What is the monkey mind
Again, what is the monkey mind? Well, according to Abigail Fagan, Psychology Today, the monkey brain is the inner critic in our brains that inhibits the flow of our progress, success, and ability to pursue our creative passions/endeavors. Marelisa, Daring to Live Fully, defines the monkey mind as drunken monkeys springing from one branch to the next, chattering nonstop and in constant motion. As such, the monkey mind manifests in the following ways: ruminating over the past, judging the present, worrying about the future, mindlessly wandering through a to-do list, and last but not least, real and imagined fears running rampant in your mind.
In addition to this, Fagan elaborates by stating the monkey mind distracts us from living meaningful, lightness lives and is thus accompanied by feelings of guilt, anger, frustration, etc. Because of this, the monkey mind resembles the parent screaming inside of our heads. Sometimes, we delightfully tell it to shut up. Other times, it damn near drives us bananas. Accordingly, BJ Gallagher, author of 30+ books, international best-seller, “A Peacock in the Land of Penguins,” Huff Post, Buddha described the monkey mind as a bunch of erratic, wild, oftentimes fearful monkeys clamoring for attention.
What the Buddha — Monkey Mind?
And while he wasn’t a God or Messiah, he was an enlightened spiritual teacher who knew the importance of mindfulness. Of course, this includes knowing the source — the type of monkeys, that is — and thereby identifying solutions to tame the jungle. Moreover, we all have monkey minds. Yet, not all of us have been equipped on how to manage what is the monkey mind. As you can see, meditation would be an excellent method to triumph over those maddening monkeys. The more frequently you meditate, the more mindfully adept you will become at quieting the monkey mind. As such, Fagan contends that the simple act of mindfulness emanates calm and allows one to enter a state of acceptance, and nonjudgmental awareness. For instance, mindfulness lets one dissolve writer’s block and experience more joy and bliss. This is a result of being more grounded, present, stable.
As such, the goal of this article is to shed light on the monkey mind. Subsequently, we will be learning how to tame to monkey mind to take control of our inner kingdom.
Monkey Mind Method!!!
According to Forbes, meditation is scientifically, neurologically, and psychologically beneficial. And with the aid of focused attention (I.e. training attention on your breaths) and open monitoring (curiously observing your thoughts and letting them subside), mental chatter will fall away and thus shed. Other techniques include journaling for a coherent narrative, distracting yourself with drawing, coloring, counting, and reciting, and cognitive behavioral therapy. There is even a hybrid model between mindfulness (documenting the sensory present moment) and CBT.
After all, clinical psychologist Deborah Serani, author of the book Living With Depression, asserts that “Cognitive behavioral therapy is the gold standard when it comes to reducing negative thoughts.” As such, radical self-acceptance, a form of cognitive restructuring, results and ushers in a radical change in negative, self-repeating negative thoughts. In like manner, Marelisa confirms that meditation is the most effective method to calm the monkey mind. Nonetheless, one can journal, talk to their monkey mind, recite a mantra, and stop assigning meaning among other things. However, first and foremost, one must know that the monkey mind indeed can be tamed.
Goin’ Bananas | Monkey Mind
Because of this, it is important to note that whilst less is more, sometimes the more the merrier. Accordingly, this applies to the x amount of strategies you implement to best the money mind. That said, there is no time limit on how long you are meant to exercise the aforementioned mindfulness strategies. Again, frequency, not duration, is what sings to the monkeys. Even Fagan argues that just a few minutes of meditation can get you grounded and in control. To reiterate, you can even implement this into your daily schedule (i.e. drinking coffee). Moreover, Very Well Mind emphasizes that yoga is effective to “be calmer, less stressed, and more productive.” As a result, this counteracts the monkey mind, the type of mind hops from the past to the future, only very briefly resting on the branch known as the present.
However, this is most frequently addled by a state of agitation, instead of non judgmental acceptance. Nonetheless, the practice of asana can help you to focus on what your body is doing, an all-encompassing experience that can take minutes to snap out of. Furthermore, you can just as easily implement pranayama in which you focus your attention to breath work. Consequently, it leaves no room for your mind to wander and boosts your mental tranquility.
Monk, this is Yogis
As such, the ability to quiet the mind sums up the basis of the concept of yoga. Matter of factly, Very Well Mind articulates that yoga chitta vritti nirodha, is translated as “yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind.” Also, it is beneficial to have an alternative viewpoint to the frenetic chatter, adopting a more peaceful state and creating new and improved neural connections. As you can see, yoga and meditation are interconnected and thus prove that mindfulness is key to quieting the monkey mind. Of course, this is to experience life as a tree, not a branch to branch being.
In the end, we all hold the power to overcome the internal charter — it is a matter of effective, regular, intent-based implementation. In the same vein, Daring to Live Fully, claims that taming your monkey mind leads to enhanced quality of sleep, greater clarity, calm, and happiness, and a better grip on present tasks. Indeed, you must conquer the monkey mind before it conquers you. Thus, we must do what is in our best interest to get the monkey off our backs. Above all, speak to your monkeys to calm them down and always be mindful that, like Huff Post highlights, “meditation is a wonderful way to quiet the voices of fear, anxiety, worry, and other negative emotions.” What is the monkey mind when you are high as a Georgia Pine? Now isn’t that something to go bananas over?
So, why not meditate as the monk you are and meet your monkey mind mantra?
Calming the Monkey Mind | Psychology Today
8 Science-Based Tips for Quieting the Monkey Mind | Forbes
10 Ways to Tame the Monkey Mind and Stop Mental Chatter | Daring to Live Fully
Buddha: How to Tame Your Mind | Huff Post
Taming the Monkey Mind with Yoga | Very Well Mind
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