressed emotions can be incredibly powerful. What you resist, persists! If your conscious is plagued by memories of a past event or active fear of a potential failure, there may be more to it than just your inability to focus. In such cases, you should consider working through your unresolved issues. Depending on the nature of your mental battle, try channelling the power of acceptance and forgiveness. Practice gratitude as a way of promoting more optimistic thinking.
The only way to create a life of joy is to let go of all fear, past bitterness, and negativity. Accept what can’t be changed. Forgive what can’t be forgotten. Be grateful for what you have, and hopefully, all that chatter will cease to have as much power over you.
Most importantly, you must remember that focus is a skill like any other and therefore needs practice. Even if you shut down the mental chatter for all of 10 minutes and focus on just one thing, it’s progress. You can steadily build on this and with consistent training, add to your ability to concentrate.
People make wrong choices in moments of anger, confusion, and exhaustion. If your mental faculties are overwhelmed, it’s unlikely that you will find the right answer amidst the chaos. So, start today, put a leash on that monkey. Cultivate mental calm and focus, and let it be the super power that makes you unf*ckwithable.
Immerse in conversations with fiery women bent on changing the world.
On Her Terms discusses the issues and struggles women face when they go off-script and try to reach for bigger goals and more empowered living.
From sexual expression to confident communication, self-prioritisation to equality in relationships, in focused interviews with guest experts, I unpack the female experience through radically transparent conversations.
Are you ruled by your emotions, or are you the one in control? How emotionally intelligent are you? In difficult moments, can you carefully understand, manage, and use your emotions to overcome challenges? Find out with this quiz.