Do you want to live calmer, happier, make better decisions and reduce the stress in your life? For years I never thought a single thing about the non-stop chatter in my mind. It just seemed so normal that I never considered how it was affecting me emotionally. Questioning or taming my monkey brain was nowhere on my radar…until I started trying to meditate. I know why people don’t get very far with meditation; it’s because trying to quiet the mind seems like an impossible task! But, it isn’t. After trying different modalities to tame the monkey brain, in order to live a calmer, happier and less stressful life, I found that these four ways work best for me.
- Breathe Deeply: I use the 5 second rule…I breathe in deeply for 5 seconds, hold 5 seconds, breathe out for 5 seconds, and hold for 5 seconds. I do this for 6-8 rounds. Then I name each of my body parts starting with the toes saying: toes are relaxed, heels are relaxed, feet are relaxed, until I work my way up to my head. By doing this routine, you can relax your body which helps to relax your mind.
- Meditate: When I first tried to meditate, I told myself, “I can clear my mind for 3 seconds.” And I did! The next day I went for 5 seconds; I continued on this path until I reached 10 minutes. It worked for me because I started very slowly, enjoyed small successes and stuck with it. I have also tried guided meditations or focusing on a constant sound, like the ticking of a clock. The trick is to find what works best for you by experimenting with different ways of taming your monkey mind.
- Appreciation: Another way that I quiet my mind is by appreciating different objects. This is going to sound weird but in the morning just after awakening I sometimes whisper to myself…I appreciate the sheets, I appreciate the quilt, I appreciate the pillow, etc. I find that by appreciating non-exciting objects that it calms my mind… probably because it gets bored! But since calming my mind is my main objective then I’m willing to do what is necessary to accomplish that.
- Take A Walk: When I just can’t seem to tame the monkey brain, I take a walk. There’s something about walking outside breathing fresh air that helps to calm my mind. I notice how people landscape their yards, what color combinations they use and how they make the outside of their homes more attractive. I also stop to chat with people walking their dogs. The benefit to this is twofold: I distract my mind with joyful conversations and sometimes I make a new friend, some of them with four legs!
There are endless avenues of taming the monkey brain; experiment with different ways to find which works best for you. Make a commitment to regularly set aside time to practice relaxing your body which puts your mind in a restful state. By taming the
monkey mind you will find yourself calmer, happier, making better decisions, and reducing the stress in your life. Plus the relationships with your loved ones will only get better. It’s a glorious way to live!
Dawnie Dahir is a speaker, author of two books, “Let Me Give You A Whisper” and “Whispers of Change”, and a Holistic Coach with a BBA from The University of Texas. For many years Dawnie has been passionate about self-transformation. She seeks to inspire others to embrace change as they become who they are truly meant to be. Her desire is to equip you with knowledge that can help you live your life with more love, more peace, more joy and more fun. Dawnie and her husband, Ed, have been married 36 years, have three wonderful daughters and sons-in-law, 5 delightful grandchildren and 4 granddogs. http://www.dawniedahir.com/