Do you have a monkey mind like me? You know, a crazy little monkey that isn't very nice, can't stop thinking, over-analyzes, overthinks and honesty should be committed? :) Well, my friend, you aren't alone. Our minds are all running on overload. We have constant amounts of stressors being thrown at us. We no longer have to outrun lions and tigers. Instead, we are outrunning the news and social media. We are drowning in information overload and it isn't helping those overthinking minds of ours at all!!!
When I was on my journey of healing, I really had little to no control of my monkey mind, or much of anything for that matter. I didn't start on this wheel. I started on my emotional wheel, which is obviously closely linked. Some practitioners group these two wheels together. I don't, mostly because the emotions are so big and so vast, I like to look at them separately. I see the emotions as inner feelings, versus the mind as more full of perceptions and false beliefs. They work hand-in-hand, but I prefer to address them separately. If you are more of a three-wheeler person, then by all means, group them in as one! Most of what works for the emotional wheel balancing, will also greatly benefit your mental wheel.
So, let's get started with the resources you can use to help bring this wheel into alignment:
Journaling - Great tool to just record and review what you are thinking and processing. It's also great to chart your progress. If you love to write, then do it! You don't have to be good at it. Use your computer, or a pen, but download it out of you. We save files on a USB drive to save space on our computers, or keep it in a handy place to locate later. A journal works the same way. It's a USB drive for your brain!
EMDR - (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences. Repeated studies show that by using EMDR therapy people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It allows your mind to heal from psychological trauma much quicker, all done thru a series of eye movements (similar to how your body processes emotions during REM sleep).
Scents/Oils - I use oils in conjunction with other resources to simply tie in all of our senses. This makes the processing and elimination more powerful. Oils, such as Adaptiv, from Doterra, help me if my anxiety starts to roar. However, there's no magic pill or scent that will solve all your problems. I use them with other tools as if my anxiety is roaring, then there's a root that I need to get to and pull. The oil helps calm it enough, naturally, so I have better clarity.
Support Groups - If you are in a major life change, such as a divorce or death, finding groups can be very beneficial for your healing. You need to tell your story and process your loss. You need to realize you aren't alone, and that you aren't crazy. I encourage them for all walks, including addictions and of course for mental health.
Gratitude - Living and showing gratitude everyday works. It lifts your energy to a new level, but if you are depressed, this is a really hard place to get to. People used to tell me all the time to be grateful. I tried gratitude journals, but they were the same thing everyday, and I didn't feel too grateful. What I didn't realize is that anger blocks gratitude, and I was angry. I wasn't going to admit it, but I had turned on myself, and the anger was eating me alive. It was showing up as depression, and would later turn into physical ailments, which for me looked very much like an autoimmune disorder. So, if this is you, the best thing you can do to be grateful is start to address the anger first.
Energy work/PEMF - You just can't go wrong with this. It's way past my level of expertise, but just because I don't understand it, doesn't mean it's not working. I use these practices daily, and the PEMF is great for chakra work also.
Visualizations - Everyone needs a happy place. If you don't have one, use your imagination and create one. Your brain won't know the difference. (It really doesn't!) Mine is in the mountains, lush greenery, blue skies and complete peace. I go there when I need reprieve. Find a place, get lost in your imagination, oh and breathe!
Sleep - This affects all of our wheels! It is quite simply one of the best things you can do to help bring every wheel back into balance. You can't think straight, or clearly if you are exhausted and not focusing on good sleep!
Affirmations - These work, if you believe them. If not, don't bother. I used to listen to tapes of these all the time and they went nowhere. My body simply knew I was lying. So, before you try them, you have to unlock and find out why you don't believe them. After that, absolutely use them!
Meditation - This one, for me, falls right behind sleep in helping all 4 wheels. But, if you are an over-thinker, it's going to be hard. Start small. Start with guided tapes. Also, lower your expectations. We all have images of zen Buddhas in caves meditating all day long. If that's what you want, go for it, but we don't need to be Buddhas to find our zen. I do better with walking meditations. Find what works for you and go with it.
Subconscious reprogramming - Did you know that our subconscious controls 90% of us? Yikes. That means all that programming from childhood (before the age of 7) is really our Operating System. Well, it takes time to reprogram. I did it the long way (and I'm not done). I wish I would have committed to this one more. My path may have been shorter, but I like to take the longest path possible apparently. I did dabble in this, meaning I would listen to tapes while I slept and I did feel incredibly better the next day. I just didn't stick with it, because I had someone else sleeping in my bed, I don't like EMFs pumping thru my head all night and I never got around to making my own versions, more suitable for what I needed. If you want more information on these, there are so many people who explore this topic. I would start with Joe Dispenza though!
