What is your monkey mind and what should you do when it’s in overdrive? Learn how to gain insight and clarity to your life with this guided meditation.
2020 has been an intense year and it’s not even finished. Your monkey mind certainly isn’t getting any rest with so much happening from Black Lives Matter protests to pandemic rules constantly changing.
Meditation works wonders, but how many people actually practice it daily? Sometimes, spending time alone with those thoughts is the last thing you would want. But meditation is incredibly empowering; it can help you stay calm and focused; it can allow you to process life’s difficulties. The benefits are truly endless.
If you’ve never tried meditation or you keep putting off your next practice, all it takes is one 10-minute session. There’s never a better time to start than now. I created this 10-minute guided meditation video so you can try for yourself. All you need, is to find a comfortable spot and sit for 10-minutes. That’s it, I promise.
Meditation is about allowing time to be still, present and aware of yourself and your thoughts. It brings you away from life’s distractions, to remind you of what you value. Having insight to the person you are starts you on a journey of self discovery. It’s not easy but it’s certainly worthwhile. Last year, I talked in-depth about my experience of going to a Silent Meditation Retreat in 2019 – if you’d like to find out more, read here.
The power of your breath:
Breathing is automatic and most people don’t give it a second thought. But, when you start meditating you become more aware of the process and this awareness is a powerful guide. Breathing through only your nose helps your body take fuller, deeper breaths, stimulating the lower lungs to distribute greater amounts of oxygen. Bad breathing habits can seriously affect your health. Being aware of nasal breathing and practising it regularly helps you slow down and keeps you calm. Your breath will meet 50% more resistance when it passes through your nose, which literally acts as a filtration system.
Your monkey mind:
The monkey mind explains the restless and unsettled environment of your mind. Attention swings from one thought to the next, much like a monkey swings on trees. When you sit still with your thoughts, they can be completely random or whimsical. Your mind jumps from one thought the next, often projecting your past into your future and this is completely normal.
You don’t have control over the way that your mind moves, this is part of its nature. But you can learn to be at ease with these thoughts and give them the right attention. We do this by resisting distractions and learning patience. When you catch yourself daydreaming and having those monkey mind thoughts – focus your attention back to your breath.
Learning to accept that your thoughts will rise but they will pass is a constant journey. During this process you stop letting those thoughts control you. You start to live in the moment and find a deep and clear awareness of your mind and body and this awareness increases a sense of connection to yourself and others around you. You stop being consumed by those thoughts you try so hard to avoid. I think it’s safe to say that this is something we’re all striving for.
Call it meditation, quiet time, self-reflection or boredom, whatever you call it, encourage moments where you sit still with your thoughts.
Having some time where you disconnect has never been so important. In this age of instant connectivity, we’re overwhelmed with information. Making the time to sit back, reflect and befriend your monkey mind will help you get to know your true self and figure things out.
Your brain is an amazingly powerful tool that you should get to know. Your thoughts are free, let them wonder. Above all, be kind and patient with yourself, in these challenging times you deserve it.