Four Ways to Slow Down Your Monkey Mind


monkey screeching; monkey mind
Do you suffer from Monkey Mind? Photo by Dimitry Zub

Anyone who works for a living can get caught up in the spirit of wanting to be, do, and have more. We want it all and we want it now. In a way this impatience and anxious energy can make us innovative and constructive, but it is very easily taken to an extreme. This leads to stress, which as you know by now, can harm the body, mind and spirit.


If it feels like it's never enough, you're stuck in monkey mind

We have been caught up in this idea that what we have is not enough, and that we're not doing enough to be successful Americans. The unfortunate outcome is muscular tension, frustration, angst, and poorer overall health. This worsens "monkey mind" as the Buddhists call it -- that quality of mind where our attention jumps from topic to topic, feverishly energetic like a monkey swinging from tree to tree. It's very hard to have peace and happiness in such a mental state.


How do you stop this monkey mind madness?

Three things that can help with this are mindful movement (like Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Yoga); bringing to mind what you have (gratitude); and centering practices (like prayer and/or meditation). Also, some essential oils bring a more restful, relaxed state to mind.


Mindful Movement to Counter Monkey Mind

When you slow down and become conscious of your movement, you can more effectively fight monkey mind. It also helps you prevent getting injured because you are more conscious of how you feel as you move. You don't run into things as much or stumble and fall. You also have to concentrate more when you're in motion. This means you have less space for rushing into the future or ruminating on the past.


Gratitude and Centering Practices

When you are in the present moment, you are less vulnerable to monkey mind. You are also less likely to find your life lacking. Take a moment each morning and evening to find at least three things for which you're grateful. Even if it's just being alive, it resets your mind to focus on the good. It also calms you down. Take it a step further and think about what you did to make those three things for which you're grateful happen. What did you do to create that circumstance?


Similarly, find some time to be in your power moment (the present moment). You can't do anything about the past, and you only have limited control over the future. The only time you can really take useful action in is the present. Use the present to really be fully here. Prayer and meditation are good ways to accomplish this.


lavendar on piece of wood to combat monkey mind
Lavender is just one of the herbs that makes people relaxed; photo by Davies Design Studio

Aromatherapy

Many people know about lavender oil and have it in bath products and other air fresheners, etc. But often it is mild enough to apply topically to the skin as well. Bitter orange, Roman Chamomile, and Ylang Ylang oils induce calmness and peace (the opposite of monkey mind). Glen Larsen is an experienced, certified aromatherapist who can help you find the right oil or combination of oils for your wellness needs.


All these can be employed on a regular basis to combat stress. In the process you will likely adjust your attitude toward life which can be important as well. Learning to care for your mind and body are what Glen Larsen does best. In addition, wellness coaching can be a boon to your overall life satisfaction.


You can also combat monkey mind as you explore the ways that you are satisfied or imbalanced in different areas of your life and how you'd like to change them. We can help you develop a vision and plan for your life and how you want it to be, and then implement the plan so you don't break your promises to yourself. You can look at the ways you might be getting in your own way, such as being impatient or judgmental with your progress. Life is not a race to be won, but a journey to be savored. Let us help you love the path you're on, by calling 661-575-7135.

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