TIPP - I have not experienced this, but it is another fast track method that seems to have a very good success rate. I found out about it too late, or I would have definitely given this one a shot! It's great for people who have suffered from trauma, have PTSD or general depression and anxiety. It helps people reduce their stress and anxiety; increases awareness; creates fewer distractions; gives better focus and clarity; offers greater control over their thoughts; and provides more calm and freedom in their relationships. More information can be found at www.inspiredperformanceinstitute.com
Psych-K beliefs system -This is another faster track method, that digs into the subconscious mind. The effect is a re-writing of self-limiting subconscious programs (beliefs) into life-enhancing subconscious programs (beliefs). I have not experienced it, as for some reason, it didn't connect with me. It might for you though! (Again, I think I didn't pick this because of my tendency to always go with the longest path possible!)
Breathwork - This is another simple, but yet powerful tool that is free and helps align all of your wheels. There are so many people diving into this work. If you can just focus on your breath long enough to calm your nervous system down, that will always help. I love box breaths; belly breaths, opening up my diaphragm thru breathwork and Wim Hof breathing.
Music/Self-help/Podcasts/Workshops/Events - Mostly this is just about what you are feeding your mind. If you feed your body junk, well, eventually your body is going to stop giving you it's best. Same goes with your mind. Feed it good stuff. Read positive books that help you grow or bring you joy. Listen to people you admire, or hope to grow into. Listen to inspirational music with good lyrics. Fill your mind and your soul with growth tools, not poison that will eventually cause corrosion.
EFT (Tapping) - We talked about this on the Emotional Wheel as well. Great tool to use to process emotions, but also to identify beliefs and perceptions that are keeping you stuck. Following these meridian points, as you work thru the falsehoods, while telling yourself who you really are, is powerful! I combine this strategy with oils that are suitable for the moment to pack a bigger punch. Now I am speaking, smelling and feeling my way out of releasing some stinky stuff!
Trauma Work - This one has nothing in particular attached to it, except to identify just how important it is to do this work. Unresolved trauma will eventually cause you great pain, or it will kill you. You can't avoid it. It's lurking within and it needs to be unrooted. I've already identified some other resources on how to start this. I started with the basics, my emotions, as well as some good meditation time and discussions with God, who would slowly unravel me and bring me to healing. Without uncovering the traumas I had buried, I would be living a false sense of self and never be fully healed.
Mindfulness - This is just about getting present. It's about living for the now, not letting your mind slip back into the past and ruminating, or letting it worry about the future. Easier said than done, I know. However, this is no different than building a muscle. You work at it. You practice. You get better at it. You can maintain it for longer. Your muscle grows. I highly recommend though that this not be where you start. This is something you can tackle when you are in a better place.
Language- I'm going to end with this one, because it packs a powerful punch. Unfortunately, if you have trauma, or are drowning in depression or anxiety, this one too will be hard to follow. The bigger roots need pulled before you tackle this one, which will reveal itself later anyways. This one is all about how you talk to yourself. Are you your own best friend? I certainly wasn't. I call my "ego" Karen. I'm not going to lie, Karen can be a downright bitch. She should have been put in jail for harassment and psychological abuse. Fortunately, Karen and I have both learned how to get along better. She can still emerge, and I now quietly thank her for her opinion and off she goes.
We all have to learn how to talk to ourselves better, and to each other. We are so quick to slap labels onto people. We rush to judgements that elevate us above others. We conquer. We divide. We need to stop. The only way to do this is to start with how you talk to yourself. Compassion is key. It works for everyone, in all situations. Start simple, just by observing how you talk to yourself. We've all been conditioned by language from the very beginning. We've been bombarded with it on all levels. The best way to stop the process is to simply observe it. Then, after you see it's there, you can start to understand and change it.
I hope that all these ideas and resources give you a starting point to help control your monkey mind. Start with the one that you really connected with, or has worked for you in the past. Then, you can build on it. Whatever you do, just start with something and never, ever forget you are not alone!
If you seek more insight, check out my podcast on this subject also.
Angela Miller is a "Wholistic" RN and a Human Potential Life Coach. She is passionately pursuing her purpose to help others remember who they are and how to become their best self using her 4-wheeled, balanced approach system.