Perhaps the question I most often get asked most is “Bob, how do I control my mind and chatter – the negative and fearful thoughts?” We call this the “monkey mind” and “monkey talk.”
We all are susceptible to this and it can be tricky trying to silence it. Often the harder you try, the worse it gets. You feel bad and your performance suffers. And why, then, do we think have this self-defeating chatter? Better yet, what can we do to more consistently put and keep a few of the better thoughts in play? The solution lies in understanding how the mind works.
Your thoughts are like a giant library in your mind with an infinite variety of books that always exist. Each thought is a book in your library. (Don’t even try to throw out any of these books.) Normally you would choose positive, operating thoughts, but what happens with a negative one? You wouldn’t deliberately choose a negative thought, would you. These negative thoughts actually don’t find you, but rather you notice them among your vast library given your negative or fearful state of mind. It’s the Law of Attraction in action. You could say your fear-based thoughts and emotions caused you notice the monkey chatter based on how you are feeling. Once we do, this chatter becomes loud and discomforting. The thought was always there in the library, but you just noticed it.
Yes, thought thoughts of an infinite variety are always available for us to think, we seem to find a way to think the same happy or worrisome ones out of habit and repetition time and again. There is an important reason why. The way the mind works, we only have access to certain kinds of thoughts at any given time. Here’s what’s important to know: Our thoughts actively pop into our heads as a reflection of our current attitude and mood. Thoughts are not something we choose freely but rather something we either notice or don’t; always as a match to our present emotional state of mind. As it would seem, happy moods yield happy thoughts, whereas a bad or fearful attitude is going to attract a whole different and unhappy set of things to think about.
So what’s happening? The positive or negative frame of mind attracts the same vibrational thought that resonates with it. If you are fearful, negative thoughts like “Don’t” will come flooding in. Keep in mind that you are noticing thoughts and not deliberately choosing them. The quality of every thought matches the quality of your positive or negative energy and state of mind.
If you want to think empowering thoughts, get into a good mood first, envision a positive outcome. The thoughts will quickly follow, but only if you remain centered and focused long enough to notice them and give them a chance to appear.
Stop trying to think your way out of a problem. Calm down first. Get into a more centered emotional space, and wait for the empowering thoughts to come your way. All too often, we try thinking our way out of a bad mood only to find ourselves thinking more unhappy thoughts. Thinking becomes like lip service and saying things we don’t really believe.
Use whatever excuse you can to get into a good mood. That is really where your work begins. Begin to trust that more good things will begin to appear as a match for your mood frequency. Getting ourselves into a good mood in the middle of a bad mood remains one of the most challenging things within the mind game we ever do. That’s because the momentum of energy is leaning so strongly in the direction of unwanted that the negativity is not going to diffuse anytime soon. As unpopular as it may be, the time to deal with all unhappy emotion is before we allow ourselves to go to an unhappy place. We deal with frustration long before the frustration ever sets in. We must get to the place where it becomes more important to us to maintain our emotional composure rather than waste energy on unintended results. We care too much not to care about how we feel.
Self-awareness is the key. Do you like what you are thinking about or not? Whether you notice your thoughts and how they feel emotionally is a choice and remains a key component in training the mind. There is a never-ending stream of thoughts you can pay attention to. Without a strong desire to improve how you feel, you’ll have no control over the impulses that you receive. It’s then that the monkeys with all their chatter are going to have a field day.