Got monkey mind?

Got monkey mind?

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We’ve all been there. You’re trying to get something done, but your mind has a different plan. Endlessly chattering to no end.

So just what is this constant chattering about?

This is what we call monkey mind, or as mindfulness teachers call it, autopilot thinking. It’s when the mind takes off on its own — replaying the past or worrying about the future. In other words, chattering away like a monkey.

Autopilot isn’t necessarily good or bad. It’s just the way the mind works. However, it can prevent us from experiencing joy and happiness when autopilot scripts become a part of how we view life.

There’s an important reason that you need to be aware of this concept.

Many of these thinking patterns that do not serve us well. They develop as a result of our life experiences, which are often painful. In turn, we can get stuck in habitual thinking ruts.

One of autopilot’s jobs is to protect us. So when we experience pain, autopilot will try to keep us from getting hurt again. We all know that when we have a bad experience, we think twice before getting ourselves in the same situation again. This is often a good thing. But sometimes the thinking patterns are so strong that they keep us from taking risks at all in those situations. As a result, we become stuck.

So how do you free yourself from autopilot ruts?

The key to freeing yourself from this path is to learn to recognize these patterns. Simply put, know the scripts that play in your head. And when they begin, bring your attention back to the present moment.

One way to do this is to keep a journal. This allows us to see the strings of thoughts that come back over and over again. Look for specific thinking patterns in response to certain situations. Don’t try to change them. Just be aware of them. Look for the patterns behind the scripts. The more you practice, the better you will get.

By being mindfully aware of our thoughts, we see that they are often illogical and frequently repeat the same thing over and over. As you begin to notice this in your life, let me know what you discover.

To your mindfulness,

Dr. Marchand


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