We know you hear it. There’s that constant noise in the back of your mind checking off lists for the day, thinking about the future, feelings and dinner. You’re not the only one!
Humans have about 50,000 thoughts a day, and they’re not always connected. We jump from topic to topic in our internal dialogue and these jumps can cause anxiety. It’s completely normal, and there’s an ancient old Buddhist principle that supports it.
If this sounds like you, continue. If not, hey, you’re already here, so why not keep going.
Buddha, a wise teacher with a love for human nature, describes our racing thoughts as drunken monkeys that we need to have calm conversations with every now and then. As the New Year approaches, this can help you remain maintain your resolutions for a lifetime. The key to your Monkey Mind tapping into those inner thoughts with these techniques so that you take on life like a boss!
Tip #1: Recognize the chatter.
Sometimes, we’re so used to it that we don’t even realize it’s there. Next time you find yourself making a list, you’ll have an “aha!” moment. That’s your Monkey Mind going at racing in the background on top of all of your other tasks.
Tip #2: Observe your thoughts.
Here’s a lesson we learned from recharj: It’s not about stopping all thoughts completely, but recognizing them and them moving on. Become aware of your thoughts and match them to your surroundings, so that you know which thought you have decided to attach negative or positive connotations to!
Tip #3: Come up with a mantra that you love.
Sometimes, all it takes is a little pep talk. Sayings like “You can do it,” or “Breathe” can go a long way. Instead of focusing on those racing thoughts, now, you can silently focus on your mantra and distract you from your monkey mind!
Tip #4: Mediate
Take deep breaths and relaxing throughout the day or at the end of the day can help you understand the triggers of your monkey mind. Is it work? Is it being first in line to order your coffee without knowing your order? Meditation can also slow down your thoughts to help you realize that the consequences aren’t so bad after all.
Tip #5: Live in the moment.
Easier said than done, we know; however, take this as your sign. Every time you find yourself thinking about the uncertainty of the future, recognize this thought like Tip #2, and then snap back to the present!
Tip #6: Start a gratitude journal.
We can forget the little things. Start a gratitude journal listing five things you love each day, and your life will turn around. You’ll notice your surroundings, and how grateful are for being you.
Tip #7: Talk to your monkey mind with “if-then” questions.
Corner your monkey mind with “if-then” questions. For instance, if you’ve entered a new restaurant with tons of delicious options and feel your mind racing, take a little time to talk to yourself like this:
It’s up to you whether you want to do it out loud or internally. Just a fair warning: talking out loud may seem a little eclectic, but we love eclecticism!
Taming your monkey mind is an ongoing process that doesn’t happen overnight. You have the ability to master your thoughts and practice mindfulness training in D.C.! Join The Embassy Row Hotel’s Wellness Weekends during The Rooftop season for a community of likeminded individuals who aim to improve their mind, body and spirit.