Buddhists call it a “Monkey Mind”. It’s that relentless head chatter that women, particularly, have that just won’t stop. You have it going on now too right?? 6,000,000 (ok maybe only 4M) conversations going on in your head….AT THE SAME TIME??
And 5,999,999.99 of them are random unimportant stuff like (seriously, I just captured these as they flew around)…..”Hmmm where did Drogon take Daenerys body? Will he resurrect her?”, or “Wonder how many people died before the edible parts of the potato were discovered?”
Stop for a moment….right now!..and tell me below the first two thoughts going through your head?? Oh wait…skip the first thought!…it’s probably about how awesome this blog is right??!
7 Things That Can Happen If We Don’t Stop Head Chatter
Of course, it can’t be permanently silenced & it shouldn’t be! We need to think! However, we do need a break & we need to break negative thought patterns. I’ve learned this the hard way; that all that noisy chatter, whirling around in our heads is gaining dangerous momentum, without our being aware of it. If we don’t find a way to make the head chatter stop, if only for 5 minutes at a time, then we’ll likely end up in a snowball of negative decline.
1. Loss of Emotional Peace
Forget about feeling at peace, gentleness at home, quiet at work or inner calm. Unresolved & unacknowledged things will become out of proportion, distorted & exaggerated.
We’ll feel sad and we don’t know why. And it just keeps being reinforced by ever darkening chatter, creating a whirlpool we feel like we’re drowning in.
All that hurt, resentment, anger & frustration that’s brewing? Well, that’s just going to fester & spill over to an outsized reaction, creating a whole lot of other problems! Not least of which, is that our OTT behaviour now becomes the thing to blame, NOT the thing that pissed us off in the first place….aargh!
4. Time Flies
We find ourselves saying, in a slightly bewildered, sad little voice, things like “Ohhhh….can remember my 18th birthday like it was yesterday!”. That’s because with all that chatter going on, we’re not really absorbing ‘right now’. Life flashes by in a blur racing to ‘what’s next’ and back peddling to ‘what was’. Before we know it, we’re an old woman reminiscing, wondering “WTF just happened??!”
5. Brain Fog
Our awareness becomes so cloudy it affects spatial awareness. Through all the head noise, we literally don’t notice what’s going on around us. I would walk an entire beach dog walk barely noticing the stunning environment I was in, or my precious furbaby playfully wanting companionship.
It doesn’t stop at night either…it’s relentless!! Admittedly, some awesome stuff gets resolved in the dark of night but wow!..isn’t there some weirdly random stuff too??! Most of this awesome revelation is forgotten about in the morning anyway; it’s such an exasperating waste of time!
No surprises that all of this leads to physical & emotional fatigue, and zero energy. The result is that we start stagnating & feeling like life has no purpose because we’re too bloody exhausted to get on with it.
So How Do We Make It Stop?
Ok so I always thought the lyrics were “Stop The Monkey!” Hahaha it’s close, it’ll do….it’s a great track anyway!
Until recently, to my detriment, I dismissed any mention of “Mindfulness” as recently concocted psycho babble. In fact, it’s a controversial 1881 translation of a Buddhist term sati. Personally, I prefer to call it by a more transparent translation, “Awareness”, however that’s not as attractively Zen sounding, so “Mindfulness” it is!
Reconnect With Nature
Before “Mindfulness” became the widely coined translation, something David Suzuki mentioned during a talk I attended in my early 30’s, gave me an earlier “Ahhh Moment” . I was already deeply emotionally engaged with what this inspiring man was saying. Then it happened!
Almost as an aside in his talk on environmental degradation, he mentioned how critical it was to our well being, and to our environment, to connect with nature for at least 10 minutes each day. All we had to do was make time to sit somewhere quiet (preferably outdoors), close our eyes & listen intently to each sound. It seems so obvious right?? Simple things always do, don’t they?
Of course, we’ve all unexpectedly had those moments of feeling sublime inner peace right? Having eschewed all of the very worthy tools of “Mindfulness” & Meditating “, I was searching for a methodology to stop the head chatter & snap into that feeling of peace ‘on demand’. Something quick, simple, atheist & easy to remember. Thanks to the venerable Mr Suzuki I’d found it!
It was a powerful tool that I used through my 30’s (which were pretty ‘Zen’ anyway being outdoors at every possible moment). Perhaps not uncoincidentally, they also happened to be the most successful years of my life. Into my 40’s, it gradually fell away as I inadvertently let myself become overwhelmed by others. Inevitably, the head chatter became noisier and more distorted until it was foggy & dark.
Just 5 Minutes Is All You Need!
Frustrated, recently I conceded I needed help. I was tired of feeling all of the things above and I was going backwards. The first thing my awesome new psych suggested? You guessed it! It was “Mindfulness” & she gave me a very simple & quick method to stop the chatter.
I see it as Power Meditating. No more ending a dog walk on the beach & not seeing the stunning view around me, or failing to be a companion to my furry soul mate. He deserves better. I’m literally addicted to bouncing down to the beach to feel the peace of connecting. It’s the absolute highlight of my day, and no crappy weather will stop it from happening.
Have you also forgotten to stop the head chatter & take time to re-connect with nature? If you have, maybe this awesomely quick & easy “Mindfulness” grounding activity I use might help you too?
World Peace & Tolerance ✌️ 😁