March 24, 2014
Has this happened to you lately? You’re in a conversation, or a meeting or working on an important project. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, you’re thinking about what you’re going to have for dinner or the email you forgot to respond to or the March Madness game you watched over the weekend or an errand you forgot to run or someone you need to call or that crazy episode of House of Cards you watched last night. The likelihood is you’re having a whole series of those thoughts, not just one. It sure happens to me; that list of random thoughts I just wrote comes straight from my current playlist.
In doing the research for my new book on mindfulness for overworked and overwhelmed leaders and professionals, I’ve learned that the average person has 70,000 thoughts a day. So, seriously, what’s the likelihood that all those thoughts are going to lay themselves out in an exquisite sequence of hyper focus? Not very likely.
We all have mental chatter. There’s even a Sanskrit word for it—vritti—that the ancient yogis came up with thousands of years ago to describe the whirlpool of thoughts that constantly swirl through your mind. Another great term for the condition we often find ourselves in is “monkey mind.”
Monkey mind, or mental chatter, is a fact of the human condition. The trick is to create conditions that make it less likely, recognize it when it’s happening and then change things up. Here are three ways to do that:
My guess is you have lots of other good ideas for quieting mental chatter. What are they?
(Image via ziggysofi/Shutterstock.com)
March 24, 2014