Ever have one of those days when your thoughts are rapidly jumping from one thing to another… kind of like a monkey swinging through the trees? Instead of being mindful, we are more like MIND=FULL.
I call it… Monkey Mind
Monkey Mind can cause so much stress and anxiety
Did you know that every time you run through you list of, for example, 10 things you need to do, it compounds it 10 more times? So if you keep going over, and over, and over your to-do list all day, 10 things can FEEL like 1000. Sometimes, I feel like the continual circling back round and round creates this centrifugal force of energy like a black hole of the mind.
Have you ever felt that way?
Not only does this intensify our level of stress, it consumes our thoughts and focus and will steal your joy! This impacts all areas of life. We are not fully present at work, with our family, or with the food we are putting into our mouths. This is the slippery slope of emotional or stress eating.
I am a recovering emotional eater and I am PASSIONATE about helping others overcome it as well.
Here are some of the techniques I’ve used to tame that ol’ monkey mind of mine:
- Breathe deeply. It is AMAZING how much deep breathing can re-center your body and mind. You don’t have to be a meditation guru. Just find a space – it could be a quiet corner in the house, or even the bathroom, a closet, or your car. Set a timer. Close your eyes and just focus on listening to your breath. Feel your chest rise and fall. Say to yourself, ‘breathing in, in, in. breathing out, out, out.” You can use whatever mantra you like – but the point is to BREATHE. And the focus on breath with break the monkey swinging.
- Use your senses. Close your eyes for a moment and concentrate on what you hear, smell, taste and touch. Take one sense at a time and name as many things as you can.
- “See” your food. Before you eat, take a moment to fully “see” your plate. What do you see? Name the colors, texture, aroma. What are you excited about this meal? As you take a bite, chew thoroughly. Savor the flavor. Is it sweet, salty, bitter, or spicy?
- Brain dump. Everything seems so much more intense when you continue to swing back through the list. Get a pen and paper and just write it all out. Write until there’s nothing left to dump. Then, step back and examine the list. How much of it is actually URGENT? If it is a list of things you need to do, prioritize the items. If you could only do ONE thing right now, what would it be? What are your top 3 items on the list? What can you delegate or schedule for another day or time?
Monkey Mind does not have to rule you, my friend. The secret is to be aware of it, and take measures to regain peace and calm. These steps above are just a few ways I have found to be helpful. I’d love to hear what’s worked for you!