The Mental Mayhem

28 Aug

imagesSome days all my mind does is chatter. Visualizing fears, Reminding me of the past, Building  ‘what-if ‘ scenarios, Recalling the times that I’ve had setbacks, Analyzing situations.  A constant mental noise in the background .

It gets exhausting! It makes me moody, unhappy and so very often I miss opportunities coz I am busy attending to all this chatter and not being fully present in the moment.

I’ve tried to ignore this constant prattle of  – ‘How can she do this to me’ or ‘ Why do I have to deal with this ’ and other inner talk that disturbs my peace, but in vain. The more I ignore it, the louder the mental magpie gets.

Eventually I figured that I need to change my approach. I let the chatter badger me for a little while and then I reassure it with statements like –It definitely seems unfair but let me understand it a little more, or, her behaviour is strange, and maybe I should check with her if she is going through a tough period etc. When my mind felt heard, it quietened and I was able to be more focused and think clearly.                                  Creating counter thoughts like these does not always work [ I soon discovered]. That’s when I experimented with a few other techniques to lessen the mental noise.

The crown – navel breathing technique. When my head is full of unhelpful thoughts, I stop and inhale deeply, feel my breath going in through my crown, flowing through my body and leaving through my navel as I exhale. Its very difficult to pay attention to my inner chatter while I do this and it also calms my mind.

Journaling is a powerful practice. I set aside a specific time each day to address the concerns of my monkey mind. if negative thoughts thrust their ugly head during the rest of the day I gently push them aside and inform them that I have a time fixed for them and will not entertain them at other times.

Another helpful practice is to consciously pay attention to any 5 things in the environment and fully experience the sight, sound, smell and feel of these. Be in that moment. I noticed that this helps me to turn my attention to the present away from the noise of the thoughts that course through my head like the roaring waves

None of these are easy, but the times that I have engaged in them and managed to stop a little of the incessant mental monologue have been very rewarding. It bought my body and mind back to equilibrium.

The Buddha said, that the human mind is filled with dozens of drunken monkeys screeching, chattering and clamouring for attention.  Our mind is too precious a commodity to allow it to be seized by this unruly band.  Its up to us to consistently practice training our mind to be still, calm and in the present – a skill that takes a while to develop but can be done

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