Stopping the Mental Chatter When Your Mind Won’t Shut Up
Are you sick of the constant chatter your mind comes up with all day long? Does the "monkey mind," as my good friend puts it, keep you in an infinite worry loop that messes with your sleep and work?
I’d like to share a really cool trick that will silence your mind fast, anytime. If you practice this consistently, you’ll achieve a truly magical state of mental silence that is nothing short of bliss.
When your mind is silent, you aren't worrying. You aren't afraid. You aren't sad. Or frustrated, angry, jealous or resentful. You aren't criticizing yourself, and you aren't self-talking yourself out of things you want to do (but are afraid to).
When your mind is silent, you just "are" - peaceful, calm and in control.
No matter what is going on.
I have to warn you, it will be weird at first to hear nothing. It might even scare you a little, but it’s okay. Your mind hasn’t gone away, it’s just taking a break! Practice this trick every day and you’ll soon get used to longer and longer periods of silence.
It’s like teaching a puppy to sit. At first, the puppy will want to play and he won’t have the discipline to sit for more than a few seconds but if you’re persistent, you can teach him to sit for as long as you command him to.
I’ll bet you never thought you’d be able to master your mind like this!
Start by setting the scene. You want to be someplace quiet so you can literally hear yourself think - and not think.
Take a few deep breaths to relax yourself and if your mind is especially noisy, close your eyes to help keep out distractions.
Bring your attention to your breath. When was the last time you did that? Breathing is automatic and we rarely think about it but it’s an awesome tool that you can use to energize yourself, calm yourself and silence your mental chatter.
Don’t try to control your breath in any way.
Inhale through the nose, a little louder than you normally breathe, just to help you focus on the breath. This action will drown out the mental chatter.
Next, note the pause between the inhale and the exhale. Pure silence! It’s a mental, emotional, physical and spiritual silence. Bliss.
Exhale through the nose or mouth, as you like, making the exhale a little louder than normal so that your mind doesn’t start up again.
As you finish the exhale, again bring your attention to the pause between breaths. Silence! Woohoo!
Remember, don’t try to control your breath in any way. Observe. That’s all.
When you're learning this exercise, the trick is to breathe juuuuuust a little louder than you normally do. Your attention is on breathing louder, and the noise it creates effectively drowns out the chatter just like waves washing ashore can drown out conversation. As you relax into the silence, relax your breathing, too, knowing that you can always "shush" your mind anytime.
Practice this whenever the monkey mind is in full-on circus mode and you’re feeling anxious or depressed.
Use it to gather your thoughts before a presentation and focus your energy before competition.
Use it to stop the worry train before doing something unfamiliar and you're doubting yourself.
Use it whenever you’re in an argument so you can respond rather than react and avoid saying something you can't unsay.
Now that you know the basics, you’re probably wondering... how do I extend the moments of silence without holding your breath?
Great question! As you continue this exercise, you will relax. Your breath will become quieter until it is barely perceptible because you're so deeply relaxed. Keep your focus on the physical sensations of breathing and "being" - the rise and fall of the abdomen, the sensation of air moving through your nose, your heartbeat, any environmental sounds or smells, etc. Notice the mental silence both during the pause between breaths and during the breath. As you can imagine, thoughts will find a way to sneak in sometimes, but you can always turn up the volume of your breath and instantly take back control.
This simple exercise leads to amazing mental mastery if you practice it regularly!
You can also achieve total blissful mental silence when you’re watching MindPT. It’s a form of active meditation that is so engaging, your mind won’t have a chance to get a word in edgewise!
Now you know how to stop the chatter instantly and you can do it in any situation when your mind refuses to shut up. Enjoy the silence!
We could all use a little break from the mental chatter, so if you found this article helpful, please share!
You can easily achieve mental silence through meditation, by watching any of your favorite MindPT sessions! We recommend you play your sessions at the fastest speed that is comfortable to you. Remember - you DO NOT have to consciously read every positive statement (or as we call them, "affirming self-fulfilling prophecies"). Your brain is picking it all up! The trick is to "soft-focus" - look "beyond" the presentation, and allow the images to flash before you without trying to think about them, analyze them or judge whether they are relevant to you. When you relax and allow the images to come and go - knowing that you are absorbing it all - your mind will go silent (it simply cannot keep up!).