”Monkey Mind” is a Buddhist term that describes the persistent churn of thoughts in the undisciplined mind.
Gautama Buddha described the human mind as being filled with drunken monkeys, chattering, screeching, jumping around, and carrying on endlessly.
The monkey mind cannot exist in the present moment but is rather distracted by the thoughts which pass through.
List Of 11 Ways To Tame Your Monkey Mind:
#1 Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness is being aware of the here and now, the current moment, instead of thinking about the past or the future. Mindfulness meditation is a way to calm the monkey mind and offers relief from the constant mental chatter.
In addition, the practice of mindfulness meditation every day can improve your ability to cope with future stressors, reduce your blood pressure, and improve your relationships by boosting your empathy.
Meditation can also prevent your mind from making a situation seem worse than it really is.
Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, a Tibetan teacher and master of the Karma Kagyu and Nyingma lineages of Tibetan Buddhism, said about the monkey mind:
“Monkey mind says do this and do that, and if we listen, it causes problems and we can become crazy. If we fight the monkey mind, it becomes the enemy, so make friends with it. How? Keep giving it jobs that it’s happy doing. Now, instead of it being the boss, you are the boss. Meditation is like giving it a purpose so it has no reason to wander.”
#2 Walking Meditation
Walking meditation is more of an open eyes mindfulness method that you can use on the go. Walking meditation involves bringing your attention to the sensations and pressure in the feet as they make contact with the ground.
It’s particularly effective for relaxing the monkey mind, promoting calmness, and increasing creativity.
#3 Practice Deep Breathing
When stressed, lost in a problem of the future or past in your mind, breathe with your belly for several minutes and just focus on the air going in and out. This will calm your body and monkey mind down and bring your awareness back into the present moment again.
Moreover, you can take 5 deep breaths, holding it in for one second, and exhaling through the mouth slowly. Practicing this breathing exercise will help you feel an instant wave of calmness come over you.
Yoga teaches you to stop, be honest with yourself and your body, and live in the moment. The calm that a regular yoga practice brings helps rid the chaos, exhaustion, agitation, frustration, which usually fills the monkey mind.
Once you start practicing yoga, you become much more conscious of how you react to things, and you begin to accept things for what they are.
Note – stress doesn’t necessarily cease entering your life after starting a yoga practice, but your perception of drama and stress will definitely change.
#5 Mantra Meditation
A mantra is a sound, word, or a short phrase which is repeated over and over again for the purpose of focusing and calming down the mind.
During mantra meditation, you repeat the mantra. This repetition will replace all busy thoughts and help you shut out the outside world, hence calming your monkey mind and body. This leads to inner peace and a sense of bliss and inner happiness.
Important note – during a mantra meditation, it is essential not to try to meditate but rather relax into effortlessness and let the mantra come in the same way as thoughts come.
#6 Tai Chi
Tai Chi is a dynamic form of moving meditation. The art of Tai Chi Chuan emerged initially within China during the middle of the 19th century.
Tai Chi practice is an art that brings us into balance with ourselves and those around us. The practice stresses the cultivation of inner strength, the principles of relaxation and yielding, and harmony of both mind and body.
Moreover, with this practice, you develop an awareness of where your body holds tension within itself, that gradually becomes integrated into your daily life.
#7 Create A Minimalist Workspace
My workspace is just a laptop on a wooden desk. I use a comfy chair and there is room for my glass of water, phone, and a nice photo of my family, besides the computer. That’s it. Also, clear the walls of your room. This brings peace and makes it harder for your mind to wander during work.
#8 Unhinge From Adrenaline
Adrenaline, also known as the “fight-or-flight“ hormone, is released in response to a stressful, dangerous, exciting, or threatening situation.
An adrenaline lifestyle can do soul-damaging things – being greedy, overworking, winning even at the expense of relationships, or insistence on getting ahead. Slow down and let go. Be more conscious of the present moment.
Humans’ interaction with nature increases one’s inner peace, according to research. You can start by taking short walks outside on an everyday basis while abstaining from using any type of electronic device.
From time to time, you can take nature retreats for several days.
Archery might not be the first sport you think of when trying to calm your monkey mind, but, the sport of archery is a form of meditation since it demands coolness and calmness. Just like with meditation, an archer needs to concentrate solely on the task at hand. If you let your mind stray and think about what you are going to do tonight, then the arrow misses the target.
According to Charles Objero, an executive member of the York Lions Archery club and a fourth-year psychology major:
“Archery has been beneficial to me because it’s a really good stress reliever; you shoot your stress away. For me especially, it helps me clear my mind and has helped me find inner peace.”
#11 Spend Some Time Alone
You don’t have to be lonely, sad, or bored when you are alone. Actually, being alone will give you time and space to regroup and to remember what is really important in your life. Understand you are good enough all by yourself. And you don’t need to always be around other people.