“The mind out of control is like a restless monkey. Jumping here and there senselessly, you have to learn to control it, see the real nature of the mind” – The Buddha
Chances are that if you are reading this blog you are familiar with that pestering monkey that has resided and at times infiltrated your mind. Monkey mind can feel like a thousand little thoughts knocking about in your brain and each thought is crying out for attention. Monkey mind also manifests into physical reality, for example, you become so busy that you start losing control and momentarily abandon the present moment. Have you ever misplaced your purse or phone? Or forgot why you’ve walked into a certain room? Do you wake up in the middle of the night wondering and worrying about certain scenarios that you have no control over? Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, that’s your monkey brain taking control, invading your space and taking your keys to peace without permission. NOT OK. The reassuring thing is you are not alone, it happens to all of us. We all have a bunch of monkeys living in our headspace competing for attention. For some fear is the loudest monkey… “Nothing in the world can bother you as much as your mind, I tell you. In fact, others seem to be bothering you but it is not others, it is your own mind” Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
If you are wanting to know how to tame this monkey mind then this is the blog for you, because if we don’t learn how to manage it “…the mind acts like an enemy for those who do not control it” – The Bhagavad Gita. Learning to work with our mind and not against it is a positive and courageous thing to do. If we choose to do nothing about it we may continue to allow negative fears and thoughts to take over stopping us from enjoying the present moment. We might also experience getting caught up in exaggerated ‘what if’ scenarios. This is not true happiness.
Fortunately, through yoga, meditation, and conscious breathing you can gain control over your mind. For many years monkey brain has been discussed, in fact, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras label it in Sanskrit as ‘Chitta Vritti’ which translates as the whirling of mind chatter. These ‘Chitta Vrittis’ will not settle until you politely ask them too. Although they can’t completely vanish into thin air you can reduce the severity or the amount of emotion you attach to those thoughts. Buddha also, more than 2,000 years ago was teaching his students to find inner peace and tame the monkey. It’s important as humans that we gain some understanding of our mind, to remain curious in order to discover strategies to alleviate the suffering that comes along with an unhelpful mind. It is important that we do not compete/fight with our thoughts or try to banish all our thoughts at once or forever… this is simply not possible as what you resist only persists. But perhaps you could try these strategies to help ease the number of thoughts circling in your mind:
- Sitting and spending time each day in a quiet meditation
- You could focus just on your breathing. Exploring your full inhalations and exhalations. You breathe everyday so you might as well enjoy it!
- Adopt a simple mantra to repeat a few times out loud or in your mind when it becomes to overwhelming…. it could be as simple as inhaling and saying ‘here’ and exhaling and saying ‘now’.
- Just notice when thoughts start to pop into your mind, just see them for what they are…. thoughts. Try calling each thought by name and you might discover that they start to dissolve.
- Practice positive and kind self-talk and see how it can transform your perspective and fears
- Try a yoga class – physically move your body with your breath and feel how you naturally cultivate peace in your body and mind.
You simply can’t go wrong with learning ways to work with your mind. In fact there are many benefits awaiting you such as;
- The ability to focus on tasks better.
- Experiencing and enjoying the present moment.
- Your quality of sleep improves.
- A reduction in stress.
- A clearer mind.
- Increased happiness.
- A general sense of wellbeing, ease and calm
Here at Breathe Holistic Health our staff are dedicated to helping YOU find ways of taming your monkeys so you can realise that inner peace is more attainable than you think. Whether it’s through yoga, meditation, breathing exercises or psychology sessions, we are here to help you.
Learning to manage your monkey mind is one of the best things you can do to transform your life. To book a session with us at Breathe you can book online by clicking the link below or give us a call on (07) 5679 5593