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How To Tame Your Monkey Mind? – Let Go Of The Chatter With 12 Unique Ways

How To Tame Your Monkey Mind? – Let Go Of The Chatter With 12 Unique Ways

How To Tame Your Monkey Mind

If your mind often wanders off to the wildest negative thoughts, it’s high time you learn how to tame your monkey mind

You probably tried numbing these chaotic thoughts by just shaking your head or saying gibberish. But even if you shut it for the moment, the chatter restarts in no time. So, you need a proper strategy to deal with it. This article will teach you that in no time.

However, if you’re not aware of the “monkey mind,” let’s first know about it…

What is a Monkey Mind?

The term “monkey mind” originates from a Buddhist concept. It states that human attention is like a monkey. 

Your mind produces infinite thoughts, which makes it struggle to be attentive. Thus, your attention wanders between different thoughts – just as a monkey leaps between branches. 

For instance, you’re working at the office and suddenly thinking about something at home. Or, you’re preparing for your partner’s birthday party, and then you worry whether they’ll like it. 

In other words, the monkey mind refers to a restless, agitated, or confused inner mind. It prevents you from being productive and only channels negative emotions and thoughts into your mind. 

It’s pretty easy to get a monkey mind because of the tons of constant audiovisual stimulation from social media, instant live news, and even eye-catching advertisements. 

Now, if you’re wondering how taming your monkey mind will help, let’s know that…

How is Taming a Monkey Mind Helpful?

When you tame your monkey mind, you benefit in the following ways:

  • You get clarity of mind.
  • You can focus on the present moment and the important things.
  • It helps you be more calm.
  • Your quality of sleep improves.
  • You become a happier person.

So, if you’re eager to make this happen, let’s keep reading…

How to Tame Your Monkey Mind?

Most people fight their monkey mind to shut it. Or they let it run wild and dominate their rational mind. However, both approaches impact your mind space negatively. So, let’s learn all the ways to deal with it here…

1. Believe that you can tame it 

Most people assume that it’s impossible to shut the monkey mind. However, know that it’s not impossible. If you’ve not ever succeeded in calming it, it’s because you don’t know the techniques. So, have faith that you’ll be able to do it.

2. Have a conversation with your monkey mind

One way to calm your monkey mind is to talk to it. Listen to what it says, why it’s upset, and what it needs. Sometimes, you just need to listen to it, and it calms down. But if it doesn’t, understand the following:

  • Is it trying to remind you of some pending task? – if yes, note it in your calendar so that you don’t forget again.
  • Is it worried about the future? – If yes, reassure it or even create a backup plan for the worst-case scenario. 
  • Does it convey some past regret? – If yes, plan a way to get rid of the regret. 

3. Practice journaling 

When you journal, you can make specific time in your day to focus on your monkey mind’s concerns. To do it the right way, follow these:

  • Communicate to your monkey mind that every day, it’ll get 10-15 minutes in the morning/night to take over.
  • At this point, pen down every last thought, feeling, and worry. 
  • Once the time is up, you’ll shut the monkey mind.
  • If your monkey mind activates again, tell it that you’ve given it enough time for the day, and it must wait for the next day. 

Practice this, and your monkey mind will learn to follow this routine.

4. Meditate regularly

Meditate to teach your mind to be calm and still. The practice will help you regain control over your thoughts. Regular meditation will help you become better at silencing this monkey mind.

5. Follow the ABC method

Sometimes, the monkey mind runs amok because your mind doesn’t agree with your reality. In that case, the ABC method will help you. To know what it implies, let’s go through these:

  • A (Activating event): This refers to the triggering situation.
  • B (Beliefs): This refers to what your monkey mind thinks is the truth.
  • C (Consequences): These are the emotions you feel as a result of your monkey mind acting up.

Now, question your beliefs. For instance, if your belief says, “I’m not doing good enough in my studies,” ask these questions:

  • Does everyone always perform well in their studies?
  • Are these expectations realistic?

Rationalize and convince your monkey mind of the truth. It will gradually quiet down.

6. Don’t assume any meaning behind things

Identify things that usually trigger your monkey mind. Next, be aware when you notice the triggers. Remind yourself that you will perceive the triggering situation at face value. Don’t ruminate over it, judge, or assign meanings behind it.  

Start being mindful of these situations and order your mind to not get deep into them. This will eventually become a habit and calm your monkey mind.

7. Chant mantras 

If nothing works and your monkey mind is already on its business, recite mantras to refocus. It can be a word, a phrase, or even a humming sound. 

You can do it silently in your mind if you’re in public. But if there’s some privacy, try to do it out loud. This is more effective as you can hear it, and it helps dull the monkey mind’s voice. 

8. Focus on five things

Another way to stop your monkey mind on its track is to notice five things around you. These can be five things you hear, see, smell, or others. 

Once you list the things, immerse yourself in the experience. For instance, if there are five things you see, inspect the thing well and notice all the details. This will certainly help you numb the monkey mind.

9. Keep your mind busy

If you’re not doing anything that needs undivided attention or have time, then you can engage your mind with different things. It can be upbeat music, a movie, writing something, or painting.

Choose a relaxing activity that you find interesting. Otherwise, the monkey mind may again start interfering.

10. Pay attention to your breath 

There are a few different breathing techniques to calm your monkey mind. Let’s know them one by one…

a. Piko-piko breathing (piko means navel or center)

  • Take a deep breath. 
  • While inhaling, focus on the crown of your head.
  • While exhaling, focus on the navel. 
  • Continue this as you switch your focus between your crown and navel until you calm down.

b. Ujjayi pranayama, aka ocean breath

  • Sit down, straighten your spine, and slowly close your eyes.
  • Inhale deeply until your lungs feel full.
  • Hold your breath for 2 seconds.
  • Gradually exhale through your mouth with the “ha” sound, which is similar to the sounds of the ocean. Feel the air hit your mouth roof.
  • Repeat it 20 times.

However, remember there are a lot more breathing techniques. So, research and go with whichever works best for you.

11. Practice positive affirmations 

Another effective way is to repeat positive affirmations like the following:

  • “I can let go of the past mistakes. It’s normal.”
  • “I’m sure things will work out.”
  • “I can refocus my attention on important matters quickly.”
  • “I’ll find a solution even if it’s challenging.”
  • “I can do it. I’ve faced far worse situations.”

12. Integrate gratitude into your life 

The monkey mind’s chatters makes you focus on the worst. So, learn to mindfully focus on the positives of your life. 

Remember all the times you thought you messed up, but things changed for the better. If you can’t remember them instantly, write everything down in a pocket diary. If you can’t remember everything at once, write 3-5 positive things that happened to you every day. 

Whenever your monkey mind’s negative words are around, go through the diary.

A word from TheMindFool

Your relationship with your monkey mind is mostly not good. After all, it’s always churning with the most negative thoughts.

But don’t hate your monkey mind. In the end, it’s a part of you. So, be kind to it and talk rationally about it. 

If you try to suppress or go against it, it won’t work. Instead, be understanding and treat it just as you want anyone to treat you!