Silencing the Monkey Mind!
Updated: September 7, 2021
In today’s world, we are exposed to more stimulation and mental input than our systems are designed to handle. Between social media and the constant news stream of suffering and turmoil, it can feel confusing to know where to place our attention. It’s especially difficult for people who want to help but end up feeling helpless.
Reminders of the pandemic, environmental emergencies, politics, and devastating world events pile on to our generally full and busy lives – it’s no wonder so many of us are struggling with anxiety and overwhelm! Fight – Flight – Freeze seems to be on all the time and it’s accompanied by an autopilot stream of chattering thoughts and ideas limited to searching for potential threats.
None of this is going away any time soon, so we need to learn strategies that will help us become more resilient and able to manage our inner lives without bypassing what is going on in the world. One way to help manage the inner anxiety loop is to learn how to experience a sense of inner peace, groundedness, and calm. You can learn how to reclaim your mental spaciousness by quieting the “monkey mind!”
But in a world that not only overstimulates us, but that often encourages us to rely primarily on our minds over our other senses and ways of knowing, it can often feel impossible to reach a state of true inner calm and peacefulness – especially when challenges are beckoning for solutions. That said, we all need to take breaks to put our oxygen masks on in order to manage at the very least.
In order to relieve the stress of your daily life by keeping a calm mind, you can learn practices that help you come back to your center and release your unwanted thoughts when they feel like they’re running the show.
Why is it important to have a calm mind?
We all know the feeling of a busy, racing, anxious mind ruining our day. It’s natural to have days or times when you struggle with your thoughts and can’t seem to figure out how to calm down. The problem happens when this state becomes your norm, and your monkey brain feels like it’s the one in charge of your life – dictating your thoughts and feelings.
When you have a clear mind you can approach your life from a grounded place – not being swayed by every single thing that happens in your outer world. A calm mind allows you to approach life from the eye of the storm, keeping your sense of calm regardless of what happens around you. You actually become a much more effective person and are able to more easily discover solutions from this space that lead to more thoughtful and mindful responses.
Of course we need the survival reaction, I’m not saying we don’t, but keep in mind that the monkey mind or monkey brain doesn’t help us! It may feel like you need to think things through to make good choices, but in reality your rushing thoughts are a distraction from your Divine inner knowing. The more you quiet your racing thoughts, the more connected you will be to your intuition and your own truth.
Calm your mind to prepare for Virgo season
On September 7th, 2021 there will be a new moon in Virgo. Virgo season is a wonderful time to bring a little bit of “back-to-school” energy to our lives. Getting ducks in a row, getting organized, focusing on our health, and taking action toward bringing our intentions to life.
Shifting into this fall, Virgo energy will be easier and more enjoyable when you have a calm and quiet mind. With a clear mind, you can make sound decisions about what you want your intentions to be and how you’ll take action toward them. If you’re bogged down by an anxious mind, you’ll be pulled away from the places you want to put your work and attention during this time.
Finding a space of clear-headedness will support you to fully embrace the energy of this Virgo full moon and get the most out of its energy. In order to receive this support from the natural energies of the Universe, we have to do our inner work to be in a place to receive it.
For Virgo season, the inner work to prepare is the work of calming and quieting your mind.
Here are some tips and tools to help you relieve stress, quiet your mind, and prepare yourself to take full advantage of this Virgo new moon and Virgo season:
1. Chatterbox Meditation for Clearing Your Thoughts
One of my favorite ways to clear a busy mind is with meditation and guided visualizations. It’s so easy to get lost in our minds and forget that we are not our thoughts and we actually have sovereignty and choice around how we engage with our thinking minds.
This simple meditation will help you set boundaries with yourself around your unruly thoughts and put them back to right size. When we think of boundaries, we usually think of setting boundaries with others, but it’s just as important to set boundaries with ourselves! When we set clear boundaries around how we engage with our thoughts, they can no longer take over the way we experience life and cause us unnecessary stress.
2. Journaling for clearing your head
Journaling is a wonderful tool for clearing your mind and coming to a place of calm and peacefulness. It’s truly one of the most relaxing things to do for a busy mind!
I love using this simple exercise I call “the dumping grounds” to release any unwanted thoughts that are crowding and busying my mind. It’s best to do this exercise in a separate journal, or in the back of your journal away from your other writing.
All you need to do is take some time to write out all of the challenging emotions and thoughts you don’t want to deal with and get them down on paper. It might be resentments, fears, or things you’ve been holding onto. You might do this after you finish the chatterbox meditation and have a little more sovereignty over your thoughts. This will help you actually release and let go of the ones that aren’t serving you and make room for what is genuinely important.
Schedule some time to sit down with your journal and as you write, don’t filter yourself! Simply write until you’ve gotten everything down. Then, once you’re done, take out the trash! You can put big X’s over everything you wrote and consciously let them go, or you can rip out the pages, tear them up, and throw them away!
If you’ve been wondering how to calm down when you’re feeling wound up or how to get rid of stress, try this journaling exercise! It’s great to do this once a week to help you maintain a quiet and calm mind.
3. Take a digital detox
One of the biggest contributors to our overstimulation and stress is our relationship with technology. Just take a moment to consider the amount of input you take in daily through your devices. If you want to quiet your mind, one of the absolute best things you can do is take a digital detox.
If taking time away from your phone, laptop, and netflix feels daunting – start small. Pick just one 24 hour period when you can stay offline. Start doing this once a week and you’ll begin to notice a shift in your busy mind and your stress levels.
Of course, email, social media, and the internet are part of our daily lives and for most of us, it’s impossible to totally unplug all the time. Instead, practice setting boundaries with yourself by choosing specific times each day when you will check your accounts.
Keeping a healthy relationship with technology will make a massive impact on quieting your monkey brain and keeping a calm and quiet mind.
In a world as busy and full as ours, it’s only natural to struggle sometimes with keeping a calm mind. At the end of the day, getting healthy control over your thoughts is a discipline that requires practice and conscious intention. And what better time to master your own mind than to prepare for the Virgo new moon!
Having a practice, community, or resource you can turn to on a regular basis is one of the best ways to keep a consistently calm mind and maintain healthy stress levels. This is one of the reasons I created my Oracle Circle Membership.
Oracle Circle is a sacred space for heart-centered spiritual seekers of all levels. The membership gives you access to curated resources, spiritual guidance, powerful tools, and guided meditations. If you’re craving support and community on your spiritual journey, I know you’ll love Oracle Circle. Find out more here…